Eric Peterson wins a META!

Eric Peterson as Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser in Seeds. Photo: Maxime Côté

Eric Peterson received the META for Outstanding Lead Performance at the Montreal English Theatre Awards gala for his role as Percy Schmeiser in Seeds, a Porte Parole/Centaur Theatre co-production staged by Chris Abraham. Playwright Annabel Soutar read the note sent by Mr Peterson from Toronto, in which he thanked Percy Schmeiser for his stand in favour of farmers’ rights. The presenters kept the tone on the humorous, self-deprecating side, and thank yous were heartfelt. A moving tribute to late actor Walter Massey was warmly received by present members of the theatre community.

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META nominees for Seeds: Julie Fox, Mariah Inger, Cary Lawrence & Christine Beaulieu. Photo: Annabel Soutar

 


Seeds: on tour in 2014-2015

Seeds, Annabel Soutar’s play directed by Chris Abraham, was acclaimed by sold-out crowds at the Centaur Theatre. The English and the French versions are presented on tour in 2014-2015. It is Porte Parole’s first North American tour.

Preview and excerpts of the play
vimeo.com/porteparole

Seeds at the Centaur Theatre, 2013: Presenters’ password protected access

ReviewsSeeds‘ PressKit 2013-2014

Photos: 2012: Crow’s Theatre, Toronto; Photos: Guntar Kravis. Théâtre La Licorne, Montréal; Photos: Maxime Côté. 2013: Centaur Theatre; Photos: Maxime Côté.

If you see nothing else this year, you will be able to say, I have seen a work of genius on stage in a Montreal theatre.” Anna Fuerstenberg, Roverarts.com

“Seeds asks all the right questions, and lets the audience decide. This is an important story, told well. See it.Bloody Underrated

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Liisa Repo-Martell, Eric Peterson & Mariah Inger in Seeds. Photo: Maxime Côté

Actor Eric Peterson, born and raised in Saskatchewan, doesn’t just play the part of Schmeiser, he lives it, nailing the vocal nuances and gestures of rural-prairie-speak perfectly.Pat Donnelly, The Gazette

“Seeds is a perceptive work of theatre that not only adds to the debate over multinational control, but could serve as a valuable contribution to public policy.Alan Hustak, The Métropolitain

The issue

Seeds is a dramatic re-enactment of the 4-year legal battle between Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser and one of the biggest biotech corporations, Monsanto Inc. While debates about GMOs are multiplying everywhere, life-changing experiments are being conducted in the food we eat…

Seeds is a reminder to think about where our food comes from.” Nanette Soucy, The Charlebois Post.

“At least someone is paying some attention to agricultural issues.” Pat Donnelly, The Gazette

“(…) there is no clear right or wrong in Seeds —just increasing, unresolvable complexity.” Patrick Kennedy, The Montreal Review

“(…) Soutar’s script – along with Abraham’s direction and a crackerjack cast – succeed in making one think this is the only possible way the story could ever be distilled into digestible form.” Joel Fishbane, The Charlebois Post

“Thankfully, it is a world that Soutar, a talented chameleon-like ensemble cast, and ingenious director Chris Abraham bring us into with both urgency and humour. What is unsettling is that that world is also our world.” Chris Masson, litlive.ca

“Thoroughly entertaining from beginning to end, Seeds is a tour de force, deftly marshalling the singular powers of the theatre in the service of a crucial and timely civic debate. This is a form of theatre that Canada desperately needs.” Shawn Kast, Roverarts.com

Cary Lawrence & Christine Beaulieu

Cary Lawrence as Trish Jordan & Christine Beaulieu as The Playwright in Seeds

Dates and places

October 29th – November 24th, 2013: Montreal, Centaur Theatre
January 15th – 18th, 2014: Calgary, Theatre Junction GRAND
January 22th-26th: Vancouver, Frederic Wood Theatre (UBC-PuSh Festival)
March 26th – April 12th, 2014: Ottawa, National Arts Center, English Theatre

Grains (Seeds‘ French version) in Quebec: Avril 15th – May 2nd, 2014:
Ste-Geneviève, Salle Pauline-Julien; Montréal, Théâtre Outremont; St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Théâtre des Deux Rives: Montreal, Maison de la culture Frontenac

 

 


The Watershed project

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Ngozi Paul, Kristen Thompson, Alex Ivanovici & Amelia Sargisson in a scene from the workshop. Photo: Andrew Krajewski

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the success of Porte Parole’s The Watershed workshop crowd-funding campaign. Conducted by director Chris Abraham and playwright Annabel Soutar in Toronto last month, this successful workshop brought together eight actors and four stage designers in an ambitious first draft staging of Acts 1 and 2 of The WatershedCo-produced with Toronto’s Crow’s Theatre, The Watershed is a docudrama about the politics of water in Canada. It will be part of Toronto’s Pan/Parapan American Games’ cultural program in July 2015.

To access the Watershed Staging workshop’s page on Kickstarter, click here.

To see Annabel Soutar, Alex Ivanovici and their children on their 2013 research roadtrip, click here.


Seeds, shortlisted for 8 METAs

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Seeds, co-produced by Porte Parole & the Centaur, is nominated for 8 METAs (Montreal English Theatre Awards). Congratulations to the whole team!

The entire cast – Bruce Dinsmore, Mariah Inger, Alex Ivanovici, Tanja Jacobs, Cary Lawrence, Eric Peterson, Liisa Repo-Martell and Christine Beaulieu – was nominated in the Ensemble category.

Other nominees are Eric Peterson for Outstanding Lead Performance, Tanja Jacobs for Outstanding Supporting Performance – Actress, Alex Ivanovici for Outstanding Supporting Performance – Actor, Julie Fox for Outstanding Set Design, Richard Feren for Outstanding Sound Design, Chris Abraham for Outstanding Direction, and Porte Parole/Centaur Theatre for Outstanding Professional Production.

The METAs’ gala is held on October 20th, at the Rialto Theatre, 5723 Avenue du Parc, Montreal

Doors open at 7 pm, awards show starts at 7:45 pm. For tickets, click here!


Seeds, acclaimed in Calgary and Vancouver

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Seeds, Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC, PuSh Festival. Photo: Riz Herbosa

Seeds returns from its January West Coast tour with more acclaim:

The Calgary Herald underlines the play’s “astonishing depth and complexity”, which is matched, according to Heidi J. Loos, of the Vancouver Weekly, by its “gripping, dramatic storytelling”.

Ms. Loos adds “(…) Soutar’s storytelling is so poignant and rich, and the details and characters so juicy that by the end of the second act you’ll be wishing there could be a third!”.

Maureen McNamee, in Calgary’s Fast Forward Weekly blog, sums it up: “Everything you thought you knew about the Monsanto vs Schmeiser case will be challenged by Porte Parole’s Seeds.”

Next run: Ottawa, at the National Arts Center, March 26th-April 12th, 2014


SPECIAL EVENT ON NOV. 6TH: Mind the Gap, One

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MIND the GAP, One

NOVEMBER 6th, 6 – 8 PM
Canadian Center for Architecture
1920, Baile St., Montreal, Quebec

RSVP by Oct. 23rd: Please contact Annie Perron at 514-842-8883, or by email: aperron@porteparole.org


Seeds: at the NAC in 2014

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Liisa Repo-Martell and Eric Peterson, in Seeds. Photo: Guntar Kravis

After its Montreal run at the Centaur in November of this year, Seeds will be presented at the National Arts Center in Ottawa as part of the English Theatre’s 2013-2014 season (March 26 – April 12).

Annabel Soutar’s provocative docudrama, sparked by Chris Abraham’s suspenseful staging, will feature Eric Peterson in the role of now famous Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser. The farmer’s legal battle against Monsanto climaxed in the Supreme Court of Canada with an essential question: “who owns life?”


Seeds: this Fall at the Centaur

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Seeds, Annabel Soutar’s docudrama about farmer Percy Schmeiser’s legal battle against biotech firm Monsanto, was very warmly received at the Centaur Theatre this Fall, from October 29th to November 24th, as staged by award-winning director Chris Abraham, artistic director of Toronto’s Crow’s Theatre.

Iconic Canadian actor Eric Peterson portrays iconic Percy Schmeiser, who asked the famous question “who owns life?” before the Supreme Court of Canada and galvanized the anti-GMO movement around the world.


Thanks everyone!

Porte Parole has a lot to be thankful for in 2012, and expresses its gratitude to everyone who participated in its success, notably its new partner, La Coop fédérée.

We were able to expand our home audience as well as opportunities to reach new markets in the upcoming years.

A first play was produced outside of Quebec: Crow’s Theatre’s presentation of Seeds in February, at Toronto’s Young Centre for the Performing Arts. Directed by Chris Abraham, Crow’s Artistic Director, and starring Canadian icon Eric Peterson, Seeds was acclaimed by critics and spectators alike.The production was offered again in June at the Festival TransAmériques, attracting a great deal of attention from theatre-goers and international presenters.

Click here to see a few photos from Seeds in Toronto.

The same staging was used in Montreal for the French version of the play, Grain(s), translated by Fanny Britt and presented at Théâtre La Licorne in September. Again, the play was a success, and will be part of the Montreal Arts Council’s 2014 touring program.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!


SEEDS at the Festival TransAmériques

The new electrifying version of Seeds, as directed by Chris Abraham and received in Toronto with rave reviews, was presented at the Festival TransAmériques. The shows, at Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui, were warmly received.

Seeds goes behind-the-scene to reveal unknown aspects of the four-year trial that pitted a Saskatchewan farmer against multinational biotech Monsanto all the way to the Supreme Court. The legal battle was much more complex than the David against Goliath fight it seemed to be.

Who should relate to biotechnology? Anyone who eats… As a matter of fact, the future of mankind, of life as we know it, may be at play on our plate right now.

“Everything works – the actors and their multiple character, Abraham’s complex staging.” Paula Citron, paulacitron.ca, 29 février 2012

“Soutar has done such a good job sowing the seeds of doubt that you wonder if this is nothing more than passionate rhetoric. Her play gives us plenty to think about, but leaves us to make up our own minds…”
Martin Morrow, The Globe and Mail, 23 février 2012

” (… ) one of the most impressive docu-dramas I’ve seen.”
Robert Cushman, National Post, February 25th, 2012

Comments translated from the message of a French-speaking audience member:

“(…) I really appreciated the deep respect that emerges from this monumental work. The strenght of the nuances that are put everywhere, in the text, in the voices, the bodies and the images. The documentary theatre that I’m discovering now seems to be a MOST stimulating form. (…)”

Mélanie Léger