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Coal Mine Theatre Announces #SeasonFive - HAND TO GOD and More


The critically acclaimed and award-winning Coal Mine Theatre, Toronto's Off-Off Broadview theatre, returns with another explosive season of plays that continue to prioritize excellence while offering a highly entertaining experience in their intimate eighty-seat theatre.

#SeasonFive, the Coal Mine's most ambitious yet, includes three important Toronto premieres of plays usually snapped up by the larger houses, a co-production with Studio 180 Theatre, a special holiday improv show, and...
the devil.

"We've been doing some thinking, and have resolved that every single year should be our best one ever. To that end, we believe this season - drum roll - is our strongest yet, (hilarious, moving, gripping and dramatic, all plays that Toronto has never seen!) and we are so excited to share it with you!" - Chief Engineers Diana Bentley and Ted Dykstra
Presenting the 2018-2019 Coal Mine Theatre Season:

Season Five launches with THE NETHER, written by Susan Smith Blackburn Prize-Winner Jennifer Haley, directed by Coal Mine alumni Peter Pasyk (Killer Joe, Poison) and co-produced with Studio 180 Theatre. The play received its world premiered in Los Angeles in 2013, followed by productions in London in 2014 and in New York in 2015.

In the immersive virtual world of the Nether, guests can log in, assume an identity and indulge their darkest desires. A serpentine crime drama and haunting sci-fi thriller, THE NETHER explores the consequences of living out one's private dreams.

The out-of-this-world cast of THE NETHER includes Hannah Levinson, Mark McGrinder, Mayko Nguyen, Robert Persichini and David Storch.

THE WONDER PAGEANT, this year's Coal Mine commission, is an unscripted evening of improv comedy, merry music and holiday miracles created and directed by Kayla Lorette (That's So Weird!) and Ron Pederson (MAD TV), and performed by their favourite improv superstars! Ugly sweaters, holiday melodies, family memories and improv games = a new hilarious world premiere every night. THE WONDER PAGEANT is perfect for a night out with friends, for family outings, for office holiday parties and for figuring out what the holidays really mean in 2018 Toronto.

THE WONDER PAGEANT's cast of Canadian Comedy Award-Winners include Matt Baram, Jan Carauna, Kayla Lorette, Paloma Nunez, Ron Pederson, and Kris Siddiqi with musical director Waylen Miki.

French writer Florian Zeller's THE FATHER, winner of the 2014 Molière Award for France's Best Play, is arguable the greatest play ever written about dementia, regularly garnering awards for the playwright and its leading men in countless international productions that span the globe from the UK to South Africa, and across the United States to Singapore. In 2016 THE FATHER was nominated for the Tony Award for Best New Play and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, which was awarded to Frank Langella for his disorienting performance of a man in mental decline.

Savagely honest and softly humorous, a daughter becomes caregiver to her demanding father who exists in his own lonely and frightening world. Candid and humanizing, THE FATHER is a deeply affecting look at the realities of living with Alzheimer's and being cared for by loved ones who are becoming increasingly unrecognizable.

Directed by Coal Mine Co-Chief Engineer Ted Dykstra (The River, Coal Mine Christmas, Superior Donuts, Rumours), the title role of the father will be played by NICHOLAS CAMPBELL, with Beau Dixon, Trish Fagan, Paul Fauteux, Michelle Monteith and Oyin Oladejo rounding out the cast.

HAND TO GOD, a blasphemous black comedy, with puppets, written by Robert Askins, was the most produced play in the 2016-17 American theatre season with 13 productions staged across the country. (Says a lot about the state of the States!) Mitchell Cushman (The Aliens) returns to the Coal Mine to revisit a play about a satanic sock puppet he directed at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in 2017.

In a quiet Texas town, recently widowed Margery is tasked with running the church puppet club. Attended grudgingly by her teenage son Jason, he finds solace in Tyrone, his homemade puppet. That is until Tyrone turns fiendish causing doors to slam, lightbulbs to burst and his head to spin around Exorcist-style. Is it...the devil? HAND TO GOD tackles all the big themes: death, depression, alcoholism, sexual repression, emotional guilt, religious hypocrisy and crafting.

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