Stage Door News
London: The Grand Theatre announces its 2019/20 season
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
The Grand Theatre, a leading cultural hub in London, Ontario, is thrilled to announce its 2019-20 season. Featuring 11 productions across two stages, including two world premieres, a North American premiere, and new works by exciting Canadian visionaries, the Grand’s incredible 2019-20 lineup continues to bring the world to London, and London to the world.
"A major thread throughout my career has been a focus on developing new work. This season we are staging new works, which allow us to reflect our city, and its people—to show who we are and who we want to be," says Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum.
In the 2019-20 season, the Grand’s COMPASS New Play Development program kicks into high gear. Launching the season is a world premiere from Governor General's Award-winning playwright Morris Panych; a new musical from the composers of Prom Queen (Colleen Dauncey and Akiva Romer-Segal); the North American premiere from award-winning novelist Emma Donoghue, co-produced with Mirvish and Covent Garden Productions; and following the success of its inaugural year, the 100 Schools program returns with a new play by Megan Watson.
In addition to these new works, this season will feature Canadian comedian Gavin Crawford (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Gavin Crawford Show) in a tour-de-force one man show, and also sees the return of improviser Rebecca Northan (Blind Date, An Undiscovered Shakespeare) for an immersive and moving performance experience. We are excited to celebrate Indigenous Canadian storytelling with a stunning play written by Tara Beagan and directed by Falen Johnson.
Our studio space, the McManus Stage, will be brought to life with three innovative productions including powerful, inventive, and exciting work from Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland and Human Cargo Theatre.
"This year, we're celebrating London in many ways,” says Dennis Garnhum. The holiday season will feature a beloved classic musical, starring Deborah Hay, who hails from London, Ontario. Garnhum remarked, “Our city’s stories and people are a vital part of this season at the Grand, from Morris Panych's hilarious take on the absurdities of being the 'other' London, to artists like Deborah Hay and Emma Donoghue, whose performances and work will shine on our stage, and to our new 100 Schools tour production, inspired by our city's own students. I can't wait to sit in the audience, and know that our city is the star of the show." 100 Schools is presented by 3M Canada.
With eleven productions on two stages plus a five-concert series, the Grand’s 2019-20 season reaffirms our commitment to developing, producing, and premiering original homegrown stories, and bringing original stories from around the globe to London.
Season subscriptions, with savings of up to 25% off the regular single ticket price, are now on sale to subscribers at grandtheatre.com, by phone at 519-672-8800, or at the Box Office, 471 Richmond Street. Single tickets will be on sale on July 2, 2019.
2019/20 SEASON PRODUCTIONS
TITANIC: THE MUSICAL (HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT)
Story and Book by Peter Stone Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston
Orchestrations by Ian Weinberger
Produced on Broadway by Dodger Theatricals, Richard S. Pechter and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Directed by Andrew Tribe
Musical Direction by Andrew Petrasiunas
SEPTEMBER 17 to 28
SPRIET STAGE | Opens September 20
Titanic: a legendary celebration of human achievement and a tragedy of epic proportions. At noon on the tenth of April 1912, the Titanic set sail on her maiden voyage across the Atlantic. She would never reach her destination, instead meeting a tragic end when the ship collided with an iceberg, just four days later. One of the deadliest maritime disasters of its time, the fateful voyage is beautifully rendered in this 1997 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, which tells the moving stories of the ship’s real passengers, who sailed in pursuit of hopes and dreams in a new world.
THIS LONDON LIFE
WORLD PREMIERE COMEDY
Written and Directed by Morris Panych
OCTOBER 15 TO NOVEMBER 2
SPRIET STAGE | Opens October 18
This London Life is a story of identity—mistaken and otherwise—and how, sometimes, the worst of mistakes can lead to the best of outcomes. The Grand Theatre has commissioned Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Morris Panych to write a play that celebrates, examines, and pokes fun at the constant comparisons between our city and that other London across the ocean. Set in London, Ontario, a young British man wakes up and assumes he has landed home in England. A collection of unusually colourful characters are equally confused: Who is who and where exactly are we? This is a play about our city and life in the shadow of another London.
By Christopher Morris
Presented by Human Cargo Theatre
Directed by Daniel Brooks
Starring Gord Rand
Set and Costume Design by Gillian Gallow
Lighting Design by Bonnie Beecher
Composer and Sound Designer Alexander MacSween
NOVEMBER 5 TO 16
MCMANUS STAGE | Opens November 6
ZAKA is an Orthodox Jewish volunteer rescue and recovery team in Israel that collects the remains of Jews killed in accidents. Follow Jacob — a ZAKA volunteer — as he grapples with the political and moral fallout of saving a woman’s life. Based on interviews with real-life ZAKA members, The Runner is “an intense and visceral new thriller that will make your heart rate soar and leave you breathless” according to The Globe and Mail.
THE GRAND THEATRE’S PRODUCTION OF DISNEY AND CAMERON MACKINTOSH’S
A Musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney Film
Original Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Book by Julian Fellowes
New Songs and Additional Music and Lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe
Co-Created by Cameron Mackintosh
Directed by Megan Watson
Starring Deborah Hay
NOVEMBER 26 TO DECEMBER 29
SPRIET STAGE | Opens November 29
When the Banks children write an advertisement for a new nanny, little do they know who they’ll get: Mary Poppins! Her magic and charm turn the family’s lives upside-down, taking them on a fantastical journey that sees them rediscover their love for one another. As Mary Poppins says, “Anything can happen if you let it.” Just in time for the holidays, enjoy this beloved musical classic with the whole family.
By Becky Mode and Mark Setlock
Directed by Steven Gallagher
Starring Gavin Crawford
JANUARY 14 TO 26
SPRIET STAGE | Opens January 17
Nobody wants to hear that a multiple-award-winning, ridiculously trendy restaurant is fully committed and can’t take a booking. When New York socialites and international a–listers wish to dine on the date they wish to dine on, it’s harder to finesse than the perfect soufflé.In a dingy basement office far from the magic of molecular gastronomy, skillful reservationist Sam has to use his charisma and wits to keep over forty demanding people happy — and most importantly, keep his job.
EVERY BRILLANT THING
By Duncan Macmillan
With Jonny Donahoe
Directed by Liza Balkan
Starring Rebecca Northan
JANUARY 21 TO FEBRUARY 2
MCMANUS STAGE | Opens January 23
What makes life worth living? Ice cream? Puppy dogs? The answers are both simple and profound in this one-of-a-kind theatrical experience. This witty and contemporary play shines a compassionate light on the impact of suicide and reminds us of all the things that make life brilliant. Equal parts hilarious and thought-provoking, this play shows us the joy that can be found in even the most unexpected places. What’s on your list?
By Tara Beagan
Directed by Falen Johnson
FEBRUARY 4 TO 22
SPRIET STAGE | Opens February 7
By their mother’s bed in a hospital’s palliative care ward, two sisters keep vigil. As the pair reckon with their mother’s inevitable fate, they share memories of her younger years. In a spiritual journey that sees them confront the love and tragedy of their family’s past, these sisters discover a new home: in one another. Both funny and honest, Beagan’s play speaks to the strength of family bonds.
FROM GOVERNOR GENERAL’S AWARD-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT ROBERT CHAFE
By Robert Chafe
Music Composed and Arranged by The Once
Directed by Jillian Keiley
Costume and Set Designer Shawn Kerwin
Lighting Designer Leigh Ann Vardy
Sound Designer Brian Kenny
FEBRUARY 25 TO MARCH 7
MCMANUS STAGE | Opens February 26
Between Breaths is based on the life of Dr. Jon Lien — known in Newfoundland as “the Whale Man” — who pioneered techniques forrescuing whales trapped in fishing nets. Moving backward in time, from Lien’s final moments to his first whale intervention, this poignant storydepicts Lien’s rescue efforts, which saved over 500 animals, and his ownstruggle with relentless paralysis and dementia. From Newfoundland’s Artistic Fraud (Tempting Providence, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams), Between Breaths considers what we hold onto when everything else is gone.
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Grand Theatre, Covent Garden Productions and David Mirvish present
By Emma Donoghue, based on her novel
Original Partners: Theatre Royal Stratford East, National Theatre of Scotland and Abbey Theatre in Dublin
Music & Lyrics by Cora Bissett and Kathryn Joseph
Directed by Cora Bissett
MARCH 10 TO 28
SPRIET STAGE | Opens March 13
Kidnapped as a teenage girl, Ma has been locked inside a purpose-built room in her captor’s garden for seven years. Her five-year-old son, Jack, has no concept of the world outside and happily exists inside, with the help of Ma’s games and his vivid imagination. But for Ma the time has come to escape and face their biggest challenge to date: the world outside Room. Adapted with new music and lyrics, Room explores the power of the imagination and a mother’s love.
Book by Matt Murray
Music by Colleen Dauncey
Lyrics by Akiva Romer-Segal
Directed by Dennis Garnhum
APRIL 14 TO MAY 2
SPRIET STAGE | Opens April 17
Before they must commit to the Amish faith forever, nineteen-year-old twins Hannah and Ruth leave the comfort of their sheltered community to explore the outside world for the first time. After finding themselves stranded in one of Toronto’s roughest neighbourhoods, all their plans go up in smoke and they end up working at an illegal marijuana grow-op. Grow is an outrageously fun, big-hearted musical that explores sisterhood, community, and the legalization of a once-forbidden weed.
Written and Directed by Megan Watson
LONDON AND AREA TOUR | FEBRUARY 20 TO MAY 15, 2020
MARCH BREAK ON THE MCMANUS STAGE | MARCH 16 TO 21, 2020
London hosted the Juno Awards in March of 2019. The biggest night in Canadian music has inspired big dreams for one London student: Juno. This new play, developed through the COMPASS New Play Development Program, is a celebration of Canadian music and the brilliance and talent of our region’s students.
ENHANCE YOUR EXPERIENCE AT THE GRAND
THE WEDNESDAY SPEAK EASY: Patrons can extend their theatre experience as they get closer to the artists after performances with exclusive talks in the Poster Lounge and McManus Stage.
REANEY TALK: Patrons can arrive early to the Wednesday matinee and join host James Stewart Reaney with special guests to discuss insights into the productions.
TEACHERS CLUB: The Teachers Club allows teachers to experience all six Spriet Stage Series shows with special post-show talks in the Poster Lounge for only $180.
STUDENTS CLUB: Especially for teens, Students Club is an all-access pass to the Spriet Stage Series — 6 shows for only $81. Students gain access to special post-show talks in the Poster Lounge.
STUDENT MATINEES: The student matinee program is a subsidized initiative that offers discounted group rates for students and teachers. Students will expand their theatre experience with study guides, post-show talks with cast and crew, and backstage tours.
GROUPS AND CORPORATE PACKAGES: With as few as 10 people, the Grand offers group rates and benefits. Whether patrons are planning a night out with friends, celebrating with family, entertaining clients, rewarding your employees, or planning an office holiday party, the Grand Theatre is the perfect destination. Let us customize your visit with reception venues, tours, and more.
Call us at 519.672.9030;291 or email email@example.com.
For the full list of show descriptions, go to grandtheatre.com.
Illustration: This London Life © 2019 by Scott McKowen.