Stage Door News

Toronto: Coal Mine Theatre announces four plays for its 2022/23 season

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

As the company celebrates the conclusion of another sold-out, critically-acclaimed season, Toronto’s beloved Off-Off Broadview stage - COAL MINE THEATRE – is pleased to announce an exhilarating four-show line-up for 22.23. Characteristically marked by a curation of compelling and urgent plays, Canadian premieres, and illustrious casting, the quartet of works forming the upcoming season explores our deep longing for connection, and how far the human heart may go to get what it needs.

The 8th for the company, the 22.23 season sees COAL MINE building back to seasonal scale and continuing to expand upon their mandate to present challenging, provocative, and entertaining contemporary work in a refreshingly intimate and entirely authentic setting.

“Season eight is about striving for connection: to the land, to ourselves, and to each other,” comments company co-founders Diana Bentley and Ted Dykstra. “And as always, we are bringing our audience acclaimed and accomplished writers, actors, directors, and design teams. Read the cast lists for these productions, and you'll know we are once again bringing you bona fide stars of the stage and screen alongside new and exciting names you don't know. Yet.”

The season begins in September with something new for COAL MINE, a remount of a new Canadian classic, Jani Lauzon’s PROPHECY FOG in association with Paper Canoe Projects. A 2020 Dora Award-winner for its outstanding environmental scenic design by Melissa Joakim, PROPHECY FOG begins with a journey into the Mojave Desert in search of Giant Rock, armed with the question: can a site still be sacred if it has been desecrated? The story follows a girl in the mountains of B.C with a pocket full of stones, a rainbow warrior’s prophecy, and a mysterious inscription that obscures our past. An accomplished multidisciplinary artist, Lauzon is also a nine-time Dora-nominated actor as well as director and playwright. With direction by Franco Boni, the production first premiered in May of 2019 at The Theatre Centre.

“This year we are adapting our mandate to program Toronto or Canadian premieres, to include acclaimed Canadian plays that our Coal Mine audience hasn’t seen,” says Bentley. “Jani Lauzon is a force and her Dora Award-winning show is beautiful and essential. It was a no-brainer to ask Jani to open this season with her stunning PROPHECY FOG.”

In November, frequent COAL MINE collaborator Mitchell Cushman returns to the east end to direct the Canadian premiere of juggernaut UK writer Lucy Prebble’s Critics Circle award-winning THE EFFECT. An intimate three-hander that follows a couple who fall in love while participating in a clinical trial for a new antidepressant superdrug, THE EFFECT explores the clash between scientific advance and human impulse, the personal and the political. A writer for stage, film, and television known for her breakthrough play ENRON and work on HBO’s Succession, Prebble’s work is distinguished by the marriage of sharp intellect and deep empathy. This new production is set to star Leah Doz (A Streetcar Named Desire/Soulpepper, New Eden/Crave); Jordan Pettle (Betrayal/Soulpepper, Suits/USA Network); and Bahareh Yaraghi (Oil/ARC, What We Do in the Shadows/FX).

In the new year, with YERMA by Simon Stone after Federico García Lorca, COAL MINE celebrates several major benchmarks. First produced at The Young Vic in 2016 starring Billie Piper, Stone’s inaugural production went on to become one of the UK's most acclaimed and awarded productions of the decade with Piper winning the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Performance by an Actress and the production winning the Olivier for Best Revival. It then made its way across the pond in 2018, playing a sold out run at The Park Avenue Armory to more unanimous praise. The COAL MINE production will be the first in the world since then and mark the first time that prodigious Australian writer/director Simon Stone has licensed one of his adaptations to another director.

The production will also be the COAL MINE directorial debut for co-founder Diana Bentley; and acclaimed film and television actress – and noted David Cronenberg muse – Sarah Gadon (Michael Mann’s Ferrari, Carly Stone's North of Normal, Mary Harron’s Alias Grace), will make her stage debut in this acclaimed reimagining of Lorca’s tragic tale of a young woman driven to unthinkable by the desire to have a child. Gadon stars alongside a luminous ensemble including Martha Burns (Victory/Shaw Festival, Slings and Arrows/Showcase), Daren A. Herbert (The Music Man/Stratford, Pretty Hard Cases/CBC), Louise Lambert ( Detroit/Coal Mine, Mass Effect: Andromeda/Bioware), Michelle Mohammed (Mahabharata/Why Not Theatre, The Handmaid’s Tale/Hulu) and Johnathan Sousa (Othello/Stratford, Frankie Drake Mysteries/Shaftesbury Films) – all amounting to an unmissable theatrical event.

“Sarah and Diana have been working on securing the rights to produce YERMA since it was done in New York,” shares Dykstra. “Lauded as ‘funny, moving, astonishing and shattering,’ it took two years of phone calls, emails, and going over their vision with the author –and up-to-now– only director, Simon Stone, to secure this production. Diana will direct Sarah and this stellar cast in what will undoubtedly be a legacy production for our company.”

To conclude the season, COAL MINE presents the Canadian premiere of celebrated playwright and Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp’s mysterious drama THE SOUND INSIDE. First produced in 2018 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival then moving to Studio 54 on Broadway in September 2019, the production, which starred Mary-Louise Parker in what has been called a career-best performance, moved to Broadway in 2019 and was nominated for six Tony Awards including Best Play with Parker winning the Tony for Best Actress. Gripping and suspenseful, THE SOUND INSIDE explores the limits of personal narratives and human bonds. The COAL MINE production - the first in the world since the New York premiere - will be directed by Leora Morris and star the illustrious Moya O’Connell (Hedda Gabler, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Middletown/Shaw Festival).

Tickets for the 22.23 season productions are available now beginning at $35 for previews and arts workers and ranging from $60-$67.50 for regular performances. For more information visit



September 25th – October 16th

Opening night: September 28th

Created and performed by Jani Lauzon

Directed by Franco Boni

THE EFFECT (Canadian premiere)

November 20th – December 11th

Opening night: November 24

Written by Lucy Prebble

Directed by Mitchell Cushman

Starring Leah Doz, Jordan Pettle and Bahareh Yaraghi


February 5th – February 26th

Opening night: February 9

Written by Simon Stone after Federico García Lorca

Directed by Diana Bentley

Starring Martha Burns, Sarah Gadon, Daren A. Herbert, Louise Lambert, Michelle Mohammed and Johnathan Sousa


May 7th – 28th

Opening night: May 11

Written by Adam Rapp

Directed by Leora Morris

Starring Moya O’Connell


Since this artistic home for Toronto’s East End was founded in 2014 by co-artistic directors Diana Bentley and Ted Dykstra, The Coal Mine Theatre has become one of the most talked-about and critically acclaimed theatres in Toronto. It was modeled after the Off-Off Broadway theatres in New York and branded as Toronto’s Off-Off-Broadview Theatre. In its intimate space on the Danforth, The Coal Mine has for six seasons presented some of the most challenging, stimulating, and award-winning scripts from Canada and around the world.

In just 7 seasons, The Coal Mine has received 38 Dora nominations, with MARJORIE PRIME, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, KNIVES IN HENS, THE NETHER (with Studio 180), THE WONDER PAGEANT, HAND TO GOD, THE FATHER, CATEGORY-E, THE ALIENS, ORPHANS, SUPERIOR DONUTS, KILLER JOE, and THE MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT each receiving recognition. The Coal Mine has won three Dora's for Male Performance for THE ALIENS, SUPERIOR DONUTS and THE MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT, and in 2020 we received the Doras for Outstanding Production (MARJORIE PRIME), Lighting Design (MARJORIE PRIME - Nick Blais), Director (MARJORIE PRIME - Stewart Arnott) and Performance (BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY - Alexander Thomas). The Coal Mine is also the recipient of four Toronto Theatre Critics awards for THE ALIENS (2017) for Best Supporting Actor and MOTHERF**KER WITH THE HAT (2014) for Best Supporting Actor and Best New International play, and most recently for Sarah Dodd's performance in MARJORIE PRIME (2020).