Stage Door News

Toronto: Shakespeare BASH’d announces its 2023/24 season

Friday, September 22, 2023

Shakespeare BASH'd celebrates collaboration in a season full of rare gems!

Theatre is an art of collaboration and this season will explore the tensions and rewards that come from the meeting of inspired minds.

Presenting three rarely-produced plays, two as staged readings and one fully staged production, we'll explore the many levels of collaboration present in these works, both in the collaborative writing of the past, and the art of creating something entirely for the present. We hope to celebrate the connectivity of theatre and introduce our audience to stories and characters too rarely given a chance to shine.

The Two Noble Kinsmen

January 25 - February 4, at The Theatre Centre Incubator

The feature production this season is The Two Noble Kinsmen, one of Shakespeare’s last plays, a collaboration with protégé John Fletcher.

This mythic story of two honourable cousins challenges expected ideas of gender, sexuality, romance, and ceremony. This rarely-performed gem of a play will be given the BASH’d bare-bones treatment in The Theatre Centre Incubator with its stunning verse at the forefront, under the direction of BASH'd Co-Artistic Director James Wallis.

Featuring an all-star cast of BASH'd regulars, we cannot wait to offer Toronto audiences an opportunity to experience this unique, hilarious, and stunning play.

The production will feature Shaw Festival favourite Michael Man and Stratford star Emilio Vieira as the titular cousins Arcite and Palamon. Joined by Kate Martin (A Million Billion Pieces, YPT) as the object of their affection Emilia, BASH'd Co-Artistic Director Julia Nish-Lapidus as shunned lover the Jailer's Daughter, Melanie Leon (Goneril, BASH'd Lear; Shakespeare By the Sea) and Jeff Yung 容海峯 (Prodigal, Howland/Crow’s; Trojan Girls and the Outhouse of Atreus, OtM/Factory Theatre) as the royal Hippolyta and Theseus, Daniel Briere (Stratford Festival, RMTC, BASH'd) as the Jailer and Schoolmaster, and 郝邦宇 Steven Hao (Dream In High Park; Cockroach, Tarragon) as Pirithous and the Wooer.

Rounding out the cast are two powerhouse trios: Jennifer Dzialoszynski (Shaw Festival; Fairview, Canadian Stage), Madelaine Hodges (賀美倫) (Regan, BASH'd King Lear; Killing Time: A Gameshow Musical, Mixtape Projects), and Breanne Tice (Cordelia, BASH'd Lear; YES Theatre, Theatre Direct) as the Queens and more. And Joshua Browne (The Antipodes, Coal Mine Theatre), Tristan Claxton (Oswald, BASH'd Lear; Three Ordinary Men, Cahoots Theatre), and Le Truong (The Revenger's Tragedy, BASH'd) as Countrymen, Knights, and more.

Behind the scenes will be Stage Manager Milena Fera, Fight Director Jennifer Dzialoszynski, Sound Designer Matt Nish-Lapidus, and Choreographer Breanne Tice.

Arden of Faversham, by Anonymous

November 5, at the Monarch Tavern

a staged reading

Opening the season is a staged reading of Arden of Faversham, by Anonymous.

This Elizabethan true-crime story is a fascinating and hilarious picture of the criminal underworld of Shakespeare's London. The mysterious author(s) who collaborated on this play have weaved a play that mixes farce and tragedy to create a sordid tale of love, lust, virtue, and murder, telling the story of Alice Arden and her lover Mosby.

The one-day-only staged reading features Stratford star Mike Shara as the titular Arden, with BASH'd favourite Mairi Babb as his wife Alice, and BASH'd and Stratford newcomer John Wamsley as her lover and co-conspirator Mosby.

They are joined by Darcey Baker (Frog Song, Here For Now Theatre), Michael Chiem (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Mirvish) Taylor Cranston (Port Hope Arts Festival), Kevin Hammond (Humber River Shakespeare), Ngabo Nabea (Stratford), Carson Somanlall, Carling Tedesco (Suddenly Last Summer, Riot King), and Ben Yoganathan (Lear, BASH'd; Driftwood).

The Knight of the Burning Pestle, by Francis Beaumont.

April 7, at the Monarch Tavern

a staged reading

Finally, we'll close out the season with a staged reading of The Knight of the Burning Pestle, by Francis Beaumont.

A grocer and his wife crash a production of a citizen comedy at a boy’s theatre in London: they are demanding a much different production, of knights and adventure, starring their apprentice, Rafe. This musical metatheatrical comedy, written by a long-time collaborator of John Fletcher, pulls back the curtain on theatrical presentation of Jacobean England in various amusing and ridiculous ways.

This one-day-only staged reading features longtime BASH'd collaborators David Mackett (Fly on the Wall Theatre) and Lesley Robertson (The Diddlin’ Bibbles) as the Citizen and his Wife, and Luke Kimball (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Mirvish) as their apprentice Rafe.

They are joined by Will Carr (The Grove Theatre), Kyle Claeys (Statistics, Shifting Ground Collective), Sofía Contal (Carousel Players, Theatre Aquarius), Bailey Green (Cymbeline, The Comedy of Errors, BASH'd), Rianna Persaud (‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, BASH'd) Alyssa Pothier (Panoply Theatre Collective), Adriano Reis (Martyr, ARC Stage), and Deivan Steele (Shakespeare in Action, Shakespeare By the Sea, BASH'd).

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