From Infinithéâtre members, old and new!

A Word from Ellen David about Infinithéâtre:

I love the stage. There’s nothing like the high wire of live theatre to engage an actor, even if you’ve been fortunate to have played in a hit sitcom and several big-budget feature films, as I have. On stage, there are no “takes.” It’s live, it’s real and the audience is right there in front of you, absorbing your every move in an up close and personal way. It feeds my soul, and I have made it my life's work to transmit that energy to those who bear witness to this art form.

Infinithéâtre has been a creative home for me, as it has been for many Montreal artists. It is a theatre that welcomes new talent, takes risks on edgy material, and provokes audiences to think about the world around them. Infinithéâtre’s artistic director, Guy Sprung, has been a professional mentor to me since the first day I met him as a guest lecturer, when I was a student in Norma Springford's directing class at Concordia University's theatre program. He guided me while I was coming up in the ranks, directed me in several plays, and once I myself had begun to direct, he opened the door for me to work professionally as a director in this city, and I haven't looked back.

Infinithéâtre’s home at the Bain Saint-Michel is still under renovation, six years after the city turned off the lights. This has forced Infini to keep moving from one temporary venue to another, all of it eating into its tiny budget. No surprise then that today, Infinithéâtre is facing a worrisome financial challenge. With corporate, private and government funding for the arts and culture in general being reduced, the need for donation dollars has become all the more important.

Live theatre can’t be replaced with mobile apps and streaming sites. It’s a stimulating and indispensable part of our community discourse, and I believe that Infinithéâtre's role is vital to Montreal. With an important mandate to bring you shows that represent our culture, our climate, our stories... it needs to be nurtured. Community theatre needs the community’s support. It needs your help, now more than ever.

Please help us keep Infinithéâtre alive and prospering, continuing to do great work. Take a minute and make a donation today.

With much appreciation,
Ellen David
Actor, Director, Producer

A Word from Arthur Holden about Infinithéâtre

Theatre began with the Greeks. For millennia, before film and television, before smart phones and streaming, theatre was the art form that brought human beings together for the telling of stories.

It still is.

The place where I tell my stories is Infinithéâtre. As a Montreal playwright, I set my creative alarm clock for Labour Day and the submission deadline for Infinithéâtre’s Write-On-Q! competition. I’ve submitted plays to the competition almost every year for a decade. Three of those plays, Father Land, Ars Poetica and Battered, have gone on to receive productions from the company. A fourth, The Book of Bob, was workshopped by Infinithéâtre before being produced by the Centaur Theatre under Ellen David’s direction.
Infinithéâtre is my home. The people who work there – actors, directors, designers, technicians, board members, and, of course, artistic director Guy Sprung – are my family. I know what they do with the slender resources available to them. They make miracles.

I am asking you now to support Infinithéâtre so that new miracles can be made. The company relies on corporate and government grants, and, of course, on ticket sales. But additional support is needed. Your donation to Infinithéâtre today will help put new Montreal plays on stage tomorrow.

Infinithéâtre has been enriching Montreal’s cultural scene for over two decades. Help the company live up to its name. Please take a minute and donate today.

A word from Oren Safdie on behalf of Infinithéâtre

Until 6 years ago, I had never had a play produced in my hometown of Montréal. On a whim, I entered Infinithéâtre’s Write-On-Q! contest and got a call from the theatre that they wanted to do a reading. Unseamly was my debut play in Montréal, opening at the Bain Saint-Michel before moving Off-Broadway where it received a New York Times’ Critic’s Pick. In the years following, writing for the contest became my driving force to finish a new play every September. Three other plays of mine placed second, including Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, my second Montréal world premiere, which was recently optioned by Dopamine Films in Israel.

Infinithéâtre has not only become a stage for me to produce my work, but a place where I feel safe to take risks, often hearing my work for the first time in front of a live audience. It feels like a second home - as I’m sure it is for many of Montréal’s playwrights. This is an invaluable asset to our Québec English culture, as a culture without original theatre is a culture on life support. Nurturing playwrights - and developing new work - is an expensive endeavour and needs your generosity.

The theatre’s original home - the Bain Saint-Michel - a wonderful space, has been closed by the City for renovations. Six years later, it’s still closed and Infinithéâtre has been forced to be a nomad, hopping from venue to venue, incurring set-up costs every time. No surprise that the theatre is facing a worrisome financial challenge.

I’m asking you, on behalf of Infinithéâtre, to help keep the Infinite spirit alive, by donating what you can to help the theatre stay alive. Donate today. It’s easy and it's tax deductible.

Thank you,
Oren Safdie

A word from Alyson Grant on Infinithéâtre

Sitting in the dark in Infinithéâtre, watching audiences absorbed in a play I wrote, is a most magnificent way to exchange ideas with young and old, an at-times heart-stopping way to engage people.

The theatre was not my first or even second career but as a neophyte playwright, I discovered Guy Sprung and Infinithéâtre receptive not only to a newcomer but fascinated by the subject matter I wanted to tackle.

We did Trench Patterns about a woman who goes to war, and worked with soldiers from the Montreal Black Watch Regiment. We did Progress! in the abandoned Royal Victoria Hospital, with Guy spearheading the tough negotiations. It’s not a challenge most theatres would undertake. We were rewarded with an audience from the medical community. Conversions was a tale from the heart, about how religion can bring love but also sow seeds of despair.

Through it all, Infinithéâtre encouraged, nurtured, developed and produced difficult plays in three difficult venues. Meanwhile, its old home, The Bain, has been under city-enforced renovations for six years. Moving a theatre from one venue to another, all the while maintaining quality production values and audience comfort, has been a drain on its budget.

Corporate sponsors give what they can, as do the governments, but Infinithéâtre, with its unique mandate of producing only original plays from Québec and Indigenous writers, as well as its Write-On-Q! playwright competition, its outreach to schools, needs your help.

A theatre, like a teacher, is part of the community. And, like a school, depends on community support. Infinithéâtre needs your help. Please pitch in to keep the Infinite spirit alive and its stage lit.

There are many stories to tell.Take a moment and donate today, it is even tax deductible.

Alyson Grant
Teacher, Journalist, Playwright

A word from Michaela Di Cesare on behalf of Infinithéâtre

As a young playwright in Québec, I faced an uphill battle getting my first plays on their feet. And when you write in English and come out of a cultural community that has historically no representation for female-identified playwrights (as I do), the challenges of getting one’s plays produced are even tougher.

I had some early success and recognition, but the game-changer came when I submitted the outline of a play to Infinithéâtre’s first Playwrights Unit. Twelve months of fabulous dramaturgical support from my colleagues helped me translate my personal idea into something universal. The encouragement to write, rewrite and finally hear my play Successions read in front of an audience shaped the play into a production-ready script. And Centaur Theatre programmed it as part of its 2017/18 season.

Infinithéâtre’s inaugural Unit bred three other plays from three other playwrights that went on to full productions in three other theatres in and around Montreal, an astounding measure of success and a solid contribution to our theatre scene. All thanks to Infini’s development program.

Infinithéâtre’s home, the Bain Saint-Michel, has been under renovation for six years. This has forced Infini into a nomadic existence, and the costs of preparing the new venues have eaten into the theatre’s tiny budget. Consequently, Infinithéâtre is facing a financial challenge. Corporate, private and government funding for the arts and culture is welcome but not sufficient and the need for additional donation dollars has become critical.
Help Infinithéâtre continue its mission to discover, develop and broker new work from our playwrights. 

The community needs its script development programs. Please make a donation to Infinithéâtre today. It’s easy and it’s tax deductible.

A word from David Sherman about Infinithéâtre

I was introduced to Infinithéâtre more than a dozen years ago when I dropped off an early draft of a play I wrote called The Daily Miracle. It was my take on my job working the late-night news desk at The Gazette. Not too long after, Guy was at my door, script in hand. “Let’s do it,” he said.

He pushed me to write and rewrite and the play turned into a hit, all because Guy and the superb cast, including Howard Rosenstein, Ellen David and Arthur Holden, believed.
Guy and I went on to do two more plays together, all tough topics. Joe Louis, the man many credit as one of the first to push for civil rights in the U.S. and then Lost & Found, a play which told the tale of a man coping with abuse by his spouse and then the justice system.

Each was a play only Guy would attempt. Each made audiences come away with something to think about. Infinithéâtre reflects who we are, who we were and who we might become. In today’s topsy-turvy world, provocative theatre is more important than ever.

But the Infinithéâtre is in trouble. It has bounced from venue to venue, thanks to the city’s protracted renovations of its former home, The Bain Saint Michel. It was supposed to take one year. It’s now six and counting.

Each new venue bit into the theatre’s budget. Corporations and governments can’t meet all the demands for money. Stimulating, popular theatre costs. Cast and crew, and even lowly playwrights, need to be paid for our daily bread.

Infinithéâtre needs to keep on developing, producing and brokering new plays from Québec and Indigenous writers. It can only do it with your assistance.

Community theatre takes a community to support it. We’re asking you to help. Please take a moment and send a donation, it is even tax deductible.

David Sherman
Playwright, Musician, Journalist, Novelist

A Few Words from Gerry Lipnowski,
President of Infinithéâtre's Board of Directors

When I chose to join the Board of Infinithéâtre some ten years ago, I was drawn not only by the quality of the work, but also by its mandate to develop, produce and broker plays from Québec, and now Indigenous, writers. It is a mandate that is unique in Québec, and all the more impressive as an Anglo theatre company. As a lifelong Montrealer and Québecer, the nurturing of and commitment to local talent is where I was inspired to devote my energy. It has been very rewarding to see how we have touched people’s hearts and minds through what we do on stage and our extremely active participation in schools.

We have contributed to our community with a fantastically rich and varied repertoire of new Québec plays. Plays that are entertaining and substantial. Plays about civil rights, sexual harassment, conflicts in the Middle East, the plight of Canadian war veterans and much more.

We are the little theatre that can. Montrealers can be very proud of what the Infinithéâtre team accomplishes year after year with such limited resources, with productions that have been performed elsewhere in Canada, New York, the UK and Asia. But today, our resources have been pushed well beyond our limits. Today the theatre needs you. Our home for many years, The Bain Saint-Michel, was scheduled to be renovated by the City in under a year. It’s now six years and counting. Infinithéâtre has been forcibly bounced from venue to venue, the moves chewing away at our budget and making long-term planning impossible.

We are facing a worrisome financial challenge. With corporate, private and governmental funding for the arts and culture in general being reduced, the competition for donation dollars has become fierce.

Now we’re asking the community to step up and help ensure our ability to continue our great work. We know there are many truly worthwhile causes you can contribute to, but we believe our role is important to Montréal, and this theatre make every dollar go a long way.

Please take a moment and consider making a tax-deductible donation to Infinithéâtre today.

Gerry Lipnowski
President of the Infinithéâtre Board of Directors

A few words from Brett Watson on Infinithéâtre

My first role in an Infinithéâtre production was the lead in Byron Ayonoglu’s play Food/Bouffe, which we did, alternating French and English versions, at the Lion D’or as part of the 2001 Montréal Highlights Festival. (Guy actually did the final audition with me over the phone because I was out of town.) Not only did I have to do a crash language course and learn the play in French, but I also had to learn how to cook and Byron, a master chef himself, demanded Stanislavsky-worthy reality.

Since then I have returned to the Infini stage over half a dozen times as an actor. Three times in the world premieres of Trevor Ferguson plays. For Long Long Short Long, Trevor’s first play, we actually built a real railway spur in the Monument National with the help of CN. That play was picked up in French translation under Guy’s direction as part of the Théâtre Jean Duceppe 2005 season. This language cross-over was an important first for an English Montréal playwright. We even took the world premiere of one of Trevor’s plays to Off-Broadway and got some amazing reviews. My most recent Infinite gig was in Arthur Holden’s play Battered at the Rialto.

As an actor, you may have seen me on stage at the Centaur or recently for Porte Parole in their fabulous touring shows, but Infinithéâtre gave me a start and every production is a very special, high-quality Montréal theatre adventure.

Infini is waiting to get back into the renovated Bain Saint-Michel as a permanent home. The set up and marketing for each new temporary home during these protracted renos takes a big toll on the theatre’s tight budget. No surprise that the theatre is facing a financial strain.

Infinithéâtre takes risks on Québec plays and Québec writers. We need Infinithéâtre’s development program if we are to have a rich English-language theatre scene in Montreal.
And we need your help to keep the Infinite spirit alive. 

Please donate generously today. It’s tax deductible.
Brett Watson

A word from Howard Rosenstein about Infinithéâtre

I’ve played the monkey and I’ve loved it. I’m Kafka’s Ape and have been on more than 150 occasions from Montreal to Stratford Ontario to Glasgow, Scotland. In fact, we had a very successful tour of Infinithéâtre’s production in Tokyo, Japan and we were been invited to play Beijing this September. But I’ve also played roles in Infinithéâtre’s world premieres of plays by David Sherman, Oren Safdie, Arthur Holden, Alyson Grant and Guy Sprung.

Infinithéâtre is always special. It’s not just that each production is a fresh, new play from a Québec playwright. It’s that at Infinithéâtre, plays are substantive reflections of the world around us, tackling important ideas that stimulate, educate and provoke.

Theatre as a political force is one of artistic director Guy Sprung’s mandates. One of the country’s most experienced and talented directors, theatre has been his life. Each production at Infinithéâtre benefits from his ambition, drive and determination.

But one man, or monkey, on stage needs a crew backstage. Lights, sound, makeup, sets and the performance venue all cost money. And Infinithéâtre has been hamstrung since its home, the Bain Saint Michel, was pulled for a one-year renovation and six years later, is still not ready to for the promised re-occupancy.

No wonder the theatre is labouring under the burden of a substantial deficit. Yes, we are suffering and your financial assistance is urgently needed now.

Corporate sponsors are overwhelmed with demands and though the Canada Council has helped, it’s not enough to keep Infini going.

We need you. Keep this stage lit. Donate whatever you can. Help keep my buddy, Kafka’s Ape, and many more plays to come, delighting audiences for seasons to come. You can assure this indispensable cultural contribution keeps on giving. Please donate what you can. Today.

Lina Roessler on the Ups and Downs of Working in Theatre

Show business isn’t for the faint of heart. After graduating from theatre school in New York, I booked an off-Broadway play, only to have my understudy report me to immigration. Although I eventually got to do the show (it’s a long story), my parents thought it was time to face the music and concede: I was an academic. That’s not how I saw myself, but a compromise was reached and I enrolled in Concordia University. I was now an Honours student doing a double major in English Literature and Creative Writing. Though I absolutely loved writing, I missed acting. As luck would have it, novelist Trevor Ferguson, one of my professors was about to make his debut as a playwright. Shortly after graduating, Guy cast me in three of Trevor’s plays. These world premieres were Infinithéâtre productions, and each and every one was created thanks to the hard work and passion of all involved. That passion brought one of the shows down to New York City, and I was suddenly back on an Off-Broadway stage. When our show got amazing reviews, I have to admit I couldn’t help but relish the thought of my former understudy reading them.

Infinithéâtre got me on the stage again. Since then, I’ve continued my career as a professional actress with great roles in film, television and theatre. I’ve kept writing, and have recently begun a career as a filmmaker, directing my own award-winning short films. In fact, I now find myself in the midst of an almost unbelievable, “dream come true” project. I’m in pre-production for my first feature film, which will star the great Michael Caine. It sounds ridiculous even to me, but I know it’s true because I’m writing from London after meeting him and his wife for lunch. Life is amazing and brilliant, and there’s not ever a moment where I’m not grateful for the ups and downs it provides. That is why I am compelled to write this letter.

Infinithéâtre is in the midst of financial challenges because their home, the Bain Saint Michel, will be under renovation for six years. This means the theatre has been forced into a nomadic existence which has put a severe strain on their budgets. The theatre needs your help, and I’m writing to ask you to do what you can. Infinithéâtre is a tiny theatre, but the first little steps that they provide artists in Montreal are enough to set them on roads they may never have dreamed of.

Please help keep the Infinite spirit alive. Help keep the new plays coming by donating now.

With thanks and kind regards,
Lina Roessler

A few words from Zach Fraser on Infinithéâtre

Infinithéâtre has long been an important place of creation within our city.

Infinithéâtre is a company with heart, fire, social reflection, community engagement and quite frankly stubborn resilience. These are qualities I admire, and actively pursue in making theatre, and as such, I see Infinithéâtre as a kindred spirit.

Infinithéâtre has been many things for me through the years.

At Infinithéâtre, I get to hear emerging and established Quebec playwrights’ voices.

At Infinithéâtre, I get to see live theatre in unexpected places: a pool, a church, a hospital, an attic.

At Infinithéâtre, I get to watch professional plays created right here in Montreal by my colleagues and friends.

At Infinithéâtre, I get to act, direct, collaborate, instigate, confront, contradict, debate, and laugh. As an independent theatre maker, Infinithéâtre has been there for me, providing space to create, supporting me in the evolution of my projects, an ally in the challenging task of self-producing.

Infinithéâtre is learning to question itself, to shift, to evolve, and to redefine itself, the art it wishes to make and how it wishes to make it.

One fact remains unchanged; Infinithéâtre is devoted to giving voice to Québec artists, and to producing, developing and brokering exciting and relevant theatre.
Infinithéâtre does so much with so little.

Please consider donating to this worthy, thought-provoking and passionate theatre company.

See you at the theatre!
Zach Fraser
Actor, Director, Producer