Stage Door News

Toronto: SummerWorks presents a 10th anniversary reading of Nicolas Billon’s “Greenland” August 10

Monday, July 15, 2019

SummerWorks Performance Festival, in partnership with Why Not Theatre and in association with Environmental Defence, is pleased to present a special 10th anniversary reading of Nicolas Billon’s 2009 SummerWorks Audience Choice Award winner Greenland as part of Fundraiser for Our Future– a fundraising event on Saturday August 10, 2019 at The Theatre Centre in support of SummerWorks and Environmental Defence. Funds raised will be directed equally to the two organizations to support vital future work.

10 years ago, Nicolas Billon’s Greenland debuted at SummerWorks as part of a trio of plays that later earned Billon the Governor General’s Award for drama 2013. In Greenland, the growing rift between a family set adrift after a catastrophic loss, presents a metaphor for the receding ice levels in the arctic circle and highlights our climate crisis. The work returns to the Festival as a staged reading in support of SummerWorks and Environmental Defence, featuring original cast members Claire Calnan and Andrew Musselman, joined this year by Why Not Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director Miriam Fernandes and staged by original director Ravi Jain. All these years later, it highlights a key question: how much has changed?

As we approach the 30th anniversary of SummerWorks in 2020, we are focused on our future and potential impact as a Festival,” says Laura Nanni, Artistic and Managing Director, SummerWorks.  “We are committed to supporting artists, finding ways to reduce our ecological footprint, and making space for collaborations that can lead to innovation and change. We are honoured to be working with Environmental Defence, Why Not Theatre and Nicolas Billon to bring these issues to the forefront and are heartened by the support of our community.

"Like many artists, the SummerWorks Festival helped launch my career,” says playwright Nicolas Billon. “I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to revisit Greenlandwhile supporting both the Festival's invaluable role as an artist incubator and the important work done by Environmental Defence with climate change.”

Why Not Theatre’s Artistic and General Director Ravi Jain adds “Greenland is the story of three family members who are aware they are drifting apart but feel powerless to do anything about it. When we premiered the play, it struck a chord with people with its deeply drawn characters and relationships- now, sadly, given the political world we live in and the climate crisis we are facing - its resonance will be felt in an even more pressing way.” Ravi Jain

We are excited to partner with SummerWorks on this important project that uses theatre to explore environmental issues,” says Keith Brooks, Programs Director, Environmental Defence.  “Nicolas Billon’s Greenland is even more relevant today than when it debuted a decade ago, and we value the power of the arts to tell stories and engage audiences on important challenges such as the impacts of climate change on our planet.”

The evening begins at 7:30pm with a pre-show reception including food and drink, followed by the reading at 8:30pm and a Q+A with Nicolas Billon, Sarah Buchanan(Clean Economy Program Manager, Environmental Defence) and other special guests at 9:30pm. Tickets to Fundraiser for Our Future can be purchased online ( for $75 and are eligible for a $40 tax receipt.

Additional staged readings of Greenland will take place on Sunday, August 11th at 1:30pm and Thursday, August 15th at 9:00pm.  See the following for tickets and more information:

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