Formed in 1991 by Artistic Director Stacey Christodoulou, The Other Theatre is dedicated to performance that explores the tension between the individual and the collective experience. We examine how everyday acts of kindness and cruelty are reflected in the larger political and social context of our society. We try to present work that is complex and engaging, whether it is adaptations, installations, theatre texts, or collectively written material. We seek a dialogue with our audience that is free of political didacticism and easy solutions and which involve the large existential questions of our time.
Our work involves a detailed approach to the text and to its physical expression, as well as conceptual approach to the space in which the text is performed – we choose our venues specifically for our pieces. Our collective creations have tackled subjects from fractals to fascism, physics to pop culture, television to terrorism and have taken place in theatres, warehouses, the streets of New York, a moving elevator, an empty swimming pool, and a shopping mall window.
Since then, the company has been invited into the seasons of many Montreal venues, both English and French, (Centaur Theatre, Espace libre, Théâtre Prospero, Segal Centre for Performing Arts, Galerie Oboro, Société des arts technologiques, Montréal arts interculturels) as well as being a participant in the Festival de Théâtre des Amériques at Théâtre La Chapelle.
Apart from our original installations and original devised theatre works, we have also performed the work of important writers such as Fernando Arrabal, Peter Handke, Heiner Müller, R.W. Fassbinder, Sarah Kane, Kurt Vonnegut, Wallace Shawn, and Greg MacArthur – giving these writers their premieres in Quebec in French. Our French-Creole production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth created a new cultural view on a familiar Shakespearean story and we continue to try to introduce new voices to our public.
We are also interested in new ways of theatrical presentation, seeking to bring elements from the arts “other than theatre” – dance, architecture, and the visual arts – into the conversation, as well as developing installations for galleries and found venues. In 2013, our installation Etiquette for Lucid Dreaming played in New York City at the Brooklyn Fireproof, and as part of the IDEAS CITY Festival organized by the The New Museum of New York. Our short film created from the installation returned to New York in October 2013, playing at the Dumbo Arts Festival, the Bushwick Film Festival, and the Gateway Project.
We continue to have a restless curiosity about the nature of theatre – the nature of the bond between the spectator and the performer. This is at the heart of our mandate since, in the age of Youtube, even theatre is in a state of transformation. So as technology moves forward at the speed of light, we continue to affirm the necessity of the human connection that theatre provides.