Artistic director Ken Gass announced the new 35th season schedule, which includes the North American premiere of Fraser's Cold Meat Party, "a sophisticated urbane play, set in an English drawing room with a mix of Canadian, American and British characters who gather for the funeral of a writer." After its Manchester, England premiere, the press called the play "The Big Chill" for a new generation.
Braham Murray, a founding artistic director of the Royal Exchange in Manchester, who has presented five Fraser plays in Britain, will direct the Factory Theatre production, Sept. 25-Oct. 31 on the Mainstage. Fraser may be best known for Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love.
Co-creators Rick Miller and Daniel Brooks bring their Edmonton and Calgary-seen work, Bigger Than Jesus, to the Factory Mainstage Nov. 16-Dec. 12. Produced by Necessary Angel in Association with Factory Theatre, the piece stars Miller and is directed by Daniel Brooks.
"Still in development over the past year despite sellout crowds, this promises to be an extraordinary event when it finally lands on the Factory mainstage in November," according to the Factory announcement. "Using a mixture of electronic media, pop culture, music and a mastery of irreverent wit, Bigger Than Jesus has been described as a multimedia mass for the modern age." Miller is known for MacHomer, the merging of Macbeth and "The Simpsons."
The world premiere of Claudia Dey's Trout Stanley, directed by Eda Holmes, plays Jan. 1-Feb. 6, 2005, on the Mainstage. Billed as "a marked departure for the author of The Gwendolyn Poems and Beaver," Dey's new play "is a complex character study with a number of startling theatrical shifts: two twin sisters who look nothing alike; a mysterious stranger and the suspicious disappearance of the local Scrabble champ stripper on the eve of the twins' 30th birthday. There's both hope and sadness in this tense erotic triangle, yet Trout Stanley is also rife with comedy and surprise." The staging will feature Gordon Rand, Melody Johnson and Michelle Giroux.
The Montreal hit play The Leisure Society by François Archambault, makes its Toronto premiere in an English language translation by Bobby Theodore April 17-May 9, 2005 on the Mainstage. Ken Gass directs the work, which "explores the crisis of a thirty-something couple who appear to have everything — love, career, a beautiful house, a child and a project to adopt another — yet find their lives dangled over an emotional precipice during the course of one highly charged dinner party. Wryly observed and laced with biting humour, this is one of the most powerful plays to come out of Quebec in years."
Two plays from George F. Walker's Suburban Motel cycle, Adult Entertainment and End of Civilization, play in rep May 6-June 6, 2005, on the Mainstage. In the Factory's 1997-98 season, all six plays from Walker's Motel cycle premiered before Toronto audiences. Since then, the Suburban Motel plays have traveled the world, playing recently in London, New York, Belgium, and Germany as well as in most cities in Canada. The May 2005 35th birthday of the troupe includes a "return to the world of Max and Donnie, the two highly unusual cops in Adult Entertainment and End of Civilization."
End of Civilization was also honored with a Chalmers Award for Best Play in 1999 and has been a favorite in the cycle.
In the Studio Theatre, Chekhov's Children — adapted from short stories by Russian playwright-fiction writer Anton Chekhov — gets its world premiere, April 26-May 29. 2005. Dean Gilmour and Michele Smith and the company create the pieces, diected by Gilmour and Smith. The writer-directors previously had Factory success with Chekhov’s Shorts; Chekhov Longs…In the Ravine and Dr. Chekhov: Ward 6. The collaborators return "to the more naïve side of Chekhov to re-discover our world through the eyes of the children that people the Russian master's universe. In what has become the trademark of their highly original theatrical style, we can expect more of Theatre Smith-Gilmour's unique blend of visual magic, humor and pathos."
For Factory Theatre information, call (416) 504-9971 or visit www.factorytheatre.ca.