Kate Story is a writer, performer, and choreographer. Originally from Newfoundland, Kate lives in Ontario.
“One of the things I look forward to each year is anything by the gifted writer and performer Kate Story. Peterborough would hardly be Peterborough without her; she does this thing that no one else can do. One minute I’m mesmerized by her monologue, or her interaction with a costume or prop, but there’s movement that transmits a non-verbal subtext, like a double whammy. Using both voice and body language and her own distinctive scripts, she is one of those rare female actors who can deliver slapstick as easily as poetry with unaffected grace.” Annie Jaeger, Trout in Plaid: culture blog for the Kawarthas http://troutinplaid.com/2015/01/29/kate-story/
Kate is the 2015 recipient of the Ontario Arts Foundation’s K.M. Hunter Artist Award in theatre. She creates performance works characterized by elements of dance, theatre and performance art, often in collaboration with other artists. In 2005 (as part of Peterborough’s centennial celebrations) she was named one of the region’s 100 most important performing artists. Highlights of her original work include:
- damned be this transmigration, a theatre-dance-music collaboration about the life and times of writer Don Marquis with Dora-award-winning composer Rob Fortin (“Intoxicating performances… Over the past year I’ve seen many excellent productions at The Theatre on King, but damned be this transmigration is easily among the best.” Sam Tweedle, KawarthaNOW)
- Insomnia, as part of Public Energy’s Emergency Festival
- Performances May Be Permanent with director Ker Wells and musician Bill Brennan, based on memoir about her mother, her mother’s music, and Glenn Gould, performed in Peterborough, Hamilton, and St. John’s NL. Festival of New Dance, 2015, St. John’s. (“…incredible and overwhelming… This entire piece was so well balanced. The interactions between Kate and Bill, the comedy and sincere tender moments, the music and movement, the stories of Glenn and the stories of her Mother… I thought to myself, “did they actually just do that? Did they just let us inside their chest to sit on their hearts?”… The final dance sequence, collecting just about every gesture Kate had presented throughout the entire show, while Bill so full-heartedly accompanied her, moved me to my feet for the curtain call. Bravo!” Joanna Barker, St. John’s 2015)
- … and again, until we get it, a duet performed by Ryan Kerr and Melissa Webster at Toronto’s fringe Festival of International Dance Artists (“… a fascinating duet for a disabled woman and an able-bodied man where the power between the two keeps shifting.” Paula Citron, “The Best of the Rest,” Globe and Mail, August 23, 2005)
- Biology as Peepshow in collaboration with artist and academic Caroline Langill, performed at Neighbourhood Dance Works, St. John’s; Hysteria festival opening night gala, Toronto; David Bierk Studio presentation, Peterborough; Shared Habitat 2: Festival of Art and Science, Toronto; adaptation of symposium talk published in Feb-March ’03 issue of The Dance Current magazine
- Crazy… Crazy Like a Fish with musician Curtis Driedger, choreographer Claudia Moore, director Susan Spicer and designer Martha Cockshutt, Peterborough’s Emergency X (“Kate Story delivers a compelling and energetic performance… humourous, unsettling and memorable.” Jonothan Fiddler, Peterborough Examiner)
- Open Season on Blood Organs with musician Curtis Driedger, fringe Festival of Independent Dance Artists, Toronto, and Emergency, Peterborough (“Kate Story’s Open Season on Blood Organs is a cheerfully bizarre study of two aliens (dancer and musician) who hunger for human organs. Story (the dancer) stands on a ladder and reaches longingly for a glowing, strawberry-shaped organ that hangs just out of reach. Like visitors to a zoo, we watch this erratic creature pass through a range of inexplicable moods and uncomfortable positions as she attempts to reach the fruit, while Curtis Driedger’s electronic music moves from maritime fiddle to wedding march.” Rebecca Todd, Globe. “Evocative… a sinister sort of slapstick… dance enthusiasts will be elated to find this quality of dance in Peterborough.” Jonothan Fiddler, Examiner)
Kate has performed with diverse theatre and dance artists, notably: Chartier Danse, 4th Line Theatre/Robert Winslow; Patria/R. Murray Schafer; Atlas Moves Watching Dance Projects/Bill James; The Theatre on King/Fleshy Thud/Ryan Kerr; The Nervous System/Brad Brackenridge; mysterious entity/Em Glasspool; Nightwood Theatre/Alisa Palmer; Bananafish Productions/Kelly Thornton; DNA/Hillar Liitoja; Ground Zero Productions/Don Bouzek; Caravan Stage Company/Paul Kirby; and many others.
She has trained with George Luscombe, Sue Morrison, One Yellow Rabbit, Fides Krucker, Richard Armstrong, Fiona Griffiths, and others. As a young dancer she trained and toured with Newfoundland Dance Theatre’s Young Dancers Company, and attended the Royal Winnipeg Dance School.
Kate has also directed, choreographed, and/or co-created numerous theatre projects, working with 4th Line Theatre, The Nervous System, R. Murray Schafer, The Theatre on King, Fleshy Thud, Spiel Players, and mysterious entity theatre, among others. As a theatre writer she adapted Romeo and Juliet for mysterious entity, setting Romeo + Juliet: Superstar Ice Miners of Europa!!! on Jupiter’s ice-moon; she also worked with workshop actors to write ME script The Blind Eye, and collaborated with Dora-award-winning composers Susan Newman and Rob Fortin, writing the book for Hungry: a Musical Hansel and Gretel. She has served as choreographer for film projects, including Michael Morritt’s Sadleir House Movement (Peterborough’s first dance film) and Sarah Lightbody’s Radon Daughters. She has served as a rehearsal director for many notable dance artists, among them Emmanuel Jouthe, Marie-Joseé Chartier, Bill James, David Earle, and Tedd Robinson. She has been movement instructor at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre’s summer programme, and mentored movement/performance at Peterborough’s Youth Emergency Shelter with Bill James’ Other Voices, Other Lives project for street-involved youth.
Writing training includes a program at The Banff Centre led by novelist and poet Tim Bowling; Tomson Highway’s playwriting course; a writing group led by Prim Pemberton for nearly ten years, working with writers such as Diane Flacks, Deborah Root, Guy Ratchford, Annie Jacobsen, and others. She has received funding for her writing from the Canada Council for the Arts. Presently Kate is part of a Peterborough-region writing group including writers Janette Platana, Joe Davies, Ryan Kerr, and others.