Canadian Stage's 2015-16 Season to Feature Guillermo Calderon's THE KISS, HEDDA GABLER & More

By: Nov. 12, 2014
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Canadian Stage today announced details for its 2015.2016 season outlining the 13 productions and premieres commissioned and curated by Artistic & General Director Matthew Jocelyn. The company continues to explore new forms of contemporary performance through collaborations with the best storytellers, directors, choreographers and performers from Canada and around the world.

2015.2016 marks a series of exciting milestones: two pieces of newly commissioned work from Canadian Stage will tour internationally, landing on stage in Toronto; Jocelyn will direct the company's first-ever opera; a mini music festival will animate the Berkeley Street Theatre; and a series of plays and dance theatre pieces from around the world will mark North American premieres brought to life with artistic partners including Necessary Angel Theatre Company, The Company Theatre, Soundstreams, Theatre Smash, Kidd Pivot, Electric Company Theatre and many more.

This globetrotting season spans Canadian Stage's three venues - the Bluma Appel Theatre, Berkeley Street Theatre and High Park Amphitheatre - with pieces that push the boundaries between all mediums of artistic expression.

"The 2015.2016 season at Canadian Stage has us bringing together artists from many different walks of life, countries and disciplines," said Jocelyn. "With Canadian artists like Crystal Pite, Chris Abraham, Jordan Tannahill and Jennifer Tarver, and international creators Michèle Anne De Mey, Jaco Van Dormael, Akram Khan, and Israel Galván, this season will bring a wide range of stories and emotions to our stages, exploring our interactions between world cultures, and the understandings and misunderstandings that happen on a global stage. From theatre, dance, and music - including our first ever chamber opera - we are proud that this year also marks an unprecedented number of partnerships and collaborations."

Opening the season at the Bluma Appel Theatre is Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young's theatre and dance hybrid, Betroffenheit (working title), which explores the state of shock and bewilderment experienced in the wake of a disaster. Presented by Panamania Arts and Culture Program and Canadian Stage, the production will have its world premiere as part of the PanAm Games in July, returning to the Bluma Appel Theatre in February and then heading off on an international tour.

In November, in an exciting inaugural collaboration with contemporary music company Soundstreams, Jocelyn directs Canadian Stage's first foray into operatic performance with Julie, a chamber opera by Belgian composer Philippe Boesmans. Recognized internationally as one of the greatest opera composers of our time, this marks the first time Boesmans' work will be performed in North America. Based on Miss Julie by Swedish playwright August Strindberg, Julie will feature an all-Canadian cast and is presented in association with Soundstreams with support from the Théâtre d'Orléans, France.

Also on stage at the Bluma is the North American Premiere of a new play by Chile's most celebrated playwright-director, Guillermo Calderon. The Kiss is a provocative exploration of cultural boundaries as a group of western actors interpret a Syrian play, slowly realizing the limits of their own understanding and the gravity of their own assumptions. Chimerica, winner of the 2014 Olivier Award for Best New Play - a gripping adventure examining the present day aftermath of the events in Tiananmen Square in 1989 - will have its North American debut helmed by Chris Abraham. In TOROBAKA,Canadian Stage favourite Akram Khan (creator and choreographer of DESH) partners with great flamenco artist Israel Galván in a new piece that mixes Indian kathak, Spanish flamenco and their most contemporary expression in a dance performance that's a thrilling invention of style and form.

After an overwhelming success just last month, the breathtaking Kiss & Cry returns for a 4-show limited run in February 2016, leading into the 5-show run of the North American premiere of Michèle Anne De Mey and Jaco Van Dormael's newest creation, Cold Blood - co-commissioned and presented by Canadian Stage.

At the Berkeley Street Theatre, expect the Canadian premiere of a new play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning storyteller, Bruce Norris. Directed by Philip Riccio of The Company Theatre, Domesticated follows a scandal surrounding a well-loved politician that damages both his credibility and the lives of his loved ones.

Jennifer Tarver takes on the contemporary re-telling of a classic play in Hedda Gabler.Presented in association with Necessary Angel Theatre Company, this production continues the company's three-year Berkeley Street Theatre residency. Theatre Smash, in their first year of a new residency in the Berkeley Street Upstairs Theatre, will present the English translation of Philipp Löhle's social comedy Das Ding (The Thing), directed by Ashlie Corcoran.

Further animating the Berkeley Street Theatre, Canadian Stage is excited to presentCélébration de la Francophonie. A mini festival showcasing Canada's great francophone musicianship and acts rarely seen in Toronto, Célébration de la Francophonie features Montreal-born, Paris-based singer-songwriter Mélissa Laveauxand Acadian singer-songwriter Lisa Leblanc.

And finally, the 2015.2016 season opens and closes with two productions marked by the company's partnership with York University and their MFA Program in Stage Direction in collaboration with Canadian Stage. In the summer at Shakespeare in High Park, MFA candidates Estelle Shook and Matjash Mrozewski will direct the Roman plays Julius Caesar and The Comedy of Errors respectively. Shook and Mrozewski return at the end of the season to lead a double bill of two new plays at the Berkeley Street Theatre:Botticelli in the Fire and Sunday in Sodom. Written by Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill - who was recently nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award in Playwriting, is a Canadian Stage/OAC Playwright-in-Residence and was a participant in Canadian Stage's RBC Emerging Artist Program - the plays examine two key moments in time and of place: Lot's biblical birthplace and Botticelli's Renaissance Italy.

To complement the work presented on stage, Canadian Stage continues to support the artistic community with additional programming throughout the season. Through the 2015.2016 season, the company will offer post-show talkbacks with cast members, thematic pre-show chats moderated by experts, free Professional Explorationworkshops for teachers and educators, a Masterclass program offering up close and personal experiences with artists from the season, and much more. Information about Canadian Stage's artistic and learning opportunities is available at

2015.2016 Subscriptions are on sale beginning November 12 with 6-show packages starting from $180 and full-season 13-show packages starting from $360. Subscribers who book before December 31, 2014 will receive an additional five per cent off their package price and have exclusive access to reserve premium seats for Shakespeare in High Park. Subscriptions may be purchased online, by phone at 416.368.3110 or in-person at the Canadian Stage Box Office: Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front Street E.) orBerkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley St.). Single tickets will be on sale in March 2, 2015. Full details on the productions, casting and subscription packages are available online


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