Stage Door News

Toronto: A new production of Dave Carley’s “Taking Liberties” takes place at the Campbell House February 5-23

Monday, January 20, 2020

A new production of Taking Liberties by Dave Carley is opening in February at Toronto’s Campbell House Museum, for a three week run.  Carley’s drama looks at five decades in a city’s history when civil liberties came under threat, from issues of book censorship to the muzzling of academic debate.

This is the fifth production of Taking Liberties in Toronto, which had its stage premiere almost thirty years ago at Factory Theatre in 1991. This new presentation stars Alison Beckwith, Tristan Claxton, Hayden Finkelshtain, John Jarvis and Cecily Smith. Smith also directs the production, which is set site-specifically in the Campbell House ballroom.

Taking Liberties runs Feb 5 to 23, Wednesday thru Saturday evenings at 7:30. There are also 4 pm Saturday and 2 pm Sunday matinees.

A series of talkbacks and seminars will accompany this production, illuminating the civil libertarian themes in the play. Post show talkbacks are included in the ticket price.

  • Thurs Feb 7, 7:30 pm – Dr. Tom Hooper speaks on Beyond the Bedrooms of the Nation: the Policing of Sex in the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Sat Feb 8, 4 pm – The Book Defenders! – Four teenagers talk about books they would defend from censorship. Hosted by CBC radio producer Katy Swailes.
  • Sun Feb 9, 2 pm – Naming Names – a discussion about the ethics of identifying accused criminals, with Janice Neil, Head of Ryerson Journalism.
  • Wed, Feb 12, 7:30 pm – If Truth Be Told – Playwright Beverley Cooper reads from her Blyth hit based on the censorship struggles of Margaret Laurence and Alice Munro.
  • Sat Feb 15, 4 pm – Esther Arbeid, Director of Cultural Engagement at the Miles Nadal JCC, leads a conversation on Holocaust Denial with author Bernice Eisenstein.
  • Sun Feb 16, 2 pm – Michael Bryant, Executive Director and General Counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, addresses the effect of the internet on civil liberties.

Tickets to Taking Liberties are $30, with two $20 previews (on Feb 5 and 6). For a fundraising gala on Saturday the 8Th tickets are $50.

Tickets can be ordered through the show’s website

Taking Liberties is an Equity Approved Collective. It is produced with the assistance of Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen Street West, Toronto M5H 3H3.

Photo: Dixie Seatle and Tom McCamus in Taking Liberties at Factory Theatre. © 1992 Nir Bareket.