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Free Tickets for Mary Magdalene Project

Along with our co-sponsors and the project producers, we’re delighted to offer our PLS friends free tickets to this weekend’s live Zoom performances of director Jenna McKellips’ Mary Magdalene Project

The Mary Magdalene Project is a modernized version of the Digby play of the same name. The production will take place this weekend with performances on January 9 & 10. While the Digby Mary Magdalene is meant to be site-specific, the pandemic has made onsite, live performance impossible. This production, therefore, has been reimagined as “community-specific,” in that it is a play by and for a specific community.

“Medieval theater was often written and performed by cis men—or at least, this is how many historians report it. I, with many others, argue that this was not always the case,” says McKellips.

“The goal of this production is to give a voice to some of those whose voices were underrepresented in medieval drama, using a translation of the Digby Mary Magdalene interspersed with monologues taken from interviews with modern folks,” she adds.

This digital project is being produced to coincide with the MLA Queerness in Medieval Plays panel, organized by Fordham University’s Andrew Albin and the University of Toronto’s Matthew Sergi. Both performances will be followed by a talkback session with the director and actors.

Join us this weekend for one of the live performances of this innovative production by clicking the link below. 

Book Your Free Tickets

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Invitation: PLS’s 2020 Annual General Meeting

PLS is still here! It’s been an unusual nine months, to say the least. We are now having our Annual General Meeting at long last. All members, donors, production participants or other people interested in PLS are invited to attend.

Date: Thursday, December 17 at 2pm

Location: Online using the Zoom videoconferencing platform

Here is the agenda. Please RSVP to receive Zoom log-in details and other meeting paperwork.

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A COVID-19 Message

Dear supporters of PLS,

We are writing to let you know that, like so many of our colleagues who have been postponing or cancelling their shows due to COVID-19, PLS has also had to make the decision to postpone our show Lusty Juventus to a later date.

As much as we enjoyed our rehearsals and we were so thrilled to be bringing this play to you, we care deeply about the safety of our cast and crew members as well as our audience. We are truly sorry about the inconvenience that this may have caused but are determined to keep the health and safety of our communities. We are hoping that all of you stay safe, calm, and healthy in the meantime as we closely monitor the effects of the disease.

We are grateful for your support, patience, and understanding as we work to navigate through this challenging time. We are closely monitoring the situation and we will confirm show dates as soon as we can.

Sincerely,
Artistic Director Linda Phillips and the PLS Team

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Upcoming Performance: Lusty Juventus

A Tudor Moral Interlude by R. Wever

Lusty Juventus is a short mid-16th century Moral Interlude of the “Prodigal Son” type, telling the story of a young man tempted by the joys of the flesh. It was written during the brief reign of Henry VIII’s son Edward VI for a small troupe of travelling players, as the title page states “Four may play it easily.” PLS Artistic Director Linda Phillips has created a new modern-spelling script for this production.

Professor Alexandra F. Johnston will give a brief introduction about the political and religious context of the play, and there will be a short Q&A after each performance.

Cast:
Pascale Behrman
Andrew Eldridge
James Hyett
Scott Moore

Production Team:
Director – Linda Phillips
Stage Manager – Sam Zhu
Dramaturg – Alexandra F. Johnston
Publicity – Jenna McKellips

Show dates and times:

  • March 27, 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
  • March 28, 8:00 PM – 9:30 PM
  • March 29, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Location:
Luella Massey Studio Theatre
4 Glen Morris Street (one block northeast of Harbord and Spadina)
Note: This location is not wheelchair accessible.

General Admission $20 / Senior $15 / Student & Arts Worker $10
To pre-order tickets, please visit lusty-juventus.bpt.me.
Cash only at the door.

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Audition Notice: Lusty Juventus

We are seeking actors for this non-Union production with paid honorarium.

Lusty Juventus

A short Tudor Interlude by R. Wever

Poculi Ludique Societas (PLS), Toronto’s renowned medieval and renaissance players, is a non-profit, non-Equity theatre company affiliated with the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. PLS is dedicated to the production of early plays for research and entertainment. See more about PLS at: www.plspls.ca

Performance dates: March 27–29, 2020

Rehearsals will begin in mid-February, schedule TBD depending on actors’ availability.

About the play:

Lusty Juventus is a short mid-16th century Moral Interlude of the “Prodigal Son” type, telling the story of a young man tempted by the joys of the flesh. It was written during the brief reign of Henry VIII’s son Edward VI for a small troupe of travelling players, as the title page states “Four may play it easily.” PLS Artistic Director Linda Phillips has created a new modern-spelling script for this production.

We are looking for diverse actors who are comfortable with speaking verse, playing multiple roles including the evil (Satan, Hypocrisy), the good (Good Counsell, Knowledge), and Juventus (Youth). There is some singing of the jolly drinking song variety.

Audition dates/times (by appointment only):

  • Saturday, February 1, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
  • Sunday, February 2, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm
  • Monday, February 3, 4:00 – 7:00 pm

Please submit your photo and resume to director@plspls.ca  (with subject line: Auditions) to arrange an audition time. Come prepared with a short monologue.

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Pneuma Ensemble’s ‘Problematic Men’

Show Poster

Welcome to the twelfth century, where everyone is noble, wise and good. Except these guys…

Poculi Ludique Societas & Pneuma Ensemble present:

Problematic Men

Babio, an elegiac comedy

Samson dux fortissime, a lai/sequence/planctus

 

About

In this performance Pneuma Ensemble takes the moral high ground and introduces two twelfth century “negative exemplars”—characters who showed audiences how not to behave. We will meet Babio, a vile old priest in hot pursuit of his stepdaughter and Samson, the original strong-but-dumb hero. Performed in the original Latin, with supertitles, mime, mask, and period-appropriate instruments.

When

  • Saturday, November 16 at 8pm
  • Sunday, November 17 at 2pm

Where

Luella Massey Studio Theatre, 4 Glen Morris St, Toronto

Tickets

More Information

About Pneuma Ensemble

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Announcement: PLS AGM

You—yes, you!—are invited to PLS’s Annual General Meeting. We will be discussing our 2018–2019 season and planning for the future.

When: Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 2pm
Where: Rm 103, Lillian Massey Building, 125 Queen’s Park
(across from the ROM)

See you there!

Dutch Courtesan
The Dutch Courtesan, March 2019

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Marston’s The Dutch Courtesan

Performances from March 21 to 24, 2019
with a special RSA performance on March 19
Location: Luella Massey Studio Theatre
Address: 4 Glen Morris St

The urban landscape of The Dutch Courtesan presents London as a city that prides itself on being multicultural and cosmopolitan while also feeling deeply anxious about the place of ‘strangers’ within its urban landscape. The main plot deals with the treatment of a foreign sex worker whose otherness is partly established through her accent; the sub-plot follows two members of a distrusted religious minority as they are tricked and abused, presumably for the audience’s entertainment. The play’s concerns with otherness, gender, sex, religion, and foreignness are all tied to the context of the early 17th century, but are also powerfully resonant in 21st century Toronto. By putting scholars and actors in conversation, this workshop aims to explore both the play’s original context and its modern resonances, as well as to discover ways in which actorly and scholarly ways of knowing and articulating knowledge can extend and enrich each other.

Organizers: Helen Ostovich & Erin Julian.  For Poculi Ludique Societas: Linda Phillips For CDTPS: David Klausner & Noam Lior

We wish to acknowledge that the land on which the University of Toronto operates has for thousands of years been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

We also gratefully acknowledge support for this research and production from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the University of Toronto, the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies, Poculi Ludique Societas, McMaster University, and Edward’s Boys.

Tickets are available at:
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4100335

Unfortunately, due to technical restrictions, we can only accept cash at the door.

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The Dutch Courtesan Rehearsal Workshop & Public Reading

Date: February 23, 2019
Workshop: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Reading: 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Location: Robert Gill Theatre
3rd floor (use St. George St. entrance)
214 College St.

Free and open for all! Register here.

This workshop invites scholars and actors to test out a variety of approaches to The Dutch Courtesan in a collaborative rehearsal process. During the day, actors from the upcoming  Poculi Ludique Societas/CDTPS production of John Marston’s The Dutch Courtesan will work with scholars and dramaturges in an informal rehearsal, discussing the play’s themes and context and testing out ideas and suggestions on our feet. In the evening, we will present a free, open staged reading of a (very) abridged version of the play, and a discussion with the audience of its action and themes, and their relevance to Toronto now.

The urban landscape of The Dutch Courtesan presents London as a city that prides itself on being multicultural and cosmopolitan while also feeling deeply anxious about the place of ‘strangers’ within its urban landscape. The main plot deals with the treatment of a foreign sex worker whose otherness is partly established through her accent; the sub-plot follows two members of a distrusted religious minority as they are tricked and abused, presumably for the audience’s entertainment. The play’s concerns with otherness, gender, sex, religion, and foreignness are all tied to the context of the early 17th century, but are also powerfully resonant in 21st century Toronto. By putting scholars and actors in conversation, this workshop aims to explore both the play’s original context and its modern resonances, as well as to discover ways in which actorly and scholarly ways of knowing and articulating knowledge can extend and enrich each other.

Please contact Erin Julian if you have any questions. 

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Audition Notice: The Dutch Courtesan

We are seeking diverse actors for a production of

The Dutch Courtesan
by John Marston

Produced by Poculi Ludique Societas and Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto

Non-Union, Paid Honorarium

Performance Dates:

March 22-24 (preview March 19)

Rehearsals:

Through January, February, March, mostly evenings and weekends

Audition dates/times (by appointment only):

  • Thursday, January 10 4:30 pm – 8:00 pm
  • Friday, January 11 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, January 12 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Location:

The CDTPS Rehearsal Room (320), Koffler Centre, 214 College St. (Enter
from St George St and take the elevator or stairs to the 3rd floor)

To book an audition:

Please e-mail with subject line ‘Dutch Courtesan Audition’ to director@plspls.ca. Please come prepared with a classical monologue.

About the play:

The Dutch Courtesan (c. 1604) is being presented in conjunction with an academic conference, so there will be some audience talk-backs and workshops as well as the performance.

The urban landscape of the play presents London as a city that simultaneously applauds itself for being a multicultural cosmopolitan metropolis and feels deeply anxious about the place of ‘strangers’ within its urban landscape. The main plot deals with the treatment of a foreign sex worker whose otherness is partly established through her accent; the sub-plot follows two members of a distrusted religious minority as they are tricked and abused.

Marston’s play is a reflection of the London his audience inhabited, a cynical, often vicious portrayal of a ‘here-and-now’. Our production aims to evoke that audience-actor dynamic, and so we are looking to approximate some original conditions, but with a largely modern aesthetic. The aim is to use performance choices, costumes, accents, and casting that link Marston’s London to our Toronto.

About PLS:

Our mission is to rediscover the theatrical traditions of the Middle Ages and Renaissance through textual research and dramatic experimentation, and to bring those traditions to life for contemporary audiences of all ages. See plspls.ca for more information.

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