Centaur’s hottest two weeks of winter. Daring, ground-breaking, experimental. FREE.

Wildside Festival

Centaur’s annual festival of cutting edge theatre geared especially for the wild and adventurous!

The Centaur Theatre is very pleased to be able to present the 24th edition of the Wildside Festival, taking place online from January 12th to 30th, 2021. For the second consecutive year Centaur is partnering with La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines (SKIN) and Centaur’s current Associate Artist, Rose Plotek, once again curates the festival, which promises to be its most inventive yet.

“As we enter the tenth month of the pandemic I feel like Wildside, a vehicle for theatre that pushes boundaries and exposes a broad array of voices, is more essential than ever. They are smart, risk-taking experimentalists with diverse interests and artistic influences who love a good dare … the very essence of the festival.” – Eda Holmes, Centaur Theatre Artistic & Executive Director

Everything is online so that in itself adds a new dimension, but instead of the usual call-out to local, national, and international artists to submit already existing shows for consideration in the fest, we felt that challenging and supporting the Montreal theatre community was paramount.

Wildside curator, Rose Plotek, reached out to local artists known for their idiosyncratic approach to theatre-making who had a burning desire to unpack this unprecedented moment in history. The result is four fresh, hot-off-the-press creations, each with a uniquely distinct lens on the world today.

“Our priority this year was to support local artists whose livelihoods have come to abrupt halt. I approached theatre makers whose work resonates with Wildside, asking them to create whatever they wanted in relation to what’s happening in the world right now. It’s really exciting for the artists and the audiences, all the more because of the present dearth of live theatre.” – Rose Plotek, Centaur Theatre Associate Artist & Wildside Festival Curator

Live Interviews on Premiere Nights
The night of each premiere at 7pm, there will be a 15 minute live interview between Rose Plotek and the play’s creator viewable on Facebook or Youtube. Then head back to the website to watch the shows.

Couldn’t make it to the premiere? No problem! The Wildside shows will be available to view for the duration of the Wildside festival. All videos will be featured on the show page on as soon as they are available.

January 18 – 30, 2021
SKIN is a dreamlike reflection on the value and duration of human existence. The always surprising Leslie Baker returns to Wildside, teaming up with trailblazers PWM’s Emma Tibaldo and Scapegoat Carnivale’s Joseph Shragge, to create The Bakery’s SKIN, an imaginative examination of the satisfaction of living, inspired by a two thousand year old text and a photo of a doorway. SKIN is co-presented with La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines and is the only Wildside production that will broadcast a different episode every night and incorporate live performance.

The Whiteface Cabaret
January 12 – 23, 2021
The Whiteface Cabaret is a narrative about appropriation and features character masks and guest performers. Montreal newcomer, Todd Houseman, and artistic partner, Lady Vanessa Cardona, subvert the idea of ‘red face’ with a freshly condensed cabaret (The Whiteface Cabaret) of their 2018 play, Whiteface, a satire integrating movement and mask to un-mask the complexities of Indigenous appropriation.

Black Balloon: Leila
January 13 – 23, 2021
Sophie El Assaad’s richly evocative Black Balloon: Leila, presents a girl struggling with her identity within an environment unsuited to her.

453 St François-Xavier
January 14 – 23, 2021
Greg MacArthur’s 453 St-François-Xavier: a building. a future. an audio tour takes audiences on a sci-fi dive into Centaur’s potential futures. Following its metamorphosis from stock exchange to theatre, what other incarnations lay in store for the space?

Night Cows
January 15 – 23, 2021
In a digital-friendly reimagining, MoonCow Theatre Co. presents an abridged version of its haunting adaptation of Night Cows, the 1979 seminal theatrical text by Québécois & Indigenous creator, Jovette Marchessault. Using shadow puppetry, it brings together Indigenous, Anglophone, and Francophone approaches to reclaim Queer and feminist histories, asking audiences to imagine: what do liberation and connection feel like today?

Festival Catalyst @ Centaur
January 23 – 24, 2021
An exciting new initiative in the 24th edition of the Wildside Festival to develop & showcase works in progress. Catalyst @ Centaur will dominate the second weekend of Wildside at 2PM Saturday Jan 23 and Sunday Jan 24 to present artists from various cultural and artistic disciplines each evening, reading excerpts from their plays-in-progress. Ms. Plotek will also animate a Q&A after each reading.

Events range in genre and length; some are finished products and others are experiments in need of a virtual audience. For the first time ever, no snow banks to trudge through, freezing temperatures to endure, or endless searches for a parking space. All you need to do is…

Stay home – stay safe – and get your Wildside on!