Hot Picks, March 31: Experimenting on Gertrude Stein

Those clever Dicks and Janes at the University of Alberta are always up to something cool.

Opening tonight at the Timms Centre for the Arts (corner of 87 Avenue and 112 Street) is an unusual performance art piece called The Gertrude Stein Project. The Studio Theatre production features the work of Beau Coleman, who performs … well, this is experimental, “alternative” theatre so we’re just going to quote from the press release, which was written by smart people who studied this stuff: “Coleman intersects Stein’s text with movement, sound and image motifs to create an ever-present theatrical experience.” Does that clear it up for you?

In short, do not expect a straight theatrical biography of the great poet and patron of the avant-garde arts. Don’t expect fleshed-out characters. Don’t expect exposition. Don’t expect plot – but hey, you never know. The life of Gertrude Stein is a story in itself. Press release again: “(Stein) transformed the landscape of American alternative theatre. There would be no Beckett if not for Stein.” Yes, quite the yarn a clever playwright could spin. Coleman and designer Katherine Jenkins (doing this as part of her MFA thesis) are just telling the story a little differently, that’s all. And that’s cool. The Gertrude Stein Project runs to April 9.

Tickets to the 7:30 show are $20 for adults, $10 for students, $18 for seniors and on sale online here or call 780.492.2495.