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The Pipeline 2016 at the Rialto


No, not that controversial pipeline that everyone is talking about these days, this pipeline is something else. It is a free play reading series which is now in its 11th edition. The event is presented by Infinithéâtre at the Rialto Theatre, 5711 Park Ave., from Friday, Dec. 2 to Sunday, Dec. 4.


The works to be read were selected by a jury after Write-On-Q!, a playwriting competition was launched:  “which accepts submissions of scripts from all corners of the province. New for the 2016 competition, all First Nations writers whose un-ceded territory falls within the outline of Canada were eligible to submit plays. First Nations (Ojibway, Curve Lake) writer Drew Haydon Taylor’s short-listed play, Heat Lighting, made the final round of jury selections.”


Michael Milech
Michael Milech

The Pipeline readings include the winner of the first place Write-On-Q! $3000 Pam Dunn Prize: Michael Milech for “The Nutritional Value of Anger;” Second Place Prize, $1500: Alexandria Haber for “Alice and The World We Live In;” and Third Place Prize, $500: Alyson Grant for “Conversion.”


Presented this Friday, “Conversion” winner of the third prize, written by Alyson Grant presents “four family members getting together for what is supposed to be a straightforward supper, but familiar patterns quickly devolve into a collision course of identities—race, class, gender and religion.” The author is Alyson Grant a native Montrealer and long-time Dawson College English literature teacher whose first two plays, “Trench Patterns” and “Progress!” were part of previous The Pipeline series, going on to full productions.


On Saturday, Dec. 3, the winner of the Write-On-Q! Pam Dunn Prize winner will be read: “The Nutritional Value of Anger” by Michael Milech is set “on a cold January night,” when a young woman pitches her sleeping bag outside a small grocery store and harangues passersby who don’t give her change. The Iranian immigrant who owns the store harasses the young woman for hassling her customers. A young man chats on his cell phone and shops for soup. As the night gets colder and darker, “The Nutritional Value of Anger” examines anger’s beneficial side, as well as the effort involved in repressing it, and the effortlessness of walking right past it.

Michael Milech lives in Gatineau, works in Ottawa, and plays back home in Montréal. He has a Creative Writing MA from the University of New Brunswick, where he’s had works produced as part of the NotaBle Acts Theatre Festival.


“Alice and the World We Live In” by Alexandria Haber, winner of the second prize, is presented on Sunday, Dec. 4. It is a non-linear play that follows the lives of Alice and several other characters, who have been affected by the random bombing of a neighbourhood grocery store. The play explores the unique ways in which each of the characters copes with the aftermath of the event as they attempt to move on with their lives.” Alexandria Haber is a graduate of Concordia’s Theatre Performance Program. Her plays include: On This Day, recently premiered at Centaur Theatre, Life Here After (previous winner of Infinithéâtre’s Write-On-Q!, produced by Imago Theatre, Centaur Wildside) Closed for Urgent and Extraordinary Work (Theatre Yes, The National Elevator Play Project), I Don’t like Mondays, A Christmas Carol (adaptation) and Game Changers(Geordie Productions); Four Minutes if You Bleed (Centaur’s Brave New Works, with Ned Cox); and Housekeeping & Homewrecking.


All the shows are at 7 p.m. except the one on Sunday which is at 2 p.m. For detailed information about the competition go to www.infinitheatre.com

By Sergio Martinez – totimes.ca






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