Big Bang

An Artists' Laboratory to Support Experimentation & Innovation in Storytelling

New this season, in our ongoing pursuit of artistic excellence, and a sincere desire to support creators in their artistic process, Infinithéâtre is introducing the Big Bang Artists' Laboratory. Three projects will all be given extended time in a rehearsal hall to explore and experiment, bringing together writers, directors, designers, and performers as they together find exciting and innovative ways of telling live stories. Featured works for our 2021/2022 season include: Dominoes at the Crossroads by Kaie Kellough, Extra/Beautiful/U by Michaela Di Cesare, and Ricki by Joseph Shragge, in collaboration with Scapegoat Carnivale.

Meet our writers!

Michaela Di Cesare, Kaie Kellough & Joseph Shragge

Ricki (by Joseph Shragge)

Ricki is about a woman and her 13-year-old son who move to Montréal from the countryside. Part one is about their uneasy arrival and isolation. In part two, the play transforms into a grotesque surreal horror as reality implodes on itself.

The play was created while Shragge’s partner was pregnant. The piece, written with a comic book style absurdity, is at its core about parental anxiety and the process of accepting responsibility.

The first draft grew out of an Imago Theatre workshop led by esteemed Canadian Playwright Colleen Murphy and continued its development with Playwrights' Workshop Montreal, mentored by playwright Greg MacArthur.



Dominoes at the Crossroads (by Kaie Kellough)

Infinitheatre “Somewhere in this story is a break, a portal, a black hole. It may only be the size of a small pothole on Crémazie Boulevard, or the size of a period between sentences, a semicolon, a semicolony, a sixteenth note’s round head or an island that looks like ink spilled onto a blue map. In 1972 a young woman fell through such an ink spill, one called Ayiti, and a young man reached for her hand and was pulled in after her. They were my grandparents. As they tumbled, they pulled their children in with them. They planned to land somewhere, but couldn’t guess that their imagined somewhere was just another cypher to plunge through.” - excerpt from ‘Navette’ / Dominoes at the Crossroads

Dominoes at the Crossroads represents a vital, poignant voice from the Montréal landscape. Kaie’s writing resonates widely in a world where so many people straddle between cultures and have not one, but multiple roots and homes. We are all, so many of us, displaced and continually searching for our place in the world, literally and figuratively. Dominoes is a poetic ode to this epic and universal search for home and identity, gently anchored into port here in our eclectic city that is Montréal.

Zach Fraser will adapt and direct the work for the stage in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of artists. “From the first pages of Kaie Kellough’s Dominoes at the Crossroads, I knew I was plunging into a unique and magical tale. Kaie’s collection of loosely connected stories weave together vividly detailed moments in time and space. We voyage across countries and continents, local neighbourhoods, and faraway villages. Themes of departure and return run deep. Part history lesson, part journal, part dream: the reader momentarily escapes through the narrator’s memories, drifting through time.” This will be Zach’s fourth stage adaptation of a literary work.



Extra/Beautiful/U (by Michaela Di Cesare)

The winner of Infinithéâtre's 2017 Write-on-Q playwriting competition, Extra/Beautiful/U blends traditional theatre with recorded material in its depiction of a story for now that addresses identity, obsession with social media, and a host of other themes related to cultural values and secondary trauma.

The play tells the story of Lara, a young woman who found fame and fortune on a reality dating show, before a serious accident took it all away.

The project is leaning toward a multi-media piece that will blend the live theatre experience with digital capture in a variety of ways. “These mediatized elements are integral to my piece because I wanted to explore questions of filters, perspective, and curation of selfhood, or the performance of identity”, explains the playwright.

The Big Bang Artists' Laboratory will provide an opportunity to engage dynamic artists at the top of their game, exploring the interactive power of live theatre and digital media, collaborating to propel both artforms, and connecting with audiences in new and meaningful ways.