Stage Door News
Toronto; Studio 180 Theatre announces a 2020/21 season of eight online readings
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Studio 180 Theatre, “one of the most reliably interesting and challenging theatre companies in town” (Toronto Star) announces its 2020/21 season: five premieresof new Canadian works-in-progress as part of IN DEVELOPMENT and three readings of critically acclaimed, international plays in 180 READS, all of which engage with our mission to produce socially relevant theatre that provokes public discourse and promotes community engagement.
“Never before has the theatre community been faced with the challenge of shutting down. And as we take up the task of recovery, Studio 180 Theatre looks ahead to a season filled with promise and active engagement. As you review the programming we’ve planned for the next 8 months, I know you’ll be as intrigued as I am to participate with artists representing a wide range of social and political issues. And I can assure you that the work we are bringing you will entertain as it raises vital responses in our turbulent times.” - Joel Greenberg, Artistic Director
For the 2020/21 season, Studio 180 is thrilled to welcome back playwrights we have worked with before, as well as exciting, emerging artists who are already making their mark on the Toronto theatre scene. Canadian playwrights include Now Magazine’s Artist to Watch, Yolanda Bonnell, the return of Studio 180’s 2019 RBC Emerging Playwright, Sam Khalilieh, longtime Studio 180 collaborator Jonathan Wilson, Dora Award-winning performer, Rachel Mutombo and Next Stage Theatre Festival hit playwright, Ali Joy Richardson. Each of their plays engages deeply with contemporary social and political issues in ways that are both insightful and provocative.
Studio 180 is excited to collaborate once again with multi-award-winning British playwright, Mike Bartlett (Cock, King Charles III) , on an innovative, immersive take on an online play reading. We will also be returning to an unflinchingly intimate drama by Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, Lloyd Suh, in our first partnership with fu-GEN Theatre. Finally, we will present an explosive new play by rising star American playwright, Eleanor Burgess. Each piece presents an uncompromising look at world events and challenges that affect our global communities.
This year, we have created a new model to deepen connection between our audiences, artists and the works we are presenting. Each event will take place on the third Friday of every month, as part of a grouping of interactive online events. Given the success of our inaugural Studio 180 AT HOME Workshops, each reading in our season will be preceded by an AT HOME session on Wednesday and followed by an AT HOME session on Sunday, each relating to the topic of the play or covering an aspect of theatre creation. Directly after the reading there will be a post-show chat with the writer, director or performers.
This season follows our most successful fundraising campaign ever, our COVID-19 relief RECONNECT campaign. As we move into a season unlike any other, we are determined to stay connected to each other, creatively face challenges and continue to promote conversation and have decided every event will be free of charge. Our digital season will allow us to engage with our audiences and supporters more deeply and consistently than ever as we look to the future of Studio 180 Theatre.
ABOUT STUDIO 180 THEATRE
Studio 180 Theatre is a Toronto-based company with a mission to produce socially relevant theatre that provokes public discourse and promotes community engagement. Studio 180 Theatre began inMarch of 2002, launching less than a year later with the acclaimed Canadian premiere of The Laramie Project (2003). Since then, Studio 180 has evolved from an informal artistic collective into one of Toronto’s most respected independent professional theatre companies and in 2008, was named Toronto’s “Best Indie Theatre Company” by NOW Magazine.
STUDIO 180 THEATRE’S 2020/2021 SEASON:
CONTRACTIONS by MIKE BARTLETT*
FALL 2020 - 180 READS: A Digital Presentation
Emma’s been seeing her coworker Darren. She thinks she’s in love. Her boss thinks she’s in breach of contract. In a series of cordial but increasingly tense conversations, the two dissect the differences between “sexual” and “romantic,” negotiate the length of Emma’s interoffice relationship, and face the consequences of shrinking privacy and binding contracts.
MY SISTER’S RAGE by YOLANDA BONNELL
FALL 2020 - IN DEVELOPMENT
We come from a long line of m’iingan kwe”
With their Matriarch on her way to the spirit world, a family comes together on their reservation and in the hospital to be with her. A story about grief, love, laughter, rage and the brilliant strength of Indigenous women and their families, fighting to be seen and fumbling towards their healing.
DAD by ALI JOY RICHARDSON
WINTER 2020 - IN DEVELOPMENT
Roy, a revered theatre school teacher, falls from grace after his behaviour with a student comes to light. Mark, his past student (now colleague), has to make him understand. Vic, Roy's daughter, desperately needs her Dad to do the right thing. Nobody's giving up without a fight.
Dad asks us: What does true atonement look like? What comes after the fall? And can we ever learn the hardest things?
THE NICETIES by ELEANOR BURGESS
WINTER 2021 - 180 READS
Zoe, a Black student at a liberal arts college, is called into her white professor’s office to discuss her paper about slavery’s effect on the American Revolution. What begins as a polite clash in perspectives explodes into an urgent debate about race, history, and power.
PALESTINEMAN by SAM KHALILIEH
WINTER 2021 - IN DEVELOPMENT
Inspired by his work with Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT last season, Sam Khalilieh’s Palestineman returns in a wildly different form. Transitioning from an intimate solo show to an unpredictable 2 and ½ hander that’s part romantic comedy and part confessional, Palestineman ruthlessly examines the symbols and details that shape how immigrants and visible minorities “become Canadian”.
6X10 by RACHEL MUTOMBO
SPRING 2021 - IN DEVELOPMENT
Isabelle and Jamal’s father was incarcerated for a violent crime. Though they’ve lived the majority of their lives without him, the stain of his actions has been on their lives ever since. Years of resentment and pain threaten to disrupt their lives when they learn of his impending release from prison. Despite the urge to continue to sweep it all under the rug, this pair of siblings is forced to come face to face with their complicated feelings and shared family trauma.
THE CHINESE LADY by LLOYD SUH
SPRING 2021 - 180 READS
In Partnership with fu-GEN Theatre
Afong Moy is fourteen years old when she’s brought to the United States from Guangzhou Province in 1834. Allegedly the first Chinese woman to set foot on U.S. soil, she has been put on display for the American public as “The Chinese Lady.” As the decades wear on, her celebrated sideshow comes to define and challenge her very sense of identity. Inspired by the true story of Afong Moy’s life, it is a dark, poetic, yet whimsical portrait of America through the eyes of a young Chinese woman.
A PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION by JONATHAN WILSON
SPRING 2021 - IN DEVELOPMENT
On a drunken, late night return to Toronto’s queer Village, a middle aged man searches for the lost friends and landmarks of his youth only to find that they are all slowly disappearing and considers whether, at long last, so is he. Jonathan Wilson’s scintillating solo show is part history lesson, part stand-up comedy and ultimately, as is all theatre, a public display of affection. The play questions whether a distinct queer culture still exists or if it has been consumed, whitewashed and rebranded for the larger dominant culture. A Public Display of Affection examines queer lives being erased. Erased by our families, erased by disease, erased by murder and even erased by ourselves.
*We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.