Looking for information about your favourite theatres? We’ve got you covered! Intermission’s Insider Intel articles showcase one theatre at a time to give you all the information you need before your visit.
This week: Great Canadian Theatre Company
What kind of theatre do they produce?
Last month, Ottawa’s Great Canadian Theatre Company’s (GCTC) announced the exciting line-up for their 49th season, which revolves around the theme of relationships. For almost half a century, the company has fostered, produced, and promoted theatre that provokes examination of Canadian life and our place in the world. As they move forward, GCTC aims to increase diversity on its stages and in its creative teams, while making its work inclusive for more audiences to deepen their experience through artistic risk and relevant storytelling.
With over 85 world premieres to date, GCTC has made a strong commitment to advancing Canadian theatre and the creation of Canadian plays. Their productions do not prescribe a point of view, but rather encourage audience members to engage in debate and discussion, delivering art that is emotionally charged, intellectually engaging, and theatrically exciting.
GCTC is Ottawa’s largest professional, independent theatre. Under the leadership of artistic director Sarah Kitz and managing director Hugh Neilson, GCTC offers a wide range of annual artistic programming: five mainstage plays and a variety of ancillary programming that complements the mainstage season, including theatre-for-young-audiences, artist workshops, and special events.
GCTC is on the corner of Wellington Street West and Holland Avenue in Ottawa’s Hintonburg neighbourhood. The theatre is a 10-minute walk from Tunney’s Pasture Transit Station, with regular bus service from the station bringing patrons within a few blocks of the theatre.
While there is no parking at GCTC, there is limited street parking in the area. Visitors driving to the theatre can also find two paid parking lots within walking distance: one behind the Royal Oak Pub, and another behind West Park Bowling.
For more information on how to get to GCTC, or tips for your next trip, visit GCTC’s website.
GCTC owns and operates the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre, which includes two theatres and the Lorraine ‘Fritzi’ Yale Art Gallery. The Mainstage theatre seats an audience of 262, while the flexible black box Studio theatre offers a more intimate space for artists and audiences.
The Ottawa-based company has a firm no-scent policy across the entire venue for the comfort and safety of patrons with severe allergies and odour sensitivities.
COVID-19 Safety Information
GCTC’s COVID-19 policies continue to fluctuate, and adhere to local, regional, and national guidelines. The company encourages an environment of kindness
- Proof of vaccination is no longer required to attend performances and events at GCTC
- The company is operating at 100% capacity for the 2022-23 season. Each production offers two reduced capacity performances, during which staff, visitors and attendees will be required to wear a mask
- At all other shows (that are not reduced capacity) staff, visitors and attendees will no longer be required to wear masks, however, mask-wearing is still strongly recommended
- Patrons who are feeling ill are advised to stay home
For more information on the GCTC’s current COVID-19 policies, and their commitment to the health and safety of their staff, patrons, and artists, contact the company through their website.
GCTC strives to provide an inclusive environment that is welcoming and accessible to all — physically, emotionally and creatively. The company offers a range of different types of access initiatives for their shows to better serve and meet the diverse needs of their audience.
Some of GCTC’s access initiatives are available on-demand or by request, though the company also offers performances that have additional access initiatives built into them. Patrons who can’t find information suited to their specific access needs are invited to contact GCTC’s access coordinator, Drea (email@example.com), who will work with each individual to find the best support options to fit their unique needs.
For more information on GCTC’s specific access initiatives, including ASL interpreted performances, relaxed performances, hearing loop availability, step-free access, and much more, visit their website. To view the theatre’s full Venue Access Guide, click here.
Standard ticket prices for GCTC productions range from $26–$55, and can be purchased online, over the phone, or at the company’s box office.
To make theatre at GCTC more financially accessible, the theatre company offers a limited number of Pick-Your-Price tickets for each performance, available for $15, $25, or $35. Patrons are invited to pick whichever price makes the most sense for them.
For the 2023–2024 Season, GCTC is introducing a new subscription option for their patrons. Starting at $15 a month, theatre-goers can contribute monthly throughout the course of the year to receive a ticket to each of the five subscription series productions. Contribution amounts are based on seating preference in the theatre. The subscription service not only ensures that GCTC enthusiasts have the opportunity to see as many shows as possible, but it also allows the company to offer more single tickets at a reduced rate to patrons facing financial barriers. The subscription service also supports the company’s free education programming, helping GCTC to expand access to theatre and storytelling for youths across the city.
To subscribe to GCTC, visit their website. For more information about ticket prices and availability, visit the company’s website or call the box office at (613) 236-5196.
Artists You Might Recognise
- Sarah Kitz — Artistic Director
- Hugh Neilson — Managing Director
- Celina Hawkins — Company Manager
- Kyle Cameron — Box Office Manager
- Eric Coates
- Kristina Watt Villegas
- 100 Watt Youth Ensemble
Workshops and Classes
GCTC offers a variety of educational opportunities for youths across the Greater Ottawa Region. The company offers student matinees for select productions, with reduced ticket pricing to allow students to take in theatre that complements the Ontario curriculum. Select student matinees may include pre-show backstage tours or post-show talkbacks with members of the ensemble.
Additionally, GCTC programs their Summer Stage program for youths 6–15 out of their theatre. Summer Stage is a means for the company to broaden their reach and connection to young audiences and the greater theatre community.
To find out more about GCTC’s educational offerings, visit their website. To learn more about or enroll in Summer Stage, click here.
Where to Eat and Drink
GCTC has a bar in their upper lobby, which is open one hour before their mainstage productions and during intermissions. The bar offers local beverages from Ottawa’s Kichesippi Beer Company, Mill Street Brewery, Brickworks Ciderhouse, and Harwood Estates, as well as delicious treats from Thyme & Again.
Thyme & Again has been a GCTC partner for several years, catering opening night receptions and special events. The catering company’s Wellington St location is just down the road from the theatre, at 1225 Wellington St. West.
A number of Ottawa restaurants offer GCTC patrons discounts on the night of their tickets, so visit one of the following locations to make your next trip to GCTC a full night on the town!
- For craft beer and natural wine (plus a heated patio through the colder months), visit Bar Lupus on Wellington St. West for a 10% discount on the date of your tickets
- If you’re in the mood for something healthy, tasty, and packing a boatload of flavour, check out Paradise Poké on Holland Ave, where GCTC ticket-holder can receive a free drink on the night of their performance
- The Momo Spot is Holland Ave’s premiere spot for delicious Nepalese dumplings, and GCTC ticket-holders can receive 10% off their meal
- Not only is The Royal Oak pub located less than a block away from the theatre, the GCTC favourite offers patrons 15% off their entire meal on show night
- If you’re in the mood for something fancy, visit Absinthe, a modern bistro preparing local ingredients using French culinary techniques where GCTC ticket-holders can receive a 3-course meal for only $47
Forever Young: a Ghetto Story
A WORLD PERMIERE
In a Jewish ghetto at the height of the Second World War, a group of youths plot what will become known as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, while coming of age. This sharp comedy from Darrah Teitel (Behaviour, The Apology) is a story of youth, revolution, and betrayal in Poland, 1943 as these young socialists rise to face their oppressors and change the world.
Image by Curtis Perry
A photo of a young man with short dark hair who is wearing a button up shirt and suspenders. He is sitting on a staircase with one leg extended, and his arms are pulled in at his sides. His mouth is open as though he is screaming. Behind him are chairs and a table with glass bottles on it. Beside his foot is a wooden crate.
Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools
A GCTC & NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE INDIGENOUS THEATRE CO-PRESENTATION OF A BUDDIES IN BAD TIMES THEATRE PRODUCTION
A concert and a conversation, Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools is the meeting place of two people, and the North and South of our country. Inuk artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and queer theatre-maker Evalyn Parry met on an Arctic expedition from Iqaluit to Greenland. Now sharing a stage, these two powerful storytellers map new territory together in a work that gives voice and body to the histories, culture, and climate we’ve inherited, and asks how we reckon with these sharp tools.
Image by Jeremy Mimnagh
Evalyn Parry and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory in Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools, created by Created by Evalyn Parry, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Erin Brubacher, and Elysha Poirier with Cris Derksen.
How Black Mothers Say I Love You
FROM AWARD-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT TREY ANTHONY
How Black Mothers Say I Love You is the tale of a mother, three daughters, and their attempts to love each other in less than ideal circumstances. Daphne is a Caribbean mother who leaves her two daughters behind in Jamaica for six years to start a better life in Canada. This separation has devastating consequences on each family member, all of whom are searching for love, reconciliation and forgiveness. How Black Mothers Say I Love You explores our own desire and urgent need for truth and how we respond to what has been left unsaid.
Image by Andrew Alexander
Malube, Bénédicte Bélizaire, Samantha Walkes, and Lucinda Davis in Trey Anthony's How Black Mothers Say I Love You, directed by Kimberley Rampersand.
FROM GOVERNOR GENERAL'S AWARD WINNING PLAYWRIGHT NICOLAS BILLON
It’s Christmas Eve, and an elderly man in a foreign military uniform is left unconscious at a police station. He has a Santa hat on his head and a meat hook around his neck. He doesn’t speak English, and the only clue accompanying him is a lawyer’s business card that says “arrest me”. Together, the lawyer, a police officer and an interpreter set out to unearth a secret past that reveals itself one thrilling twist and turn at a time.
Butcher, one of the hottests new plays in Canada in 2016, was extended for seven additional shows at the GCTC before it even opened.
Image by Andrew Alexander.
John Koensgen and Jonathan Koensgen in Butcher, directed by Eric Coates.
The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble
THE 2015 GOVERNOR GENERAL'S AWARD NOMINATED PLAY FROM BETH GRAHAM
Bernice calls a family meeting to tell her three children she has early onset Alzheimer’s. But she only tells Iris, her middle child, the real secret. Now Iris is in charge of putting a life-altering plan into motion in this touching story about life, memories and the perfect casserole. The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble is about the tricky nature of family dynamics, and the effects of mental illness seen through the eyes of a young woman who’s searching for her own feelings amidst the whirlwind emotions of her family.
Image by Andrew Alexander.
Manon St-Jules, Deena Aziz, Adrien Pyke, and Rachelle Casseus in The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble. Image by Andrew Alexander.
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