Unit #20, 230 Bayview Drive

Talk Is Free Theatre

Organization Profile
Talk Is Free Theatre is an artist-driven, award winning theatre company based in Barrie. The company was founded in 2003 by Artistic Producer Arkady Spivak and has produced nearly fifty productions concentrating largely on new and neglected work. Some of the productions include The Inspector General (at Barrie City Hall), The Marriage, The Tale of Ivan vs. Ivan all by Nikolai Gogol; Accidental Death of An Anarchist by Dario Fo, Canadian musicals Harvest Moon Rising, Colette: The Colours of Love, Emily (two productions), Variations on a Nervous Breakdown (World Premiere), Playground (World Premiere), Napoleon (In Concert) among others; productions of Canadian plays This Is a Play, Tales of an Urban Indian (held on a moving city bus for a total of 70 performances). Other notable productions include the Canadian premieres of highly acclaimed Anyone Can Whistle (In Concert) by Arthur Laurents & Stephen Sondheim and Myths and Hymns by Adam Guettel; the North American Premiere of Trees Die Standing Tall written by Alejandro Casona in 1949; first Canadian regional production of the musical Kiss of the Spider Woman; and productions by local writers of world premieres - Chaplin: About Face, Laughton Common and Redemption. Most recently, Talk Is Free Theatre’s co-production of Assassins (with Birdland Theatre) won the Dora Mavor Moore Award – for Outstanding Production of a Musical, which is due to be revived next year. The company also recently workshopped Jerry Herman’s forgotten musical Dear World, starring Andrea Martin. This fall, Talk Is Free toured to Serbia, England and Russia with its recent production of The Tale of Ivan vs. Ivan. Canadian musical Emily, twice produced by TIFT, was a selection finalist in the prestigious Festival of New Musicals of the National Alliance of Musical Theater (NAMT) in New York this year. Talk Is Free Theatre recently produced a fundraising benefit of The Producers (In Concert) in support of the Actors Fund of Canada. The performance starred major theatre critics, personalities and members of various arts service and funding organizations, raising $36,000. In 2007, Talk Is Free Theatre was invited to perform excerpts from our production of Canadian musical Emily at the prestigious NAMT (National Alliance of Musical Theaters) Songwriters Showcase, part of Festival of New Musicals in New York City. In 2008 Talk Is Free Theatre was invited to perform excerpts from our production of Moliere or League of Hypocrites at the annual International Bulgakov Festival of Creativity in Kiev, Ukraine, a first for a Canadian theatre company. Artistic Producer Arkady Spivak was the recipient of the inaugural Barrie Arts Award for Excellence in the Arts. Our long-time supporter, North American Centre Corp, won the prestigious 2008 Globe and Mail Award (First Dance) through Business for the Arts. Some of the artists who have worked with TIFT are Graham Abbey, Maja Ardal, Leslie Arden, Jim Betts, Adam Brazier, Evan Buliung, Juan Chioran, Darrell Dennis, Wayne Gwillim, Kate Hennig, Jeffrey Huard, Aleksandar Lukac, Joey Miller, Jonathan Monro, Mike Nadajewski, Richard Ouzounian, Jennifer Phipps, Glynis Ranney, Jennifer Stewart, Sam Strasfeld, Blythe Wilson and many others. The Press on Talk Is Free Theatre’s previous productions "There are certainly larger organizations than Barrie’s Talk Is Free Theatre and ones with bigger budgets, but I doubt that any of them deliver the bang for the buck that this enterprising gang and its visionary artistic director, Arkady Spivak, consistently does." Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Star. “Watching friends fight has never been this much fun.” Leigh Blenkhorn, The Barrie Advance on The Tale of Ivan Vs Ivan “Brazier's production for Birdland Theatre and Talk Is Free Theatre may be dishevelled here and there, but it is an absolutely delirious theatrical experience.” **** Four Stars (out of 4), J. Kelly Nestruck, The Globe and Mail on Assassins “This production of Assassins is a sharp-edged treat from start to finish. Miss it at your peril.” **** Four Stars (out of 4), John Terauds, The Toronto Star on Assassins “If you love musical theatre and somehow manage to miss this show, you just might feel like shooting yourself.” ***** Five Stars (out of 5), John Coulbourne, The Toronto Sun on Assassins “A killer musical show.” Robert Cushman, The National Post on Assassins “Listeners, I am on my knees begging you to see this show. It’s theatre at its best – controversial, provocative, disturbing, and yes, entertaining.” Paula Citron, Classical 96.3 FM on Assassins “Arkady Spivak believes in Canadian musicals the way the late theatrical producer and director Joe Papp used to believe in U.S. ones.” Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Star “Talk Is Free Theater is a tiny, low budget operation but Artistic Director Arkady Spivak is committed to producing Canadian musicals and…finds first-rate casts willing to do them.” Variety "Artistic Producer Arkady Spivak promised an unforgettable evening of theatre and, for everyone who managed to get a ticket, it was". The Sondheim Review on Anyone Can Whistle in Concert.


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