Stage Door News

Toronto: Bella Donna Artists Collective presents David Copelin’s “Bella Donna” May 17-June 1

Monday, April 1, 2019

Bella Donna Artists Collective presents Bella Donna by David Copelin (Playwrights Centre MN, Oregon Shakespeare Festival) a dark comedy that rips through history with passion, poison, and dirty politics in a contemporized production from May 17 to June 1. Ten years after Bella Donna won Best New Play and Patron’s Pick at the Toronto Fringe Festival, a female-led collective of intergenerational and multi-disciplinary artists come together to re-vision the story of scandalized historical figure LUCREZIA BORGIA for audiences in 2019.

Recent recipient of the Gina Wilkinson Prize for Emerging Female Director Anita La Selva (Stones/Stones Project & Aluna Theatre) envisions the production with Dora Award nominated Costume and Set Designer Jan Venus (Hogtown: The Immersive Experience/Hogtown Collective, The Snow Queen/Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus), joined by Lighting Director Waleed Ansari (Andromeda Genesis β/Rhubarb Festival 2019, Rootless/ Summerworks) and celebrated Fight Choreographer Daniel Levinson, founder of Canada’s oldest stage combat school Rapier Wit.

Sex, secrets, and power plays abound with Françoise Balthazar (The Living/Theatre Centre, Glengarry Glen Ross/Red Sandcastle Theatre, The Illusion/Stratford) as Lucrezia Borgia, who faces excommunication alongside her egoistic husband and partner-in-crime Duke Alfonso D’Este of Ferrara, played by Paul Hopkins (Z-O-M-B-I-E-S/Disney, 19-2/Bravo). Their ward, Angela Di Ghilini, Chelsea Russell (Judas Noir/Obsidian) has her sights on the Borgia throne, but her attention is diverted when Giovanni, played by Dewey Stewart (The Woods are Dark and Deep/Pulse Theatre), enters the picture. Giovanni may have evidence of a guilty secret even more devastating to Lucrezia than excommunication, and she gets her confidante Sister Bibiana, Martha Chaves (The Debaters/CBC Radio, In Times of Trouble/AlunaTheatre) caught in the crossfire trying to protect it.

Bella Donna Artists Collective rewrites the rules on female empowerment, centring on sex-positive feminism with this irreverent and provocative take on the “modern-day” Borgias at Tarragon Theatre’s EXTRASPACE.

Bella Donna by David Copelin

May 17- June 1, 2019

Venue: Tarragon’s EXTRASPACE (30 Bridgman Ave)

Previews May 16 // 8:00 PM

Opening Night Thursday, May 17  // 8:00 PM 

Tuesday-Saturday// 8:00 PM Sunday// 2:30 PM



REGULAR Previews  $20| All Other Shows   $37

UNDER 30 / SENIOR / ARTS WORKER Previews  $20| All Other Shows  $25

PAY WHAT YOU CAN RUSH (PWYC) available Tuesdays and Sunday Matinees

Wheelchair accessible venue

For more information and to purchase tickets visit