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Alternating Currents

Alternating Currents is generously funded by:

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Alternating Currents (A/C) concretizes Public Energy’s ongoing support for local artists. Peterborough’s independent performance scene is characterized by interdisciplinary methodologies. It is often difficult for regional artists to fully develop new works, for reasons including lack of access to space, resources, training, a substantial pool of peers, and public recognition of their art forms.

The primary focus of the Alternating Currents Program is exploration, support, and refinement of specific elements of selected performance works-in-progress.  Alternating Currents Program is directed by award-winning dramaturg Kate Story, whose expertise includes more than two decades of direction, choreography, and interdisciplinary creation, particularly in physical performance work. Alternating Currents supports a mix of emerging and established artists with diverse creative backgrounds.

Each project will work with an experienced mentor and dramaturge. Artists apply to the program annually and are selected by a jury process.

2023 Alternating Currents Artists

Brad Brackenridge is a performer and designer living in Peterborough / Nogojiwanong. 12 years ago Brad created the Nervous System; a puppet based theatre company to concentrate on original works, collaboration with artists of all disciplines. He is currently working on expanding The Lear Project into a full length production, with Dance Artist, Dreda Blow, that debuted as part of Public Energy’s Erring at King George back in May of 2022; and Sputnik’s Shadow, a theatrical look at the history of space and space travel. Come the end of February (2023), Brad is honoured to perform in Planet Twelve’s production of Ring Rats, a love letter to wrestling culture and fans everywhere.

Elisha Rubacha has been working on her stage play “Loop” for several years, and was fortunate to receive the support of Alternating Currents in 2017, 2019, and 2023 to refine the script-in-progress with the help of dramaturge Kate Story. This most recent workshop process allowed Elisha to further develop the new therapy session frame of the piece. In this frame, the lead addresses the audience directly in a monologue as though they are her therapist, while her memories and imagined versions of her family history are played out on stage in an exploration of intergenerational trauma. “Loop” will be Elisha’s second play. Her first play, “Waiting for Real Jobs”, was produced during the Precarious Festival in 2019.

Irèni Stamou has been choreographing dances for 35 years. An Honour’s graduate with the outstanding choreography award from Concordia University, Irèni led a 20-year career in Montreal, Quebec. Her diverse work includes film, video and devised theatre, significant solo creations for herself and other artists acclaimed for profound poetry in motion and multicultural content in Contemporary Dance. Touring internationally, she also choreographed for the National Theater of Costa Rica and independent commissions receiving a Costa Rican Choreographers award. Irèni lives in Peterborough, Nogojiwanong, Ontario; recent creations include Soul Stories, Inside the sculpture and Bone Stories. Currently experimenting with devised theatre inspired by feminine protagonists in Greek mythology and ancient Greek theatre – Unearthing Medea, Medusa, Cassandra,  developed as a new work in progress in Alternating currents ( Medea excerpt); in collaboration with the actress Naomi Duvall and mentor Kate Story. Her work has been presented by Public Energy Performing Arts with a 2020-2021 Artist Residency, Theatre on King as well as grants by the Electric City Council for Individual Artists.

Jon Hedderwick is a poet, spoken word artist, organizer and educator of mixed Ashkenazi Jewish and Scottish heritage. Hedderwick performs, organizes, and mentors emerging poets as the current Artistic Director for the Peterborough Poetry Slam Collective. His poetry has been featured at poetry slam and spoken word series across Canada, as well as at The Words Aloud Poetry Festival, the Storytellers of Canada National Conference, the Saskatoon Poetic Arts Festival and the Precarious Festival. He has also produced a series of cinepoems, an EP entitled “The Whisper Sessions” (2019), and four chapbooks of Poetry. He is one half of the spoken word duo WordCraft and is one of the co-creators and lead artists in the Take-out Poetry Project

Melissa Addison-Webster is a performance artist. As a Genderqueer person living with disabilities who is also settler, and ally she has a varied career in the Disability and Integrated Arts fields. Melissa’s practice endeavours to create more understanding, harmony, and respect across society combining her passions of spiritual and social change. She has studied Expressive Art Therapy, (Haliburton School of the Arts), has an Honours Degree in History (Trent) and an Honours Degree in Social Work (Lakehead). Melissa performed at the 8 to 8, From the Floor (Peterborough) and the FFIDA Dance Festival (Toronto). She has collaborated with The Theatre Centre (Toronto), Picasso Pro (Toronto), Propeller Dance (Ottawa), and Michelle Silagy (The School of Toronto Dance Theatre). As a Crip arts advocate, Melissa has made presentations about her arts practice at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery Sunday Series (Toronto) and H’Art School Able Artist (Kingston).  She has facilitated dance classes at York University, the Regional Ontario Contact Improv Jam and through her private social work practice. Most recently she presented short films created by women living with brain injuries entitled Winding Our Way Home with support of the Ontario Arts Council.

Naomi Duvall is a regional actor, puppeteer, emerging playwright and burlesque performer. She creates performances with elements of dance, puppetry and comedy and has been showcased as a creator/performer in festivals in Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Ottawa as well as her home base of Peterborough.

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Nicole Malbeuf is an aerial artist and physical theatre performer based in Peterborough, Ontario. She works in aerial silks, aerial hoop and hair suspension, clown and dance. She operates a aerial-dance-theatre company called Trellis Arts, is a part-time maker of circus and dance costumes, as well as a steward of her own land and Small Spade Farm. A graduate of OCAD University and Fleming College, Nicole’s interests range tactile mediums to environmental and moral themes. You may have seen her perform recently in contemporary theatre production “Anthropic Traces” with Balancing on the Edge (Toronto) or in her solo show A Hen Called Freedom at Pivot 2.0 Festival (Ptbo).

2020 Alternating Currents Artists

Brad Brackenridge is a performer and designer for theatre and film who has been working in the field for nearly 30 years. During Alternating Currents Brad worked toward the development Sputnik’s Shadow, a work centered around the launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik in 1957. The starting point of the work involved designing and building puppets and developing a soundscape for the piece. Brad says, “I have always had a fascination with space travel in science fiction and science fact. My generation grew up with the birth of the space age. Space culture and exploration was front-page news and captured the attention of the world through television, radio, and newspapers. I am looking to capture that sense of wonder and hope, to create something that is part spectacle, part history lesson, and part philosophical discussion.” Brad was assisted in this project by emerging theatre artist Sam Weatherdon.

Jenn Cole is a mixed ancestry Algonquin Anishinaabe performing artist and Assistant Professor at Trent, where she researches the performance histories of two rivers, the Odenabe and the Kiji Sibi/Ottawa River of her home territory. Her artistic practice leans into questions of what watershed ecologies (plant, animal and water relatives) remember, and how stories of Indigenous presence can be accessed and transmitted through the inspirited body in performance. For Alternating Currents Jenn developed a performance with a wigwaas jiimaan/birch bark canoe that she has a special relationship with. The canoe lives at the School House Museum in Point Alexander. In collaboration with the museum and the canoe’s family, Jenn is exploring ancient and present relationships between Anishinaabe people and the canoe, and the canoe as a holder of memories, a network of relations, and a container for our experiences.

Ann Jaeger is a multidisciplinary artist whose work intersects literary, theatre and visual arts. Her practice includes painting and sculpture, writing on regional culture, as well as collaborations with local artists in performance and set design. Ann workshopped a section of a new multidisciplinary performance based on A Song for Evermor, the 2011 EP by the group Tin Vespers. The central focus of the ultimate production will be a kinetic sculpture constructed using the framework of a large scaffold, and animated with the mechanical movement of attached bicycle wheels, hula hoops, kitchen paraphenalia, and other miscellaneous metallic objects designed as moving parts. Musicians will perform live as dancers, circus performers on cyr wheel and trapeze, actors on stilts, unicycles, skateboards, rollerblades become part of the sculpture as they interact on, within and around it.

Anne White is a Nogojiwanong/Peterborough-based artist. With a background in physical, collaborative and devised theatre, she makes live performance works, frequently developed and performed outside of traditional theatre spaces. For Alternating Currents Anne developed Restored, a performative response to findings from her research in residency at local sites and institutions, teasing out connections and frictions between sites officially protected and sanctioned for their historical value and spaces that seem overlooked or discarded. In undertaking this work, Anne continues to amass images, texts, objects and physical awarenesses that begin to build a perspective on why and how Peterborough/Nogojiwanong has been historicized in specific ways and how creative work might build a map of historical associations rather than facts in which to situate ourselves.

2019 Alternating Currents Artists

Elisha Rubacha is a new generation artist developing a script that incorporates poetical text, choreography, and family recipes to explore inter-generational conflict, secrets, and antisemitism in a nightmarish evocation of the current political climate.

Nadine Changfoot, Mary Anne Ansley, and Andrea Dodsworth will develop a movement and text work, “Agefying and Disrupting Time,” expressing body memories. Examining non-normative physical expression, this movement piece is a celebration of racialized, aging, differently-abled and non-conforming bodies.

Dave Cave, a new generation artist, will develop “Shawn Mendes: Confessions of a Neurotic Teen Idol,” animating a recent Rolling Stones interview where Mendes defends himself against rumours of homosexuality. This edgy comedy interrogates celebrity culture through the lens of sexual identify and expression.

Dreda Blow, a retired professional ballet dancer will develop a semi-autobiographical performance. This comedic piece confronts unrelenting performance anxiety, body dysmorphia, and other workplace hazards of a dancer through a range of eccentric characters.

Cara Mumford – Acclaimed filmmaker Cara Mumford will partner with choreographer and dancers to deepen the development of “rain dance road: spirits,” a dance/theatre piece exploring the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women. The theatrical project is later destined to become a film.

2018 Alternating Currents Artists

Mentors in 2018 were Kate Story (dramaturg, director, writer, performer, and choreographer), Marie Josée Chartier (choreographer, performer, director, vocalist or teacher), and Patti Shaughnessy (activist, actor, director, and artistic producer).

Established theatre artist Lee Bolton and established poet Kathleen McConnell explore the story of their 50 year friendship through memory, photos, letters, and other artifacts, with an eye to creating a performance work/installation.

Ann Jaeger, an established visual artist, works with dance-theatre artists to collaboratively create a short performance to accompany the launch of a handmade book of her evocative photographs “A Lexicon of Chairs” by a local indie publisher bird, buried press.

Theatre artist Anne White works with collaborators from her Ring O’ Rosie collective Miranda Jones and Lillian Ross-Millard, to bring puppetry, audio storytelling, and devised theatre techniques to an exploration of the past life of the Peterborough house in which she lives, interweaving history and biography with images drawn from 1950s Hollywood.

Naomi Duvall, theatre, puppet, and burlesque artist, develops performance-object-centred autobiographical work about a scarf and her beloved grandmother.

Jessica Rowland develops character-based performance skills, focusing on movement to illuminate an original poetic performance text work “Icarus and the Angel” with strong design elements and environmental themes.

Theatre writer/director Wyatt Lamoureux and award-winning writer/theatre artist Janette Platana focus on movement and vocalization to develop Wyatt’s work about a connection between a homeless man and a frightened woman.

2017 Alternating Currents Artists

The processes for 2017 were led by dramaturg/director Kate Story, a Peterborough-based theatre artist and writer with a strong background in mentorship and the creation of physical performance work.

Nicole Malbeuf, a new-generation circus artist, explores water scarcity, drawing on her experience on a local organic farm. For “Capturing Water” Nicole has experimented with aerial rigging, but looks to Alternating Currents to help shape the performance and investigate character and performance text.

Ann Jaeger is an established multi-disciplinary artist interested in creating a non-linear performance. “At times like these we all become angels” seeks to evoke complex feelings about time, love and loss, and displacement, using letters from a 30-year friendship and media elements.

Ian McLachlan (writer) and Michael Morse (composer) have been collaborating on the experimental opera “Penelope.” The first draft of the libretto and the music have been workshopped; the artists are looking to A/C to gain clarity around the intersection of text, sound, and dance.

Devised theatre company Ring O’ Rosie is developing the new work which proposes to turn the act of adaptation inside-out. In the play, detective Marie investigates her own death as portrayed in Buchner’s play “Woyzek.”

Historical playwright Ryan Kerr wishes to develop a personal work about the Great War. Also a dance artist, Ryan is keen to bring in the full range of artistic responses to the War, particularly Dadaist music and theatre, the war poets, and family history.

2017 Alternating Currents also provides creative consultation for two works at very early stages. Writer Elisha Rubacha proposes a new play exploring intergenerational trauma, anti-Semitism, lies, and repetition.

Visual artist Wendy Trusler wishes to explore the potential for a travelling archive of over 4,000 letters to be developed into a short script.

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