The Toronto premiere of Michael Healey’s political comedy 1979 has been announced.
In June of 1979, Joe Clark was sworn in as Canada’s 16th prime minister on the eve of his 40th birthday. By winter, it was all over. The play finds Clark during the dying days of his government while he strives to hold true to his values as opinions swirl around him.
In April 2017, Alberta Theatre Projects produced the world premiere of 1979 in Calgary. The run garnered six Betty Mitchell Award Nominations. Director Miles Potter (New Canadian Curling Club, Blyth Festival) returns to direct the Toronto production opening January 2019.
The original cast of three play a dozen characters including politicians Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, and Flora MacDonald. Joe Clark, the headstrong and naive statesman, is played by Philip Riccio (Jerusalem, The Company Theatre). Riccio is joined by Christopher Hunt (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Half Life, Alberta Theatre Projects) and Jamie Konchak (The Virgin Trial, Alberta Theatre Projects; Miss Caledonia, Lunchbox).
The production features original designs from Calgary-based designers: Jennifer Lee Arsenault (Costume), Thomas Geddes (Sound), and Scott Reid (Projections). The Toronto set designer is Steve Lucas (Heisenberg, Canadian Stage) with lighting design by Nick Blais (Dr. Silver, Outside the March/Musical Stage Company).
1979 examines the rapidly changing world of conservative politics and reflects on the end of a time when politicians were elected to serve all people—not only their supporters. The production runs from January 9-27, 2019 at The Berkley Street Theatre. For tickets, click here or call the box office at 416-368-3110.
Meet the cast and crew of 1979 :
Healey started writing plays to augment his career as an actor in the nineties. In the twenty years since, his work has won numerous awards across the globe and at home. His latest play, 1979, was commissioned by the Shaw Festival, and premiered at Alberta Theatre Projects.
Potter has worked at virtually every major venue in the country over the past 30 years. He directed Stratford Festival's recent production of Long Day's Journey Into Night. His recent production of Mark Crawford’s New Canadian Curling Club at Blyth was recently extended for five extra performances. He has worked on many new scripts including the premier production and national tour of Michael Healy's The Drawer Boy (Dora award).
Blais designs across Canada in all manner of discipline and venue from Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre to the base of the Calgary Tower. He is head of design for Outside the March and the recipient of the 2018 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Set Design (Jerusalem).
Christopher Hunt Gallery
Hunt was humbled to receive the 2018 Harry and Martha Cohen Award for his significant and sustained contribution to the Calgary theatre community. He's acted in 25 productions with Alberta Theatre Projects.
Marcie Januska has been working as an arts administrator and stage manager for over 20 years. She is the co-founder and Producer at reWork Productions and Co-Producer at Spontaneous Theatre/Northan Industries. As a stage manager, she has worked on over 150 shows, including over 45 new plays.
Since 1987, Steve Lucas has designed award winning sets and lighting for more than 500 productions of theatre, dance and performance art. His work has toured extensively and has been seen all across the globe: 25 countries so far.
Jamie Konchak's work as an actor, singer and creator has taken her from coast to coast to coast across Canada and she is proud to make her home in Calgary with husband Graham and Pomeranian Pepper. In the spring, she will be premiering a new female wrestling show about Andre The Giant with Ghost River Theatre.
Riccio is the Co-Artistic Director of The Company Theatre. For the company Philip, has starred in Jerusalem (Dora Award Outstanding Production), John (Toronto Theatre Critics Award for Outstanding Production, Dora Award Nomination). As a performer Philip has worked with several other companies across Canada including The Stratford Festival, Soulpepper and Canadian Stage.