Stage Door News

Ottawa: The Great Canadian Theatre Company announces its 2021/22 season

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

In March 2020, Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC) opened the Canadian premiere of Sean Devine’s Daisy, only to close it the very next day due to the pandemic. This December, the play will triumphantly return to the stage as the first show of GCTC’s much anticipated 2021-22 season, and marks the theatre’s return to in-person theatre after a 20-month hiatus. It’s the first of five plays in GCTC’s 2021-22 season, which will run from December 2021 to June 2022. Find all the details below. 

GCTC’s return to in-person theatre will be handled with care and caution, with the emphasis placed on audience safety. Tickets for Daisy are available starting October 27, 2021 and will be sold using GCTC’s new and accessible Pick-Your-Price model.

Here are the five mainstage plays of GCTC’s 2021-22 season:

  • Daisy by Sean Devine: Nov 30 - Dec 17, 2021

  • Blissful State of Surrender by Sanita Fejzić: Feb 1 - 13, 2022 (part of the TACTICS Mainstage Series)

  • The Runner by Christopher Morris: Feb 24 - Mar 6, 2022

  • Heartlines by Sarah Waisvisz: Mar 22 - Apr 3, 2022 (part of the TACTICS Mainstage Series)

  • Speaking Vibrations created by Jo-Anne Bryan, Carmelle Cachero, King Kimbit & Jordan Samona: May 24 - Jun 4, 2022

“We’re so excited to have audiences back in the building,” says GCTC’s Managing Director, Hugh Neilson. “The community has stuck with us during our closure. This season is a result of their support, and we cannot thank them enough.”

by Sean Devine (co-production with Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Theatre), which runs from November 30 - December 17, 2021, is the story of the creation of the first modern political attack ad, used in the 1964 race for the American presidency. GCTC’s 2021 production sees the return of much of the 2020 original cast: Marion Day, Brad Long, Geoff McBride, Andrew Moodie, and Paul Rainville. Eric Coates, GCTC’s former Artistic Director, will return to direct the show, and will take on the role of Tony Schwartz, the audio engineer whose work inspired the attack ad’s creation. 

“Even though Daisy deals with an American presidential race from the 1960's, its relevance is still very much felt today, not only in the U.S., but here in Canada as well,” says Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Theatre Artistic Director Mary Ellis. “We need look no further than our own recent federal election.” 

Next, TACTICS, a bastion of long term development in Ottawa’s theatre community, takes over the GCTC stage for its Mainstage Series with Blissful State of Surrender by Sanita Fejzić (Blissful State Productions), a dramatic comedy that explores the complex relationships of a Muslim refugee family living in Canada.  

Sanita Fejzić, a Bosnian refugee herself, worked on the script of Blissful State of Surrender while she was a GCTC Playwright in Residence last year. The production runs from February 1 - 13 at GCTC and will be directed by TACTICS founder Bronwyn Steinberg (The Drowning Girls, Bang Bang) and features Ottawa favourites John Koensgen and Dana Užarević.

Blissful State of Surrender reveals the love that holds families together and tears them apart in the face of trauma, loss and precarity,” says Rebecca Benson, TACTICS Co-Artistic Producer. “We watch as the characters wrestle with their ethnic and sexual identities, PTSD and the devastating effects of Islamophobia, and their expectations of each other as they look for bridges across a generational divide.”

From February 24 - March 6, 2022, The Runner by Christopher Morris (a Human Cargo production) brings pulse-pounding drama to GCTC. The three-time Dora Award-winning show is performed by a single actor atop a constantly-moving treadmill. At its core, it is a play about the individual choices made during medical triage. It follows Jacob, a member of Z.A.K.A, an Orthodox Jewish volunteer force that collects the remains of Jews killed in accidents, and tells the story of what happens when he treats a young girl suspected of stabbing a soldier.

The TACTICS Mainstage Series continues with Heartlines (A Calalou/RAFT Theatre Projects Production), a darling of the 2021 undercurrents festival. Written by Ottawa’s own Sarah Waisvisz, the play tells a story of Queer romance at a time of Nazi occupation. A reimagining of two members of the French Resistance, avant-garde artists Lucy Schwob (a.k.a. Claude Cahune) and Suzanne Malherbe (a.k.a. Marcel Moore), who were secretly Jewish, lesbian life partners. This production features Margo MacDonald (The Elephant Girls) and Maryse Fernandes (Love from Afar). Heartlines runs from Mar 22 - Apr 3, 2022. 

Heartlines had its start and its growth with TACTICS and we are honoured to present it on a large stage that can support the wildest dreams of its creators,” says Ludmylla Reis, TACTICS Co-Artistic Producer. “Claude and Marcel were visionaries and so is Sarah Waisvisz. We couldn’t be happier to see this piece in Ottawa again.”

GCTC’s mainstage season concludes with Speaking Vibrations, a radical new play from Jo-Anne Bryan, Carmelle Cachero, King Kimbit and Jordan Samonas. A multi-disciplinary show, it features ASL song and poetry, music, rhythm tap and dance. It was created with accessibility at its heart. The story is primarily told in sign language, and features live open captioning with English subtitles projected live on stage. The project, which brings together four artists of diverse identities and practices, and disrupts notions of performance art categorization, is making its way to the main stage May 24 - Jun 4, 2022.


Photos for Daisy, The Runner and Heartlines are available here. Photo credits with performers listed from left to right can be found in the file names. 

As part of GCTC’s effort to make theatre accessible to all members of the community, the 2021-22 season will feature a new model for single tickets. Audiences will be able to pick their price with single tickets ranging from $15, $25, $40, $55. All tickets will provide the same experience. Audiences are encouraged to pick the ticket price that makes the most sense for them.

Instead of subscriptions to this year’s season, GCTC will be selling tickets in packs of four plays at a 10% discount. 

Tickets and ticket packs go on sale October 27 at GCTC’s box office at 613-236-5196 or online at Prices range from $15, $25, $40 & $55 for single tickets and $54, $90, $144 & $198 for four-packs.

Complimenting GCTC’s five mainstage shows will be a bevy of limited-engagement programming, including a return of the popular music series FemmeVox and two new offerings for young audiences: You and I created by Maja Ardal and Traversée by Estelle Savasta.