JUNIOR at Harbourfront
The festival features fun for the whole family with theatre, live concerts, dance, puppetry, circus, crafts, storytelling and more from leading artists from around the world.
Woogie Boogie (North American Premiere)
Toronto's wildly popular international children's festival JUNIOR returns to Harbourfront Centre for a second year from May 18 – 24.The festival challenges kids to ask big questions about important issues Targeted to children and youth ages four to 14 and their families, JUNIOR challenges young people to explore new perspectives and ask enlightening questions in a weekend filled with fun and adventure. Featuring world, North American and Canadian premieres, the festival includes an extensive lineup of free and ticketed programing encompassing theatre, live concerts, dance, puppetry, circus, storytelling, arts and crafts and more, from leading family entertainers and artists from across Canada and around the world.
"JUNIOR is a celebration of how creativity nourishes, challenges and opens the minds of children with new ideas, questions, wonder and fun while exploring themes such as identity, culture and belonging," said Mary Francis Moore, Co-Curator.
"In creating JUNIOR, we dreamt of a program where creativity allows children to re-imagine the world they live in and their place in it," said Nathalie Bonjour, Co-Curator and Acting Director, Performing Arts, Harbourfront Centre.
Select festival programming will include relaxed performances specifically designed to welcome people who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment.
JUNIOR PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS:
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE – Woogie Boogie, BRUSH Theatre (South Korea) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 11am daily ($11.25+): This theatrical foray into the delightful world of doodling follows a lonely boy, Woogie, and his friend, Boogie, as they experience their first sea adventure when their troublemaking pet turtle drifts into the open water. Using a big white board and black ink markers, the duo takes audiences on a journey, creating the mysterious creatures and places the friends encounter. As they draw and erase, the adventure takes shape. Live sound effects, stunning animation and artistry, along with an abundance of imagination bring this story to life. *Relaxed performance on May 20
WORLD PREMIERE – Two-Part Inventions (Les Inventions à deux voix), Les Deux Mondes (Montreal) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 1:30pm daily ($11.25+): Performed in both English and French, Two-Part Inventions (Les Inventions à deux voix) is a play that chronicles an encounter between a girl and a boy in their apartment building that leads to a journey of personal discovery. Alone in an imaginary world far away from adults, they play-act their way through the range of emotions affecting their lives – from passion to boredom to their fear of the unknown. What if "elsewhere" was just behind the door? *Relaxed performance on May 20
CANADIAN PREMIERE – A Billion Nights on Earth, Thaddeus Phillips (USA) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 3pm daily + Saturday, May 18, 7pm (followed by Opening Night reception) ($11.25+): A late-night trip to the refrigerator for a glass of milk opens a door to another dimension in this theatrical epic inspired by pop-up books, Kabuki stagecraft and parent-child relationships. From visionary director Thaddeus Phillips and installation artist Steven Dufala, A Billion Nights on Earth conjures a spectacular quest through space and time, guided by sleight-of-hand, a cinematic score and the limitless possibilities of the imagination.
Potato Soup, Laika Theatre (Belgium) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 2pm daily (FREE): Potato Soup is a contemporary show about war and loss, hunger, the virtues of delicious soup and a lesson in healthy eating. The pleasure of narration and the enjoyment of eating together are central to the show.
The Jerry Cans (Iqaluit) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 3:30pm daily (FREE): The Jerry Cans create music inspired by their hometown of Iqaluit, Nunavut. With their unique mix of Inuktitut alt-country, throat singing and reggae, the Jerry Cans are a distinctly northern, one-of-a-kind group. The band perform many of their songs in Inuktitut and are committed to challenging common misperceptions they have encountered, taking audiences on a stroll through the streets of Iqaluit to share a glimpse of life in Arctic.
Lemon Bucket Orkestra (Toronto) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 1:45pm daily (FREE): Lemon Bucket Orkestra is Toronto's original guerrilla-folk party-punk ensemble. The multi-award-winning ensemble's genre-bending live shows are a truly immersive experience.
Ants, Polygot Theatre (Australia) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, various times (FREE): Ants is an interactive and participatory roving performance which has giant Ants bringing children together in an intriguing landscaping project. Faced with hundreds of giant bread crumbs and three big insects, children are irresistibly drawn in to discover what the Ants want them to do. Gradually a world of meaning unfolds, transforming public space with wavering lines and patterns. Ants is an enchanting investigation into children's relationship with their environment.
Fashion Machine, Theatre SKAM (Victoria) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 1:30pm daily (FREE): Five professionals from the fields of theatre, photography and textiles train local children for a public performance where they totally remake select audience members' outfits in less than one hour. This show concludes with the new outfits displayed in a fabulous fashion show.
Les moutons, BoucharDanse (Toronto) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 3pm and 5:30pm daily (FREE): Reality meets fantasy in this live performance-installation by BoucharDanse. Les moutons recreates a bucolic country scene in an urban setting. Travel to a strange, poetic and baffling universe through a carefully studied overview of sheep behaviour.
Diorama, Ingri Fiksdal (Norway) – Saturday, May 18 to Monday, May 20, 1:15pm daily (FREE): This installation-performance is a meditation in movement, reflecting on the passing of time. Open yourself up to this beautiful and mesmerizing experience set against Lake Ontario.
Single tickets for theatre shows are $15. Family packs are available for four to nine people and cost $12 per ticket and group tickets are $11.25 per ticket for purchases of 10 tickets or more. Families can save 15% on the purchase of tickets for any two productions and 20% on the purchase of three productions. Tickets are available for purchase online at harbourfrontcentre.com, in-person at 235 Queens Quay West or by calling the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416-973-4000. Box office hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 1 – 6pm.
For more information about JUNIOR and a full schedule of programming, visit harbourfrontcentre.com/JUNIOR.