Wednesday, March 12, 2014

News: (Ottawa) NAC English Theatre announces 2014-15 season (press release)

News Release

Artistic Director Jillian Keiley lifts curtain on 2014-15 English Theatre Season

March 11, 2014 – OTTAWA (Canada) – Riding high on the exceptional success of her inaugural season, National Arts Centre English Theatre Artistic Director Jillian Keiley brought her magic touch to the NAC Fourth Stage today in a fun and entertaining event to announce what English Theatre has in store for the 2014-15 season at the National Arts Centre.

Ms. Keiley, joined by special guests, unveiled the ten productions and presentations that will make up the Theatre, Studio and Family Series, introduced the ten-member 2014-15 Ensemble and visiting artists from coast to coast to coast, and shined a light on the growth of The Collaborations, a unique investment with theatre companies and artists across Canada.

“It is truly an experience to behold the variety of great works and artists that make up our season,” said Ms. Keiley. “The shows are spectacular and represent the richness of variety and strength of what’s happening on stages throughout Canada.” In putting together the season she explained, “We bring in our treasured Ensemble, and program shows we think will feature them beautifully. Then we complete our season by presenting some of the most brilliant stage works from across the country.”

Ms. Keiley, along with Associate Artistic Director Sarah Garton Stanley, spent the last year and a half combing the Canadian theatre-scape to deliver this season featuring brave, political, funny and hot tickets productions.


The Theatre Series will launch with three works featuring the 2014-15 Ensemble, starting with one of theatre’s greatest comedies, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Ted Dykstra; followed by a special holiday production of Alice Through the Looking-Glass, directed by Ms. Keiley and produced in association with the Stratford Festival; then a look at the Bush administration during the Iraq War, with David Hare’s Stuff Happens, under the direction of David Ferry. Rounding out the Theatre Series will be powerful movement-based Theatre Smith-Gilmour’s Take Me Back to Jefferson and finishing with the return of theatre wizard Robert Lepage, with a new production of his acclaimed Needles and Opium, co-presented by le Théâtre français du CNA and the Magnetic North Theatre Festival.

The Studio Series will feature three critically-acclaimed touring productions, beginning with the wonderfully witty Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata from Acting Up Stage and Factory Theatre, followed by Tawiah M’Carthy’s powerful one-man creation Obaabarima, from Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and closing with Bad New Days’ The Double, inspired by Dostoëvsky’s same titled novella.

The Family Series includes Alice Through the Looking-Glass and is followed by two very special productions for children: The Queen of Paradise’s Garden, a traditional Newfoundland fairy tale told by the one and only Andy Jones, and the Red Sky Performance production of Tracey Power’s The Great Mountain.


The 2014-15 Ensemble came together through a nation-wide search by Ms. Keiley and Ms. Stanley.

“Almost two years ago we recognized a few talents that had great political intelligence and a wonderful handle on comedy,” said Ms. Keiley, “Then we began to match them with other artists whom we thought would be inspirational to the original few.”

Introducing the artists from across Canada and beyond who will make up the 2014-15 Ensemble: Lois Anderson (Vancouver, BC); Herbie Barnes (Toronto, ON); Natasha Greenblatt (Toronto, ON); Amy Matysio (Regina, SK/Toronto, ON); Tawiah M’Carthy (Accra, Ghana/Toronto, ON); Alex McCooeye (Montreal, QC/Toronto, ON); Andrew Moodie (Ottawa, ON/Toronto, ON); Christopher Morris (Markham, ON/Toronto, ON); Karen Robinson (Kingston, Jamaica/Toronto, ON); and David Warburton (Stockport, Cheshire, UK/Ottawa, ON). From September through February, The Ensemble will be involved in workshops, the development of new plays, and the education of young people.

“Theatre is the ultimate collaborative art,” she added, “and the heart of theatre, the actors, comes alive in a very special way when they are collaborating with artists who inspire them to greater heights.”


With this in mind, Ms. Keiley highlighted the growth of The Collaborations, a unique partnership with theatre companies and artists across Canada. The goal of The Collaborations is to place different components of English Theatre resources in the hands of artists who are launching their own work, or honing their own shows, in various parts of Canada. 

“Sarah Garton Stanley has been working with more than 20 different companies across the country which we believe will contribute significantly to Canada’s theatrical landscape,” added Ms. Keiley. “We really see ourselves as a showcase theatre for Canada. By investing in the up-and-coming projects that really excite us we are setting the scene for stronger presentation choices in the years to come.”

The hope is that the works in which English Theatre makes an investment will contribute to the rich and evolving Canadian canon of theatrical work, and that they be creatively inspired by serving and supporting theatrical invention across this great land.

The National Arts Centre is fuelled by the idea that all of Canada is its stage, and The Collaborations is one of the key ways English Theatre at the NAC is bringing this idea to the fore.

Never one to stop creating, Ms. Keiley recently saw her production of Oil and Water open in Halifax before making its way to London, Ontario and later the NAC.  And now she’ll be heading back to Stratford for rehearsals for Alice Through the Looking-Glass, which opens this May at the Stratford Festival.

As she continues to plan for the years ahead, Ms. Keiley has launched a 2014-15 season which promises to be truly magical!

  • World-class theatre packages starting at $20 per play.
  • Subscribers save 20% or more off regular ticket prices.
  • Subscribe online by May 2nd and save an additional 5% at

For full information on the 2014-15 Season, visit

NAC English Theatre and The National Arts Centre Foundation extend a warm thank you to Dr. Kanta Marwah for establishing the Dr. Kanta Warwah Endowment for English Theatre and the members of the NAC Foundation Donors’ Circle and Corporate Club who generously support English Theatre at the National Arts Centre and the National Youth and Education Trust. A special thank you to the Embassy Hotel & Suites, the Official Hotel of NAC English Theatre, the Ottawa Citizen, Media Partner, as well as Ridley Terminals Inc. for its support of Aboriginal programming. A thank you also to the Government of Canada for its support.

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