Stage Door News

Toronto: Expect Theatre announces a new season of PlayME podcasts

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Nine months since theatres closed due to COVID-19, and the arts world went online - EXPECT THEATRE and CBC PODCASTS today announced a new season of PlayME, the podcast series that turns the hottest Canadian plays into audio fiction. PlayME kicks off its extraordinary new season today with a lineup of plays that speak to these uncertain times, exploring themes such as privilege, connection, urban / rural divide and mental health. The season begins with the critically acclaimed and timely WINNERS AND LOSERS by Marcus Youssef and James Long, available now on CBC Listen and everywhere podcasts are available including: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and

PlayME, the Gold Medal winner of the 2020 NEW YORK RADIO FESTIVAL’S AWARD for audio drama, is part of the growing trend in audio fiction that has been steadily on the rise since the series first launched. Now more than ever, audiences are looking for new ways to access theatre, and PlayME is helping to fill this important demand. 

“When we started PlayME five years ago, we could have never imagined how audio drama would come to play such an important role in keeping theatre alive. We feel fortunate to be able to continue to bring Canadian theatre to audiences all over the world during these isolating times,” said Laura Mullin and Chris Tolley, co-hosts and producers of PlayME.

In addition to the WINNERS AND LOSERS, the 2021 winter season will feature: the 2019 Governor General's Award winner for English-language drama, OTHER SIDE OF THE GAME by Amanda Parris; the one-act play BETWEEN THE SHEETS by Jordi Mand; the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award nominee, and winner of the 2020 Carol Bolt Award and 2020 Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding new play, THIS IS HOW WE GOT HERE by Keith Barker; and the charming comedy BED & BREAKFAST by Mark Crawford. Each play will be released as three episodes, followed by an in-depth interview with the respective playwright. During these unique times, PlayME is recording remotely, and devising innovative ways to produce audio theatre throughout the pandemic.

All of PlayME’s previous seasons, including episodes from THE QUARANTINE CHRONICLES, which was included in the Globe and Mail Top Ten Offerings for 2020, and THE SHOW MUST GO ON are available now at




By Marcus Youssef and James Long

Tuesday, January 19

2015 Governor General's Literary Award nominee and winner of the 2013 Jessie Richardson Critics’ Choice Innovation Award WINNERS AND LOSERSbegins as a conversation between lifelong friends, but as the competition heats up things get personal. The focus of debate shifts from Pamela Anderson, microwave ovens and Goldman Sachs to social class and family histories, and the ruthless logic of capitalism that the players had embraced is brought to bear on their closest and most personal relationships.



By Amanda Parris

Wednesday, February 24

Courageously examining the struggles of young Black women and their loved ones as they navigate an unjust system, Parris crafts a portrait of the early years of Black activism, and parallels it with present day. 



By Jordi Mand

Wednesday, March 24

Marion, a working mother with a special-needs child, has discovered a devastating secret: her husband Curtis has been engaging in a torrid love affair with their son’s young teacher, Teresa. What ensues is a gripping and raw confrontation between two women, one fighting to protect her family, the other fighting for the family she always wanted. 



By Keith Barker

Wednesday, April 21

It’s been a year since Paul and Lucille’s son Craig died by suicide, and their once-solid family bonds are starting to break down. While the now-separated couple tries to honour their son, Lucille’s sister Liset and her husband Jim refuse to discuss their nephew. The ties that keep the four together are strained by grief and guilt…until a visit from a fox changes everything.



By Mark Crawford

Wednesday, May 26

With dozens of characters—male and female, young and old—all portrayed by two men, BED & BREAKFAST is a theatrical tour de force. As riotously funny as it is deeply moving, this is a heartfelt comedy about “being out” in small town Canada, skeletons in the closet, and finding a place to call home.



Since its inception in 2016, PlayME has transformed a variety of Canadian theatre productions into audio podcasts. With listeners in over 90 countries to date, PlayME is in the vanguard of facilitating international access to Canadian theatre and building an audience and appetite for it from all over the world. PlayME is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

For “Drama on Demand,” tune in to PlayME at www.playmepodcast.comwhere the catalogue of podcasts can be heard.


EXPECT THEATRE is an award-winning, Toronto-based company dedicated to producing cutting-edge, original, multi-disciplinary productions that explore modern urban life. Formed in 1998 by co-Artistic Directors Laura Mullin and Chris Tolley, Expect has a long track record of creating integrated theatre works, radio plays for CBC, viral videos and site-specific performance art installations. Works include Romeo/Juliet Remixed, Static, Awake, CBC Radio’s Tunnel Runners, AWAKE the film and the annual urbanNOISE festival. Mullin and Tolley launched PlayME - an online portal presenting audio podcasts of Canadian plays and related content - in 2016. ,


From Canada’s public broadcaster, CBC Podcasts is a richly diverse collection of award-winning podcasts that engage, enlighten and entertain. CBC is the #1 podcaster in Canada, reaching more Canadians than any other podcast publisher,with millions of downloads each month, and more than 35 series in genres such as true crime, comedy, human interest and audio fiction.