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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

War of 1812 begins previews

June 26, 2012… The Festival welcomes avant-garde Toronto theatre company
VideoCabaret’s spectacular production The War of 1812 (The History of the Village of the Small Huts: 1812-1815) as part of its 60th season. The show, which has been programmed to commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of the War of 1812, begins  previews at the Studio Theatre Annex performance space on June 26. 

VideoCabaret is one of Canada’s most creative and imaginative theatre ensembles. The company, which won a Dora Award last night for Outstanding Costume Design and was nominated in four other categories for The Life and Times of Mackenzie King, was founded by Michael Hollingsworth and Deanne Taylor. Since its inception in 1976 VideoCabaret has created many enduring plays, and with renowned designers and actors has devised spectacularly original styles of performance including black-box epics, multimedia cabarets, musicals, opera and masquerades. 

The War of 1812 tells the story of a Native confederation led by the Shawnee chief  Tecumseh that defends its own territory by joining in the defence of Canada when America declares war on Britain and her empire. After three years of bloodshed on land and lake, the Yankees have burned York, the Yorkees have burned Washington, and everyone has burned the Natives.

“The History of the Village of the Small Huts is a comedy of manners, satirizing Canada’s various colonial periods,” says Mr. Hollingsworth, who wrote and directed the play. “It is a historical epic for an audience raised on rock and TV. It is the goons of history in their very own Goon Show. It is the Canadian book of the dead, a merry tale told by ghosts and demons.”

The production features performers Greg Campbell, Richard Alan Campbell, Richard Clarkin, Mac Fyfe, Jacob James, Linda Prystawska, Anand Rajaram and Michaela Washburn.

Full press release here.

(FYI: As this is another pre-existing show that is simply being transferred to a Stratford stage, it is unlikely to be widely reviewed. -RG)

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