Next Stage Theatre Festival 2011

From Press Release

2011 Next Stage Theatre Festival
January 5 – 16, 2011 at Factory Theatre

Tickets Now On Sale!

Now in its 4th year, The Next Stage Theatre Festival is Toronto’s premiere winter theatre event, presenting 8 productions by the best local and international artists from across the Fringe circuit! Past productions have been recognized by a total of 9 Dora Award Nominations, remounts in top theatres across Canada, and even an Off-Broadway run in New York City.
This year’s lineup presents the festival’s greatest variety of shows, including work by celebrated artists such as: Australian Fringe Legend Nicola Gunn, Order of Canada recipient Judith Thompson, Juno Award Winning Pianist Hilario Duran, Winner of the John Hirsch Prize for an Outstanding Emerging Theatre Director Daryl Cloran, and  UNIMA-USA Citations for Excellence winner Ann Powell.

The festival, which is organized by The Toronto Fringe, offers audiences and industry programmers the chance to see both new and reworked productions by successful “Fringe artists” as they take the leap into the “Next Stage” of their careers.

Next Stage in the Factory Theatre Mainspace:

At The Sans Hotel
Created & performed by Nicola Gunn (Melbourne, Australia)
Sound Designer: Luke Paulding
Original Production Design by: Nicola Gunn, Rebecca Etchell and Gwendolyna Holmberg-Gilchrist

A psychological detective story, told with delicacy and subversive humour, about a woman in a bathtub in a hotel in a desert who plunges into the case of a mysterious, disappearing German Woman. It’s about the terror of loneliness, confusion and indecision. And a French woman called Sophie who works in a community centre.

“I would watch Nicola Gunn shell peas.” —The Age
“A gift to its audience… a bracing, bewitching investigation.” —Realtime
“Different, really funny, authentic… astute, and honestly, honestly marvelous.” —Australian Stage

Factory Theatre Mainspace / 75 Minutes / Unique Performance / General Audience /

Duel of Ages
True Edge Productions
Created by: Kristin Grundlack Levinson, Denis McGrath, Mike McPhaden, Michael Rubenfeld, Gregg Taylor, Rick Roberts, Daniel Levinson, Scott Leaver
Directed by: Todd Campbell
Cast: Todd Campbell, Michael Dufays, Christian Feliciano, Casey Hudecki, M. John Kennedy, Scott Leaver, Daniel Levinson, Andrew (Sandy) MacMaster, Simon Fon, Chris Sironi, Christopher Mott, Scott Moyle, Kevin Robinson, Matt Richardson, Siobhán Richardson (nee Chin), Stuart Constable

Wounds of the flesh, a surgeon’s skill may heal, but wounded honour is only cured with steel.

Duel of Ages invites you to explore the infamous legacy of personal combat through an anthology of short plays depicting various ages in the history of dueling. With choreography and performances by some of Toronto’s most talented fight directors and actor- combatants, Duel of Ages is a thrilling exploration of the cult of honour and personal combat. Rapiers for two… coffee for one.

NNNN “Unlike anything you’re likely to see at this or any other Fringe… Kicks major ass in the thrills department” —Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine
“This kinetic, beautifully choreographed show is one truly dazzling spectacle.” —

Factory Theatre Mainspace / 90 Minutes / General Audience / Warning: Violence, Gunshots /

Fairy Tale Ending: The Big Bad Family Musical
Role Your Own Theatre
By Kieren MacMillan and Jeremy Hutton
Originally created for and produced by the Toronto Youth Theatre

Director: Jeremy Hutton / Music Director: Kieren MacMillan / Choreographer: Ashleigh Powell
Set and Costume Designer: Scott Penner / Producer: Lada Darewych
Cast: Meagan Tuck, Christina Gordon, Amanda Leigh, Andrew Moyes, Jennifer Walls, J.P. Baldwin, Carl Swanson, Mike Wisniowski, Maksym Shkvorets

“Into the Woods” meets “The Usual Suspects”. Jill’s favourite fables are ending in tragedy, and she needs to figure out why. With the help of a hard-boiled detective and a trio of storybook characters, she confronts the Big Bad Wolf, Goldilocks, Troll, and the infamous Jack, on her way to uncovering the truth. Fairy Tale Ending is a topsy-turvy yet touching tale of a young girl coming to grips with loss and the reality of growing up.

NNNNN “Young or old, you won’t go wrong with this musical” —NOW Magazine
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ “Perfectly executed… a level of polish and professionalism that I have never before seen on a Fringe stage” —EYE WEEKLY

Patron’s Pick Toronto Fringe 2010 (Top Selling FringeKids! show of all time)
Best of the Fringe: Berkeley Street (Canadian Stage Company)
Best of Fringe: Uptown (Toronto Centre for the Arts)

Factory Theatre Mainspace / 75 Minutes / General Audience & Family Entertainment /
Warning: Seriously catchy tunes. Adults will enjoy.

The Grace Project: Sick  **World Premiere**
Sick Collective
Written and Directed by Judith Thompson
Assistant Directed and Co-Created by Lauren Brotman with the Ensemble
Produced by Jack Grinhaus and Sarah Miller-Garvin

The Grace Project: Sick is a theatrical project that gives voice to young people who may otherwise be disenfranchised by their experiences; showing not only the pain and isolation, but the joys and grace with which these remarkable young adults navigate and control their own destinies. The play sets out to explore the many concepts and ideas relating to disability, illness, challenge, and what it means to be thought of as sick by the rest of the world. The hope of the production is to seek, confront, and understand the many preconceptions about living with challenges, about otherness, and the overall concept of what it means to be labeled SICK.

Factory Theatre Mainspace / 75 Minutes / Play-Drama / General Audience

Next Stage in the Factory Studio Theatre:

The Apology  **Toronto Premiere**
Rabiayshna Productions
By Darrah Teitel
Directed by Audrey Dwyer
Cast: Sascha Cole, Jake Epstein, Brendan McMurtry-Howlett, Kaitlyn Riordan (updated)

A quartet of radically minded teenagers set out on an adventure of creating high art, sexual becoming and new philosophies that challenge the modern mind. The Apology features Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, Lord George Byron and Clare Clairemont. As they challenge each other’s intellect, they expose their passions, betray one another and create some of time’s masterpieces.

Factory Theatre Studio / 75 Minutes / Drama / General Audience / Adult Themes / Nudity

Eating with Lola
Sulong Theatre Company
Written and performed by Catherine Hernandez
Directed by Ann Powell (Puppetmongers Theatre)
Stage Manager: Renna Reddie

Lola (“Grandmother” in Filipino) is so old and sick she has to be spoon fed by her granddaughter, Grace. But it wasn’t always like this. Over the course of her final meal on earth, Lola explains how it was always her job to find food—even if that meant stealing it. Part confession, part revelation, Lola’s epic tale unravels the entire modern history of Manila from the time of the Thomasites to the second wave of Filipino migration to the United States— one spoonful at a time.

Developed by the Kapisanan Centre for Philippine Arts and Culture, the Lab Cab Festival and originally workshopped by fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company.

“Kudos to Sulong Theatre Company for bringing these stories to the stage so eloquently.” —Lynn Slotkin

Factory Theatre Studio / 60 Minutes / Play-Drama / General Audience /

Swan Song of Maria (A Tragic Fairy Tale)  **Toronto Premiere**
El Destino Productions & Threshold Theatre
By Carol Cece Anderson
Directed by Mark Cassidy / Dramaturg: Paula Danckert
Ballet Choreographer: Roberto Campanella / Ballet Consultant: Evelyn Hart
Tap Choreographer: Debbie Wilson
Cast: Lili Francks, John Blackwood, Stephanie Hutchison (just announced) and pianist Hilario Duran

In Carol Cece Anderson’s Swan Song of Maria, a radical re-imagining of Swan Lake, tap dancer Jillian and playwright Joe, an aging interracial couple, confront Jillian’s Alzheimer’s and Joe’s ever present muse Maria, a beautiful ballerina. Joe met Maria in the early 1960’s, on a Caribbean island, whose revolution, like his and Jillian’s forty year relationship, has outgrown its idealism. An elegant and powerful fusion of theatre, Cuban jazz, classical ballet, and tap, Swan Song of Maria explores the searing depths of love’s beauty and frailty.

“A poetic blend of word and image…Leaves the audience spellbound…A bittersweet joy…A  gem…Anderson doesn’t preach she weaves.” —The Montreal Gazette
“A new take on Swan Lake spins the fairy tale on its head.”—The Concordian

Factory Theatre Studio/ 90 Minutes / Multidisciplinary Drama / General Audience/

Tom’s a-cold  **North American Premiere**
Starving Artists
By David Egan / Directed by Daryl Cloran & Ashlie Corcoran
Set & Costume Designer: Joanna Yu / Lighting Designer: Jason Hand
Cast: Shane Carty & Matthew MacFadzean

“Through hope we became monsters. Hope will make a man say or do anything…” In 1845, HMS Terror and Erebus set sail from England seeking the Northwest Passage through the Arctic. Neither ship was ever seen again. Three years later, two men sit in a lifeboat. Ravaged by hunger, and haunted by their memories, they must confront truths they can no longer hide.

** Winner of the Cameron Mackintosh New Play Award (UK) **
** First prize in Herman Voaden National Play Writing Competition (Canada)**

Factory Studio / 90 Minutes / Play-Drama / Mature Audie

Advance Tickets, 4 Play Passes, 8 Play Passes and Gift Vouchers Available Online at and by phone at 416-966-1062 or 1-866-515-7799

Tickets are a maximum of $15.