CGAS RISER Found Festival

Get to Know NIGHT

As the dark settles in, there is a crack in the branches. A whistle in the breeze. Howling. The moon is full, and it’s time to break your cage.
Major Matt Mason Collective’s NIGHT by Geoffrey Simon Brown runs June 17-20 and 24-26 in Rundle Park.

This performance features graphic, unsettling, and emotionally intense material. NIGHT is not recommended for audiences aged 16 and under, parental guidance is strongly encouraged. Click here for further details and content warnings: https://www.commongroundarts.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/NIGHT-Content-Warnings.pdf

ABOUT MAJOR MATT MASON COLLECTIVE:

The Major Matt Mason Collective (MMMC) is a collection of interdisciplinary, Alberta-based artists presenting new, established, and collectively generated theatre since 2010. Our mandate is to engage young audiences who haven’t had a strong relationship with the performing arts, to provide mentorship and development to young, up and coming artists, and to find innovative approaches to performance that make theatre an exciting and relevant experience. We tackle high-risk, socially charged projects, challenging our audience and ourselves to engage in dialogue on current social issues.

MMMC is currently co-run by a core collective of Geoffrey Simon Brown, Zoë Glassman, and Evan Medd.

LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT:

Common Ground Arts Society and Major Matt Mason Collective respectfully acknowledge this show was created in amiskwaciwâskahikan on Treaty 6 Territory. This is the traditional lands of the Cree, Nakota, Blackfoot, Dene, Saulteaux, Metis, and other indigenous peoples. This has been their home since long before we settled here.

Night is rooted in how we interact with the land – or rather, how the land calls to us. How it nourishes us, plays with us, challenges us, strengthens us, shows us how we came to be who we are. We have the incredible privilege of sharing this story on this land, a privilege that is not available to everyone in our community. This land has seen immense joy and has seen immense pain. Pain largely perpetrated by settler populations.

Major Matt Mason Collective and Common Ground Arts Society recognize our responsibility as caretakers of this section of the park tonight, and of our wider community long into the future. We commit to anti-racist and reconciliatory practices in our hiring, programming, and daily operations and seek to find healing in our relations. As settler-led organizations, words feel feeble as an attempt to honour the land that we find ourselves on. After you leave tonight, we ask you to consider your relationship to the trees surrounding us, the ground beneath us, and the North Saskatchewan River as it winds around us, flowing from the West, to just south, to East and beyond our performance site.

To our settler audiences, we invite you to learn about actions we can take as individuals to restore the intention of the treaties, demand clean drinking water on reserves, and hold all levels of government accountable to a thorough investigation of every residential school site across this country. A collection of resources, petitions, and contacts can be found here:

Petition the House of Commons to investigate all residential school sites: https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-3484
Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action:http://trc.ca/assets/pdf/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf
Indian Residential School Survivors Society: https://www.irsss.ca/
National Indian Residential School Crisis Line for former Residential School students: 1-866-925-4419
Legacy of Hope: https://legacyofhope.ca/
Indigenous Canada – Free Course from the University of Alberta: https://www.coursera.org/learn/indigenous-canada
Witness Blanket: http://witnessblanket.ca/ “Inspired by a woven blanket, we have created a large scale art installation, made out of hundreds of items reclaimed from Residential Schools, churches, government buildings and traditional and cultural structures including Friendship Centres, band offices, treatment centres and universities, from across Canada. The Witness Blanket stands as a national monument to recognise the atrocities of the Indian Residential School era, honour the children, and symbolise ongoing reconciliation.”

MEET THE TEAM:

Clarke Blair

Choreographer/Movement Director

Clarke Blair (she/her) is a queer emerging dance artist and aspiring developmental biologist based in Toronto, ON. She works as a collaborator with Social Growl Dance (Riley Sims), Frog in Hand (Colleen Snell & Noelle Hamlyn), Naishi Wang, Lucy Rupert, and Tia Kushniruk, and was a company member with the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (CCDT) from 2011 – 2015. In February 2020, she premiered her first solo work, a reshaping of flesh, at Dance Matters (Toronto). Clarke holds an Honours BSc with High Distinction from the University of Toronto in neuroscience and cell biology.

Geoffrey Simon Brown

Playwright/Producer

Geoffrey is a playwright, actor, and director born and raised in Calgary. He is a founding member of the Major Matt Mason Collective and has served as the director of the collective’s Wildfire National Playwriting Competition since 2015. His plays include Michael Mysterious, Night, Time, Still Still Still, Control, Air, Destroy, The Circle (which was published by Scirocco Drama in 2017),  If I Could Tell You Everything (written alongside the Theatre Junction high school mentorship ensemble), and the most recent adaptation of A Christmas Carol for Theatre Calgary. He is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.

Zoë Glassman

Performer/Producer

Zoë Glassman is an Albertan actor, dancer, producer, and creator. Zoë trained at the Edmonton School of Ballet before completing her BFA in acting at the University of Alberta. Much of her work is focused on mashing dance and theatre together, like her solo show Doc By Lou, Blarney Productions’ To Be Moved, and the national tour of Bears and Minosis Gathers Hope with Punctuate Theatre. She does plays that don’t have dancing in them too, and sometimes makes dances that aren’t plays. Select performance credits outside of the collective include Stupid F@#cking Bird with Edmonton Actors Theatre and digital dance works with Mile Zero and Toy Guns Dance Theatre. With MMMC, Zoe has performed in Little Red (Major Matt Mason and Ghost River Theatre), Premium Content, and Control. Zoë also works at the public library.

Elise CM Jason

Scenographer

Elise CM Jason (they/them/theirs) is a queer, mixed-race artist of South African and Ukrainian heritage. They primarily work as a scenographer and are a Sterling Award nominated lighting designer currently living and creating in Amiskwacîwâskahikan (colonially known as Edmonton). In their practice, they are interested in exploring the intersection of installation and performance in theatre, textile site specific, and found space performance. Their work aims to be collaborative, receptive to ongoing discovery, and supportive of new work in realized applications. They hold a BFA in Theatre Design from the University of Alberta.

Yousuf Liepert

Director

Yousuf Liepert is an actor, director, performance/installation artist, and writer from Calgary, Alberta. His plays and installations experiences have been produced at IGNITE! Festival by Sage Theatre (The Problem With Snow, 2018), by Major Matt Mason Collective (Messenger, 2020), Grace Exhibition Space (Flux Flow, 2019), someWHERE NY and NEXTFEST (Sam at the Base of the Mountain, 2019, 2020). He has directed work at Theatre Junction GRAND (If I Could Tell You Everything, 2018), Playwrights Horizons Theatre School (Earthquakes in London, 2018), and now through Major Matt Mason. He recently for the first time performed his poetry through Voyeur Fest.

livmcrobbie

Sound Designer

livmcrobbie is a music producer based out of Millwoods. She takes inspiration from all genres and mediums. Deeply inspired by horror movies and visual artists such as Ralph Steadman and Shintaro Kago, Liv seeks to create surreal, yet accessible music that encompasses the spirit of Edmonton and the people who live there.

Evan Medd

Production Dramaturg/Producer

Evan is a dramaturg, facilitator, producer, performer, and puppeteer based in both Calgary and Vancouver. His practice primarily focuses on dramaturgical strategizing of process design, community engaged art that intersects with environmental dialogues, and collaborative new play development and production with the Major Matt Mason Collective, for whom he is Co-Artistic Producer. For the past few summers Evan has been working in Prince Edward Island on a piece called The River Clyde Pageant, an outdoor spectacle that celebrates community while drawing attention to the unfortunate reality of PEI’s fading waterways. He has also recently spearheaded a new initiative called Dreaming Climate Consciousness, a collaborative process where participants work together to imagine eco-conscious futures through the lens of speculative/science fiction.

Liz Page

Stage Manager

Liz is very excited to be making her Major Matt Mason debut with Night. She’s a Stage Manager by trade who loves working on projects both big and small – and who has just completed her third year at the University of Alberta in their BFA in Stage Management. Select credits include The Birds, Don Juan Comes Back From The War, Belleville (U of A), Pride Mainstage (Calgary Pride 2019), If I Could Tell You Everything (Theatre Junction), and Good Grief! (Downstage Theatre).

Check out MMMC’s 2021 Wildfire National Playwriting Competition!

The Major Matt Mason Collective is looking for playwrights 30 years of age or under to submit fresh, young scripts that embrace risk, grit and innovation.

Submitting a play to the competition is free and the two winning scripts selected by our jury receive a cash prize ($750 grand prize, $250 runner up), a development workshop*, and a staged reading* at MMMC’s Wildfire Showcase in association with Sage Theatre’s IGNITE! Festival.

*How workshops and readings are run is dependent on current COVID restrictions*

The deadline for submissions is June 30th, 2021.
For more information and to submit your play, head to mmmtheatrecollective.com/wildfire

THANK-YOU:

Night was developed with the support of Playwrights Workshop Montreal, Verb Theatre, Words In Progress, The Playwrights Guild of Canada, and Playwrights Theatre Centre.

With additional dramaturgy by Jonathan Garfinkel, David Gagnon Walker, Heidi Taylor, and Sydney Campbell.

Major Matt Mason Collective and Common Ground Arts Society extend our joint thanks to the Edmonton Arts Council, the Edmonton Community Foundation, the City of Edmonton, and One Yellow Rabbit for their support of this project.

Additional thanks to:
Denise Clarke, Mark Hopkins, Swallow-a-Bicycle, Alex Brown, Elena Eli Belyea, Alison Yanota, Patrick Seager, Wil Knoll, Michael Miller, and Stuart Hoye.