Hammertheatre was founded in January 2007 by artistic director Sky Gilbert (also the founder of Buddies in Bad Times theatre in Toronto). and is devoted to theatre research in Hamilton, particularly to plays by Sky Gilbert that deal with issues of gender and sexuality in experimental ways. Hammertheatre is supported with contributions from The Cabaret Company (which is supported by the Ontario Arts Council), and through the University of Guelph.
Our performance space just above "The Factory" at 126 James Street North was built in 1884 by the Ancient Order of Foresters and was known as The Forester's Hall. The Architect was W.A. Edwards, and though it housed meeting and functions for many years it was also at times, used as jazz and performance space. The Foresters Hall was rumoured to have hosted famous artists like Caruso and Billie Holiday during the heyday of James Street as an entertainment venue in the early part of the 20th century. The space is presently owned by Colina Maxwell who has generously donated the space to Hammertheatre once a year.
CRACK is a dark, hilarious and edgy play about all the things that we sometimes don't want to think about - things like addiction, misogyny and sexuality. CRACK is a gritty Hamilton one-act play about collisions of class, using the subject of addiction to ignite the discussion. A man sits in a Hamilton bar, and starts telling us about his addictions. He has three encounters with three different women. In each encounter, the play looks at a different definition of crack. Ultimately, CRACK nudges the audience to examine the way issues of class, sexism and homophobia are wrapped up in our notions of addiction -- and confront the possibility that many of us may be addicts -- only some are just more "respectable" addicts than others. CRACK, (written and directed by Sky Gilbert) was presented for a free one time only workshop performance in February 2007 at the James Street North Theatre and then in full production at the Hamilton Fringe at the DAC from August 14-19 2007. CRACK starred Jason Cadieux and Stephanie Jones. CRACK was also published in the spring 2008 issue of The Canadian Theatre Review.
"Crack is like the best conversation you've ever had in a bar: funny, free-wheeling, and honest. Anchored by two strong performances from Jason Cadieux and Stephanie Jones... it leaves you excited to see where Gilbert takes these ideas next." -- View Magazine
"a tough corrosive slice of life that actually makes you think.. a play that disturbs, that leaves you sort of breathless..." -- Gary Smith, The Hamilton Spectator
Ladylike (written and directed by Sky Gilbert) was presented at the James Street North Theatre on Saturday November 24, 2007 for a free one time only workshop performance. This new one act play starred Nina Arsenault (Canada's most celebrated transsexual), along with Ryan Boyko, and explored our cultural relationship to femininity. If being masculine means being strong and brave and outspoken,what does it mean to be feminine? In Ladylike, a beautiful, smart, and very sexy chick-with-a-dick chats about her life with you, her boyfriend, and anyone else who is willing to listen. Ladylike went on after it's workshop with Hammertheatre -- to be a featured benefit production at the Toronto Fringe in summer 2008.
If you have questions about Hammertheatre, or you would like to make a contribution to this company, contact Sky Gilbert -- firstname.lastname@example.org