An multi-disciplinary integration of live sound design, 3D video projection, and theatre narrative in a play about women in the correctional system. This project was originally inspired by the life and death of Ashley Smith.
green light arts presents
BORDERLAND (a new play in-development)
Playwright: CHARLOTTE CORBEIL COLEMAN
Director: MATT WHITE
Sound Designer / Composer / Musician: NICK STORRING
3D Video Replication Design Consultant: GARY KIRKHAM
Performers: VIRGILIA GRIFFITH and VIVIEN ENDICOTT-DOUGLAS
- 2 weeks of pure text creation (December 2014)
- 2 weeks of intense rehearsal/integration (October/November 2015)
- Invited workshop performance (November 27, 2015)
- 2 weeks of design integration and script development (December 5-18, 2016)
- Full production planned for green light arts' 2017/2018 Season
On October 19, 2007, a young woman died while incarcerated in Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, ON. She was 19 years old. The cause of death was self-inflicted strangulation. Guards were watching her on video monitors and only entered her room to help her/confirm her death after 45 minutes. An inquest was launched into how Corrections Canada handled the life and death of Ashley Smith. The case has been polarized in the media and brings up many important issues concerning the justice system; the treatment of female inmates and current approaches to mental health. Ashley Smith was extremely troubled and the Canadian prison system did not know how to deal with her. In less than a year, she was transferred 17 times within the prison system.
On December 19, 2013, the coroner's jury returned a new verdict of homicide. The jury additionally provided 104 recommendations to the presiding coroner, most of which were intended to suggest ways in which the Canadian Correctional System could better serve female inmates and inmates suffering from mental illness. Around this time, green light arts started brainstorming about how we could tell this story in a theatrical way as the start of an important conversation about women and mental health in corrections with the greater community. The project was given the working title of Borderland.
In December 2014, the federal government responded favourably to many of the recommendations but rejected key recommendations regarding the use of solitary confinement, restraint and improving mental health assessment.
As we researched ways of starting this project and gathering the talent to make it possible, the more we discovered that Ashley's story opened the door to many other incredibly compelling and incredibly troubling stories of women's experiences in corrections.
Currently, we are developing Borderland with an exciting group of collaborators and will present some of this first work to an invited audience in late November 2015.
CHARLOTTE CORBEIL COLEMAN - PLAYWRIGHT
Charlotte graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada (2008) in the playwriting program. She finished the year by writing two companion plays for her graduating class. John…Sudden Death, about the last night of hockey goon John Kordic, and Cindy…A Perfect Circle about his Fiancée, a stripper working in a fetish fairytale club in downtown Montreal. During the three year program Charlotte wrote four plays.
My Fish Stick Play, Purple, Which Bed Do You Want? An adaptation of Raymond Carver’s short story, Cathedral, and a one-woman play entitled, The Holey Chicken Bone. Other writing credits include a CBC radio play, The Summer of February. The End of Pretending, which won the 2002 Summerworks Eye Audience Choice Award, and went on to do a run at the Regent Theatre in Picton, Ontario. Scratch, which won the 2007 Herman Voaden award and opened Factory Theatre’s 2008/2009 season. Most recently she has been working on a collective creation called Highway 63, The Fort Mac Show, a show about the Oil Sands and the people who live, work, and breathe it. Highway 63 has toured Edmonton, Calgary, Fort McMurray, Ottawa, Vancouver and will be going up next year at Theatre Passe Muraille. Charlotte currently lives in Toronto and is playwright in residence at Factory Theatre developing a modern adaptation of Oliver Twist with Joseph Pierre called Twisted. She has a screenplay in development and working on a collection of short stories, entitled; I’ve slept in every room but the Kitchen...
Scratch was nominated for a 2010 Governor General’s Award, and also for a Dora award in the category of Outstanding New Play in 2009.
NICK STORRING - SOUND DESIGN / COMPOSER / MUSICIAN
Nick is a Toronto based composer, cellist and improviser with a wide palette of interests, ranging from warped dance music to electroacoustic music, experimental pop to chamber music, and even collaborations within various “non-Western” traditions. His broken-violin-based electronic piece Artifacts (I) won first place in the 2008 Jeux de Temps/ Times Play competition for emerging Canadian electroacoustic composers and was subsequently heard at Festivals worldwide. In 2011 he was the recipient of the Canadian Music Centre’s Toronto Emerging Composer award, which is providing funding for a piece of orchestral proportions created through multi-track recording by Storring alone.
His work has been performed by the Esprit Orchestra, Thin Edge New Music Collective,Quatuor Bozzini and the Madawaska String Quartet. Arraymusic has also commissioned a new work for premiere in February 2013. He has also been featured as composer and/ or performer at the Akousma Festival, the Open Ears Festival, Electric Eclectics, the Music Gallery’s X-Avant Festival, Soundstreams’ Salon 21, the Soundplay Festival, thePerimeter Institute and Suoni Per Il Popolo.
Work-in-progress Signature is a collaborative interdisciplinary work commissioned byInter Arts Matrix, featuring interactive electroacoustics which manipulate collected spoken names of audience members by extracting data from their signatures. The work also includes open-ended choral composition for Christine Duncan’s Element Choir which also employs names, as well as a visual component by artist Isabella Stefanescu, with programming from Klaus Engel and Edward Cho. It is set for première in May 2013.
His music regularly accompanies theatre, film and intermedia projects. Recently his score for the MT Space‘s the Last 15 Seconds travelled across Canada and the Middle East to positive reviews. He also created the music and sound design for Tentacles, an iPhone-controlled ambient gaming environment which was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s Talk To Me Exhibit running Summer-Fall 2011.
Apart from making regular solo appearances with cello, voice and electronics, he also plays in Picastro (Polyvinyl Records), Toronto-based Son Jarocho (Mexican folk music) group Café Con Pan, experimental cello duo The Knot, and I Have Eaten The City with Colin Fisher and Brandon Valdivia. He has collaborated live and in the studio with Allison Cameron, Owen Pallett, Nadja, Sandro Perri, Daniel Johnston, Araz Salek, Laura Barrett, Rhys Chatham, Wyrd Visions, Andrew Timar, Castlemusic, Eddie Prévost, Diane Labrosse, and Damo Suzuki (of Can).
GARY KIRKHAM - 3D Video Replication Designer
Gary Kirkham is video designer, playwright and actor. His video work includes Black Spring (Cactusbloem [Belgim] and Hazim Kamaledin), Occupy Spring (The MT Space), My Name is Dakhel Faraj (Canadian Arab Theatre). Installation video work: Queen Victoria with Krzysztof Wodiczko (CAFKA), Blue Memos (Numus). His Published plays include Falling: A Wake, Queen Milli of Galt, Pearl Gidley, and Pocket Rocket (with Lea Daniel).
He has collaborated with the MT Space on several shows including Seasons of Immigration, Body 13, Occupy Spring, and The Last 15 Seconds. His plays have had over 40 productions across North America, Europe and the Middle East. Gary ran Writers’ Bloc (a playwrights’ collective) for several years. He has taught playwriting at the Sears Festival, Renison Writer’s Workshop, and Wilfrid Laurier University. He was the Blyth Festival’s Playwright in Residence in 2009.
MATT WHITE - DIRECTOR
Matt is the founding Artistic Producer of green light arts, a part-time faculty member in the Theatre & Drama Studies joint program between Sheridan College and the University of Toronto at Mississauga, sits on the Board of Directors for fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company and is the General Manager/Producer of Necessary Angel Theatre Company where he most recently produced It Comes in Waves by Jordan Tannehill and company, in-association with blue mouth inc. for the upcoming Panamania Festival (2015 Pan-Am Games); What Makes a Man, created by Jennifer Tarver and Justin Ellington, based on the songs of Charles Aznavour; and Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis. Through Necessary Angel, he also created and ran an at-risk-youth theatre program in Toronto's Weston-Mt. Dennis neighbourhood.
green light arts directing credits include: The Amish Project, Andy Warhol presents: Valerie, Adam Bailey is On Fire. Other recent directing credits include: Adam Bailey is on Fire (Still Your Friend Productions, 2015 Winnipeg and Edmonton Fringe Festivals); Twelfth Night and Hamlet (KW Youth Theatre); Andy Warhol presents: Valerie (Fail Better Theatre, 2014 Toronto Fringe); Bone Cage (Hart House Theatre), and Eirlys and Eckhart (Cart/Horse Theatre). As dramaturg: Two Toonies (Douglas Campbell); Red Rouge (Laura Anne Harris); Concessions (Brianna Brown); Frame (Julia Lederer); Wong’s Garden (Donald Woo) and Giving Birth to a Squid (David Levine). Upcoming: Matt is directing plus he will be acting in the world premiere of Pocket Rocket (by Gary Kirkham) with Lost and Found Theatre in April 2016.
Virgilia is a Toronto based artist. She is a Meta Award Winner for her portrayal of Gigi in Gas Girls (Black Theatre Workshop). She is a Dora Mavor Moore nominee for outstanding female in her performance of Honesty directed by Jordan Tannahill. Selected credits include: They Say He Fell (Pandemic Theatre) The Postman Walks (Appledor Productions), The Power of Harriet T (Carousel Players/ Black Theatre Workshop), Piece by Piece (The Mcguffin Company), Gas Girls (Black Theatre Workshop), Salome's Clothes (Body Theatre), Honesty (Koffler Centre for the Arts& Suburban Beast, Give it Up (New Harlem Productions, SpringWorks Festival & Buzz Festival), The Innocents (Tango Co. and The Innocents Collective). Upcoming: Up The Garden Path (Obsidian Theatre Company)
Born and raised in Toronto, Vivien has been acting in film, TV and theatre for over a decade. Her theatre credits include: Hush (Tarragon) A Boy Called Newfoundland (Theatre Smash), Forests (Tarragon), Ajax por nobody (SummerWorks) Stopheart (Factory) and Harper Regan (Canadian Stage). She has guest starred on TV showsHemlock Grove (Netflix), Copper (BBC America), Murdoch Mysteries (CBC), Rookie Blue (CTV), and The Line (TMN) and can be seen in the short films Let Me Down Easy, Blow Out and How Eunice Got Her Baby (CFC) and in TV movies Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning (CTV), An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving (Hallmark),Forget and Forgive (Lifetime) and Finn on the Fly (Paramount). Vivien garnered an ACTRA award nomination for her performance in the independent feature film The Shape of Rex. This past summer, Vivien created her first solo show and is now producing her first short film Chickens.