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Empire of Night

about the piece

Empire of Night occupies the bedtime paradox that comfort  begets unpredictability. The title is a reference to Flemish artist and theatre creator Jan Fabre and his large scale bic pen works. Fabre covers large surfaces (even buildings) with ordinary bic pens, creating a deep blue iridescent field 

that fascinates the audience’s attention. This work, too, op-erates on the audience’s fascination and invites them into a state of deep association, a state common to solitude and sleep, of iridescent blue.

The arrangement of the evening is analogous to 4 sleep cycles (the average person has 4 to 6 a night), structured around the biological rhythms of a “good night’s sleep”. The music creates ambient textures as well as a unifying pulse throughout the evening. Text is used as a sonic event and bodies move through space in corporeal rhythms, challenging the nature of logical narrative. The durational element of the piece invites the audience to follow along in conscious meditation or dip in and out of sleep, carrying on their journey unconsciously - prioritizing emotional and psychic states of the body over narrative consumption. 

Thematically, Empire of Night draws primarily on historical, philosophical and artistic notions of melancholy. If the day is the time for rational, productive, efficient thoughts the night is the time for the irrational, subversive and alternative. 

In this sense, Empire of Night offers a nocturnal antidote to the cold, rationalism of the day.

Created by

Kari Pederson                      Matt Smith                              Adam Paolozza            Charles Ketchabaw

Kari Pederson - concept/choreographer/performer 

is an interdisciplinary dance artist and performer based in Toronto. Her work applies the somatic schema to contexts outside of the dance studio. She has performed alongside Bluemouth Inc., Jordan Tannahill, Ame Henderson and Anandam Dance Theatre and has worked behind the scenes with most of your favourite arts organizations. 

Matthew Smith - concept/composer/performer

musician, composer and sound designer has been making music for the past decade. Based in Toronto, Smith has been composing music for theatre and documentaries, and writing and performing as Prince Nifty and New Feelings. Currently, he is playing and touring with Owen Pallett. Recent theatrical works include sound design for The Alien Show, a collaborative ongoing work with Ame Henderson and the Events in Realtime company, Alex Wolfson's And So the Animal Looked Back a two-part play as part of the Out There programming at the AGYU.

  Also, Smith is an audio engineer in the studio and in the field. He co-founded and built 6 Nassau studios in Kensington market and is the audio archivist for the Trampoline Hall lecture series. He has recorded sound for a number of films, and documentaries and works closely on music sound and mixing with Toronto (by way of Frankfurt) artist Oliver Hussain.

  Matthew is also the current president of Blocks Recording Club, a Toronto co-operative artist run record label (Final Fantasy (now Owen Pallett and Katie Stelmanis (now Austra).

Adam Paolozza - concept/performer/director

Adam is a Dora award-winning performer, director, writer, arts educator and producer.

He is the Artistic Director of Bad New Days performing arts which he created to explore his vision of a contemporary poetic theatre of gesture. His work is focused on the expressive potential of the human body. Bad New Days highlights include: Spent (Dora award for performance, international tour, including sold-out run in Edinburgh) and The Double (7 Dora award nominations and win for Lighting Design. Toured across Ontario including a sold-out run at the NAC). Most recently Bad New Days’ produced an original one-man show called Paolozzapedia, based on Adam’s family history, and Melancholiac: The Music of Scott Walker, a concert-performance at SummerWorks music series in 2015. His translation, along with Coleen MacPherson, of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s tragedy Pylade is currently being produced by the seminal New York ensemble La Mama in December 2015. 

Adam is a former Urjo Kareda resident Artist at Tarragon Theatre, a member of Factory Theatre’s playwrights’ unit and collaborates regularly with Soulpepper, Fixt Point Theatre, Theatre Smith-Gilmour and Why Not Theatre.

 He is a sessional instructor at the Soulpepper Academy and Ryerson Theatre School. In the winter of 2016 Adam is teaching acting at Ryerson University as well as directing the 3rd year actors in Goldoni’s Holiday Trilogy.

Adam trained at Ryerson and Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris.

CHARLES KETCHABAW - concept/projection/sound design

Charles Ketchabaw projection and sound engineer is the Managing Director of FIXT POINT as well as a recording engineer and media artist. Charles recently completed the 10-part documentary series Out of Their Minds for CBC Radio One. His media production company Ready, Set Panic has been awarded the Independent Production Fund for season two of their web series Bill & Sons Towing starring Canadian comedy award winners The Imponderables. Charles produced The Four Corners, a commission from Theatre Passe Muraille, culminating in an audio art installation for which he received a mid-career media arts grant through the OAC. Charles is the producer of Radio FIXT POINT’s podcast series A Walk Down Main Street featured by The Walrus, and he recently led the creation of the mixed media Stor(y)age for at Magnetic North

Cast and Crew

Andrya Duff - dancer/performer

So intrigued by the sleep deprived, slow burn, endurance, pop-up installation elements of Empire of Night, Andrya wasn’t surprised she said ‘yes’. Her prediction; many years of dancing (back up/go-go/ stage), acting (life/stage), producing and hosting has all been in preparation for this one time only whimsical event.

Alezander Steele Zonjic - dancer/performer

Recently returning from training at RADA and going into his final year at Ryerson Theatre School, Alexander is more than excited to be performing with Bad New Days. 

Justin de Luna - dancer/performer

Born on Wednesday, May 26, 1993 and raised in Richmond Hill, ON, Justin de Luna is a Toronto based dance artist. He enjoys contemporary art, music, food and travel. Residing in the village, you may catch him riding his bike around town, visiting the island, drinking with friends, going out dancing or at Cannaclinic. He is a Gemini, with both lunar and ascending signs as a Leo. 

Rob Feetham - dancer/performer

Rob Feetham is a actor, clown, and dancer. He has toured nationally and internationally with such companies as Corpus Dance Projects (Les Moutons)and Fixt Point (Tale of a Town). Other selected credits include: SplasH20, The Other Houdini, and Rob and Edwin Go To Space.

Karen Stern - dancer/performer

Karen Stern is a Toronto­based singer, dancer, comedic improviser, teacher and bagel eater. After Melancholiac: The Music of Scott Walker in last year’s Summerworks, Karen is delighted to perform in another dreamy Bad New Days production, Empire of Night.

Joey Eddy grew up in the pacific ocean, next to Tsawwassen, BC  swimming with orcas. She is a dance artist currently based in Toronto and a recent School of Toronto Dance Theatre Graduate. She can be spotted riding her bike, galavanting on Hanlan’s point, or in the studio sweating her balls off. She enjoys harmonizing, playing instruments, and increasing blood flow. Eddy is thrilled to be working with Kari Pederson again this summer as a part of Summerworks 2016.

Arif Mirbaghi is a musician from Toronto with a knack for stumbling backward into favourable situations. His musical vocabulary ranges from prog-rock (Protest The Hero) to Western swing (The Double Cuts) to afrobeat (Zuze) and beyond. He appreciates the power of words to both illicit and obfuscate meaning. He appreciates the night for the same reason. 

Danya Buonastella - reader/perfomer

Danya Buonastella is an actor and theatre creator based in Toronto. She is a core member of DLT (The Stranger, OFF LIMITS ZONE) and is a co-creator/performer in Theatre Smith Gilmour's Death Married My Daughter andThe Assholes. She is thrilled to be working with this team of incredibly talented artists on Empire of Night. 

Aidan Morishita-Miki - stage manager

Aidan is an arts administrator, stage manager and recent graduate of OISE's Masters in Adult Education & Community Development program. As stage manager: To Live in the Age of Melting (Outspoke Productions), SISI (Ars Mechanica/HATCH), A Day on the Shore (Mixed Company Theatre), MacArthur Park Suite: a Disco Ballet (colored lights/Summerworks), A Midwinter Night's Dream, Our Town (Passionate Players), Lysistrata (Canopy Theatre), How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Toronto Youth Theatre). Other theatre experience includes work with Re:Current Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and Hart House Theatre. 

Colby Richardson - creator of video Into The Waves 

about the video: Into The Waves: Escape into a realm of infinite harmony. Allow yourself to breath amidst the rhythms of the earth. Journey to a place where serenity and disruption coalesce as one. Achieve total inner balance as you embrace the ultimate power of chaos and tranquility.

Colby Richardson is a visual artist, film maker, and analog video artist based in Winnipeg MB. As a video artist, Colby utilizes an array of historic video technologies and equipment to create dynamic and textural visual works, focusing on the control and exploration of video feedback and no-input mixing. Colby creates other worldly video realms that straddle the border between glossy and grotesque and investigates themes of transformation, passage, and escape. Colby has adapted his video work into sculptures, installations, music videos, and expanded cinema, and has had his films and video work screened across Canada and the united states.

Susanna Fournier - text "gotta calm the dreamers"

Susanna Fournier is an award-winning feminist theatre maker.  Her writing interrogates socio-economic-gender power relations and their perversions. Her work has been seen across Toronto, Dublin, Ireland, and Berlin, Germany.  Her writing is supported by the Toronto and Ontario Arts Councils, The National Arts Centre of Canada and The Banff Centre for the Arts. Her company, Paradigm Productions, develops and produces large-scale, expressionist performance texts. She also writes essays about all kinds of things. Read them at

Deanna Jones - Interviewer/Performer in "what keeps you up at night"

Deanna Jones is co-founder and Artistic Director of In the Soil Arts Festival and Suitcase in Point Theatre Company with whom she has created and performed in over 15 original plays, including Barrel Crank, the Dora award nominated Keith Richards One Woman Show and Be Wearing Wolf. Other selected acting credits include: Silly Old Men Ought Not to Fall in Love (Theatre Beyond Words), Bluenose (Carousel Players), and Trout Stanley (Essential Collective Theatre). Deanna has a B.A. in Theatre from Brock University, and has trained with One Yellow Rabbit, Philippe Gaulier, Upright Citizen’s Brigade and SITI Company. She is part of FIXT Point’s ensemble for the Tale of a Town Canada and has performed in the Huntsville, St. Catharines, London ON, Nova Scotia and PEI shows.Deanna was director of Niagara Artists Centre’s STRUTT Wearable Art Show in 2011-2014, working with hundreds of performers and artists from across Canada. 

featuring musicians: Josh Cole Phil Melanson Thom Gill Jonathan Adjemian Alex Samaras Karen NG Bram Gielen Ellen Furey Adam Litovitz Tobaron Waxman

special Thank You to: Cathy Gordon, The Drake Underground Staff, SummerWorks Festival, Eva Barrie, Joy Paolozza, Lisa Di Liberto,  Double Double Land, Danielle Doiron, Paulina Rousseau, Tijana Spasic, Katie Paolozza, Deanna Jones, Annie Wilson, 

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