“The creator of the new composition in the arts is an outlaw until he is a classic.” Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)
“It will take her years to understand the things she's said tonight.”
Alice B Toklas (1877-1967)
Visiting the audience in the present day, Gertrude and Alice come to find out how history has treated them. The couple recounts stories of their 40-year relationship, of meetings with iconic artists and writers, and of Alice’s overwhelming, consuming devotion to Gertrude’s genius. Before they leave, they want to find out what has become of their artistic and cultural influence, and how their lives and work are – or are not – remembered.
One of the most significant and contentious female voices in the 20th century, Gertrude Stein rose to international notoriety with her memoir The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas. She influenced a generation of artists and writers, but her own work remains hotly debated for its controversial and sometimes contradictory statements. Her genius, however, was unquestioned by her partner Alice Toklas, who dedicated her life to supporting the work of the woman she loved.
Conceived + Created by the Independent Aunties Directed + Dramaturged by Karin Randoja Written + Performed by Anna Chatterton and Evalyn Parry With additional text by Gertrude Stein + Alice B. Toklas* Set + Projections by Trevor Schewellnus Lighting design by Michelle Ramsey Costume design by Ming Wong Sound design by Christopher Stanton Props by Jenny So Stage management by Christina Cicko
*all works in the public domain
The Independent Aunties would like to acknowledge the support of The Toronto Arts Council, The Ontario Arts Council and The Canada Council for the Arts for this production and the development of this production, which was created through the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre Residency program.
In addition we thank The Pearl Company, Artword Artbar, Hamilton, and our generous donors: Luba Goy, Janet Ross and Orion Smith, Lee Pui Ming, Eve Goldberg and Ellen Long for financial support in the project's development.
Special Thanks to our creative collaborators along the way, Brendan Healy, Soraya Peerbaye, Helen Young, Randi Helmers, Mel Hague, Suzanne Robertson
photo of Evalyn Parry and Anna Chatteron by Tanja Tiziana
Gertrude and Alice Workshop Presentation 2014
Meet Marnie, a woman trying out a self-help program in an attempt to “move ahead” in her life. The audience is invited to her kitchen, as voyeurs to Marnie’s morning rituals. "Randoja’s absorbing, fearless performance” (EYE Magazine) anchors thissurreal and chilling encounter with one woman’s psyche, which takes an unflinching look at loneliness, self-delusion and our cultural obsession with self-help and personal transformation.
You’ll never look at breakfast the same way again.
“One of the top ten shows of 2008" Globe and Mail
Created by Independent Auntie
Written by Anna Chatterton and Evalyn Parry
Directed by Brendan Healy
Featuring Karin Randoja, with Evalyn Parry and Anna Chatterton Set & Costume Design: Julie Fox
Nominated for three Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Best Performance, Best Lighting and Best Sound Design), Breakfast was conceived and developed through the residency program at Toronto’s Theatre Centre and produced in 2008.
Breakfast was remounted in 2010 as a co-production with Buddies In Bad Times Theatre.
“Moment by moment, this 70-minute creation is utterly compelling….adventurers who surrender to this play about transformation will be rewarded by visceral theatre. Like an orgasm, it’s hard to describe but you know when you’ve had one…It’s a sleek, relentless ride, with emotional glue courtesy of the psycho-savvy script and Randoja’s absorbing, fearless performance.”EYE Magazine
The Mysterious Shorts
“Black humour a la Satre’s No Exit meets the mania of Fawlty Towers…” NOW Magazine
What is the predicament of a woman?
The Independent Aunties bring you The Mysterious Shorts: four shorts, each with its own puzzle and style."Gertrude & Alice get along Fine", "The Scoop", "Kazoooom!", and "A Drop Dead Gorgeous, Tanned Thin, Sweet Valley Adventure" :a kaleidoscopic view of women through the twentieth century. A subversive comedy.
The Mysterious Shorts workshop production was presented by Theatre Passe Muraille, 2005.
Created by Independent Aunties Written and Performed by Anna Chatterton and Evalyn Parry Directed by Karin Randoja Set and Lighting by Trevor Schwellnus Sound Design by Nicolas Murray Costumes by Erica Connor
Gertrude and Alice get along Fine
from The Aunties 2005 production of "The Mysterious Shorts" at Theatre Passe Muraille
Frances, Mathilda and Tea
Pound Pound goes Mathilda's Head. Stick stick sticky is Frances, stuck in the House. In a Stuffy Victorian Mansion, Two Sisters trick each other with Parlour Games and Morbid Stories. The Days are Awfully Long.
Frances, Mathilda & Tea takes place on the afternoon of the annual birthday party held by two sisters for their dead mother. Mathilda is a hypochondriac. Frances is agoraphobic. Mathilda holds a grudge, as unforgiving as her headaches. Frances harbors guilt and hides her vanity. Garbed in velvet gowns and Victorian language, they are living a lie, inside a silent house. As they make tea, play parlour games, tell stories and sing religious hymns, the tenuous balance of power between the two sisters shifts sharply. With each new story told, the line between fantasy and reality blurs, and the afternoon wears on.
Created by Anna Chatterton, Karin Randoja & Evalyn Parry Written and performed by Anna Chatterton & Evalyn Parry Direction and dramaturgy by Karin Randoja Production design by Trevor Schwellnus Costume design by Erica Connor
Originally produced at SummerWorks 2004 (named "Best Ensemble" by NOW Magazine) then remounted by Theatre Passe Muraille in 2005
Clean Irene & Dirty Maxine
“There’s no one quite like Toronto’s Anna Chatterton, Evalyn Parry and Karin Randoja…They write dark yet funny cautionary tales for our time – Edward Gorey meets Hilaire Belloc meet the Brothers Grimm.” ~ The Toronto Star
Clean Irene & Dirty Maxine is a modern, moral and morbid tale of obsession and demise, in which an alphabetic procession of distressed damsels meet their absurd and untimely ends as victims of their fixations. Meet Arty Marty, Busy Lizzy, Clean Irene, Dirty Maxine, Efficient Millicent and sixteen more original characters as writer/performers Parry and Chatterton take you on their cheeky and hilarious trek through the alphabet. Written entirely in rhyme, the show delivers its biting social commentary with dazzling speed, theatrical precision and playful charm: a highly physical, stylized black comedy which has been described as 'Edward Gorey meets Dr. Seuss'.
Written and performed by Anna Chatterton and Evalyn Parry Directed by Karin Randoja Production design by Sherri Hay
Awarded the Jury Prize for "Best New Play" at the SummerWorks Festival 2003 in Toronto, "Best Performance" Award at the Ottawa Fringe Festival 2003; “Best Production”, Now Magazine, Toronto, “Pick of the Fringe” 2003, Halifax Nova Scotia.
Clean Irene & Dirty Maxine was remounted as a co-production with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in 2006. The show toured to the Grand Theatre (London Ontario), Nakai Theatre’s Comedy Festival (Whitehorse, Yukon), The Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (Dawson, Yukon), FemFest (Winnipeg), The Downstairs Cabaret Theatre (Rochester NY), Harbourfront’s Gobsmacked Festival, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, (This is Not A Dress Productions) and Out Productions (Montreal).
Clean Irene wipes out Busy Lizzy
(a family comedy)
“Part cheeky fairy tale, part postmodern history… part over-the-top comedy,Robbers’ Daughters reminded us how good it is to have the Aunties in our theatre community.” NOW Magazine
Written by Evalyn Parry and Anna Chatterton, directed by Brendan Healy, production design by Sherri Hay, performed by Anna Chatterton, Claire Calnan, Karin Randoja and Alisha Stranges.
There are two rival robber gangs residing in Dufferin Grove Park. The robber chieftains are long time bitter enemies. What happens when their daughters secretly become friends? And then…decide they don’t want to follow in the family business of thieving.
A new comedy for the whole family, by The Independent Aunties.
Commissioned and presented by The Dufferin Grove Cooking Fire Festival, Robbers’ Daughters is the Aunties first Theatre For Young Audiences show. It was performed outdoors in June 2007.