Available for Presentation
LU XUN blossoms
Theatre Smith-Gilmour and the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre’s production of Lu Xun Blossoms is the first ever Sino-Canadian co-production in theatre.
Lu Xun Blossoms is based on five short stories of Lu Xun: a great writer and teacher. Considered by many to be the father of contemporary Chinese literature, Lu Xun wrote about China at a time of great change. He wrote about “The Living City” of his time, using deeply etched characters and riveting images, documenting the early urbanization of China and the conflicts and joys in the early 20th century.
Lu Xun Blossoms is a journey back to Luzhen (home). It is childhood memories, compassion, death, shame, a scream in the night, a rickshaw driver growing larger and larger, and the slippery oil bean hell for those who seek knowledge. Poignant, amusing, uplifting and raw: “it is consistent with the style of the works of Lu Xun – both humorous and wailful.” – Oriental Morning Post.
With a cast & crew of 6 Canadians and 4 Chinese, Lu Xun Blossoms is two cultures and two languages (English & Mandarin) dancing together – a cultural exchange on a very profound level.
Lu Xun Blossoms premiered to great acclaim in Shanghai on May 26, 2007 followed up with a Fall 2007 tour to Macau, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Theatre Smith-Gilmour is excited to build on this momentum and bring this story back to Toronto audiences
Praise for Lu Xun Blossoms:
“The most surprising thing of Lu Xun Blossoms is that few prop is used in the performance. From the door, the table, the rickshaw to the coins and ropes, the actors and the actresses perform with their body. This technique is also shared by traditional Chinese players with equally satisfactory result.” -News Times
“The actors and the actresses bring to the audience exactly the respect for the rickshaw driver, the love of the Book of Hills and Seas and the sob for Xiang Lingsao.” -Shanghai Evening Post
“Consistent with Lu Xun’s works, the play cleverly expresses sorrow through humour.” Oriental Morning Post (Shanghai)
An absurd account of falling off the corporate ladder
Created by Michele Smith, Dean Gilmour, Ravi Jain and Adam Paolozza Don’t miss this tour de force team made up of two hot young emerging artists and two seasoned veterans of Canadian theatre who bring you the funniest and most topical show of the season. Spent brings together two generations of Canada’s most exciting independent theatre artists in this hysterical new clown and bouffon inspired show.
“Spent is first class theatre from powerhouse creators.” – Paula Citron, Classical 96.3fm
“A wonderful combination of incisive satire and sharp physical comedy…” NNNN! – Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine
“…Spent is splendidly satirical…” 3 STARS – Robert Crew, The Toronto Star
“Inventive, physical, funny, virtuosic and sly” – Leah Cherniak, Theatre Columbus
“The journey is fantastical and whimsical.” – Paula Citron, Classical 96.3fm
“Witty, subversive, cocasse!” – Mathew Jocelyn, Canadian Stage Co
. “You do not want to miss this show!” – Franco Boni, Artistic Director of the Theatre Centre
In 1999-2001, Theatre Smith-Gilmour’s Chekhov’s Shorts played to sold-out audiences, with rave reviews at the Factory Theatre in Toronto. Based on a selection of short stories by Anton Chekhov and adapted by Dean Gilmour and Michele Smith with the company, this first installment of the Chekhov Cycle also toured successfully to Vancouver, Edmonton, Hong Kong, Dartmouth and Montreal. The show has won three Dora Mavor Moore Awards: Outstanding Actor, Outstanding Director, and Outstanding Production.
What the critics said about Chekhov’s Shorts:
“****! A perfect gem! 24 karat charmer…a marvel” – Toronto Star
“Astonishing…one of the best shows of the year” – NOW Magazine
“****! Comic magic!” – Globe & Mail
“A theatrical voyage to remember!” – Toronto Sun
“True to the gentle and ruthless Chekhov!” – National Post
In 2002, Theatre Smith-Gilmour produced their second installment of the series, Chekhov longs…In The Ravine, at the Factory Theatre in Toronto.
Based on a Chekhov novella, In the Ravine tells the darker story of a turn-of-the-century Russian family, through the company’s unique physical perfomance style and comic mastery.
What critics said about Chekhov longs:
4/4 Stars Theatre Smith-Gilmour works its magic a second time around” – Globe and Mail
“An ensemble from acting heaven…one of the best plays of the season” – Classical 96.3FM
“NNNN” – NOW Magazine
GRIMM, an original adaptation of 6 ancient stories from the Brothers Grimm by Michele Smith and Dean Gilmour with 17 young actors at the Humber College School of Drama in 2008.
For many years Smith and Gilmour dreamed of adapting these tall tales unearthed by the Brothers Grimm on their travels through Germany and France. They collected and shared folktales whose fantastical characters: witches, queens, dwarfs, monsters and princes gave both children and adults insights into the divergent tendencies that define our very humanness: naivety, wonder, violence and despair.
GRIMM explores how these strange, mythical stories relate to our experiences of fear, courage, love, hate, hope, joy and wonder in our own daily lives. It’s a journey back to that era of storytelling that allowed us to visit magical worlds of fantasy and danger, excitement and fear – all the while safely tucked under our bed covers. Grimm’s underlying message of hope and tolerance appeals to adults and children alike.
In our work we search for the hidden truth of these wonderful lies that have traveled from ancient India across the middle east into Europe, been translated orally into Hebrew and Arab and then into the European languages and along the way these tall tales were honed and crafted with details being added and taken away over the centuries.
“In days gone by there was a land where the nights were always dark… for there the moon never rose, and no star shone in the obscurity.”
The Brother’s Grimm
The creators of the internationally renowned Chekhov Cycle and the critically acclaimed Katherine Mansfield now turn their attention to the traditional folk stories transcribed devotedly by The Brothers Grimm. GRIMM too, a poignant and meticulous piece of physical theatre.
Welcome to a world where strange and magical things can happen. Where witches turn women into birds, young boys suffer cruel curses and getting lost in the forest could lead to an adventure beyond your imagination.
Co-creators Michele Smith and Dean Gilmour, along with actors Adam Paolozza, Dan Watson and Pragna Desai, take audiences through a stormy world where lessons are learned the hard way. The tour-de-force acting company is directed by Smith and Gilmour and features set and costume designs by Julia Tribe and lighting design by Kimberly Purtell.
Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices, Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth. – Katherine Mansfield
These words capture the essence of our work. We are dedicated to creating exceptional theatre that emerges from our imaginations. Katherine Mansfield has challenged us to explore artistic territories we have never explored. The delicate and concise arrangement of Mansfield’s words defies the rules of form and structure. Her writing is unique and Smith-Gilmour has created a unique piece of theatre that Paula Citron, Classical 96.3fm called “…brilliant, touching…effective theatre” and Robert Crew, Toronto Star called “…fluid, polished, and delightfully imaginative…”
Katherine Mansfield is an exquisite and beautifully moving adaptation, full of passion, love, sexual awakening, innocence, longing, death and loss. With their inimitable, visually-arresting style, Gilmour and Smith capture Katherine Mansfield’s unsentimental dance of life and death.
The Daughters of the Late Colonel lived life as if in a tunnel and realized too late that life might have been different. In Prelude,Lottie, Kezia, Pip and Raggs go to see how the “Kings of Ireland” cut off the head of a duck. Carnation: Katie fantasizes about the workman just outside of the classroom window while Mister Hugo reads a little French poetry. Finally, in Six Years After, as the little steamer pushes forward through the desolate rain and cold, a woman cannot forget that her son is dead and there is nothing she can do for him.
Mansfield’s mysterious and delicate words are what attracted Gilmour and Smith. Her short stories are fragile and beautiful, sometimes cruel and cynical. Her passion for life intoxicates with images, scents and the tactile, like a garden in summer.
“Katherine Mansfield flenses away everything but the emotional essence of its source material, creating a laconic dream world punctuated by silence and frenetic movement. The effect is eerie. We’re not so much watching characters in a narrative, but witnessing the combination and confrontation of emotions. By boiling down Mansfield the writer’s complicated relationships and observations, the performers create a focused little lightning bolt of energy and some exhilarating theatrical moments.” – David Leyes, blogTO
“Katherine Mansfield adapts four stories in the company’s signature Commedia dell’arte style. We see spinster sisters coming to grips with their father’s death; a schoolgirl’s erotic daydream; a mother’s heartbreak at the loss of her soldier-son; and the cruel slaying of a duck. Mansfield’s fiction comes out well though the Smith-Gilmour wringer… The troop’s physicality makes the everyday emotive: a flurry of cacophonous meringue-crunching, for example, conveys profound uncertainty on the eve of hysterical grief.” – Shelia Hanlon, EYE Weekly