Culture  ARTifact starts tonight

It’s probably been a while since you’ve been to a magic show. When you stop and think about it, is there any good reason for that? There’s a whole bunch of snow on the ground, and tonight you’re probably going to stay home, or perhaps venture to a close-by friend’s house and huddle inside, repeating various iterations of the “snow sucks” conversation. No one’s going to defy reality. No one’s going to make a 52-card deck perform impossible feats before your very eyes. This coming Friday, however, McGill student Dave Armstrong will be performing a magic show at the Tuesday Night Café Theatre, part of TNC’s week-long ARTifact festival. Armstrong’s show may be one of the more eye-catching of the bunch, but starting tonight, and running through Friday, numerous McGill student artists will be displaying, performing, and exhibiting their work at the theatre, reminding us once again that the relative lack of fine arts programs at McGill is no indication that there no artists on campus.

Their work will make use of a variety of media – dance, circus acts, poetry, music, and theatre. This year, for the first time, the festival will also include pre-show acts in and around the theatre, to ensure that you don’t drop off before the show even starts.

The closing act of the festival will be the 24-hour playwriting competition’s final performance on Saturday night, an ARTifact staple that’s pretty much what it sounds like. Three playwrights are given opening and closing lines for their plays, and have one day to write the play and another to rehearse it with the 30 volunteer actors recruited last week. Something tells me they’re probably cheating a little, dreaming up plots and characters as you read this right now, trying to think of throw-away methods of incorporating any sentence in the English language into a play. “And that, Ethel, is how I can prove you killed your husband. Furthermore, that hedgehog is in flames!” But one must forgive them that, as it doesn’t mean their plays won’t be worth watching. McGill artists need McGill audiences, so break out of your winter hermitage and come show them your support.

Tickets are $6 for students and $10 for adults. Email tnctheatre@gmail.com to reserve tickets for every night except Saturday. Tickets for the 24-hour playwriting competition finale on Saturday will be available at the door on a first come, first served basis. If you’re a McGill ARTist too, and you didn’t hear about ARTifact this year, there’s always next year. Calls for artists are usually announced on the drama board in the Arts building in November or December.