Gossip no longer, culture vultures. We’ve finally got confirmation on CanStage’s upcoming season. Like it or not, it looks like the rumours are true. As we reported before, the Bluma Appel Theatre’s rather commercial lineup is entirely free of any Canadian-written shows, which has some folks in quite a tizzy. And as we suspected, CanStage is getting its CanCon through co-pros at the Berkeley Street Theatre. They’re calling it The Berkeley Street Project, and it seems intended to supplement the Bluma’s playing-it-safe season with “edgier, more provocative works.” The first show, Wild Dogs (a co-production with Nightwood Theatre), is a stage adaptation of Helen Humphreys’ eponymous novel. Up next, Studio 180 co-produces the Canadian premiere of Blackbird, a West End and off-Broadway hit by British (and consequently not Canadian) playwright David Harrower. The final co-production (with Necessary Angel) is the Toronto premiere of HARDSELL, a new work by Bigger Than Jesus team Daniel Brooks and Rick Miller. (Although, the only reason CanStage can claim “Toronto premiere” status is that the workshop presentation Brooks and Miller were going to present at Passe Muraille a month ago was cancelled due to illness.)
So, there will be Canadian plays on the Canadian Stage. Technically. But we have a feeling not everyone is going to stand up and cheer about these developments.
Photo by Pascal B.