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Theatre Outré begins tenth anniversary season with The Parasite

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Lethbridge based queer focused theatre company Theatre Outré celebrates their “Origins” as they turn 10  this year.


“The Parasites” make an appearance at Theatre Outré's 1oth anniversary Launch, Sept. 12. Photo by RichardAmery

“ If you asked me  in 2012  whether we’d be here in 10 years, I’d tell you I was surprised, but seeing the community created around Theatre Outré over the past 10 years, it’s not surprising,” said Theatre Outré founder Jay Whitehead, before announcing the new season at Bourbon and Butter, which begins with Jay Northcott and Eish van Wieren’s new play “The Parasite.”


“ There have been so many highlights over the years. They”re like my children, so it’s hard to pick a favourite. There’s been so many beautiful  people. We’ve gone through phases like the early years with Richie Wilcox and Aaron Collier and the new era with Deonie Hudson and David Gabert and Kathy Zaborsky,” Whitehead related, adding they are going to re-explore their origins, welcoming back  some familiar faces and revisiting one of the first plays, UnSex’d.


“ I wrote it with Daniel Judes, but Brett Dahl will be directing it. It’s going to be exciting to see the play that started us on this journey,” Whitehead said.


Their first production of the season opens tonight, Wednesday, Sept. 15 at Didi’s Playhaus.

“ It was written by two non-binary actors Jay Northcott and Eish can Wieren who  got their BAs at the University of Lethbridge, but who moved to Toronto,” he said, noting the play examines the issues of reproduction through puppetry, props costumes and motion.


“ It’s a very avant-garde piece.It’s colourful and randy and unlike anything we’ve ever done before,” said Whitehead.


 Theatre Outré has always pushed the boundaries  and explored a lot of important issues over  the past 10 years, with an array of productions ranging from a touching interpretation of A Streetcar named Desire, naked imprisoned Russian soldiers in the Second World War; the bathhouse raid in Toronto in 1981; individualized interactive pieces like “Confessional”; intergenerational relationships in ”Whale Riding Weather” are just a few of the memorable moments. 


Jay Whithead puts a spin on He Ain’t Heavy He’s my ‘Sibling” at Theatre Outré's 1oth anniversary Launch, Sept. 12. Photo by RichardAmery

 For Christmas, Theatre Outré is staging  an original drag interpretation of “ A Christmas Carol,” which  Whitehead and Kathy Zaborsky developed, and performed as a reader’s theatre because of Covid.


“It’s going to be a full production and it will feature a lot of familiar faces,” he said , adding it will be at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre.


 Theatre Outré’s cornerstone event, the Quaint , Quirky and Queer Cabaret aka QQQ  will return to the Yates Theatre  in April.

“ It will be our 10 year celebration. We’re welcoming back some alumni including Aaron Collier and Richie Wilcox and Didi E’dada” Whitehead said.

— BY Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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