Stage Door News

Toronto: The Toronto premiere of Lynn Nottage’s “Sweat” arrives January 14-February 2, 2020

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Canadian Stage and Studio 180 Theatre are thrilled to co-produce the Toronto debut of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Sweat. Written by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage, Sweat runs from January 14 to February 2, 2020 at the Berkeley Street Theatre.

A searing examination of industrial decline, race, politics and friendship, Sweat won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It is a gritty, heartfelt portrayal of the fear, anger and resentment felt by middle class workers and the unintended consequences communities face when opportunities diminish. The play chronicles the lives of a group of friends working in a steel mill who spend their days on the factory floor and their nights sharing drinks, secrets and laughs. When rumours surface that the company is considering layoffs and recruiting non-union workers for less money, the war between community and capitalism begins and tensions start to destroy not only jobs, but friendships.

Based on two years of extensive research and interviews with residents of Reading, Pennsylvania, the poorest city of its size in America, and a microcosm of what was happening to small cities across North America. Nottage dug deep into the forgotten heart of middle America, finding a city divided by racial tension and the collapse of industry.

“Lynn Nottage’s extraordinary play is a powerful reflection on our current political and economic times,” says Canadian Stage Artistic Director Brendan Healy. “Sweat vividly explores how economic insecurities not only affect a group of friends, but an entire community. Although situated within an American context, Sweat could not be more relevant to us. The upcoming closure of the GM plant in Oshawa is but one example of factory closures across Ontario that are leaving thousands without work. Sweat gives a voice to those who often feel invisible and suffer in isolation at this time of economic upheaval.”

“With Sweat, Nottage’s establishes a wholly credible onstage world, populated with women and men we accept immediately as the collateral damage of a system long in need of change,” says Studio 180 Artistic Director, Joel Greenberg.


By Lynn Nottage
January 14-Febraury 2 at the Berkeley Street Theatre

Directed by award-winning actor, director and educator David Storch, the stellar cast includes veteran Shaw and Stratford award-winning actor Kelli Fox (Penelopiad, Nightwood Theatre), award-winning stage and screen actor Allegra Fulton (CTV’s Cardinal, CBC’s Schitt’s Creek, Oscar winning film The Shape of Water), major theatre and TV actor Ordena Stephens-Thompson (Fences at Grand Theatre, Bravo’s The Handmaid's Tale, CTV’s Designated Survivor) and Dora Award-winning, Gemini Award-nominated actor Maurice Dean Wint. The cast also includes Christopher Allen, Jhonattan Ardila, Peter N. Bailey, Timothy Dowler-Coltman and Ron Lea, with Sabryn Rock as Assistant Director.

For tickets, phone 416-368-3110 or visit

Photo: Kelli Fox, Allegra Fulton and Ordena Stephens-Thompson. © 2019 Dahlia Katz.