Announcement: Canadian Stage announces 2013.14 season

Canadian Stage presents Venus in Fur, shows by Robert Lepage, Kim Collier & Crystal Pite in Toronto in 2013.14

Last night, on a brisk late-November evening and barely half-way into its current season, Canadian Stage unveiled its upcoming 2013.14 season to the media at an event in the rehearsal space of their Berkeley Street facility.

While Canadian Stage’s artistic and general director Matthew Jocelyn had taken some flack when he first took over the reins of the company in 2009 for some overly arty and high-brow programming choices, in the past two seasons I’ve really noticed the company re-gain its footing and strike a balance in presenting work that’s still high-minded and challenging but also accessible and engaging.

While I’ve certainly been interested in the work presented in the past couple seasons I’m actually very excited for what’s to come in 2013-14.

Some of the highlights for me in the upcoming season include a Canadian production of the Tony Award-winning Venus in Fur directed by Jennifer Tarver, a new production of Robert Lepage’s landmark 1991 play Needles and Opium, the mixed-media film-noir style Helen Lawrence directed by Kim Collier, the director who brought us this season’s Tear the Curtain.

The season also features a production of the Off-Broadway hit Tribes featuring Soulpepper founding artists Joseph Ziegler and Nancy Palk, dance piece The Tempest Replica by Crystal Pite, the innovative choreographer behind last season’s Dark Matters, as well as a double-bill for next summer’s Shakespeare in High Park featuring Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew playing in repertory.

Put it this way, while I’ve been interested in a lot of what Canadian Stage has presented recently I don’t think I would have been compelled to buy a subscription for any of the past few seasons. I’d totally subscribe to the 2013-14 season, that’s how exciting it looks.

See the full details of the upcoming 2013-14 Canadian Stage season below:


From Press Release

At the Bluma Appel Theatre

Venus in Fur
A Canadian Stage production
September 29 to October 27, 2013

By David Ives
Directed by Jennifer Tarver

A young actress is determined to land the lead in a new play based on the classic erotic novel Venus in Fur. During her audition, she gets caught up in an electrifying game of cat and mouse with the director, blurring the line between fantasy and reality. The hottest ticket on Broadway last year, this brilliant and unexpected showdown of the sexes was nominated for the Best Play Tony Award.

An Akram Khan Company production presented by Canadian Stage
October 31 to November 2, 2013

Choreographed and performed by Akram Khan
North American premiere

A new dance piece from Akram Khan, masterful choreographer and performer (and featured artist in the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony). DESH, meaning “homeland” in Bengali, follows one man as he explores the fragile fluctuations of life in an unstable world. This Olivier Award-winning production features stellar collaborators, including Oscar-winning visual artist Tim Yip (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).

Needles and Opium
An Ex Machina production presented by Canadian Stage
November 22 to December 1, 2013

Written and directed by Robert Lepage

One of Canada’s most renowned figures in performing arts, Robert Lepage creates a new production of his acclaimed Needles and Opium. Presented as a hypnotic series of vignettes, this fascinating one person show explores the complex relationships between displacement, drug addiction and the creative drive, as revealed through the lives of Parisian poet/filmmaker Jean Cocteau on his way to America, and American jazz legend Miles Davis during his stay in Paris in 1949. The most startling technical wizardry at the service of a true emotional journey.

London Road
A Canadian Stage production and Canadian premiere
January 19 to February 9, 2014

By Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork
Directed by Jackie Maxwell; Music Director Reza Jacobs

In 2006, the everyday life of the quiet town of Ipswich was shattered by the discovery of the bodies of five women. Playwright Alecky Blythe recorded extensive interviews with the residents of London Road and turned them into an intelligent, startling, and raw piece of theatre set to music by Tony Award-winning Adam Cork. Having captured the heart of England last year, this 5-star musical documentary reveals the ways in which even the darkest experiences can inspire a community.

Helen Lawrence
A world premiere and Canadian Stage production with the Banff Centre
March 9 to March 30, 2014

Conceived by Stan Douglas
Written by Chris Haddock and Stan Douglas
Directed by Kim Collier and Stan Douglas

World-renowned visual artist Stan Douglas, acclaimed screenwriter Chris Haddock, and award-winning theatre and film director Kim Collier collaborate to create a production that is at the frontier of new media use in performance art. Inspired by post-war film noir,Helen Lawrence intertwines theatre, visual art, live-action filming and computer-generated recreations of historical sites in a beautifully crafted fresco of postwar Vancouver, and a suspenseful whodunit tale. It’s another mixed media masterpiece brought to life by the director of 2012’s Tear the Curtain! and 2011’s Red.

The Tempest Replica
A Kidd Pivot production presented by Canadian Stage
May 7 to May 11, 2014

Choreographed and directed by Crystal Pite

In her new dance piece inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest, award-winning Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite stages a game of revenge and forgiveness, where reality dances with imagination. Integrating stunning visuals, projection and an original score, The Tempest Replica is a testament to Pite’s skill as an image-maker and storyteller of rare distinction. After the success of 2011’s Dark Matters comes another theatrical and inventive dance creation.

At the Berkeley Street Theatre

The Flood Thereafter
A Canadian Stage production in co-production with the Hopscotch Collective in association with the Theatre Department in the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University
September 22 to October 6, 2013

By Sarah Berthiaume
Translated by Nadine Desrochers
Directed by Ker Wells

Part portrait of small-town Canada and part timeless fable, The Flood Thereafter is a magical play by Sarah Berthiaume, a rising star of Quebecois theatre. Every day, twenty-year-old June does an abrupt strip show in the gritty Emotions bar with all the men of the town watching and weeping. June’s relationship to the men stretches back to the sirens who ensnarled the mariners of ancient Greece, but when a young stranger arrives in town the tide begins to turn.

A Canadian Stage production in co-production with the Hopscotch Collective in association with the Theatre Department in the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University
October 13 to October 27, 2013
By Sarah Berthiaume
Translated by Nadine Desrochers
Directed by Ted Witzel

Three unlikely roommates are enduring the harsh Whitehorse winter as the 2007 Robert Pickton murder trial plays out on the TV. One of them, a young métis man, confronts the mystery of his missing native mother’s identity while his father suffers from liver failure.Yukonstyle is a play for the new generation of Canadians who are less concerned with what it means to be “Canadian” than they are with how to get by in this country of mountains, bison, fast food, serial killers, and snow.

Winners and Losers
Produced by Theatre Replacement and Neworld Theatre, in association with Crow’s Theatre
Presented by Crow’s Theatre in association with Canadian Stage
November 10 to December 8, 2013

Written and performed by Marcus Youssef and James Long
Directed by Chris Abraham

Winners and Losers is a staged conversation that embraces the ruthless logic of modern-day capitalism, and tests its impact on our closest personal relationships. Theatre artists and long-time friends Marcus Youssef and James Long sit at a table and play a game they made up called “winners and losers,” in which they name things and people — Pamela Anderson, microwave ovens, Goldman Sachs, their fathers — and debate whether, from their perspective, these things are winners or losers. As the conversation unfolds, the competition quickly begins to have an unanticipated cost.

A Theatrefront production produced in association with Canadian Stage
February 2 to March 2, 2014

By Nina Raine
Directed by Daryl Cloran
Starring Holly Lewis, Dylan Trowbridge, Patricia Fagan, Joseph Ziegler, Nancy Palk

Billy is deaf but his unconventional family has tried to raise him as part of the hearing world. It’s not until he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, that he finally discovers what it means to be heard. Winner of the 2012 Drama Desk and New York Theatre Critics Circle awards, Tribes is an intelligent, provocative, and jarringly emotional play that gets its Canadian premiere at Canadian Stage.

The Company Theatre
April 6 to May 4, 2013

A new production from The Company Theatre, our Berkeley Street partners who presented 2012’s Speaking in Tongues and 2011’s The Test, will round out the season. Show details to be announced.

At the High Park Amphitheatre

Shakespeare in High Park: The Taming of the Shrew and Macbeth
A Canadian Stage production in collaboration with the Theatre Department in the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University
July 2 – September 1, 2013

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Ted Witzel and Ker Wells

Next summer as part of Shakespeare in High Park, see Shakespeare’s powerful tragedyMacbeth and early comedy The Taming of the Shrew under the stars. Both works will be playing outdoors throughout the summer on alternate nights for the first time in more than 20 years. This pay-what-you-can event is one of Toronto’s favourite traditions.


2013.2014 Subscriptions are on sale beginning November 28, with 4-show packages starting from $98, 6-show packages starting from $144 and 10-show packages starting from $228. Subscriptions may be purchased by phone at 416-368-3110 or in-person at the Canadian Stage Box Office: Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front St. E.) or Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley St.). Single tickets will be on sale in May 2013. Full details on the productions, casting and subscription packages are available online at

Photo of Akram Khan by Richard Haughton