HATCH at the Harbourfront

by Liza Mattimore

Harbourfront Centre’s annual performing arts residency programme, will celebrate its 10th anniversary this season, coinciding with Harbourfront Centre’s 40th anniversary. Curated by Praxis Theatre’s Michael Wheeler and Aislinn Rose, HATCH 2014 will feature four new projects that blur the lines between live performance and online technology. With a special focus on the integration of social media as a tool which can be used to create as well as present performance work, HATCH audiences will be able to engage with this season’s artists, follow the development of their work and interact with the creative process using various social platforms. Follow the “HATCH”tag #HatchTO.

Here are the descriptions for each of the projects featured this year:

HATCH 2014 Artists & Projects:


Rob Kempson – #legacy 
Saturday, April 12, 2014 

Grandma meets the Twitterverse in this interactive performance project that asks questions about what is left behind and why we look to leave a legacy.

In a collectively created piece, three women over the age of 65 will consider what it means to leave a legacy, to create something permanent, something memorable. Meanwhile, they will have been tweeting throughout the creation process (and in the performance) in an effort to understand how sharing online can leave a legacy of its own. What are the implications of an online legacy that is based on sharing so much of oneself, and so, publicly?

Audiences will have the chance to hear the script on stage and engage with the “Twitter script” online — a series of reflections, considerations and questions from the performers that will be tweeted as the piece is played out. Whether you come to sit in the tweet seats with your smartphone or you watch as the online story develops through projections on stage, this is an experiment in combining new technologies and community-based art that will touch your heart and ask big questions.

Follow the ladies on Twitter: @judith_dove @Joan_Belford2 @McCroq


Melissa D'Agostino – BroadFish 
Saturday, April 19, 2014 
@melissadags @fishbride

BroadFish is a modern folktale about mermaids, crones, dowries, kitchen pots and planning the wedding before finding the groom. Using classic archetypes, as well as modern ones like ‘Bridezilla’, BroadFish asks: What happens when the promise of a perfect future hangs on the one thing out of your grasp? Do you keep dreaming? Do you accept reality? How far will you go to hold onto a fairytale? Into the basement? Up into the attic? Out of your mind?

BroadFish is a live theatre experience by acclaimed performer Melissa D’Agostino integrating folktales, music, improvisation and motion pictures. This multimedia work will explore the lines between reality and fantasy, relationships and romance, as well as the power of myth and archetypes in our everyday lives. Alongside her creative team, Melissa plunges into the wild world of female stereotypes to explore traditional attitudes toward relationships, happiness and romance and how they have evolved and degenerated through access to the Internet, social media and technology.


Francisco-Fernando Granados – The Ballad of _______ B 
Saturday, April 26, 2014 

The Ballad of _______ B is a performance installation for the stage that explores the queerness of the imagination through experiences and language in exile.

The performance is conceived as a character study of _______ B, a once “clean-cut, fresh-faced 18-year-old” refugee whose story appears as a vocabulary lesson in the pages of an instructional ESL book. Loosely based on an interview given by the artist as a teenager to a Vancouver newspaper, _______ B’s story is told through his obsession with Maria Callas and the tragic lovers she played on stage. Anne Boleyn and Medea weave together with Callas through readymade texts that include online chats, interviews and film dialogues to create a series of richly visual scenes.

This work marks a radical departure for artist Francisco-Fernando Granados, from action-based, conceptual approaches to experimental explorations that incorporate digital media, narrative and recitation.


Digital Blackbox – Faster than Night 
Saturday, May 3, 2014 
@vanessa_shaver @pascallangdale @alisonhum

Social media billionaire Caleb Smith is on a mission. Racing against a terrible terminal illness, he is embarking on a deep space voyage with the secret goal of cheating time and death. While half his wealth drives the search for a cure on Earth, Caleb plans to take advantage of the time dilation of faster-than-light travel, returning after only a small time has passed for the ticking bomb of his disease, to enjoy his new cure, a long life and immortal fame.

With his small crew already in cryosleep for the jump to hyperspace, Caleb double-checks the ship’s powerful artificial intelligence. She is his masterpiece, the newly synthesized sum of all online human emotion and cognition. Think of her as the lovechild of Wikipedia and Facebook, or as what would happen if Google woke up. The A.I. is buggy, unpredictable and gloriously meta-human. Through her, the audience can use social media to interact with Caleb as he prepares for humanity's first hyperspace jump – and when a life-support circuit malfunctions, to help him make an impossible decision.

Faster than Night blends live theatre, real-time 3D animation and audience interaction into an emotionally powerful adventure that is unlike any other.


HATCH Passes are your best value. Just $40 for all four HATCH presentations.

Available for purchase until April 12, 2014. Call the Box Office at 416-973-4000 to order.

Single tickets available online, over the phone, or in person.

Single tickets are available for $15 via the Online Box Office, over the phone at 416-973-4000, or in person at 235 Queens Quay West (Tuesday – Saturday, 1-6pm).