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September 10, 2021

The Rhubarb Festival 2022: Call for Expressions of Interest

Hosted by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

We are currently seeking expressions of interest for the 2022 Rhubarb Festival, Canada’s longest running festival of new and experimental performance. Like this past February’s Book as Festival, Festival as Book, Rhubarb is transforming once again for 2022.

After more than a year away from the theatre, we are craving the spectacle of live performance and the possibilities of the theatrical space. Yet, instead of rushing a return to the before and the inherent failings within, we seek to activate a renewed relationship to time, collaboration, and context.

As such, we’ve invited architect and installation artist, Andrea Shin Ling to create a large-scale installation for the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre Chamber space, conceived in conversation with Festival Director Clayton Lee. Participating Festival artists will create works that respond to and engage with Andrea’s prompt and installation.

The Prompt

Andrea Shin Ling: “As an artist and architect who works with decay and biology as a media for cultural expression, passage through time is fundamental to my practice. Biological systems are inherently dynamic, and processes like growth and degradation rely on a temporal flow of energy and material exchange between organisms. Decay and regeneration are paired processes, where the entropy of one system is used for the organization of another; in a circular ecology, one process cannot exist without the other.

What does it mean after a year such as this, to regenerate one’s practice? What have we left to deteriorate, and what do we use as fodder and fuel for new creation? I ask this in the most literal sense, as the work I make is often designed to actually decay, employing and partnering with other organisms to assist in the process. The scale (temporal and physical) at which decay and regeneration occurs may not always be perceptible to the human eye – geological time and microbial time are challenging to understand – but they are happening nonetheless and the consequences are concrete rather than speculative.” 

For this year’s Call for Expressions of Interest, we are asking artists working in live performance to consider Andrea’s statement, to contemplate where decomposition through time can be seen as valuable to constructive and sustainable growth and where the result might not be what one had initially predicted.

Deadline: 11:59 pm EDT on Friday, September 10, 2021


Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

12 Alexander Street, Toronto, ON, M4Y 1B4, Canada

Phone number: 416-975-8555

Email: info@buddiesinbadtimes.com

Established in 1979, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is Toronto’s leading destination for artistically rigorous alternative theatre and a world leader in developing queer voices and stories for the stage. Buddies offers a year-round program that includes a full season of queer theatre, new works festivals, artist residencies, and intergenerational training and education initiatives. In its 40-year history Buddies has welcomed over one million people into its home in the heart of Toronto’s queer village and has premiered nearly 1,000 new works for the stage, making it the largest and longest-running queer theatre company in the world.