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Season Announcement: Canadian Stage 2020-2021

/By / Jan 30, 2020

Canadian Stage has announced its new season for 2020-2021.

Thirteen new works will be featured, nine of which are Canadian productions, three international hits, and an outdoor Shakesperean favourite. This season, Canadian stage brings together home-grown Canadian talent like Erin Shields, Louise Pitre, Eric Peterson, Tanja Jacobs, Olivier Choinière, Rosemary Dunsmore, Kimberley Rampersad, Ben Carlson, Evan Buliung, Jenny Young, Crystal Pite, Jonathan Young and more. International acclaimed creators are also prominent this season, like Jackie Sibblies Drury, Dairakudakan, and a U.S./Canadian production of Khaled Hosseini‘s A Thousand Splendid Suns.

“We have produced a season that is connected to Toronto and one that supports great Canadian talent,” says Canadian Stage Executive Director Monica Esteves. “What audiences will see and experience on our stages are world-leading theatre makers and choreographers from Canada and around the world and this could not have been achieved without our incredible community partners.”

Canadian Stage’s new season is also making a priority to reinforce the company’s commitment to collaborating with local theatre companies. This season includes co-productions with The Musical Stage Company, Obsidian Theatre, Red Sky Performance, L’ACTIVITÉ, and the Dance Series partnership with TO Live.

Also, new this season is an initiative called Art Explored, where audiences will get to engage with the art in new and exciting ways through a series of exclusive events. The events will be things like an intimate Cabaret with Louise Pitre and Friends, a Shakespeare Family Feast during Shakespeare in High Park, Brickworks to Gasworks Creative Walk, two Brunches with Brendan, Ornament Making in our historic Prop Shop, a Spirits & Spaces Sake Tasting and Music Performance, Arts Talks and more.

Performances will run from September 2020 to June of 2021 at The Bluma Appel Theatre at the St. Lawrence Centre; The Berkeley Street Theatre (which houses the Marilyn and Charles Baillie Theatre and The Berkeley Upstairs Theatre); and the High Park Amphitheatre. For more information about how to purchase tickets, click here.

Canadian Stage’s 20.21 Season

Written by Jackie Sibblies Drury. Directed by Kimberley Rampersad. A Canadian Stage and Obsidian Theatre Co-Production.

September 12 – October 4, 2020.

After its stunning sold-out NYC debut, this Canadian premiere of Jackie Sibblies Jury’s electrifying 2019 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama confronts notions of both theatre and race. Fairview is a radical examination of power, an interrogation of our subtly destructive preconceptions and asks questions that challenge modern white liberalism.

A Thousand Splendid Suns 

Written by Ursula Rani Sarma. Directed by Haysam Kadri. A Canadian Stage Production in Association with The Citadel Theatre.

October 18-31, 2020.

Based on the bestselling novel by Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner) comes a powerful story of two wives who form an unlikely and dangerous friendship on their journey to freedom. Two generations of women, forced together by circumstance, face a violent war and a new reality of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Filled with peril, sacrifice and, ultimately hope, this riveting story captures a time and place few have experienced.

Little Dickens 

A production of Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionnettes. A Canadian Stage Presentation.

November 25 – December 20, 2020.

The Charles Dickens holidays classic, A Christmas Carol, gets a raunchy reimagining by Toronto puppet master, Ronnie Burkett, and his Theatre of Marionettes. His motley crew of lovely characters, including the diva Esmé Massengill as Emsé Scrooge, encounters with the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come to lead her on a journey of redemption.

Public Enemy 

Written by Olivier Choiniére. Trans-adaptation by Bobby Theodore. Directed by Brendan Healy.

January 9 – 31, 2021.

Elizabeth, the frail but stubborn matriarch is hosting dinner for her three children and two grandchildren. In this blistering take on a family dinner, the always subversive Siminovitch Prize-winner, Olivier Choinière invites you to a dinner unlike any you’ve attended before. Rapid-fire dialogue is painstakingly choreographed, as we chart through moments that are both eerily recognizable and piercingly insightful.


Direction and Concept by Sandra Laronde. Choreographed by Jera Wolfe.

February 12-21, 2021.

At the forefront of Indigenous performance in Canada and around the world, Red Sky Performance delivers an explosive original work that expands and elevates the ecology of contemporary Indigenous arts and culture. Revealing the power of nature and Indigenous prophecy by fusing contemporary Indigenous dance with athleticism, Miigis explores that catalysts for movement, memory, water trade routes, ancestral forces and the cycle of life.

Crazy Camel

Choreography and Artistic Direction by Akaji Maro and Dairakudakan.

March 5 & 6, 2020.

In this exhilarating Butoh-style dance performance, the brilliant Dairakudakan ensemble make their Toronto debut. The defiant Butoh dance style (meaning dance of darkness) emerged in post-World War II Japan in response to the country’s overtly Western-inspired dance scene. Founded in 1972 by groundbreaking Japanese choreographer, Akaji Maro, this is a show that is not to be missed.


Created by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young.

March 25 & 28, 2020.

After a sold-out run in our 19.20 season, Revisor returns. Choreographer Crystal Pite and writer-actor Jonathon Young, the creative team behind the acclaimed and heartbreaking Bettroffenheit, have struck gold again with Revisor! Inspired by Nikolai Gogol’s 1836 play The Inspector General, Revisor is part risky satire, part choreographed lip-synch and all urgent warning of unchecked power.

Paradise Lost

By Erin Shields. Directed by Tanja Jacobs.

April 9 – 19, 2021.

In the depths of Hell, the recently, embarrassingly defeated Satan, played by Canadian theatrical great Louise Pitre, is plotting her revenge on the cocky God, the father. The plan: to defile his precious new creations – the naïve, idealistic, perhaps dimwitted – Adam and Eve, while disguised as a serpent. The classic story of the battle between Heaven and Hell gets an irreverent retelling in Erin Shield’s witty and contemporary adaptation of John Milton’s epic 17th-century poem.


Book by Steven Gallagher. Music & Lyrics by Anton Lipovetsky. Directed by Ann Hodges.

May 14 – June 6, 2021.

Blackout is the latest project of our ongoing partnership with The Musical Stage Company to support the creation of new Canadian musicals. On August 14, 2003, Toronto was sent into chaos when the largest blackout in Canadian history left millions in the dark unable to reach or connect with their loved ones. Inspired by real events, Blackout depicts three stories of connection that unfolded when the city was dark, and strangers banded together to find the light. Created by two of Canada’s most exciting voices, this new Canadian musical is a story of hope, resilience, and community.

Shakespeare in High Park

The Comedy of Errors

Written by William Shakespeare. Directed by Peter Pasyk.

July 4 – September 6, 2020.

Produced by Canadian Stage, and a part of the new season, this production is part of the beloved Shakespeare in High Park that takes place every summer. One of the cities most magical outdoor experiences returns for its 38th year. Experience Shakespeare under the stars with The Comedy of Errors. Considered one of Shakespeare’s most enduring and beloved comedies, this play about two displaced twins, Antipholus and Dromio, who journey to find their respective brothers, is teeming with mischievous wordplay and complex mix-ups. The ultimate story of mistaken identity.

CS PLATFORM: A Vanguard Performance Series

Over three weekends in November, four of Canada’s most provocative creators present new works that redefine the boundaries of performance. This special series invites audiences to explore the future of performance.

AME HENDERSON, HARBINGER (Canada) – November 5-7, 2020

  • Choreographer Ame Henderson’s harbinger conjures unapologetic feminine splendour, with a startling exploration of intimacy and physical interdependence.

DANA MICHEL, MERCURIAL GEORGE (Canada) – November 12-14, 2020

  • Mercurial George, choreographer Dana Michel’s (first Canadian winner of the Venice Biennale Silver Lion Award) destabilizing solo show, sifts through the heaps of dusty clues left over in the wake of initializing a cultural excavation.

CHRISTIAN LAPOINTE & NADIA ROSS, P.O.R.N. (Canada) – November 19-21, 2020

  • In Siminovitch Prize-winner Nadia Ross and Christian Lapointe’s P.O.R.N. (Portrait of Restless Narcissism), the internet connects two people attempting to escape the loneliness of our time.

About Canadian Stage: Canadian Stage’s mission is to be the leading performing arts organization with in the country by bringing together a fusion of disciplines and cultures that reflects the dynamism and complexity of Canada.

Mariam Ahmed

Mariam Ahmed

Mariam is Associate Editor at Intermission. Mariam earned her Honours BA in English literature from York University and recently completed a Graduate Certificate program from Centennial College in Book and Magazine Publishing. When she's not busy reading books and plays, she takes pictures of books for her "Bookstagram", watches as many movies and shows as she can, and is a self-proclaimed Chocoholic.



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