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Caroline Azar is a Canadian director, actor, and playwright of both Sephardic (Lebanese, Italian & Spanish) and Ashkenaz (Russian) extraction. She was the lead singer, keyboardist and co-lyricist/composer of the band Fifth Column.
This experimental all-women punk band began in the mid 1980s in Toronto, Ontario. The band released three albums, several cassettes, a number of appearances on various compilations, and three singles, the best known being "All Women Are Bitches, Repeat!", released on the independent record label K Records. Despite the controversy surrounding the song, it was reviewed by Everett True and named 'Single of the Week' in the UK music magazine Melody Maker. The song was also included on the bands' last full-length recording, 36-C. Their previous albums were To Sir With Hate and All-Time Queen Of The World, put out by the band themselves. Their most recent release was the song "Imbecile", which appeared on the Fields and Streams compilation in 2002 on the Kill Rock Stars label.
Azar and Fifth Column have raised close to 50,000 for women's shelters and varied abortion clinics throughout North America over a 17-year span. There were two International Women's Day Events conceived and produced by Azar in the late 90's at The McGill Women's Club in Toronto in support of the Native Women's Shelter and 'Andayyan', which featured the work of over 100 Aboriginal, Metis and non-native women artists from the ages of 8 to 80.
Along with G.B. Jones, Jena von Brucker, Johnny Noxzema, Rex, and others, Azar was one of the editors of Double Bill, a zine that was sometimes referred to as an "anti-zine" and provoked much commentary, including articles in The Village Voice, from its inception in 1991 until 2001, when it ceased publication. The editors of Double Bill also contributed collectively to the seminal Riot Grrrl fanzine, Girl Germs.
Azar has appeared in a number of films, as well as on television. She stars in the lead role in the films The Troublemakers and The Yo-Yo Gang by G.B. Jones, and appeared in films, videos and performances on television by Fifth Column. She has also played characters in films for noted directors such as Jeremy Podeswa, Midi Onodera and Bruce LaBruce. She has done extensive voiceover work for many productions, including the narration for the feature documentary on the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, Colour Me Free. As well, she has acted in a number of stage productions, such as the performance of Cut by Kevin Killian, The Molly Murders by Anthony Furey, for which she was selected "Outstanding Performer" by Now Magazine, and Phae by Julian Doucet.
Azar is also a director. She directed the music videos for Sylvia Tyson's Quartette and for Bob Wiseman's song "Airplane on the Highway", which had been originally released in 1989, then re-released on the compilation In Of By in 1994 when the video was made, and then again in 2009. She has directed over 20 plays; most recently, the 2010 production of The Getaway by Bruce Hunter, at the Toronto Fringe Festival. As well as being a director, directorial assistant for the Judith Thompson productions of Perfect Pie, Habitat, Capture Me and Body and Soul, story editor, and dramaturg for other writers, Azar has also written several plays, including Satan's Mistress, The Surreal Detective vs John Nothing and Man-O-Rexic. Man-O-Rexic featured songs written by Azar and recorded with Fifth Column alumni G. B. Jones and Beverly Breckenridge along with Joel Gibb of The Hidden Cameras. Azar is responsible for designing classes that delivers a proactive method for actors and theatre/ film writers called the ARCHIVAL TECHNIQUE.
In 2012, a documentary film by Kevin Hegge, called She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column was released featuring interviews with band members Caroline Azar, G.B. Jones, and Beverly Breckenrige, with commentary on the influence of Fifth Column by Kathleen Hanna and Bruce LaBruce. This major event was soon followed by a musical performance installation co-created with GB Jones for The Theatre Centre Pop-Up called 'The Bruised Garden'. http://thebruisedgardengbjonescazar.weebly.com/
By 2014, the installation was re-purposed as part of a story operatic construct/stage set for GB Jones and Minus Smile's group 'Opera Arcana', where Azar wrote a script customized for Opera Arcana's lovely musical canon aptly named 'Opera Arcana in THE BRUISED SPIRITS OF SOUTHERN ONTARIO' This played for two nights (Oct 31 and Nov 1 2014) at Videofag performance space in Kensington Market.
Azar soon launched into her premiere live workshop production of 'DINK' at The NSTF in downtown Toronto at The Factory Theatre from January 7 -17 2015. This starred the broadway and stage star David Keeley.
November 11 2015, Azar restructures/sets Wilfred Owen's anti-war iconic poem 'ANTHEM FOR DOOMED YOUTH' for her original composition commissioned for Writer/Director Peter Hinton's original play in about Wilfred Owen called "THE END", produced by Theatre 20.
- She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column directed by Kevin Hegge (2012)
- Colour Me Free directed by Areta Lloyd (2007)
- Touch directed by Jeremy Podeswa (2001)
- She's Real directed by Lucy Thane (1997)
- Evelyn Be My Valentine directed by Virginia Rankin (1995)
- Airplane On The Highway video for Bob Wiseman, directed by Caroline Azar (1994)
- The Yo-Yo Gang directed by G.B. Jones (1992)
- No Skin Off My Ass directed by Bruce LaBruce (1991) 
- Like This video for Fifth Column, directed by Bruce LaBruce and Fifth Column (1990)
- The Troublemakers directed by G.B. Jones (1990)
- One If By Land, Two If By Sea, directed by Midi Onodera (1984)
- Fifth Column at the Funnel directed by John Porter (1983)
- The Bird That Chirped On Bathurst, directed by Midi Onodera (1981)
'DINK', a full length play by C Azar (live workshop run for NSTF Toronto 2015) Factory Theatre MainStage, Toronto Jan 8-18 2015.
'The Bruised Spirits of Southern Ontario', written by C Azar for the musical group OPERA ARCANA, featuring GB Jones and Minus Smile. At Videofag, Halloween 2014 Videofag
'Honour Killings. a full length play rewritten by C. Azar from a text by Harvey Markowitz. Toronto Fringe 2012 Helen Gardiner Phelan Theatre.
• "What Tucci saw" - Editor, Dramaturge and Co-Writer 2012 (Archival Workshop)
•"What you think of me is none of my business" - Editor, Dramaturge and Co-Writer 2012 (Archival Workshop)
•"Juvenalia" - Editor, Dramaturge and Co-Writer 2011 (Archival Workshop)
•"Steeltown Trilogy" - Editor, Dramaturge and Co-Writer 2010 (Archival Workshop)
- Man-O-Rexic, Writer, 2005
- The Surreal Detective,Co-Writer with Robert Brown 1998
- Satan's Mistress, Co-Writer with Rosa Von Praunheim 1996
(For Fifth Column recordings, see Fifth Column)
- Mississauga Goddam, The Hidden Cameras (2004)
- Bucquiem, Greek Buck (2003)
- Messing With Greek Buck, Greek Buck (1998)
- Kickstand, Kickstand (Queenie) (1994)
- It's A Wonderful Record!, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet (1994)
- Apple Strudel Man, Jolly Tambourine Man (1984)
Awards received include:
- Canada Council of The Arts, Professional Development Award, 2000; - Ontario Arts Council Multi Disciplinarian Award, 1998; - Theatre Ontario Professional Development Award, 1999; - Toronto Arts Council Award, 1998; - Laidlaw Foundation Award, 1998; - Buddies and Bad Times Theatre Playwrights' Reserve, 2003; - Factor Recording Grant, CITY TV 1991; - Factor Video Grant, CITY TV 1993;
Raves and recognitions
- New York Times 1993; - Rolling Stone Magazine 1993, - New Musical Express 1993, - Melody Maker 1993, - The Toronto Sun 1992, - C Magazine, - LA Weekly, - LA Times, - Maximum Rock n Roll, - Impact Magazine, - Melody Maker, - Spin Magazine, - Now Magazine, - Toronto Life, - Globe and Mail, - The Eye, - Trouser Press, - The Chart, - Spin Magazine.
- Jorial a/k/a Jo.hn Ri.chard Al.lan (2004-02-26). "Project 36-C: Scary Monster, Super Creep, Space Oddity vs. Major Tom Girls". 36-c.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- "Caroline Azar « Music Blog". Musicfarm.wordpress.com. 2007-06-01. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- Kaplan, John; Sumi, Glenn, "Summerworks Wrap-Up", Now, 15-22 Aug. 2002
- "Perfect Pie". Show Details. torontolivetheatre.com. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
- "Caroline Azar - About This Person - Movies & TV - NYTimes.com". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- Caroline Azar at Internet Movie Database
- Caroline Azar at ZineWiki
- Review of She Said Boom: The Story of Fifth Column
- Reviews of Man-O-Rexic and The Molly Murders(scroll down)
- Review of The Getaway
- Caroline Azar talks about the play The Surreal Detective
- Music video for Bob Wiseman's song, "Airplane On The Highway", directed by Caroline Azar
- Fifth Column video for Like This