Our Pick of the Week: The Rhubarb Festival

Like theatre, dance, and music that pushes boundaries? Rhubarb is the festival for you!

Now in its fortieth year at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander St.), Rhubarb is Canada’s longest-running new works festival and a destination for the most adventurous ideas in performance art. Each night features multiple shows and no two nights of Rhubarb are ever the same, so you’re always in for a surprise.

This year’s festival runs February 13-23 and will feature over twenty performances. Admission is $20 for an evening pass or $10 for the Saturday early shows. There will also be a limited number of pay-what-you-can rush tickets available on a first come, first served basis at the box office from 12 to 7 p.m. for that evening’s performances.

Here are a few of the performances in this year’s lineup:

The Big Sissy Show: The Message

February 13-16 at 8:30 p.m.

An afro-futurist, queer rock opera starring BiG SiSSY as an alien witch sent to Earth to liberate humans from their oppressive systems.

A Trouble of Queers: The Bricks and Glitter Cabaret

February 15 at 10 p.m.

Bricks and Glitter, Toronto’s DIY summer QTBIPOC festival, presents an evening of performance art, queerlesque, comedy, and an avant-garde slop queen.

Shabeh Eshgh

February 15-16 at 10 p.m.

A futuristic concert envisioned by multimedia artist Maziar Ghaderi, featuring live projections and sci-fi remixes of Iranian pop songs from his mother’s youth.


February 20-23 at 9 p.m.

Inspired by artist-activist Agosto Machado’s stories of Stonewall and the early Gay Liberation movement, New York-based performance group Pioneers Go East Collective takes audiences on a dance-theatre kinetic ride through the cowboy myth.

The AMY Project’s Performance Creation Program Final Show

February 21 at 10 p.m.

Young trans women and trans femmes of colour share powerful stories in the final performance of the AMY Project’s Performance Creation Program. The program provides a dedicated space for young trans women and femmes aged 16-29 that are BIPOC to develop creation and performance skills.

Is This Art?

February 22 at 10 p.m.

This show invites Queer and BIPOC Canadian comics to experiment while toying with the idea of comedy as an often-overlooked art form.

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