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Annabel Soutar is a Montreal-based playwright and theatre producer. In 2000 she co-founded the theatre company Porte Parole Productions with actor Alex Ivanovici, and she has acted as artistic director of the company since its inception. Annabel takes a documentary approach to theatre and since 1998 has applied it to her original plays, Novembre, 2000 Questions, Santé!, Seeds, Import/Export, and Sexy béton.
In 2012 Seeds was published in both English (Talonbooks) and French (Les Editions ecosociété) and presented across Canada in Montreal (Centaur Theatre), Calgary (Theatre Junction), Vancouver (push Festival for the Performing Arts), and in Ottawa (National Arts Centre canada) in a production directed by Chris Abraham.
Also in 2012, Annabel was commissioned with Chris Abraham of Crow’s Theatre to write a new documentary play about fresh water for the 2015 Toronto Pan American/Para Pan American Games cultural program, PANAMANIA. That play, The Watershed, premiered to great acclaim at the Berkeley Street Theatre (Canadian Stage) in Toronto during the games from July 12 to 19, 2015.
Soutar lives in Montreal with Ivanovici and their two daughters Ella and Beatrice.
June 2016 : Tomorrow in Toronto! Lakeside Play Readings
May 2016 : The Watershed has arrived!
January 2016 : A look at what’s coming this spring
January 2016 : One night only! “Seeds” in Cranbrook, BC
January 2016 : Best of 2015
July 2015 : World Premiere of The Watershed in Toronto
May 2015 : Seeds to tour in 2016!
September 2014 : Seeds Sweeps META Nominations!
January 2014 : In Review: Seeds at the PuSh Festival, Vancouver
Soutar’s play, Sexy béton, was a finalist for Le Prix Michel-Tremblay (2011)”
QUOTES OF NOTEThe Watershed
“Everything about The Watershed is huge: its physical scale, its thematic ambition, and the stakes attached to the issues it explores.”
“Chevy Chase’s National Lampoon Family Vacation pales beside the road trip Annabel Soutar took her family on in 2014.”
“Humour … plays a crucial role in diluting the potentially hard-to-swallow muesli of facts and figures. … an enjoyable, often thoughtfully stimulating trip.”
“A deluge of … information [about political minutiae and environmental matters regarding the Experimental Lakes Area], lucidly decoded, with a droll drama about a squabbling family taking a road trip across Canada. … So absorbed was I in reading the published text of The Watershed, I inadvertently left a tap running after making myself a coffee.”
“It’s a sprawling affair. … The pursuit of … intriguing, disturbing and complex questions gives the play’s first act considerable dramatic propulsion. At the same time Soutar weaves in personal concerns…”
“Soutar grafts the intimacy of naturalism onto epic theatre’s more alienating theatrical tricks. With the help of a crackerjack team of artists, Soutar succeeds in marrying these two disparate styles … The division of parts is gender blind and colourblind, and new roles are often adopted in full view of the audience. The puppeteers aren’t just showing their strings; they’re shining a spotlight on them, making it impossible to forget they are always simulating real events. … The Watershed is a globally networked world; everyone is one lighting cue away from everyone else. … Harper’s government must rely on Soutar to speak for them because it stubbornly refuses to speak for itself – but not every playwright would strive to be so fair. … a piece of theatre that advocates not just for the Canadian environment but also for generations who will fight to protect it in the years to come.”
– Canadian Theatre Review
“The Watershed asks us to resist our ideological impulses, start listening to one another, and have some long, hard conversations about what kind of country we want our kids to inherit.”
– Globe and Mail
“Documentary theatre at a very high level … We need more political drama like this. We need more politics like this.”
– National Post
“Exhaustively researched and performed with verbatim dialogue that’s been edited from dozens of hours of interviews … The Watershed is must-see theatre.”
– NOW Toronto
QUOTES OF NOTESeeds
“The Schmeiser v. Monsanto case is just one story in a hugely complicated one, and Seeds feels like an important and useful part of the conversation.”
“Soutar has done such a good job sowing the seeds of doubt that you wonder if this is nothing more than passionate rhetoric. Her play gives us plenty to think about, but leaves us to make up our own minds.”
—Globe and Mail
“Seeds has all the ingredients of a rile-you-up and make-you-think humdinger of a story."
“Seeds is great journalism, and even better theatre.”
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.