THE KICK AND PUSH FESTIVAL
The Kick & Push Festival is an annual innovative performance festival that takes place in Kingston, Ontario. It is a professionally run three-week festival featuring award-winning Canadian performers and original, internationally award-winning work across eight venues in Kingston’s downtown core. The fifth season will take place from July 18th to August 11th, 2019.
Artistic Producer Liam Karry and the Kingston Theatre Alliance strive to offer something for everyone and ensure that it is always, always unconventional.
What Is Innovative Theatre?
The Kick & Push aims to push the traditional concept of what theatre is, or could be. As an audience member you may take your seat in someone’s living room instead of a auditorium, or you may be invited to get out of your seat to join in a friendly game of basketball on stage (up to you!). Whatever happens at a K&P show, it won’t be what you have come to expect from a night at the theatre.
In 2015, a new summer attraction launched in Kingston promising to be no ordinary theatre festival. With productions exploring the secrets hidden inside of historic downtown landmarks, audience members joining performers on stage and plays inside cars, The Kick & Push Festival demonstrated the power of immersive theatre by engaging audiences with innovative performances.
The Festival’s unusual name pays homage to Kingston’s historic past, in particular the old Kingston and Pembroke railway. Known as the K&P line, it is affectionately remembered as the Kick and Push trail. By re-purposing the namesake, the Festival echoes the effects that the railway had on Kingston: to bring further development to the city, and connect people and communities.
The productions produced by the K&P continues the Kingston connection by the stories of the city and using unique spaces that can only be found here, created by local artists or artists who have a strong connection to the community. The Kick & Push Festival tells old stories in new ways and new stories in old places, giving audiences a glimpse into cultural and historical spaces. This Festival is bound to be a unique, one-of-a-kind theatre-going experience, only to be had in Kingston.
The Kick & Push is dedicated to the presentation of original Canadian theatrical work via a series of masterclasses, weekend intensives, and production workshops. In 2017 & 2018, the Kick & Push partnered with Volcano Theatre as well as the Dan School of Music and Drama at Queen’s University to present inFORMING Content, a weekend-long intensive of innovative staging, free of charge to aspiring artists from across the province. Also in 2017, the festival provided two residencies filled by Outside the March and Single Thread Theatre Company, two professional theatre companies that each produced a piece of original, professional-grade work. Both pieces workshopped in 2017 debuted as part of the 2018 festival.
Inside – & Outside – The Grand Theatre
Located in the heart of Kingston’s vibrant downtown, the Grand Theatre serves as home base for the Kick & Push Festival. In 2018, four of seven productions were mounted inside the theatre’s Regina Rosen Auditorium. The K&P is proud to work so closely with the Grand Theatre and the City of Kingston.
In addition, the Kick & Push seeks to celebrate the unique beauty of Kingston’s downtown. To date, audiences have experienced programming in graveyards, alleyways, carriageways, city parks, market squares, fire escapes, commercial properties as well as the bedroom of a studio apartment.