Toronto, ON – November 12, 2013: Albert Schultz, Founding Artistic Director of Soulpepper Theatre Company, today announced Soulpepper's 2014 season (Jan. - Sept., 2014), including eight new plays, three Soulpepper favourites and three partner presentations.
The season begins in January with Robert E. Sherwood's Idiot's Delight followed by Tom Murphy's The Gigli Concert, and Athol Fugard's The Road to Mecca. In the spring Soulpepper will also present the first-ever stage version of W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage, adapted by Governor General's Award-winner Vern Thiessen. In June, Reginald Rose's jury-room drama Twelve Angry Men will be staged, followed by Molière'sTartuffe, and a modern, moving reworking of Shakespeare with A Tender Thing by Ben Power. In August Soulpepper shines the spotlight on Canadian legend Glenn Gould, with David Young's Glenn.
The three returning Soulpepper favourites are Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests (Table Manners, Living Together, and Round and Round the Garden), Arthur Miller's The Crucible, and Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning Angels in America, Parts I and II, Millennium Approaches and Perestroika.
Soulpepper's 2014 partner presentations are: A Brimful of Asha (Why Not Theatre); Trudeau and the FLQ(VideoCabaret); and Borne, a new work from Judith Thompson and RARE Theatre Company. A secondary announcement will take place in the spring of 2014 to announce Soulpepper's Oct. - Dec. lineup of productions and festivals. All Soulpepper performances take place at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. Subscription tickets are on sale as of Nov. 12, 2013. Single tickets go on sale Dec. 3, 2013. Visit soulpepper.ca for more details.
"In 2014, Soulpepper will take a fresh look at two of the masters of the canon, as well as exploring five twentieth-century gems from Canada and around the world," said Schultz. "Continuing our work in commissioning adaptations and translations by Canadian writers, we will also present the first-ever stage adaptation of one of the great novels of the English language: W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage, adapted by Governor General's Award-winner Vern Thiessen. The season will launch with Robert E. Sherwood's gorgeous romp Idiot's Delight. This romantic comedy, with music and dance, is set against the coming of the Second World War. 2014 is the year in which we remember the beginnings of the two world wars 100 and 75 years ago that have defined all of our lives, and the lives of our nations. Throughout this year, with additional programming to be announced in the spring, we will remind ourselves of the sacrifices made and the freedoms won by the generations before us."
"At Soulpepper we celebrate work that shares our values of excellence and rigour, and our desire to introduce audiences to new voices in our community. Soulpepper continues to program great work from local companies we admire, including Why Not Theatre's A Brimful of Asha, the smash-hit family comedy from Soulpepper Resident Artist Ravi Jain. We're also offering a home to Toronto's iconic VideoCabaret, and a remount of their rivetingTrudeau and the FLQ. And for the second year of a three-year residency, we support Judith Thompson and RARE Theatre Company as they develop brand-new works exploring the world of Canadians with disabilities. This year's incredible Borne features and focuses on individuals living with spinal cord injuries."
"This year also continues our repertory trend of being flexible to audience demand, as we remount three of our most popular and celebrated works: The Crucible, The Norman Conquests, and Angels in America."
SOULPEPPER'S 2014 SEASON
ROBERT E. SHERWOOD (JAN. 23 - MARCH 1; OPENING NIGHT JAN. 30)
A cast of wonderfully eccentric and international guests - countesses, arms dealers, showgirls, revolutionaries, charlatans and lovers - spend a fateful weekend in a resort hotel in the Swiss Alps. While songs are sung and dances danced and loves rekindled, the dark clouds of war come rolling in.
THE GIGLI CONCERT
TOM MURPHY (MARCH 28 - MAY 16; OPENING NIGHT APRIL 2)
Tom Murphy is considered by many to be the greatest living Irish playwright and this, his masterpiece. The services of self-titled "Dynamatologist" JPW King, an Englishman living in Dublin, are retained by a mysterious Irish building contractor who wants to sing like the famed operatic tenor Beniamino Gigli. King, anything but a voice teacher, and the mysterious and dangerous Irishman begin a process of exploration unearthing the power of the mind in their mutual search for salvation.
OF HUMAN BONDAGE
W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM ADAPTED BY VERN THIESSEN (APRIL 15 - MAY 17; OPENING NIGHT APRIL 24)
A broken man. A damaged woman. An impossible love. Considered one of the greatest novels ever written, Of Human Bondage is an epic tale of loss, lust, obsession, and the pursuit of beauty in a world dominated by war, greed, and poverty. It is adapted for the stage for the very first time by Governor General's Award-winning playwright Vern Thiessen. "It's an honour to have a world premiere at one of the best theatre companies in North America," said Thiessen. "Soulpepper is the only theatre company I know willing to risk a new project like this."
THE ROAD TO MECCA
ATHOL FUGARD (APRIL 30 - MAY 28; OPENING NIGHT MAY 5)
In an archly conservative village in Apartheid-Era South Africa, an elderly white woman has turned her house and yard into a highly personal and unorthodox work of art with contentious results. This play, by one of the great humanist playwrights of the 20th Century, was inspired by a real-life story, and examines the nature of friendship, the necessity of self-expression, and the struggle of a free-spirited individual in an intolerant society.
TWELVE ANGRY MEN
REGINALD ROSE (JUNE 11 - JULY 19; OPENING NIGHT JUNE 17)
The fate of a young man accused of murdering his own father lies in the hands of 12 strangers crowded into an oppressively hot, claustrophobic deliberation room. A single dissenting voice rings out "not guilty" planting the seed of reasonable doubt and unraveling what was seemingly an open-and-shut case. Tempers flare and human nature is tested in this classic jury-room drama.
MOLIÈRE, TRANSLATED BY RICHARD WILBUR (AUGUST 7 - SEPTEMBER 20; OPENING NIGHT AUGUST 12)
In one of the greatest comedies ever written, the sanctimonious Tartuffe feigns virtue and piety, deceiving his host Orgon while attempting to seduce his wife and gain an inheritance. A humourous tale of lust, religious hypocrisy and the triumph of good over evil.
A TENDER THING
BEN POWER (AUGUST 14 - OCTOBER 1; OPENING NIGHT AUGUST 19)
In this deeply moving re-working of Shakespeare's text, an elderly Romeo and Juliet reminisce on their lives together, reveling in the joys of love while charting a course through the inevitable passage of time, aging, and the final stages of life. "My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep, the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite."
DAVID YOUNG (AUGUST 26 - OCTOBER 1; OPENING NIGHT SEPTEMBER 2)
Prodigy, Perfectionist, Performer and Puritan: The iconic Canadian artist Glenn Gould. Glenn is a fascinating and moving look at the music and mythology of an eternally captivating figure. Framed by Gould's two definitive versions of Bach's The Goldberg Variations, Young uses a theme-and-variation compositional structure to examine the arc of the Gould's life and the breadth of his character. "What's the appropriate response when the best theatre company in the country wants to do your play? I can't wait to see how the genius team at Soulpepper re-imagines the music and mind of Glenn," said Young.
THE NORMAN CONQUESTS
Table Manners (FEBRUARY 10 - MARCH 8; OPENING FEBRUARY 15)
Living Together (FEBRUARY 11 - MARCH 8; OPENING FEBRUARY 15)
Round and Round the Garden (FEBRUARY 14 - MARCH 8; OPENING FEBRUARY 15)
Three brilliantly constructed and hilarious plays show different sides of the same deliciously naughty and fractious family reunion weekend. Each play works as a stand-alone theatrical experience, and the trilogy can be seen in any order. Marathon performances available.
ANGELS IN AMERICA: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes
Part One: Millennium Approaches (JUNE 12 - JULY 12; OPENING NIGHT JUNE 14)
Part Two: Perestroika (JUNE 13 - JULY 12; OPENING NIGHT JUNE 14)
Tony Kushner's epic theatrical take on the AIDS crisis of the 80s has proved to be as timely, as powerfully moving and as deeply funny in this Soulpepper revival as it was when the play took the world by storm 20 years ago. The two parts should ideally be seen in order, and the Marathon Experience (both in a day) is highly recommended.
ARTHUR MILLER (AUGUST 30 - SEPTEMBER 20; OPENING NIGHT SEPTEMBER 4)
The 2012 Dora Award-nominated Soulpepper production returns. Salem, Massachusetts, 1692: a small, devout town is thrown into chaos with accusations of witchcraft and spiritual possession. Arthur Miller's explosive account of the famous Salem witch trials caused a sensation with its parallels to the Communist scares of the 1950s, and remains one of his most enduring classics.
RARE THEATRE COMPANY (JUNE 27 - JULY 19)
Borne is a dynamic, illuminating piece of theatre created by award-winning playwright Judith Thompson (RARE, Young Centre 2013) with a company of 12 performers living in wheelchairs. This is a play that proves to us that the impossible is indeed possible as the Borne artists share their own stories in their own words. Thompson and RARE Theatre Company have a multi-year partnership with Soulpepper to create unforgettable theatre featuring emerging and professional theatre artists with disabilities. "Their humour, their stories, their calamities and their triumphs, twelve wheelchairs whizzing around a stage at once... this play is going to explode all the myths and preconceptions," said Thompson.
VIDEOCABARET'S TRUDEAU and the FLQ
The History of the Village of the Small Huts, 1968 - 1972
VIDEOCABARET (MARCH 27 - MAY 10)
Trudeau and the FLQ is a black comedy dramatising the most violent manifestation of Quebec nationalism in Canadian history, and the response of a controversial Prime Minister. The acid-tripping rock-throwing sixties are conjured up and remounted by VideoCabaret founding playwright Michael Hollingsworth, performed with the magical stagecraft of the 2013 Dora Award-winning VideoCabaret ensemble. "Albert and Leslie and the whole Soulpepper company embrace more theatre activity per hour and square inch than any other facility in the city," said Hollingsworth. "They have wrapped their loving arms around VideoCab and provided us with the kind of co-production rarely seen these days, with shared risk, shared passion, and art, fuel of every kind. We are delighted to be continuing our collaboration."
A BRIMFUL OF ASHA
WHY NOT THEATRE (MARCH 19 - MARCH 22)
The celebrated family comedy returns to Toronto. Award-winning actor, director, and producer Ravi Jain shares the stage with his real-life mother in A Brimful of Asha, a story of family, arranged marriage, and the quest for the perfect bride. Just as Ravi's mother, Asha, feels time is running out for her son to find a suitable wife, Ravi feels he isn't ready for marriage. "You don't get to choose any member of your family. Why do you need to choose your wife?" Asha asks.
Soulpepper Theatre Company is located at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane, in the Distillery Historic District, Toronto, ON.
Subscription tickets are on sale as of Nov. 12, 2013. Single tickets go on sale Dec. 3, 2013. Tickets range from $29 - $74 (prices include 13% HST and service charge) and are available by calling the Young Centre box office at 416.866.8666 or by visiting soulpepper.ca. $23 tickets are available for 21-30 year-olds at stageplay.ca as of Dec. 3, 2013. StagePlay is sponsored by TD Bank Group. The $23 Rush Ticket / $5 Youth Rush program is sponsored by Sun Life Financial.
2014 Soulpepper Lead Sponsors are: Scotiabank Group, TELUS and the Michael & Karen Vukets Family Foundation. Trudeau and the FLQ is sponsored by BMO Financial.
Soulpepper gratefully acknowledges annual operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and project support from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Government of Ontario.
Music programming at Soulpepper is supported through The Slaight Family Music Program by Gary and Donna Slaight. 2014 Production Sponsorship is generously provided by Polar Securities, Middlefield Group and MacDougall, MacDougall & MacTier Inc.