Stage Door News

Toronto: Crow’s Theatre announces its 2021/22 season

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Today, Crow’s Theatre Artistic Director Chris Abraham and Executive Director Sherrie Johnson unveil a season welcoming audiences back to Streetcar Crowsnest with an invitation to rediscover the power of live theatre.

Beginning in September with Cliff Cardinal’s radical retelling of William Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT, the Crow’s Theatre 2021.22 season is immediate, inspiring, and innovative. Characteristically Crow’s, this season of rebirth celebrates the sublime pleasure of gathering to think, feel, and make meaning together in changing times.

The 2021.22 season marks the launch of the BMO Virtual Stage, a parallel digital season featuring performance captures from the live season and from Crow’s Theatre Digital Residency Partners Soundstreams, Against the Grain Theatre, Red Sky Performance, and Outside the March, plus a return of Ghost Quartet and more.

“Pulling together this season during such a challenging time has been a labour of love for the whole company. We can’t wait to welcome audiences back into the building, even at limited capacity for the time being. We’ve chosen to be inherently optimistic in planning our season but have put into place a lot of measures to keep our audience safe, including a requirement for all artists, staff, and audience members to be fully vaccinated. Along with this commitment, we wanted to give audiences options as to how they can join us to experience this year’s programming,” explains Executive Director Sherrie Johnson.

Artistic Director Chris Abraham adds, “We have a season that celebrates extraordinary artists who are facing the world head-on and looking for new ways for us to move forward together. In landscapes that are both real and imagined, of the moment and historical, our 2021.22 season is unabashedly urgent, contemporary, and immediate theatre.”

The title AS YOU LIKE IT, one of the most beloved comedies in Shakespeare’s canon, holds a double meaning that famously teases, this is a play to please all tastes. For this world premiere, acclaimed Indigenous creator Cliff Cardinal, known for his black humour and compassionate poeticism, has promised to do something just like that.

Crow’s will open the rehearsal hall to audiences for the first time this year, inviting them to be a part of the development of two new large-scale works. The first of two Crow’s Theatre Public Workshop presentations is MASTER AND MARGARITA, a new musical adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s famously banned novel The Master and Margarita. Hailey Gillis (Ghost Quartet) returns to Crow’s Theatre in October with collaborators Mikaela Davies and Polly Phokeev for an evening of magic, music, and demons.

The second public workshop presentation of the season is Marie Farsi’s (Ghost Quartet) adaptation of the esteemed Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning novel Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis. FIFTEEN DOGS follows a pack of Toronto dogs endowed with human consciousness by the gods Hermes and Apollo to settle a bet.

These two hugely resonant works of magic realism are set in motion by acts of divine intervention and take big swings at questions around existence and the human condition.

Crowsnest Corner was launched in July and will continue through the fall, inviting audiences to safely enjoy live music again with some of Toronto’s finest musicians and performers from all genres. In the past few weeks, Blue Standard with Raoul Bhaneja and Jesse Whiteley, Raha Javanfar and Fraser Melvin, Tak Arikushi, Amélie Lefebvre, Allison Au, and Hailey Gillis and Andrew Penner have already performed at Crowsnest Corner. The concert stage and the Lobby Bar with its lively libations are welcoming and safe respites from a hard day’s work. Concerts will continue post-show once the theatre season begins.

In November, Crow’s welcomes the world premiere of Zorana Sadiq’s MIXTAPE, directed by Crow’s Theatre Artistic Director Chris Abraham. This solo performance invites the audience into a life experienced through sound and music and an artist’s obsession with making, capturing, and understanding them. Sadiq curates the ultimate mixtape for life: part memoir, part scientific inquiry, and part love song to listening.

In December, Crow’s Theatre is very excited to be partnering with one of Toronto’s longest-running and most beloved holiday traditions, Ross Petty Productions annual family musical. ALICE IN WINTERLAND, this year’s panto, as it is affectionately called, will be a virtual presentation and a bonus production of the Crow’s Theatre 2021.22 digital season. A Choose Your Own Adventure performance, you’ll follow along with Alice, the Mad Hatter, or the ChesPfizer Cat for a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience.

Crow’s is also thrilled about the return of The Dundas & Carlaw Holiday Corner, the east end’s newest holiday tradition, which includes a festive installation in the windows of Streetcar Crowsnest, a weekend market with vendors and artisans, and delicious treats from Gare de l’Est.

In January, Crow’s Theatre Associate Artistic Director Rouvan Silogix helms the Toronto premiere of BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO, by Rajiv Joseph. Pulitzer Prize short-listed, Tony Award nominated, and National Endowment for the Arts award winner for Outstanding New American Play, BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO is set amid the chaos of the American occupation of Iraq and directly confronts the toll of war on faith, culture, and humanity.

In February, Crow’s is looking forward to welcoming ARC, an award-winning diverse and multidisciplined group of artists, and their production of GLORIA by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (An Octoroon). A Canadian premiere, produced by ARC in association with Crow’s Theatre and directed by André Sills, GLORIA tells a story of the lingering effects of trauma in a time when what sells is more important than the truth.

This spring sees the return of George F. Walker after a long absence from the Toronto theatre scene. ORPHANS FOR THE CZAR, directed by Tanja Jacobs, is Walker’s newest high-stakes comedy that ruefully exposes the duplicity, revenge, and self-interest at the core of a culture about to go up in flames. George F. Walker is one of Canada’s most prolific, decorated, and popular playwrights. Since beginning his theatre career in the early 1970s, Walker has written more than 30 plays, including Suburban Motel, Love and Anger, Problem Child, and Nothing Sacred.

In May, Crow’s Theatre proudly partners with Théâtre français de Toronto to present the Québécois, documentary-theatre, smash-hit SINGULIÈRES. For two years, playwright Maxime Beauregard-Martin and director Alexandre Fecteau, recipient of the Crow’s Theatre RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Prize, conducted multiple interviews with a group of single women in Québec pursuing happiness that does not include marriage and motherhood. A funny, lively, and surprising investigation, SINGULIÈRES redefines the contemporary single woman, in spite of society’s expectations.

The Crow’s Theatre Podcast in Residence series welcomes two new podcasts and the renewal of Soft Revolution, a podcast about everything that matters, hosted by Stars frontman Torquil Campbell and actor Ali Momen. In October, Devyani Saltzman will launch a new podcast focusing on Canadian artists and arts workers at the forefront of their practice, with a specific focus on Black, Indigenous, POC, and LGBTQ2S artists pushing systems change. Devyani Saltzman is an arts and culture leader, curator, and programmer with deep roots in multidisciplinary and community-centred programming. Her first guest will be homegrown, UK-based, critically adored novelist, playwright, and director Jordan Tannahill, whose second novel, The Listeners, was recently published.

Interweaving research, conversations, family and expert interviews, Meghan Swaby and Sedina Fiati will host Beneath the Ceiba Tree, an exciting podcast about Caribbean folklore, exploring how its impact ripples through history to present day and beyond. This Crow’s Theatre Podcast-in-Residence is presented in association with Nightwood Theatre.

Sedina Fiati, proudly of Trinidadian and Ghanaian descent, is a queer artist with over 15 years’ experience performing, producing, creating for stage and screen, with a current focus on work that combines social justice and art. Sedina is currently Artist/Activist in Residence at Nightwood Theatre and co-creator of the Black Pledge.

Meghan Swaby is a first-generation Jamaican Canadian actor and playwright with over 10 years’ experience and work that is international in scope. Her play Venus’ Daughter premiered at Obsidian Theatre in 2016 and she has several works in development, including commissions with Myseum of Toronto and the Stratford Festival.


Crow’s Theatre is offering three different Frequent Flyer subscription packages for this unprecedented season: #CompleteCrows, all six shows of the season plus two workshop presentations; #ValiantVoices, a curated package of four brave, bold, and lionhearted stories: AS YOU LIKE IT, MIXTAPE, BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO, and ORPHANS FOR THE CZAR; and #DesignYourOwnFlightPath, which offers the flexibility of choosing any four shows, excluding the workshops.

Not ready to come to the theatre yet, but don’t want to miss out? The Crow’s Theatre premiere, digital subscription package #BMOVirtualStage includes new, filmed performances of MIXTAPE, BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO, ORPHANS FOR THE CZAR, and SINGULIÈRES and a rebroadcast of the smash-hit GHOST QUARTET, the

Two new works from Crow’s Theatre’s 2021 Digital Residency will receive their world premieres as part of #BMOVirtualStage: GARDEN OF VANISHED PLEASURES from Soundstreams and MISTATIM from Red Sky Performance.

A theatrical, filmed production with new work from composers Cecilia Livingston and Donna McKevitt, GARDEN OF VANISHED PLEASURES is drawn from the journals of English artist and queer rights activist Derek Jarman and is devised and directed by Tim Albery.

MISTATIM is an unforgettable story of reconciliation for children and their families about taming a wild horse and the truest of friendships, conceived and directed by Sandra Laronde and written by Erin Shields.

#BMOVirtualStage subscribers save 30% on the single ticket price and will be the first to know if any new works are added to the slate. Choose the date, log in at the designated start time, and enjoy unlimited viewing for 24 hours.

#CompleteCrows subscribers save 30% on single ticket prices, and all Crow’s Theatre subscribers receive a complimentary #BMOVirtualStage digital subscription. As Streetcar Crowsnest is being prepared to welcome back audiences, Crow’s Theatre’s commitment to the health and safety of every patron, artist, and employee is paramount.

All patrons who visit Streetcar Crowsnest or Crowsnest Corner or attend performances must provide proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time, or a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within six hours of the performance start time. Patrons can show either paper or electronic documentation, including a digital photograph.

Everyone inside the building and the Guloien Theatre must wear a mask at all times, unless eating or drinking while seated. Food and drink will not be allowed in the theatre at this time. Ticketholders will be reminded of these measures, along with any other COVID-19 protocols, via email. The vaccine policy, which also applies to all artists and staff, goes into effect on August 31, 2021.

All performances take place in the Guloien Theatre.

Subscription packages and single tickets on sale today!

Subscription Packages

#CompleteCrows $340* 

#ValiantVoices $215* 

#DesignYourOwnFlightPath $226* 

#BMOVirtualStage $122* *Includes fees and HST.

Single Ticket Prices

Previews $35

Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 pm $50 

Wednesday Matinee at 2 pm $40 

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 pm $55 

Saturday and Sunday Matinees at 2 pm $50

All Public Workshop Presentations $25 

#BMOVirtualStage Single Tickets $20

Student, senior, art worker, pay-what-you-can, and under-30 prices available.

To Purchase Tickets and Subscriptions:

647.341.7390 ext. 1010

345 Carlaw Avenue (at Dundas Street East)