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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.

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

Headshot of Elisha RubachaElisha 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.

Photo of Dave CaveDave 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.
Photo of Dreda BlowDreda 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 

Alternating Currents 2018 Mentors: Kate Story, Marie Josée Chartier, and Patti Shaughnessy.

Marie-Josée Chartier

Headshot of Marie-Josée ChartierA multi-faceted artist, Marie-Josée Chartier moves easily between the worlds of dance, music, opera and multi-media in the roles of choreographer, performer, director, vocalist or teacher. Her choreographic works have been presented nationally in dance series and festivals such as the Canada Dance Festival, Dancing on the Edge, New Dance Horizons, Tangente, DanceWorks, and abroad in Potsdam, Prague, Vienna, Paris, Gent, Singapore, New York, Bogotà, Mexico and Santo Domingo. Ms. Chartier has received numerous choreographic commissions notably Vestige for Toronto Dance Theatre, fifty-one pieces of silver for Dancemakers, étude pour deux mammifères for Kaeja d’Dance, La Lourdeur des Cendres for Four Chambers dance project, A short voyage and Terrain from Jolene Bailie, and How to Wrestle an Angel for Old Men Dancing. Her work has been the subject of documentary films shown on national television and in diverse film festivals. She is the recipient of numerous awards, notably the 2001 K.M. Hunter Artist Award, the 2015 Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, nine Dora Mavor Moore Awards nominations in categories of choreography, direction and performance, a finalist for the Muriel Sherrin Award from the Toronto Arts Foundation honoring International Achievement in Dance. She won the 2002 Dora for fifty-one pieces of silver and shared with the collective URGE two Dora awards for And by the way Miss. Since 2000, Chartier has been active as a director in music, multi-media and opera productions and collaborates regularly with Queen of Puddings Music Theatre, the Gryphon Trio, Toca Loca, Tapestry Opera and l’Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal.  Marie-Josée Chartier’s performing career has taken her on international and national stages as a freelance artist and with dance companies from Montreal and Toronto. She is a sought after guest teacher in major training centres and universities in Canada as well as in Latin America in the field of modern dance, movement for singers and musicians, voice exploration and improvisation.

Patti Shaughnessy

Photo of Patti ShaugnessyPatti Shaughnessy is a proud activist, actor, director, and artistic producer of a range of theatre and multi-arts projects over the past decade. With an academic background in Indigenous Studies at Trent University (Peterborough) and formal theater training from the Centre for Indigenous Theatre (Toronto), Patti is co-founder of the O’Kaadenigan Wiingashk Collective (OKW) – a Peterborough-based Indigenous arts collective that has presented and organized workshops and master classes with several internationally acclaimed Indigenous artists as part of an annual Ode’min Giizis (Strawberry Moon) Festival (2008-2012). International theatre directing credits include, Ananna A/S (Casa Matriz); Rosa Marie-p tiquartikkaluarnera (The Occupation of Heather Rose); and Arnatsialaat, The Rez Sisters – all part of Patti’s work over the past 5 years as director, instructor, and tour leader for the National Theatre of Greenland. Patti will be making her Canadian directing debut with Drew Hayden Taylor’s play, Cottagers and Indians, commissioned by Tarragon Theatre. Hailing from the great nation of the Mchi Saagiig Anishnaabe of Curve Lake First Nation #35, Patti is also born 5th generation Irish. Patti currently lives part-time in Douro-Dummer township, where she rejuvenates and creates at her ancestral home and research laboratory.

Kate Story -Program Director

Kate Story is a writer, performer, director, and choreographer. She is a recipient of the Ontario Arts Foundation’s K.M. Hunter Artist Award in theatre.

In 2017 and 2018 Kate was Director of Public Energy’s Alternating Currents program, facilitating creative processes for wildly diverse artistic projects featuring over 30 artists. Kate has developed and co-run two multi arts festivals in Peterborough, working with presenters Fleshy Thud and Public Energy and a wide array of arts and non-arts community partners, featuring over 75 artists and including workshops, learning and mentorship opportunities for youth, panel discussions, and original performance works: A Certain Place (The Bernie Martin Festival), and Precarious: Peterborough ArtsWORK Festival. She is also one of the dance artists participating in Neighbourhood Dance Works’ exciting New Chapter dance project, bringing together Newfoundland dance artists for an innovative 3-year process with choreographers Christopher House and Anne Troake. Kate has co-created and/or performed with diverse theatre and dance artists, notably The Theatre on King, Fleshy Thud, Ryan Kerr, The Nervous System/Brad Brackenridge, Chartier Danse, 4th Line Theatre, R. Murray Schafer, Atlas Moves Watching Dance Projects/Bill James, mysterious entity/Em Glasspool, Nightwood Theatre/Alisa Palmer, Bananafish Productions/Kelly Thornton, DNA/Hillar Liitoja, Ground Zero Productions/Don Bouzek, Caravan Stage Company, and many others.

2018 Alternating Currents Artists

In Alternating Currents’ 2018 program…

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

Alternating Currents 2017

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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Public Energy gratefully acknowledges the generous support of our 2020-21 Season Funders and Sponsors.

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