2009 Theatre Subscription Series Profiles – Soulpepper

By Megan Mooney

So, I’ve already said that I think a subscription series is one of the best ways to enjoy theatre.  In the coming weeks I’m going to profile individual theatre companies and talk about subscription series they’re offering for 2009-10.

Let’s start with Soulpepper.

A couple things to know about Soulpepper.  First, their subscriptions are not based on specific shows, but rather on number of shows.   Second, their seasons are actually calendar years, so they have a 2009 season, and a 2010 season, as opposed to most of the other theatres that will be profiled, which generally have a fall to late spring season (aka 2009-10 season).

Because of the way the Soulpepper seasons work, the only subscription series that is applicable right now is the 4 play pass which ranges in price from $136 – $245 (that’s a range of approximately $34 to $62 per ticket) depending on when you want to see a show.

The plays that you would get to choose from (copied and pasted from the press release) are:

Who’s Afraid of Virgrginia Woolf?
edward albee (august 29 – october 24)
A late night of drinking for George and Martha erupts in a game of ‘get the guests’ in Edward Albee’s savage and hilarious masterpiece.

The Guardsman
ferenc molnar, translslated by frank marcus (august 31 – october 24)
In this timeless comedy by Hungarian master Ferenc Molnar (The Play’s the Thing, Soulpepper 1999 & 2003), when an actor suspects his actress wife of infidelity he disguises himself as a Russian Guardsman and sets out to woo her back

sophocles, in a new adaptation by evan webber with chris abraham (september 10 – october 17)
Set against a country torn apart by war, Oedipus’ daughter Antigone stands alone against the state to defend the honour of her slain brother in this contemporary reworking of Sophocles’ classic tragedy.

miklós lászló, adapted by adam pettlttlttle & brenda robins (november 26 – december 24)
One of the world’s most beloved stories, this play has inspired three movies (Shop Around the Corner, The Good Old Summertime, and You’ve Got Mail) and one musical (She Loves Me). Two clerks in a Budapest perfume shop can’t stand each other, but unknowingly exchange love letters at night as anonymous penpals in this romantic comedy that will warm up your winter.

Civil Elegies
dennis lee, Created by Mike Rossss & Lorenzo Savoini. Original music by Mike Ross (december 3 – 24)
The 1967 Governor General’s Award-winning work of poet Dennis Lee is brought to life, dramatized and set to music in a way that speaks to the heart of what Canada was, is and could be.


Some things that may (or may not) influence your decision:

– Soulpepper shows are in the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, in the Distillery District.  As a result, there are lots of restaurants around, including a cafe in the Young Centre

– Some shows have a 7pm curtain and some have an 8pm curtain, so check your show time carefully

– The Young Centre is a beautiful space, a lovely space.  I personally love going there, it just feels nice, all the nice warm wood accents.

– Soulpepper has a bigger budget than a lot of theatres in the city, so their productions are generally more polished, I have never been to a bad Soulpepper production.  On the flip side of that, sometimes the shows aren’t as interesting as those found in smaller theatres, and I’ve yet to see an ‘edgy’ production there, I always enjoy the show, but rarely am thinking about it for days to come. 

– As you would expect, part of why Soulpepper has a bigger budget than many theatres is because they charge more than other theatres.  We’re not talking Mirvish prices here, but we’re also not talking the $25/show you’re gonna get from a place like Theatre Passe Muraille. 

– If you were going to compare Soulpepper to another Toronto theatre company it would be the Canadian Stage Company.  So, to mix things up a bit, if you’ve have had subscriptions to CanStage in the past, why not try Soulpepper this year, or, if you’ve had subscriptions to Soulpepper in the past, why not try CanStage?