PACAMAMBO, DEAD METAPHOR and More Set for Canadian Rep Theatre's 2014 Season

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Artistic Director Ken Gass has announced venues, casting and dates for three Canadian Rep Theatre productions that will comprise its 2013/14 inaugural season. The playbill features new works by three of Canada's leading playwrights: the English-language premiere of PACAMAMBO by Wajdi Mouawad (translated by Shelley Tepperman); the world premiere of WATCHING GLORY DIE by Judith Thompson; and the Canadian premiere of DEAD METAPHOR by George F. Walker.

The season will run from January to June, 2014 in three venues in Toronto and one in Vancouver, including a co-venture with Mirvish Productions for the Off-Mirvish Season.

Ken Gass states, "I am incredibly honoured to present these extraordinary works from three of Canada's most iconic playwrights for my inaugural season. These vital and important artists represent the emphasis of strong and brave Canadian creative voices that will clearly fuel Canadian Rep Theatre's future."

The 2014 Winter/Spring schedule at a glance:

PACAMAMBO - The Citadel (Toronto) Jan 17 - Feb 2
WATCHING GLORY DIE - The CULTCH (Vancouver) Apr 24 - May 3
WATCHING GLORY DIE - Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs (Toronto) May 15 - 31
DEAD METAPHOR - Panasonic Theatre (Off-Mirvish Season, Toronto) May 24 - Jun 15

In January of 2014, Canadian Rep Theatre presents the English-language premiere of Wajdi Mouawad's Pacamambo, translated byShelley Tepperman and directed by Ken Gass. Pacamambo will showcase at the intimate 72-seat venue, The Citadel at 304 Parliament St. (near Dundas) previewing January 17-19, opening January 21 and running until February 2. Starring Karen Robinson, Kyra Harper and others TBA. Set design by Marian Wihak; lighting by Rebecca Picherack; original music & sound by Wayne Kelso.

Premiered in 2000, Pacamambo is a remarkable achievement. Conceived as a play for children about death, the work is lyrical, emotionally powerful, and hugely life-affirming. It tells the story of Julie, who disappeared for three weeks and was discovered in her grandmother's apartment storage locker with her dog, Growl, and the perfume-laden body of her grandmother. Gass states, "I have been passionate about this work for years and am thrilled to finally produce it. Pacamambo is a magical theatrical experience for audiences from 9 to 90."

In April/May 2014, Canadian Rep Theatre proudly presents the world premiere of Judith Thompson's tour-de-force solo play, Watching Glory Die, performed by Judith Thompson and directed by Ken Gass. Lighting design by Andre du Toit (other designers TBA), Watching Glory Die will have its premiere performance at Vancouver's venerable The CULTCH on April 24, 2014 (preview on April 23) and run until May 3. The production will then open at the Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs in Toronto on May 15 and run until May 31.

Though deliberately fictional, Watching Glory Die takes a bold dramatic leap from recent news stories-the treatment of chronically disturbed young women in our prison system-to forge the kind of visceral lyricism that is the hallmark of Judith Thompson at her most powerful. Gass adds, "This riveting yet deeply compassionate portrait of three women-a prisoner, a mother and a guard-inextricably linked by shared helplessness in the face of tragedy-yields a disturbing but unforgettable theatrical experience. Not to be missed."

In May/June 2014, the Canadian premiere of George F. Walker's Dead Metaphor, a Canadian Rep Theatre production co-produced with Mirvish Productions, will open as part of the Off-Mirvish Season at the Panasonic Theatre. Directed by George F. Walker, Dead Metaphorwill star Nancy Beatty, Jerry Franken, Michael Healey, Haley McGee, Noah Reid and Julie Stewart. Set and Costume design by Shawn Kerwin, Lighting Design by Rebecca Picherack, original music and sound design by Lesley Barber. First performed at the prestigious A.C.T. (American Conservatory Theater) in San Francisco, Dead Metaphor will preview May 24-25, open on May 27 and run until June 15,2014.

Dean is a young ex-sniper, just back from Afghanistan, struggling to find work. His family is disintegrating before his eyes; his wife is ready to divorce him a second time, yet players on both ends of the political spectrum find Dean's special talents oddly appealing. Gass states, "This startling dark comedy is destined to become a Walker classic, a play that sits dangerously, eerily and hilariously on the razor edge between desperation and disaster."

Stay tuned for further announcements of the fall Canadian Rep Reading Series and special events such as a public workshop of excerpts from a major new opera, SAVITRI & SAM (music by John Mills-Cockell, libretto Ken Gass) in September, 2013 at The Citadel.

Canadian Rep Theatre mandate: The long-term vision is to build Canadian Rep Theatre into a permanent ensemble focusing on innovative approaches to established works from the contemporary Canadian canon, along with challenging new plays that resonate with the diverse face of Canada in the 21st century. Visit the Canadian Rep website at www.canadianrep.ca for information.

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