Stage Door News

Toronto: Necessary Angel announces its 2019/20 season

Friday, October 18, 2019

Alan Dilworth, recently appointed Artistic Director of Necessary Angel Theatre Company, announced details of his 2019 / 2020 inaugural season at a reception for the company’s supporters and artists from the Toronto theatre community.

A season that is necessary, urgent and world class features two mainstage productions,  four development workshops plus the naming of Necessary Angel’s first Playwright-in-Residence.

Commenting on his choices, Alan said, "  Our mainstage productions are both masterpieces of form and content that take us deep into questions about our relationship to reactionary politics. "

The first of the mainstage offerings is the Toronto premiere of THE EVENTS by the acclaimed Scottish playwright David Greig, with original music by John Browne. Written in response to the politically motivated mass shootings in Norway, the play has been described by critics as “…  a solemn, searching and ultimately very moving play…” and “ an extraordinary new work…strangely uplifting…” The roles of Claire and the Boy will be performed by Raven Dauda and Kevin Walker. A unique feature of The Events will be the participation of a different community choir from across the GTA  at each performance. The Events will be presented at Streetcar Crowsnest, Guloien Theatre in March 2020.

The second production is the Canadian premiere of Winter Solstice by Roland Schimmelpfennig whose work will be known to Toronto audiences for productions of Arabian Night, The Golden Dragon and most recently, Idomeneus. In a translation by David Tushingham, it is a darkly humorous play that interrogates Liberal Democracy's relationship to the rise of Fascism’s new forms. Winter Solstice has been described as  ‘”devastatingly funny “ and in The Guardian was hailed as  “ a transfixing play…a potent play for today”. The outstanding cast of Winter Solstice includes, Cyrus Lane, Diego Matamoros, Nancy Palk and Bahareh Yaraghi. Winter Solstice will be presented in a co-production with Soulpepper Theatre Company, opening May 7 running till June 7 in the Michael Young Theatre.

Both mainstage productions will be directed by Alan Dilworth who leads creative teams that include award-winning designers, Ken Mackenzie, Lorenzo Savoini, Kimberly Purtell and Debashis Sinha.

A definite highlight of Alan’s inaugural season announcement is the naming of Necessary Angel’s first Playwright-in-Residence. Winnipeg born playwright Pamela Mala Sinha (Crash, Happy Place, New ) will be in residence for two years. While in residence, she will receive  resources to assist in the development of her body of work. The Necessary Angel Playwright Residency is an exciting new aspect of the company’s activities and is supported by the K.M. Hunter Foundation..

An integral part of Necessary Angel’s history has been the development of new work through the workshop process. We are proud to continue that tradition this season with our Development Series. Alan announced that the company will hold development workshops of three boundary pushing plays and a production workshop to explore a formally radical new text.

First up is The Woods by Toronto/Krakow based Michael Rubenfeld, An epic allegorical tale that looks at the complicated, lasting legacy of genocide, and the great hope of the next generation. The workshop will be held this November over two weeks.

Following is CHILD-ISH by Toronto playwright Sunny Drake. CHILD-ISH is a verbatim play drawn from interviews with children about love and dating. Children’s exact words are re-contextualized into adult situations for adult actors, with surprising, hilarious and moving results. It received early development last summer as part of the Summerworks Lab. Necessary Angel is a development partner with Sunny Drake and the CHILD-ISH Collective.

Next up will be Maya, a new work from Pamela Mala Sinha. A new one act play in real time that reflects the struggles and joys of the mother/stepmother relationship. 

The company will then explore Time's Journey Through A Room by Toshiki Okada , an extraordinary new voice leading Japan’s new wave of contemporary theatre. The play is set one year after the 2011 earthquake and tsunaml in Japan. This intimate multi-layered play observes how hope can spring up along side sadness and fear and change can be realized if we are awake to the present moment. To lead the workshop of Okada’s Time’s Journey Through A Room, in a translation by Aya Ogawa, Alan has chosen Canadian theatre artist Marie Farsi. 

In concluding, Alan said, “ For me this is necessary theatre. Necessary theatre for our time."

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