Stage Door News

Toronto: “Box 4901” premieres as Buddies in Bad Times Theatre February 27-March 8

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

timeshare performance has released new casting and productiondetails for the world premiere of Box 4901,written by and starring Brian Francis, and co-created and directedby Rob Kempson. Box 4901 will play in Toronto at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre from February 27 toMarch 8, with opening night on February 28. Tickets are on sale now at

In 1992, novelist Brian Francis placed a personals ad in thenewspaper. In total, he received 25 responses but there were 13letters he never responded to. Now, at a much different stage inlife, Brian has written replies to those letters. Box 4901 is ahilarious, strange, sweet, and awkward look back at how gay menused to find one another.

“While it might seem antiquated in our dating app world, respondingto classified personal ads was the only way many queer people couldfind with one another,” said Francis. “One thing that hasn’tchanged over the years is our desire for connection. We’re stilllooking to find one another – or even ourselves. I hope that’ssomething audiences both young and old take away from Box 4901.”

Following two-sold out workshop productions (2018 SummerWorks Lab;2019 foldA Festival),the world premiere of Box 4901 once again features an entirely queer cast and creative team.Joining Francis on stage in Toronto will be Colin Asuncion, Hume Baugh, Samson Bonkeabantu Brown, Keith Cole, Daniel Jelani Ellis, Jeff Ho, Michael Hughes, Indrit Kasapi, Daniel Krolik, EricMorin, G. Kyle Shields, Chy Ryan Spain, and GeoffreyWhynot. 

Set design is by Brandon Kleiman, lighting design by Cosette Pin,sound design by Adrian Shepherd-Gawinski, and stage management byLucy McPhee. Box 4901 is produced by Stacey Norton with Curtis te Brinke as associate producer.

Learn more about the team here

“While Box 4901 is specifically derived from the queer narrative of Brian’s life,it speaks to us all about the importance of connection,” saidKempson. “That theme, the desire to connect with one another,resonates whether or not you identify as queer. It is onlyamplified by our 14-person ensemble cast, a size rarely seen onToronto stages.”

General admission tickets for Box 4901 are $29 until January 29, with a $25 option for students, seniorsand arts workers (valid ID is required). 

Contact the Buddies in Bad Times Box Office for tickets or more information at 416-975-8555 or visit

Twitter: @buddiesTO; @briantfrancis; @rob_kempson;#BOX4901

Performance Schedule:

Thursday, February 27 | 8 p.m. (preview)

Friday, February 28 | 8 p.m. (opening night)

Saturday, February 29 | 2:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Sunday, March 1 | 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 3 | 8 p.m.

Wednesday, March 4 | 8 p.m.

Thursday, March 5 | 8 p.m.

Friday, March 6 | 8 p.m.

Saturday March 7 | 2:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.

Sunday, March 8 | 2:30 p.m.

Photo: Brian Francis. © 2019 Tanja-Tiziana.