Theatre plays written and
performed by Keir Cutler,
with year of premiere.

2015--2056

2014--Shakespeare Crackpot

2011--Teaching Hamlet

2010--Rant Demon

2008--Teaching the Fringe

2006--Teaching As You Like It
(Teaching Shakespeare 3)


2004--Lunatic Van Beethoven

2003--Teaching Witchcraft

2002--Is Shakespeare Dead?

2001--Teaching Detroit
(Teaching Shakespeare 2)


1999--Teaching Shakespeare


EBOOKS by Keir Cutler






BIOGRAPHY - KEIR CUTLER
Contact - email
Photos - All Shows
Videos - All Shows

French Translation of
Teaching Shakespeare:
Fou de Shakespeare

TEACHING THE FRINGE, REVIEWS & AWARDS


 

AWARDS

"BEST OF FEST" Winnipeg Fringe 2008


REVIEWS

"Teaching the Fringe: You have to wonder what Montrealer Keir Cutler is still doing in the Fringe circuit, but if you want to be seriously entertained by a phenomenal performer, don't miss this. From the playwright and performer of the award-winning solo play Teaching Shakespeare comes Cutler's first autobiographical show. Directed by Fringe favourite TJ Dawe, it's a witty and urbane look at the menace of rogue audience members. In addition to holding a Ph.D. in theatre from Wayne State University in Detroit and a playwriting diploma from the National Theatre School, he's also really, really funny."

THE MONTREAL GAZETTE, Brett Bundale, June 18, 2008

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WINNIPEG SUN 5 Stars out of 5, review of Teaching the Fringe

Keir Cutler's previous play, Teaching As You Like It, about a lecherous teacher and a 15-year old girl, prompted one woman to report Cutler to Child Find Manitoba and accuse him of actually teaching the seduction of children.

Such surreal, stranger-than-fiction moments are cannon fodder for Cutler, and thus the subject of his latest piece, Teaching the Fringe.

Cutler is a master onstage, balancing spoken-word with expressive gestures, interacting with the audience without losing pace or rhythm, and never straying too far from the plot. Most importantly, he treats his audience with intelligence with respect.

Without playing spoiler, it's safe to say Cutler takes the high road, mocking his accuser's argument, systematically picking apart the flawed logic and ridiculing the disconnect from reality.

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"Teaching the Fringe - Keir Cutler is great in this one man show about the Fringe - remember, it's just a play and "the play's the thing!"

Sharman Yarnell, CJAD, Montreal

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CBC Edmonton review of "Teaching the Fringe" by Gilbert A. Bouchard

A personal Fringe-going highlight is catching the sublime one-person shows of Montreal's Keir Cutler. One of the most eloquent and consistently intelligent writer/performer making the rounds the Fringe circuit, Cutler endlessly amazes me with his theatrical superpower of fully engaging, emotionally moving and enlightening his audiences.

Known for deft and profoundly nuanced characters, he typically makes pathos work for him, constructing loveable-but-often-sad-sack personas typified by the loserly and downwardly mobile literature teacher featured in the "Teaching Shakespeare" trilogy.

This well-traveled scholar-cum-thespian makes you reflect on the fine details of theatre, philosophy and life itself.

Gilbert is taught a thing-or-two by a warm and witty play: In Teaching the Fringe, this one-man-thespian-band's (surprisingly) first autobiographical show, Cutler takes a postmodern swipe at the Fringe world itself, presenting a profoundly insightful play inspired by a rogue audience member's poison-pen letter. More than a 'must see' show, this is a 'what-the-hell-are-you-waiting-for-see-it-now-see-it-now!!' theatre experience.

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Review: Teaching the Fringe By Stephanie Classen, TheStarPhoenix.com Published: Friday, August 01, 2008

4 stars out of 5

Keir Cutler's rejected inner two-year-old desperately needs attention. That's why he acts. And that's why the veteran Fringe performer - who usually receives rave reviews - based his latest play on a less-than-glowing letter from an audience member. Cutler, you see, is sensitive.

From the moment he took the stage it was evident from a chorus of laughter that the audience was familiar with Cutler's work. Having played a crazed priest and a pathetic English teacher in the past, this is the Montreal-based actor's first autobiographical show. The self-described "nut magnet" has established himself as a Fringe circuit favourite for his superb timing, sense of humour and ability to seamlessly tie a serious message into the comedy.

The writer of the letter - a Fringe "expert" who has been to hundreds of shows - is greatly offended by Cutler's Teaching As You Like It, in which his pitiful teacher character falls for a student. She claims it encourages, even teaches, sexual predators how to get to children. The audience reacted with a mixture of laughter and shock as he dissected the three-page criticism.

While it helps to have seen the scorned play in question, Teaching the Fringe can stand on its own. Cutler may have been hurt by the woman's cruel comments - and crueler actions - but he should probably thank her. Without that wildly misguided interpretation of his work, this new play wouldn't exist and his delicate actor's ego wouldn't receive the well-deserved praise it needs.

Culter's crisp, clever sense keeps people coming back every year. If you're not yet a Cutler convert, there's no time to waste.

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CBC-Manitoba 4 -Star review of Teaching the Fringe

"It took being wounded by an angry fan letter for Keir Cutler to decide to mount his first autobiographical show. Last year Cutler delivered Teaching As You Like It, a brilliant production that shone a harsh light on the phenomenon of teachers seducing teenage students. The play was wildly misunderstood by a long-time Fringe-goer who wrote a nasty 3-page letter detailing the crimes to society she felt Cutler had committed, and the harsh measures she hoped to impose. Teaching The Fringe is Cutler's rebuttal.

It's hard to argue against a play that wrung ferocious laughter from a sold-out house, and elicited a thunderous and sustained standing ovation at its conclusion. There's no denying the quality of the craft: the writing, direction, and performance are of the highest quality.

Teaching the Fringe

Highly recommended. A subtly dark story told with wide eyed irony, a kind of perfect one person Fringe show that sums up the odd moral landscape of the relationship between storytelling and audience.

Keir Cutler is in the Fringe pantheon, he is one of those regulars who returns with a new show or a remount of an old show every year, hits as many Fringe cities as he gets into, travels light and joyful across the country mounting funny / disturbing / emotional theatre, then movin on. His classic character has been a high school Shakespeare teacher, a sad excuse for a wise old man who walks that fascinating line between insightful and obnoxious, delightful and deviant, until he falls quite decidedly over the edge to unredeemable.

The character is totally unappealing, but funny and hugely informative about the Bard if you can keep your wits about you and watch for the irony, ie; the moments when the kind, intelligent playwright is having you on through the voice of the unsavory educator. Turns out, this fascinating, nauseating, masterful character play may be over the heads of some audience members. Cutler's play this year, called "Teaching the Fringe," centers around a real letter of complaint that was written about the Shakespeare character he created and toured with in years previous.

Using the real letter as a focal point he removes himself one step back from his character and speaks in the first person about what brings him to the Canadian Fringe circuit, the amazing uncensored sexy celebratory no holds barred spirit of the Fringe, and then the disturbing shock of this letter of complaint. The best moments for me were when he told stories of the madness that can emerge, utterly unexpected, frantic and loud, from otherwise well behaved audiences, he jokes that we should submit him with bios and programs of ourselves, the audience, as we enter so he can know us and prepare. Culter engaged us in a dialogic way that made the energy change from active to passive in the audience, exactly the kind of move that could trigger more interaction then he might really like mid-stream; exactly the right way to make us feel in our bones the risky immediacy of being on stage.

The risk an actor/creator takes in telling the story of an unlikable person is enormous, only because it seems otherwise rational people come out of the woodwork to miss the point, to forget it's art, to conflate the creator with the character and blame the actor for fictional actions or ideas. This is the very best reason to keep making art, I figure; keep poking folks into remembering the difference and purpose of artifice. It's a brave move to turn what must have been a pretty traumatic audience reaction (see the play for details) into a funny, self-deprecating but also scathing piece of theatre. Under TJ Dawe's direction the piece has a witty lilting rhythm and lovely moments of business, word play, painful truths and deadpan delivery.

Risa Dickens, Indyish.com

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Toronto Fringe review, performed by Barry Smith and Darla Biccum.

FOUR STARS

Unfortunately Keir Cutler could not make it to Toronto to perform his autobiographical play, but Barry Smith and Darla Biccum are ample replacements in this amusing show about Cutler's experiences with rogue Fringe audience members. Cutler constructs the narrative around a seething letter he received from a woman who saw his Fringe play, Teaching As You Like It. Readings of the letter (by Biccum) are punctuated by Cutler's biting reactions (read by Smith). Cutler digs up humorous truths about performers' need for validation and the audience members who tear them down. He also supplements the script with images, words and numbers in a Power Point presentation that enables the audience to grasp his argument even more tightly.

EYE Weekly, Toronto.

Teaching the Fringe

Nicole Kallmeyer,