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Fabulous Fictions

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Event: The Cabaret of Wild Culture

Bio: Over the last 38 years, since receiving his B.F.A. from the University of Windsor and his M.F.A. from York University, Tony Calzetta has exhibited continually in solo and group exhibitions. He works mainly on canvas and paper and at times in sculpture and printmaking. He has published three major livres d'artiste, "Acts of Kindness and of Love" in collaboration with writer John Metcalf, and more recently "How God Talks in His Sleep and Other Fabulous Fictions" and "Peculiar Practices" with writer Leon Rooke. In addition to commissioned works he is represented in public, corporate and private collections in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. In 2011, his paintings exhibited at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Toronto were part of the Padiglione Italia at the 54th International Venice Biennale. Tony Calzetta was elected as a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (R.C.A.) in 2004.

Bio: David Ferry is an award winning director and dramaturge. He has worked nationally and internationally in a wide variety of genres of theatre. He won best director and lighting design DORA Awards for his celebrated production of "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" staged in the fermenting cellars of the old Gooderham Warts distillery in Toronto. He directed the world premiere of Brendan Galls "Alias Godot" (in Italian) in Firenze. Recently his Toronto productions of Blackbird and BULL both received unanimous rave reviews. His 2014 site specific production of "After Miss Julie" in Toronto garnished David a DORA Award nomination for best director. He has been commissioned by the Toronto2015 PanAmania festival to develop a site specific piece about Albert Jackson, Toronto's first African Canadian postman, for performance on porches along Brunswick avenue during the PanAm Games. He recently directed Stuff Happens on the National Arts Centre's main stage in Ottawa.

Tony Calzetta Portrait

Tony Calzetta, portrait.

David Ferry Portrait

David Ferry, portrait.

Leon Rooke Portrait

Leon Rooke, portrait.


Bio: An energetic and prolific storyteller, Leon Rooke's writing is characterized by inventive language, experimental form and an extreme range of characters with distinctive voices. He has written a number of plays for radio and stage, more than three hundred short stories, and seven critically acclaimed novels, including Shakespeare's Dog, which won the Governor General's Award in 1983. Rooke was invested into the Order of Canada in 2007.

Act: The Fabulous Fictions is a multifaceted artistic and literary project that began when poet Leon Rooke wrote poetic text to accompany a series of paintings by artist Tony Calzetta. The collaboration was turned into an elaborate and complex artist's book, strikingly rendered in bold, bright colours and three dimensions. The next step is turning the narrative poems into a script for theatrical performance, along with sets based on Calzetta's artwork and correspondingly creative sound and light design. As well, the poems and paintings will be reconfigured into an affordable trade book.

The Subject Matter
Political satire, economics, sex and marriage, aging, art and artists.

The Characters
They include Cézanne, an Italian aristocrat, a vulgar Scotswoman, a bank manager, an art critic, a fairy godfather…and God himself.

The Tone
Satirical, irreverent, playful, provocative. Unlike anything you've ever seen or heard before.

'What a fabulous vision: dystopic, generative, monstrous and mutable. Leon Rooke and Tony Calzetta have made something unique inside the frame of their combined word pictures. They are at once director, actor, set designer, writer and painter. They have made the stage, and have given it form and language. As I say it, the whole enterprise sounds godly.'
-Robert Enright

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