Stage Door News

Toronto: Peggy Baker Projects presents “Beautiful Renegades” September 20-October 2

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

PEGGY BAKER PROJECTS, in its final stage production, presents BEAUTIFUL RENEGADES, a brand new play written by Michael Ross Albert and directed by Eda Holmes. Featuring a diverse cast of extraordinary talent: Sarah Fregeau, David Norsworthy, Erika Prevost, Jarrett Siddall, Shauna Thompson and Anne van Leeuwen, BEAUTIFUL RENEGADES is an ode to the young dance artists who helped pave the way for change in 1970s Toronto, through innovation and acts of artistic rebellion. The show will run September 20 - October 2, 2022 at The Theatre Centre.

BEAUTIFUL RENEGADES will run parallel to PRESENCE: a set of 4 site-specific works commissioned from new generation dance artists, presented free in Lisgar Park half an hour before each performance. These artists are innovators whose work moves into new territory as a direct challenge to the status quo. Premieres by Keira Breaugh & Renee Smith are featured September 20 - September 25, with premieres by Pulga Muchochoma & Eilish Shin-Culhane from September 27 - October 2.

In its final year of performance, PEGGY BAKER DANCE PROJECTS bids audiences farewell by honouring the generations who came before. BEAUTIFUL RENEGADES looks back to the 1970s: a time of turbulent political unrest, underpinned by groups of citizens rising up together in an urgent and forceful struggle for massive, fundamental societal change. Within that social structure, young dance artists in Toronto worked to disrupt the status quo – questioning the relevance of established companies and the privilege assumed by particular forms of training, methods of creating, and styles of performing. Recognizing disruption as a precursor to meaningful change, BEAUTIFUL RENEGADES is deeply resonant with the present moment.

MICHAEL ROSS ALBERT (Playwright) is a Toronto-based playwright whose work has been performed in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Recent credits include the Toronto Fringe productions of The Huns and Anywhere (both, Patron's Pick and Best of Fringe), as well as Tough Jews (Dora Award nomination - Outstanding New Play), The Jazz Singer (Dancap/HGJTC), and The Grass is Greenest at the Houston Astrodome (published in "Best American Short Plays, 2015-2016"). Upcoming productions include: Two Minutes to Midnight (The Assembly Theatre, January 2022), When I'm Gone (commissioned by Mountain Movers Theatre Company in Kentucky), and a remount of The Huns in both Toronto and Brighton, UK. In addition to his commissioned play Beautiful Renegades for Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Michael has also been commissioned by Stratford Festival of Canada to adapt Mordecai Richler’s novel A Choice of Enemies. he has an MFA in Playwriting from the Actors Studio Drama School, and has taught new play development at the University of Waterloo.

EDA HOLMES (Director) was born in Beaumont Texas, and is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada. She began her stage career as a ballet dancer rising to the rank of soloist with San Francisco Ballet, Dutch National Ballet and William Forsythe's Frankfurt Ballet until sidelined by a knee injury. She has since become one of the busiest and most accomplished theatre directors in Canada. Her work with new Canadian playwrights and women is particularly notable. In 2009 she was appointed Associate Director at the Shaw Festival, and in 2017 she was appointed the Artistic and Executive Director of Montreal’s flagship English language theatre, The Centaur.

PEGGY BAKER (Artistic Director) is acclaimed as one of the most outstanding and influential contemporary dancers of her generation. Her unique abilities are the product of an education in both dance and theatre, pursued initially through the drama department of the University of Alberta, with The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and in New York at the Martha Graham School and the Herbert Berghof Studio. Born in Edmonton in 1952, she began her professional career in Toronto in 1973, was a founding member of Dancemakers, toured internationally as a prominent member of Lar Lubovitch’s celebrated New York company throughout the eighties, and joined Mikhail Baryshnikov and Mark Morris for the inaugural season of their White Oak Dance Project in 1990. She established Peggy Baker Dance Projects in 1990, and for the first 20 years she dedicated herself to solo performance, winning rapturous praise for the eloquence and depth of her dancing, and accolades for her collaborative partnerships with extraordinary musicians and designers. Ms Baker has been honoured with numerous awards for her extraordinary achievements and contributions including the Governor General’s Award for Lifetime Achievement (2009), the 2006 Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, five Dora Mavor Moore Awards and much more.

The cast of stellar performers in BEAUTIFUL RENEGADES includes Sarah Fregeau, David Norsworthy, Erika Prevost, Jarrett Siddall, Shauna Thompson and Anne van Leeuwen.

Featuring choreographic distillations from six innovative choreographers of the era: Elizabeth Chitty, Margaret Dragu, Lily Eng, Louise Garfield, Johanna Householder, and Jennifer Mascall.

Set and costume design by Gillian Gallow, with lighting and video design by Toronto based designer, Jeff Pybus and sound design and composition by Debashis Sinha.


PEGGY BAKER PROJECTS is dedicated to offering experiences of significance, personal connection, and transformative potential to our audience through the power and beauty of the art of dance. Established in Toronto, Canada in 1990 and incorporated in 1996, Peggy Baker Dance Projects is a charitable non-profit organization led by one of Canada’s foremost contemporary dance artists – Peggy Baker. Distinguished from the outset by collaborations with extraordinary creators and performers, the company has built an exceptional body of work and a growing slate of education, engagement, and enrichment programs for all ages and abilities. Peggy Baker Dance Projects began as a vehicle for solo dance expression; the company’s work now encompasses solo and ensemble dance repertoire, performed to both live and electro-acoustic music, and features a company of outstanding dancers. With the aim of creating room for important change within the Toronto dance milieu, the company is closing at the end of the 2022/23 season.


When: September 20 - October 2, 2022 at 8:00pm

Previews: Tuesday, September 20 - Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at 8:00pm

Opening Night: Thursday, September 22 at 8:00pm

Closing Day: Sunday, October 2 at 8:00pm

Where: The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St W, Toronto

Price: Previews: $14.50, Regular: $31.50, Arts Worker: $24.50, Students/Seniors: $24.50 Ticket Link

(Seats are General Admission)