The coming CanStage season marks Bragg's final season at the helm of the Toronto troupe. He's been there 17 years.
The company's 22nd subscription season begins in September and includes five plays at the Bluma Appel Theatre and three at the Berkeley Street Theatre, plus the annual CanStage TD Dream in High Park.
The Canadian premieres are Rock 'n' Roll by Tom Stoppard, That Face by Polly Stenham (in a Nightwood Theatre co-production) and J.T. Rogers' The Overwhelming.
The Canadian plays being presented are Necessary Angel's This Is What Happens Next by Daniel MacIvor and Daniel Brooks, Catalyst Theatre's Frankenstein, and the 20th anniversary production of 7 Stories by Morris Panych.
Also slated are Art by Yasmina Reza, directed by Morris Panych; a revival of Obsidian Theatre's Dora Award-winning hit Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage; and Shakespeare's The Tempest in High Park. Bragg stated, "I am proud of the artistic achievements the Company has accomplished over the past 17 seasons, through times of prosperity and challenge. During this time the Company mounted over 150 productions on its three stages — almost half written by Canadians and all with a strong Canadian imprint — and garnered 50 Dora Mavor Moore Awards. The Company has provided a platform for emerging and seasoned artists from across the country and encouraged the development of countless new Canadian plays…."
To subscribe, call (416) 368-3110, visit canstage.com.
Here's the CanStage 2009-10 season at a glance:
Bluma Appel Theatre
Rock 'n' Roll, a co-production with Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre, Sept. 28-Oct. 24, written by Tom Stoppard, directed by Donna Feore. "Rock 'n' Roll is an extraordinary theatrical event about love, rock 'n' roll, revolution and the end of Communism pulsing to the beat of Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones and U2. Tom Stoppard, world-renowned for plays such as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and the Oscar-winning screenplay "Shakespeare in Love," wrote this sweeping, rapturous epic spanning two countries, three generations and 22 turbulent years. The play follows the passions and politics of a Marxist professor in Cambridge, England, and his music–obsessed protégé fighting for freedom in Soviet-dominated Prague. In the end love prevails and so does rock 'n' roll."7 Stories, Nov. 9-Dec. 5, written by Morris Panych, directed by Dean Paul Gibson, starring Peter Anderson. "This production marks the 20th anniversary of two-time Governor General's Award-winner Morris Panych's breakthrough play. Peter Anderson, the original star of the play, will be reprising his Jessie Award-winning role. A landmark in the Canadian theatre canon, the multi-award winning play…became an international success story. [It's] the life-affirming story of a man searching for meaning. Perched high on the seventh-storey ledge of an apartment building, a man is preparing to jump. As the lives of the building's eccentric tenants are revealed through nearby windows, the man comes to realize that everyone one of them has reason to jump — and he may be the most rational of them all. This touchingly funny, surrealist play is about the surprises that come when you take your life into your own hands."The Obsidian Theatre production of Intimate Apparel, Feb. 8-March 6, 2010, written by Lynn Nottage, directed by Philip Akin. "This play, which garnered a New York Drama Critics' Circle and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play and a Dora Award for Outstanding Costume Design, met with popular and critical acclaim in New York and in Toronto last season. As rich and beautiful as finely-crafted lingerie, Intimate Apparel is a love story set in New York in 1905, amid the ragtime music of Scott Joplin. Esther, an ambitious and independent African-American woman has aspirations in conflict with turn-of-the-century society. A gifted seamstress who has gained financial independence by sewing elegant undergarments for socialites and prostitutes, she dreams of opening her own boutique. When George, a charming Caribbean islander employed in the construction of the Panama Canal, writes to her, a romance begins that promises to help her realize her dreams." Featuring the company from the Canadian premiere production: Raven Dauda, Kevin Hanchard, Alex Poch-Goldin, Lisa Berry, Marium Carvell and Carly Street.Art, March 15-April 10, 2010, written by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton, directed by Morris Panych. "This witty, razor-sharp, international sensation won the Molière Award for Best Author, the Olivier Award for Best Comedy and the Tony Award for Best Play. [It] explores the nature of friendship while examining the definition of art. The play revolves around the purchase of a very expensive, white-on-white painting which pushes the boundaries of art and ignites a passionate debate among three friends. Gruff battleaxe Marc, highly-strung appeaser Yvan and burgeoning art aficionado Serge come to a head over artistic merit, modernism and the value of friendship, testing the men’s relationship and ultimately offering reconciliation."
Catalyst Theatre's Frankenstein, May 3-29, 2010, adapted from Mary Shelley’s novel, written, composed and directed by Jonathan Christenson, designed by Bretta Gerecke, choreography by Laura Krewski. The Toronto premiere "is a stylized musical adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic novel. The cautionary tale about the consequences of interfering with nature and the universal search for love and acceptance revolves around Dr. Frankenstein (Andrew Kushnir) and his lonely creature (George Szilagyi) who becomes increasingly hostile towards the man who made and abandoned him, and the society that repels him. A startling storybook come to life, this multi-award-winning spectacle features the original cast of eight actors in over 40 roles and integrates poetic text, witty song, stylized movement and fantastical costumes and sets made entirely of paper. It is a quirky, beautiful and often ghoulishly humorous take on a timeless story." Featuring the original cast from the world premiere production: Nick Green, Andrew Kushnir, Tim Machin, Sarah Machin Gale, Nancy McAlear, Dov Mickelson, Tracy Penner, George Szilagyi. Berkeley Street TheatreThat Face, produced by Nightwood Theatre in co-production with The Canadian Stage Company, Oct. 26-Nov. 21, written by Polly Stenham, directed by Kelly Thornton, starring Sonja Smits. "Mia is at boarding school. She has access to drugs. They are Martha's. Henry has dropped out of school. He has access to alcohol. From Martha. Martha controls their lives. Martha is their mother. That Face is an explosive portrayal of an affluent family in freefall. Winner of the 2007 Evening Standard Award and the 2007 Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright, Polly Stenham's dazzling debut took London’s West End by storm. That Face, written when Stenham was only 19 years old as part of the Royal Court's Young Writers Programme, is a powerful and darkly comic exploration of children who become parents to their parents."The Overwhelming, produced by Studio 180 in association with The Canadian Stage Company, March 8-April 3, 2010, written by J.T. Rogers, directed by Joel Greenberg. "A riveting examination of the mounting tensions in 1994 Rwanda and a war that cannot be comprehended or controlled. American academic Jack Exley travels to Rwanda to interview his old friend Joseph Gasana about struggling for good against daunting odds. But when Jack arrives in Kigali, he is unable to find the Tutsi doctor — or anyone who will even admit to having known him. Befriended by both locals and diplomats with veiled motives, Jack and his family become enmeshed in the tension, terror, professional risks and personal betrayals that they ultimately realize mark the start of a genocidal war."The Necessary Angel production of This Is What Happens Next, April 12-May 8, 2010, created by Daniel MacIvor and Daniel Brooks, written and performed by Daniel MacIvor, directed and dramaturged by Daniel Brooks, starring Daniel MacIvor. "This one-man show is the highly anticipated new collaboration from Daniel MacIvor and Daniel Brooks, the innovative creators of House (1991), Here Lies Henry (1994), Monster (1998) and Cul-de-sac (2003), their last association. This Is What Happens Next is a journey deep into the heart of the Kingdom of Kevin with an astrologer, a lawyer, an absent father, the embodiment of our own Will and Me which takes us through the dark forest of addiction, divorce, Arthur Schopenhauer, The Little Mermaid and the life of John Denver. A scary fairytale with a happy ending, this explosion of character and storytelling tries to make sense of life in the modern world."The Tempest, At CanStage TD Dream in High Park, June 26-Sept. 6, 2010, written by William Shakespeare, directed by Sue Miner. As previously announced, The Tempest will star Dora Award-winning actress Karen Robinson as Prospera, "the sorceress of an enchanted isle, in this tale of political intrigue, fantastical creatures, magic, comedy and romance."