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Canadian Stage unveils bracing 2024-25 season

A view of the front of Canadian Stage's exterior, taken from an angle. A large, red-brick building with green doors and windows. A sign reading
/By / Mar 25, 2024

Toronto’s Canadian Stage has announced its 2024-25 season, featuring an exciting roster of Toronto and Canadian premieres as well as remounts of beloved productions from across Ontario.

“This upcoming season is truly one of our most ambitious to date,” said artistic director Brendan Healy in a press release. “We’ve been incredibly fortunate to see audiences returning to our theatres at record levels this past year…our aim is to offer a range of exceptional theatrical experiences that have something to inspire and delight a wide range of audiences, new and returning, and I think the 24-25 season comes as close as we ever have to that goal.”

With its season announcement, Canadian Stage has also announced that it has doubled its budget for the development of new work, and will offer free childcare during select matinee performances for all productions at the Berkeley Street Theatre in the upcoming season.

“Brendan and I have co-led Canadian Stage for just over five years, navigating the pandemic and numerous challenges and opportunities along the way with an exceptional team of artists, staff, and Board,” said executive director Monica Esteves. “It is gratifying for our team to experience and build upon the organization’s current momentum, which has enabled us to not simply recover from the pandemic, but to rebound and achieve a level of stability that is often a delicate balance to strike for not-for-profit arts organizations. None of this would be possible were it not for our artists, our incredible donors, and our audiences, new and returning. We are incredibly grateful and delighted.”

Further information about the season is available on the Canadian Stage website.


A Canadian Stage and Belfry Theatre joint production in association with the Stratford Festival
Written by Jani Lauzon and Kaitlyn Riordan
Directed by Jani Lauzon
September 15 – October 6, 2024
Berkeley Street Theatre

Canadian Stage opens its season with a revival of 1939, originally produced at the Stratford Festival in 2022. When the teachers and students of a fictional residential school in Northern Ontario hear of a visit from King George VI, they endeavour to put together a special production of All’s Well That Ends Well, leading to challenging conversations about how Shakespeare should be performed.

My Name Is Lucy Barton

A Canadian Stage production
Written by Elizabeth Strout
Adapted by Rona Munro
Directed by Jackie Maxwell
October 18 – November 3, 2024
Bluma Appel Theatre

This solo show, an adaptation of Strout’s novel of the same name, first premiered at London’s Bridge Theatre in 2018, eventually moving to Broadway in 2020. Maev Beaty steps into the title role in a production sure to offer an unforgettable night at the theatre.

Playing Shylock

A Canadian Stage production in association with Starvox Productions
Written by Mark Leiren-Young
Directed by Martin Kinch
October 26 – November 17, 2024
Berkeley Street Theatre

Playing Shylock is a solo show about a fictional production of The Merchant of Venice cancelled mid-performance due to public outcries about the play. In this fantasy, the actor playing Shylock remains onstage, speaking candidly about identity and its role in the theatre.

The Wizard of Oz: A Holiday Musical Panto for All

A Canadian Stage production in association with Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres
Written by Matt Murray
Directed by Ted Dykstra
December 6, 2024 – January 5,2025
Winter Garden Theatre

Toronto’s favourite Christmastime tradition, the holiday panto made legendary by Ross Petty, enters a new era with Canadian Stage. Longtime panto mainstay Dan Chameroy returns as the beloved Plumbum in a production sure to delight Torontonians of all ages. “I’m delighted that Canadian Stage will breathe new life into my legacy and continue producing pantos for years to come,” Petty said in a press release.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

A Canadian Stage production
Written by Edward Albee
Directed by Brendan Healy
January 18 – February 2, 2025
Bluma Appel Theatre

Canadian Stage’s production of this classic play features a star-studded cast of Canadian theatre couples: Paul Gross and Martha Burns, and Hailey Gillis and Mac Fyfe. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? has been called “one of the three best plays of all time,” and this dreamy cast promises to deliver a compelling production of it.

Winter Solstice

A Necessary Angel Theatre Company production in association with Canadian Stage and Birdland Theatre
Written by Roland Schimmelpfennig
Translated by David Tushingham
Directed by Alan Dilworth
January 14 – February 2, 2025
Berkeley Street Theatre

Set on Christmas Eve, Winter Solstice explores volatile family dynamics through the eyes of a mysterious stranger. A biting satire on the rise of the new right, Germany’s most celebrated playwright offers an ominous warning about being overly trusting to new people.

Fat Ham

A Canadian Stage production
Written by James Ijames
Directed by Philip Akin
February 15 – March 9, 2025
Berkeley Street Theatre

This re-thinking of Hamlet marks the Canadian premiere of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Fat Ham, in which the former Prince of Denmark is now a queer college student in the American South. Featuring Peter Fernandes in the title role, Fat Ham is Hamlet like you’ve never seen it before.

MAHABHARATA: Karma (Part 1) and Dharma (Part 2)

A Why Not Theatre production presented by Canadian Stage with Why Not Theatre
Created and written by Ravi Jain and Miriam Fernandes
Using poetry from Carole Satyamurti’s Mahabharata: A Modern Retelling
Directed by Ravi Jain
With associate director Miriam Fernandes
April 8 – 19, 2025
Bluma Appel Theatre

Following a memorable world premiere production commissioned and presented by the Shaw Festival in association with the Barbican Theatre in London, Mahabharata returns to Ontario in its Toronto premiere at the Bluma Appel Theatre. Based on the 4,000-year-old Sanskrit epic poem, the two-part play examines philosophy and human consciousness with a dazzling 25-person cast.

Dream in High Park 2024 – Hamlet

A Canadian Stage production
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Jessica Carmichael
July 21 – September 1, 2024
High Park

Theatregoers hoping to prepare for Fat Ham can reacquaint themselves with the play’s source material by checking out this year’s edition of Dream in High Park. Hamlet will feature Qasim Khan in the title role, with additional performances by Prince Amponsah, Raquel Duffy, Christo Graham, Stephen Jackman-Torkoff, Sam Khalilieh, Breton Lalama, Beck Lloyd, Dan Mousseau, Amelia Sargisson, James Dallas Smith, and Diego Matamoros.

Aisling Murphy

Aisling Murphy

Aisling is Intermission's senior editor and an award-winning arts journalist with bylines including the Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, CBC Arts, CTV News Toronto, and Maclean's. She likes British playwright Sarah Kane, most songs by Taylor Swift, and her cats, Fig and June. She was a 2024 fellow at the National Critics Institute in Waterford, CT.



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