KULTURA FESTIVAL 2011 Where are they Now?

Leave a comment

We are busy planning Kapisanan’s 7th Annual Kultura Filipino Arts Festival!

KULTURA Festival is KAPISANAN’s signature annual summer Filipino arts festival since 2005. The festival features a live music showcase, a visual arts exhibit in the KAPISANAN gallery, film screenings, now co-presented by Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival, and theatre showcases presented in partnership with Carlos Bulosan Theatre.

Here’s an update of August 2011’s theatre presenters and how their work has grown since showcasing their work at the 6th Annual KULTURA Festival.

Transit Diaries by Meesha Albano
Since Transit Diaries showcase, playwright Meesha Albano was then accepted in the Carlos Bulosan Theatre’s Play Creation Unit. While part of the Unit she continued to develop Transit Diaries with the support of Play Creation Unit Director, Marjorie Chan.  In March of this year Meesha showcased new scenes of Transit Diaries in a staged reading as part of CBT’s Flipside Festival under the direction of Ruth Madoc-Jones (pictured left).

We can all see the production of Transit Diaries by Meesha Albano this summer as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival Starting July 4th-15 2012
More Details Here

Through the Bamboo by Byron Abalos & Andrea Mapili

Playwrights Byron Abalos and Andrea Mapili took their 40 minute play with them when they moved to California shortly

after presenting at KULTURA. While there they continued to develop their play and recently had a 70 minute reading of Through the Bamboo at Bilndlestiff Studio in San Francisco!  Bindlestiff Studio was founded in 1989 by Canadian artists Chrystene Ells, Chris Brophy, and a group of local theatre artists and for many years flourished as an experimental theatre space.

Bindlestiff Studio cultivates artists who reflect and celebrate the diverse
values, traditions, and histories of Pilipino and Filipino American cultures through bold artistic expression and community engagement.

Rebound (formerly Monday Night Lights) created by The Sixth Man Collective: Byron Abalos, Marjorie Chan, Colin Doyle, Darrel Gamotin and Richard Lee

About five years ago a group of actors came together to let off some steam and play some basketball. From their weekly gatherings they  were inspired by the correlation between art and sport. Last year’s presentation brought audience and actors together with story and basketball drills in this outdoor interactive play. The Theatre Centre Artistic Director Franco Boni, was in the audience for this showcase and after an application process The Sixth Man Collective was chosen as one of The Theatre Centre’s 2012 resident companies.

Their continued development on Rebound (formerly Monday Night Lights) will return 1087 Queen St. West to its roots as one of Toronto’s first YMCAs and the home of some of the earliest basketball games in Toronto’s history.

Catch the next phase of Rebound on Sunday July 8th 4:00PM at The Theatre Centre 1087 Queen Streest West (entrance on Dovercourt) and later again in mid December 2012

Every Letter Counts by Nina Lee Aquino

Every Letter Counts makes its world premiere at Factory Theatre Directed by Nigel Shawn Williams – recent Dora Mavor Moore Award winning Actor for his role in Obsidian Theatre’s Top Dog/ Under Dog, and previously nominated for Outstanding Direction for Anusree Roy’s Brothel No. 9.

Nina Lee Aquino has been an Associate Artist of Factory Theatre for three years and Every Letter Counts was developed through Factory Theatre’s Play Development Program and is the first Factory production of one of Nina Lee Aquino’s plays.

See Every Letter Counts at Factory Theatre (Main Space Theatre) January 26-February 24, 2013
More Details Here

Nina is CBT’s Director of Novice Play Creation Unit and the Novice Play Creation Unit (pictured right) will be showcasing their work at this year’s KULTURA.

KAPISANAN’s 7th KULTURA Filipino Arts Festival slated to open Friday August 17, 2012. More details soon!

Casey Mecija & Ohbijou at Luminato Sunday June 17th (free)

Leave a comment

Our beloved friends of Ohbijou will be performing at Festival Stage, David Pecaut Square, 55 John Street (next to Roy Thompson Hall) on the main stage. FREE!

Actually, I’m currently on “vacation” from CBT until June 18th because I’m working Luminato as the assistant associate producer. I had the pleasure of speaking with Luminato’s Music Curator, Derek Andrews, who had this to say about Ohbijou “…endearingly intense, intelligently quirky, poignantly propulsive, delicately orchestral, trancy, and beatlesque, they are a pleasure.”

Unfortunately I have my hands tied at the tiff Bell Lightbox for Luminato’s $5 film series but if you have time for a free concert; head on over to the “Hub” and catch them at 4:00PM

Ohbijou return with their third album: Metal Meets. To be released in North America by Last Gang (Metric, Crystal Castles, New Pornographers), Metal Meets is the band’s most mature and creative offering. Recorded by acclaimed producer, Jace Lasek (also of Besnard Lakes fame) in Montreal’s Breakglass Studios, Ohbijou presents an album that cements Casey Mecija, her sister Jenny Mecija, James Bunton, Ryan Carley, Anissa Hart and Heather Kirby demonstrate a relationship to each other and their instruments that is emotive and zealous. The band’s familial-like structure and unwavering support for each other is evident. Casey Mecija is a practitioner of love songs. Here, her audience is privy to a moody, more experimental lyricism and her words bespeak a passionate, rebellious desire. While producing a more complex sound, these songs remain hopeful, at moments pop-infused, and always melodic. Mecija’s vocals are layered atop her band’s skilled instrumentation.

Each band member meticulously conditions the album’s narratives with haunting arrangements. Unique to this album are song-writing contributions from Jennifer and Ryan. This is a resonant and infectious offering, guaranteed to satisfy the appetite of critics and audiences anxious for the band’s return. Their status as one of the most important bands at work in Canada, Ohbijou is renowned for their devotion to the city in which they live. Their lyrics and sounds have always paid homage to Toronto. Metal Meets, however, was crafted during retreats out of their city’s confines. This album is inspired by ventures to cabins in the woods, travel across Asia, Europe and North America (as they headlined tours), and lyrical reflections on familial bloodlines that move across borders. Taking inspiration from territories traversed outside of familiar realms was invaluable. Ohbijou has produced their most thoughtful and experimental record. In Metal Meets listeners will hear the band struggle to realign their sound, using delays, distortions and reverbs to capture a more pensive and experimental relationship to music. This is an album that will draw new audiences while expressing commitment to devoted fans.
Conceptually, Metal Meets draws on sites populated by rumbling volcanoes, deep lakes and haunted waterfalls, metals torn from damp earth, and dark desires usually uncommitted to words (Mecija sings, for example: “A parsing of this blood to find myself in you”). This is a poetic offering. The band retreated from the familiar in order to test the limits of their craft and attend to detail in a way they had not before. As a result, each song on the album is housed in a matrix of experimental effects and timbres. Listeners and audiences will feel Ohbijou come of age with this album, and their adulthood is more precocious and imaginative than their youth.

Casey Mecija, her sister Jenny Mecija, James Bunton, Ryan Carley, Anissa Hart and Heather Kirby demonstrate a relationship to each other and their instruments that is emotive and zealous. The band’s familial-like structure and unwavering support for each other is evident. Casey Mecija is a practitioner of love songs. Here, her audience is privy to a moody, more experimental lyricism and her words bespeak a passionate, rebellious desire. While producing a more complex sound, these songs remain hopeful, at moments pop-infused, and always melodic. Mecija’s vocals are layered atop her band’s skilled instrumentation. Each band member meticulously conditions the album’s narratives with haunting arrangements. Unique to this album are song-writing contributions from Jennifer and Ryan. This is a resonant and infectious offering, guaranteed to satisfy the appetite of critics and audiences anxious for the band’s return.