Adrienne Clarkson loves One Yellow Rabbit. The Kids in the Hall hang with them. Leonard Cohen sends them flowers. James Keegstra wants them locked away. They’ve been banned by the courts, shut down at Expo, feted in Australia and awarded in Scotland.
How did an avant-garde theatre of international calibre emerge from the suburbs of arch-conservative Calgary, land of ranchers, oil barons and urban cowboys? Why does it stay there in defiance of logic? And why does it insist on that childish name?
Wild Theatre: The History of One Yellow Rabbit is a breezy, irreverent chronicle of the company considered by many to be English Canada’s foremost creation theatre. In its romp through the company’s 20 year history, the book also documents OYR’s friends and collaborators — puppet master Ronnie Burkett, playwrights Daniel MacIvor and Brad Fraser, and comedians Bruce McCulloch and Mark McKinney of the Kids in the Hall. There are also guest appearances by everyone from Beat poet Michael McClure to New York performance artists Karen Finley and Penny Arcade. At the heart of the book, however, is the story of an unlikely troupe of artists with diverse talents and shared tastes who have forged a unique style of physical theatre away from the world’s cultural centres, combining a western entrepreneurial spirit with a creative imagination and edginess that defy Alberta’s conservative image.
Although Wild Theatre makes a well-researched contribution to Canadian theatre literature, the book is first and foremost a story, guaranteed to make you laugh out loud as you peek behind the scenes to see the Rabbits at work and play.
Preface by Ronnie Burkett.
Introduction by Ken Gass.
"The story of One Yellow Rabbit tracks like a long, deep tire print through the sand. The prose is as motivated and curious as the subjects themselves."
"In both its brainy wildness and in its highly theatrical structure, Morrow’s great new book reflects, with accuracy and wonderful abandon, the dynamic, free-wheeling, nose-thumbing and yet reverent world of creativity which is the rare, true domain of the Rabbits and their numberless offspring."