Artistic Direction

Biography of Theatre Junction Grand’s Executive Artistic Director Mark Lawes

MarkPortrait      Mark Lawes is the founding Artistic Director of Theatre Junction. Since 2005 and the reinvention of Theatre Junction GRAND, Mark has been working as a director/creator with an international multidisciplinary company of artists. His current themes explore collective memory, post-colonial identity, and the extreme relationship between death and desire. His live writing for the stage is created organically out of a friction between fragments of history, visual art, contemporary dance, music, and an alphabet of material coming from a dramaturgical research. All of this is put in motion through a process of improvisation. Short works and experiments include Archeology and The Atlantis Project, and 3 full-length works are a part of a trilogy including Little Red River and On the Side of the Road that toured to World Stage at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. The 3rd chapter in the trilogy, Lucy Lost Her Heart, premiered in February 2011 in Calgary and toured to Usine C in Montreal in 2012.

Mark travels extensively and has had the opportunity to see the work of contemporary live artists from around the world.  He is constantly creating links and dialogues with an international community of theatre makers, choreographers, visual artists, and musicians. He has worked with directors in Opera, Theatre and Dance. In 2003 he lived in Paris where he worked on projects at The Paris Opera, Théâtre L’Athenée, The Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Le Scène Nationale d’Orléans, and The Steirischerbst in Graz. Prior to establishing himself as a creator of contemporary performance, he worked as an interpreter of classical and contemporary text both as an actor and director. Mark was the driving force and visionary behind the redevelopment, design and vision of Theatre Junction GRAND in Calgary.

 

Art opens up the world!

To look back on history and juxtapose the Old World – complete with its lies and misconceptions – against the blank page of the New World, creates the possibility for something new to occur – a new combination, a re-contextualization of the old into the new. However, caution must be taken – one cannot simply blaze a trail blindly with the assumption that something good will come of it.  History cannot be ignored. As soul musician Billy Preston once aptly crooned, “nothing from nothing leaves nothing.”

It is from this spirit of change and re-invention that Theatre Junction GRAND was born. From its transformation as Calgary’s oldest theatre – which escaped demolition for the first time in 1974, the same year Billy Preston topped the charts at #1 – to its conversion into an indoor-golf driving range; and from its repurposing in 2006 to its current standing as one of Canada’s leading multidisciplinary theatres, it is clear that the theatre is no stranger to change or adversity.

Encounter Culture 2014.15 Season

This season you will encounter artists who have emerged from the counter-culture of Tel Aviv and Amsterdam, from New York City and Montréal. You will also witness new creation born out of the home-grown specificity of Calgary, preparing to move onto the national and international stage.

We invite you to participate in this international adventure. This theatre is a ‘junction’, an intense meeting place, the beginning of a love affair, a voyage into unknown territories. And we go there together, creating a culture of meeting, of sharing thoughts and sensitivities about the world in which we live; a culture that inspires us to take action in our lives, that creates meaning and hopes for the future.

I look forward to meeting you at the theatre this season!

Mark Lawes
Artistic Director