Toronto's Factory Theatre Has Two World Premieres, Plus a Return of Bigger Than Jesus in 2005-06

News   Toronto's Factory Theatre Has Two World Premieres, Plus a Return of Bigger Than Jesus in 2005-06
Factory Theatre in Toronto, the company devoted exclusively to Canadian playwrights, will present two world premieres, the revival of a George F. Walker favorite, and a return of the Dora Award-winning Bigger Than Jesus in its 2005-06 season, artistic director Ken Gass announced.

The 36th season slate also offers two new plays from Quebec — Wajdi Mouawad's award-winning Tideline and Larry Tremblay's The Ventriloquist, making their English language premieres.

The special, limited-engagement run of last season's runaway success, Bigger Than Jesus, the solo-actor show by Rick Miller & Daniel Brooks, plays Sept. 17-Oct. 9. The piece won three 2005 Dora Mavor Moore Awards, including Outstanding Production, Outstanding Male Performance, and Outstanding Lighting Design.

The show, performed by Miller, directed by Daniel Brooks and designed by Beth Kates and Ben Chaisson, is billed as a "smart, sexy, and sometimes hilarious multi-media mass for the modern age [that] weaves together the Catholic liturgy, the gospels, and some good old fashioned Bible-thumpin'. A provocative and challenging one-man show featuring the trademark humor and intelligence of Rick Miller."

Bigger Than Jesus, a Wyrd Production with Necessary Angel Theatre Company, is not part of the Factory subscription.

The Factory Theatre season includes:

  • Leon Aureus' Banana Boys a Factory Theatre/fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company co-production, directed by Nina Lee Aquino, based on the novel by Terry Woo, Sept. 17-Oct.16, 2005 in the Studio Theatre. A "smart, contemporary and wickedly funny new play [that] follows the lives of five Asian-Canadian young men as they navigate the minefield of addiction, sex, love and the death of a friend. With an MTV-like frenetic pace and a young, dynamic ensemble cast, this show is a meditation for the restless — and a call to everyone who has felt out of place in the world."
  • Wajdi Mouawad's Tideline, translated by Shelley Tepperman, directed by Bill Lane, Nov. 12-Dec. 11 in the Mainspace. In this English language premiere, "Wilfred, a young Montrealer, needs to bury his father, but wants to return him to rest in his native land across the seas. Once there, Wilfred confronts a country scarred by war, where an additional corpse is just one too many. The young man discovers a curious collection of co-travellers who all dream of a better life. Together they embark on an unexpected journey through time with a body that takes up too much space." Tideline (Littoral) won the Governor General's Literary Award, French Category, in 2000. Following a hugely successful production in France, Tideline recently received the Prix Molière for best French language play.
  • Tara Beagan's Dreary and Izzy, directed by Ruth Madoc-Jones, produced by Native Earth Performing Arts in association with Factory Theatre, Nov. 29-Dec. 18, 2005 in the Studio Theatre. The world premiere is concerns two sisters. "After the death of their parents, Deirdre is left as sole caregiver for her adopted sister, Isabelle, who is from the neighboring Blackfoot community, and severely affected by fetal alcohol syndrome. Deirdre is barely staying afloat, until gorgeous vacuum cleaner salesman Freddie Seven Horses arrives, and forges bonds with both Deirdre and the woman-child, Izzy." Beagan's Thy Neighbour's Wife is a Dora Award-winning play from the 2004-05 season.
  • Andrew Moodie's The Real McCoy, directed by the author, Jan. 28, 2006-Feb. 26, 2006 in the Mainspace. The world premiere "is a powerful theatrical experience inspired by the life and times of Elijah McCoy. Born in Canada to runaway slaves, McCoy became a leading expert in the field of thermodynamics whose inventions revolutionized steam engine travel. When others tried to imitate his achievements, though with less success, people began asking if what they were buying was 'the real McCoy.' McCoy's move to America to capitalize on his inventions, exposed him to great adversity and eventually stripped him of his inventions, his sanity and his life." The Real McCoy was developed in Factory's CrossCurrents Festival 2005.
  • George F. Walker's Escape From Happiness, March 18-April 23, 2006, in the Mainspace. In this revival of a 1992 play by one of Canada's most respected playwrights, "Nora's family is under siege. Her son-in-law, Junior, has been beaten up by a pair of vicious crooks and now the police are searching her house and interrogating her. Her daughter, Mary-Ann, has abandoned her husband and child and appears to be having a nervous breakdown, while a man who may or may not be her husband continues to live in a room upstairs. The east-end neighborhood is certainly not what it used to be." This "hilarious and touching 10-character comedy" premiered at the Factory to huge success in 1992.
  • CrossCurrents Festival, produced by Nina Lee Aquino, April 1-9, 2006 in the Studio. "Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, the CrossCurrents Festival is again launching new works from emerging and established writers of color from across the nation."
  • Larry Tremblay's The Ventriloquist, directed by Keith Turnbull, April 18-May 21, 2006, in the in the Studio. The English language premiere focuses on Gaby, who, for her 16th birthday receives a pen. "Everything she writes with it becomes true. She wants to write 'The most beautiful love story in the world,' but her brother steals her magic pen. As an adult, Gaby now has to endure Doctor Limestone's bizarre therapy as he tries to force her to finish the story. But who is the real marionette? Told in the form of a ventriloquist who communicates through a puppet of the teenaged girl, the play explores family, memory, and the struggle to find one's authentic voice." For information about Factory Theatre, call (416) 504-9971 or visit


    Established in 1970 by current and founding artistic director Ken Gass, Factory Theatre was the first company in the nation to devote itself exclusively to producing Canadian plays.

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