Coal Mine Theatre Announces Its Sixth Season

Coal Mine Theatre Announces Its Sixth Season

COAL MINE THEATRE, Toronto's Off-Off Broadview Theatre, has just announced its extraordinary Season Six. THE COAL MINE will stage four critically acclaimed, and Toronto premiere productions in 2019/2020, all presented in their singular and intimate eighty-seat theatre in the east end of Toronto.

COAL MINE THEATRE's Season Six continues on a path of excellence, with all four bold and outstanding productions being presented in Toronto for the first time and featuring top notch Canadian talent, including Martha Henry, Jim Mezon, Claire Armstrong, Sergio Di Zio, Diana Bentley, Jonathon Young, Allegra Fulton, Tony Nappo, and Alexander Thomas, to name but a few.

Season Six opens this September with KNIVES IN HENS: a powerful and complicated play about the lust for language; BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY: winner of the Pulitzer Prize for drama, an explosive, and gritty comedy about social injustice; MARJORIE PRIME: a Pulitzer Prize finalist for drama, an unsettling sci-fi about the wonders of technology, and what it can replace; and COST OF LIVING: another Pulitzer Prize winner for drama, about the realities of living with disabilities and the forces that bring people together.

"The world has drastically changed since we founded the Coal Mine. We like to think our theatre changes with it, giving our amazing and loyal audience what they need. We're presenting four plays that are, as usual, extremely provocative-- but there is also a thread of optimism, bravery and hope woven into this season that we think makes it a very needed, timely and special lineup." Diana Bentley and Ted Dykstra

Coal Mine Theatre Season Six (2019/2020)

KNIVES IN HENS, written by David Harrower, directed by Leora Morris, starring Diana Bentley, Jim Mezon, and Jonathon Young

BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, written by Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by Kelli Fox starring Claire Armstrong, Zarrin Darnell-Martin, Sergio Di Zio, Allegra Fulton, Jai Jai Jones, Nabil Rajo and Alexander Thomas.

MARJORIE PRIME, written by Jordan Harrison, directed by Stewart Arnott, starring Sarah Dodd, Beau Dixon, Gordon Hecht, and Martha Henry

COST OF LIVING, written by Martyna Majok, directed by Ted Dykstra and starring Jessica Grossi, Eileen Grubba, Tony Nappo, and Sean Towgood

Season Six launches with KNIVES IN HENS, written by David Harrower, directed by Leora Morris (Orphans, for The Coal Mine, The Philosopher's Wife for Buddies in Bad Times Theatre), and starring Coal Mine Theatre Co-Chief Engineer Diana Bentley (Orphans, Category E) for THE COAL MINE THEATRE, plus critically acclaimed Canadian actors Jim Mezon, who is best known for his 33 years at the Shaw Festival, and Jonathan Young, co-founder of the Electric Company Theatre, and star and co-creator of the multi-award-winning Betroffenheit. KNIVES IN HENS premiered at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre in June, 1995 and is widely acknowledged as a modern Scottish classic, has played in over 30 countries and won the Theater Heute Best Foreign Play, Critics Award in 1998.

Acclaimed playwright David Harrower's first play KNIVES IN HENS, a brutal fable of awakening consciousness and set in a timeless community, is as relevant today as it was when it originally premiered. It deals with a relationship triangle in a rural setting and a woman's internal quest to find out what she wants from life.

The 2015 Pulitzer Prize winning production for drama, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, written by American playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, is directed by Kelli Fox, a renowned Canadian actor and director, and recipient of the Gina Wilkinson Prize. The production stars Dora award-winning actor and co-founder of The Storefront Theatre, Claire Armstrong; Zarrin Darnell-Martin, best known for her role in Room (Elevation Pictures 2015); Sergio Di Zio Flashpoint (CTV); Multi award-winning actor Allegra Fulton,The Glass Menagerie (Shaw Festival), and Dinner with the Duchess (Next Stage Theatre Festival); Film and TV actor Jai Jai Jones, best known for his role in the Emmy nominated Copper; Nabil Rajo Superior Donuts (Coal Mine Theatre); and Alexander Thomas The Royale (Soulpepper Theatre) as "Pops".

BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY won the 2015 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play, the 2015 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, the 2015 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play, the 2015 Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Play and the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Set in New York City, it boldly examines, with delightful wit, the effects of social prejudice and continues to be extremely relevant in an unsteady society. Pushing to hang on to one of Manhattan's last rent-stabilized apartments, ex-cop Walter "Pops" Washington conflicts with a slew of bizarre characters, each a celebration of the flaws that make up human nature.

The 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist MARJORIE PRIME is written by award-winning American playwright Jordan Harrison, and features a renowned Canadian cast including one of Canadian Theatre's greatest artists Martha Henry, who was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1981, and promoted to Companion in 1990, and also received a Governor General's Performing Arts Award for her lifetime contribution to Canadian theatre. The play also features Sarah Dodd, Private Lives, The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Front Page (Stratford Festival); Multi Dora award-winning actor Beau Dixon, The Father, (Coal Mine Theatre) Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Soul Pepper Theatre), and Hamlet, Next To Normal (Tarragon Theatre); and Gordon Hecht, Incident at Vichy (Soul Pepper theatre).

MARJORIE PRIME opened off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons on December 14, 2016 and was originally directed by Anne Kauffman. A film adaptation by Michael Almereyda debuted at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, to great critical acclaim. In MARJORIE PRIME, a rich, sci-fi drama, Jordan Harrison explores the mysteries of human identity and the limits - if any - of what technology can replace. It's the age of Artificial Intelligence, and 85-year-old Marjorie has a handsome new companion who's programmed to feed the story of her life back to her.

The 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner for drama, as well as three Lucille Lortel Awards, including Outstanding Play, COST OF LIVING is written by Martyna Majok, directed by the Co-Chief Engineer of COAL MINE THEATRE, Ted Dykstra, and stars well-known Toronto actor Tony Nappo, Butcher (Theatre Centre); with Jessica Grossi, A Thousand Splendid Suns (The Grand Theatre); and Sean Towgood, Wounded Soldiers (4th Line Theatre). The play received four Outer Critics Circle Awards nominations, as well as both a Drama Desk Award and a Drama League Award nomination. COST OF LIVING made its world premiere during a June 29 - July 10, 2016 run at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. It then moved to New York City Center for a production by Manhattan Theatre Club and officially opened on June 7, 2017.

A deeply poetic, and also witty production, COST OF LIVING is about the drive that brings people together and the harsh realities of living with physical disabilities. It forces society to deconstruct the meaning of abled and disabled, whole and un-whole. And, in shattering the stereotypes around disability, it explores how bodies, abled and disabled, really just need each other.

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