Stage Door News

Toronto: Studio 180’s Artistic Director Joel Greenberg announces his retirement

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Studio 180 Theatre’s long-awaited Toronto premiere of Indecent, by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel, will be the final production to be directed by Joel Greenberg in his tenure as Artistic Director of the company he co-founded 20 years ago. Joel will continue to serve as Artistic Director through to the end of the 2022/23 season which will also feature productions of My Sister’s Rage (directed by Yolanda Bonnell) and The Chinese Lady (directed by Marjorie Chan).

Indecent is a wonderfully complicated puzzle of a play,” Joel offers. “It draws on theatrical styles and techniques I've engaged with and been challenged by throughout my fifty-year career. I feel that Vogel's masterpiece was pre-ordained as my final bow with Studio 180 Theatre.” Initially set to premiere in 2020 but postponed due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Indecent will be presented by Mirvish Productions as part of its 2022/23 Off-Mirvish season.

Since 2003, Joel has directed 18 of Studio 180 Theatre’s 23 mainstage productions and overseen the company’s evolution from an informal artistic collective to one of the city’s most esteemed independent producers of politically and socially engaging theatrical work. During that time, Studio 180 Theatre has expanded its activities to include workshops and presentations of works-in-progress (Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT) as well as a robust education program (Studio 180 IN CLASS) which reaches almost 1,500 students per season across Ontario.

A Chalmers and Dora Award–winning playwright and director, Joel has worked across Canada and has been at the helm of numerous acclaimed Studio 180 productions including: The Laramie Project, Stuff Happens, Our Class, The Normal Heart, Clybourne Park and Oslo.

”Studio 180 has been a unique theatre company since its inception as an artists’ collective. It has grown in strength and stature over its 20-year history and that has been greatly due to Joel Greenberg’s leadership and artistry. As a Board we have been so fortunate to have had Joel at the helm as the company grew and flourished.” - Ellen Terry Cole, Current Board Chair

“We’ve worked with Studio 180 since 2009 when we presented Joel’s brilliant production of Stuff Happens. When we acquired the CAA Theatre (then called the Panasonic) and had the opportunity to start a new series that would focus on the kind of plays Studio 180 specialized in, we once again turned to Joel. The first Off-Mirvish season featured Joel’s wonderful production of Clybourne Park. Since then, most seasons have included a show directed by Joel. It’s fitting that he is ending his tenure with a play that has all the hallmarks of his work — a socially engaged, fascinating, culturally rich story that encompasses all the disciplines and features the work of great local actors. I’m especially looking forward to seeing Joel’s Indecent. It is a play I was involved with on Broadway, a play that examines the power of theatre, wrapped in hypnotic klezmer music. Thank you, Joel, for your dedication, sharp eye, fine taste and especially for choosing to partner with us in enriching the local theatre scene.” - David Mirvish

“When Studio 180 launched with The Laramie Project, there was no talk of a long-term, ongoing company. Now, 20 years later, I know that I’ll be dealing with powerfully mixed emotions as I step back from the company that has been at the heart of my professional life since 2003. How can 20 years have moved so quickly? And how could I have known that along with the work - and far more lasting than the work itself - there would be deepest love, companionship and shared passion?” - Joel Greenberg, Co-Founder

Photo: Joel Greenberg. © Cylla von Tiedemann.