Ottawa's National Arts Centre has announced its new season under artistic director Marti Maraden, a Stratford Festival director who has taken over the reins at the capital city's large regional theatre.
Maraden has labelled her season "Director's Choice," reflecting her desire to turn this roadhouse facility into a major showcase for national work, as well as a producing centre of note.
In this first season, she is bringing in various co-productions with theatres across the county, a Stratford Festival production and three recently written Canadian plays.
Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband plays from October 14 - 31. Maraden directs this NAC/Vancouver Playhouse co-production. She will also direct the Stratford Festival production of A Man For All Seasons, which comes to the NAC from November 12 - 28. The new year begins with David Hare's Skylight, directed by Stratford's Diana Leblanc in a NAC/Citadel Theatre (Edmonton) co-production and running from January 21 - February 6.
Two Canadian plays conclude the season. The first is Elliot Hayes' Homeward Bound, an NAC/Grand Theatre (London) co-production, running March 18 - April 3. Eric Peterson and John Gray re-unite for a 20th anniversary production of Billy Bishop Goes To War, a huge hit when it first opened. It plays May 6 - 22. The "Studio Stage Series" opens with The Bush Ladies, a play adapted by Molly Thom from the memoires of Canadian pioneers Susannah Moodie, Catharine Parr Traill, Anne Langton and Anna Jameson, running October 27 - November 7.
A world premiere by Andrew Moodie (author of the hit Riot) is next. A Common Man's Guide runs from March 2 - 13 in a co-production with the NAC and Canadian Stage Company.
The final show of the season Teresa Tova's Still The Night, a small-scale musical about two young cousins who survive World War Two that has played to critical and audience acclaim at Theatre Passe Muraille. This Tapestry Music Theatre/NAC co-production features the original cast of Tova and Liza Balkan, April 12 to 24.
An Ideal Husband, October 14- 31: A Man For All Seasons, November 12-28; Skylight, January 21 - February 6; Homeward Bound, March 18 - April 3; Billy Bishop Goes To War, May 6 -22.
"Studio Stage Series": The Bush Ladies, October 27 - November 7; A Common Man's Guide, March 2 - 13. Still The Night, April 12- 24.
For information and tickets call: 613-947-7000.
By Mira Friedlander