X Marks the Spot with Rave Reviews

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 11.41.49 PMX is a “dazzling, unique, creative and innovative…a show conceived, created and performed by a gay artist but its reach and appeal are universal.” – Louis B. Hobson, Calgary Sun

Click here to see the shining 4 STAR review from the Calgary Sun

Click here to see the great Calgary Herald review


International Touring Show Takes on Addiction and Fixations Hard to Quit

Projection, stop-motion animation, and puppetry combine in whimsical look at addiction as seen through the eyes of the LGBTQ community.

x by sunny drake low res photo by Leesa ConnellyThird Street Theatre was thrilled to present the critically acclaimed X by Sunny Drake, a recent festival winner at Toronto’s prestigious SummerWorks Festival currently on a cross-Canada tour. Sunny’s one-man show is unique humorous and honest look at addictions and vices and is the first show in Third Street Theatre’s 2014-2015 Season. A special matinee on Saturday, September 20th will include an American Sign Language interpreter (ASL). All performances are wheelchair accessible.

X is a magical, imaginative and honest look at addiction not to mention a multimedia feast by transgender artist Sunny Drake; a recent transplant to Canada from Brisbane.

Ever seen a drunk puppet? Sex. Booze. Facebook. Carbs…Fess up: what’s your guilty pleasure? Stunning stop motion animation, whimsical puppets, and sharp live performance meld in this fast-paced international touring one-man show grounded in but not limited to LGBTQ experiences and informed by over forty interviews with community members (featuring struggles with alcohol, sex, and pop star obsession). With sold out shows in San Francisco, rave reviews in Australia, a SummerWorks festival award winner in Toronto and a cross-Canada tour, X comes to Calgary for a limited engagement of six performances.

X by Sunny Drake photo by Dahlia Katz-2Creator Sunny Drake says of his show being included in Third Street Theatre’s namesake 3rd season, “I am really thrilled to be doing work that is presented specifically by a queer theatre company, as much as I absolutely love non-queer presenters presenting my work, there is definitely something very special to entrust my work into the hands of queer theatre presenters. For me it’s really important to be responsive to what local folks think will be received well and I really trusted Artistic Director, Jonathan Brower’s opinion that X would be relevant, engaging and exciting for a Calgary audience.”

Artistic Director Jonathan Brower says his love for the show emerged when he saw Drake’s use of “distinct, unique puppetry and projection animation to relay the story of it’s leading characters Jamie and Caitlin.” The two are childhood friends dealing with issues related to sexuality, addiction, and gender identity. “Sunny morphs his own hands into realistic human puppets. Combined with his other multimedia, these scenic elements materialize into compelling representations of the characters’ fleeting grasp on their behavior and their susceptibility in the face of substances and circumstances beyond their control.”

Artistic Associate Alyssa Bradac says it is “important for our community to hear international voices and broaden our perspective because there is commonality amongst us all and X is a bold, creative and fresh look at issues that affect our community internationally.” “It’s also very theatrically exciting,” adds associate Kyall Rakoz. “X demonstrates so perfectly what live performance can do that television can’t. Drake’s integration of puppets and projections is absolute magic!”

Sunny Drake photo by Tania Anderson Big File***PUBLIC MENTORSHIP WORKSHOPS on Sept 21st.
TRANS* 101 & Telling Your Story facilitated by Sunny Drake.

Sunday, September 21st, 2014
Hillhurst United Church
1227 Kensington Close NW.

At the tail end of the Calgary run, Third Street Theatre and Hillhurst United Church have partnered to present two workshops by Sunny Drake Trans 101 and Telling Your Story.

TRANS* 101: 1:00pm – 3:00pm. Free Admission
An introductory workshop about trans* (transgender/ transsexual/ genderqueer) identities exploring different trans concepts and the diversity of trans communities including key strengths and challenges. Unpacking how gender concepts affect everyone in similar and different ways will show how trans liberation can be revolutionary for everyone. We will also explore the key political moment trans movements are in and how we can all be part of this exciting time. The workshop will create a space of genuine exploration, where every question is welcome.

TELLING YOUR STORY: 3:30– 5:30pm. Admission by donation (suggested $25)
A hands-on workshop to explore creating performance and/or writing from your own personal experience, including autobiographical work and fictionalized autobiography. We will explore processes, challenges, joys, ethical considerations and personal wellbeing/safety. Participants will be guided in short (low pressure!) creative activities to begin to generate their own written and/or spoken content. No prior writing or performance experience needed!

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#TSTSeason3 – Namesake ’14-15 Season Released

Third Street Theatre Releases Third Season

Posted by Stephen Hunt | July 18, 2014 | Calgary Herald | See Online Article Here

10465473_543011659160218_2775461552713593300_oThird Street Theatre celebrated Canada Day by throwing a party, where they announced their third season.

It unfolded at Third Street’s annual fundraising costume party at Arrata Opera Centre on a rainy Friday night, where Artistic Director Jonathan Brower revealed the company’s lineup for 2014-15.

It will include the return of Kyall Rakoz’s solo show, Ludwig and Lohengrin: A Fairy Tale for Adults, which was a hit at last August’s Calgary Fringe Festival.

Rakoz winning the 2014 Critter for Best Solo Performance
Rakoz winning the 2014 Critter for Best Solo Performance

That resulted in Rakoz, who’s touring Ludwig across the country at a few other Fringes this summer, winning a Calgary Theatre Critics Award for Best Solo Performance.

Ludwig goes up February 22-28, 2015 at Motel.

Other shows in the 2014-15 season include:

* X by Sunny Drake, a transgender (female to male), transcontinental (Australian to North American) performer, which is a “magical, whimsical look at addiction, grounded in LGBTQ experience.” There are also puppets. That’s on September 16-20 at Motel.

* Youth Riot, a series of 10 minute plays by queer teens that will be presented in a festival in May, 2015.

* the queerRites play reading series: four staged readings of new queer Calgarian work, which will be presented throughout the year, culminating with Youth Riot in May.

Sunny Drake's X
Sunny Drake’s X

The plays being read include This is How I Left, the first production by Third Street’s Creation Ensemble when they launched in 2013; Brower’s drama Oblivion; Dear Mr. Klein, which was produced in 2004 by Teatro Berdache, Calgary’s first queer theatre company; a new work by queer activist Pam Rocker, who previously wrote Heterophobia; and it was launched July 2, with a reading of Vancouver’s professional queer theatre company‘s Artistic Producer Chris Gatchalian’s Falling in Time.

The company also announced that Third Street co-founder Paul Welch has stepped down to pursue other artistic opportunities.

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