Theatre News: June 25 – July 1

Local News

The beloved Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre (DWYT) company, although bruised by budget cuts, will still be producing works for another year, but no main stage productions. Being a resident company at the Segal for many years, they hope to be able to continue producing musicals in their future and continue growing and exposing Jewish culture to a broad audience. As one of the last remaining Yiddish-language production company, the DWYT will still be producing works, even it’s in a parking lot, as founder Dora Wasserman used to say.


QDF Member Camila Fitzgibbon, editor in chief of the Montreal Theatre Hub, sat down with Anton Dudley and Michael Cooper to discuss the world premiere of Second to Nun, a one-woman musical about the life story of Canada’s own Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys. A new musical that fits perfectly in the year of Canada’s 150th anniversary.


Welcome to ALL the Deadlines! Are you an individual artist or a company in the industry of the arts looking for funding? If yes, ELAN has your back with their round-up of all upcoming deadlines for grants application. Find out how to get support for the government and apply for funding today to fund your projects and make your living art a living reality.


Luc Fortin, Minister of Culture and Communications, released Quebec’s New Cultural Policy 25 years after the launch of the first edition of this policy, which created CALQ and SODEC, after ELAN expressed the need to include more English-language art and artists. Find more and on how to speak your voice and share your opinion here

National News

We had a theatre awards triple header on June 26th: the Doras in Toronto, the Jessies in Vancouver, and the Sterling Awards in Edmonton. At the Doras, Soulpepper took home 5 awards including Outstanding Production for Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts I, II, III). On the other side of the country in Vancouver, The Arts Club Theatre Company walked away with five Jessies, and Chris Gatchalian received the Vancouver NOW Representation and Inclusion Award for producing Q2Q, the first ever queer theatre conference in Canada. The Sterling Awards in Edmonton were very good to Edmonton Actors Theatre with their production Stupid Fucking Bird taking home six awards in acting, directing, set design, and Outstanding Independent Production.


Content warning: mention of child abuse, residential schools in linked article.

Noted Indigenous playwright Yvette Nolan and dancer and filmmaker Michael Greyeyes are co-directors of Bearing, a dance-opera about the effects of the Canadian Residential School System. It’s project that’s been three years in the making, and features 30 musicians, 10 singers, nine dancers and three actors. From the article:

The plays uses the device of costumes to let the performers metaphorically “try on” the experience of victims and perpetrators of the schools. “The dancers keep encountering these portholes. They drop into a porthole and all of a sudden, there’s a duet. Sometimes those duets are repeated in different costumes and we see this sudden juxtaposition,” he says, widening his eyes. “The thing that looked like a husband and a wife in conflict – now it’s disturbing. Because now it’s a little girl and what looks like a priest doing the same movement.”


A great read by J. Kelly Nestruck over at the Globe and Mail about Soulpepper Theatre’s month-long off-Broadway residency. Excellent insight into why and how artistic directors and theatre producers make ambitious touring projects – with big price tags as this excursion cost $2.5 million – and why Soulpepper is courting NYC’s artistic directors, producers, movers, shakers, and deal makers. A risky move for Soulpepper and we wish them luck!

What do you think about Canadian attempts to woo American theatre producers? As a community is it worth the time, energy, and money to find resources and notoriety  beyond our borders? Have you felt the push-pull between art and finances? Send us a tweet and let’s start the conversation!

International News

Content warning: mention of child abuse, description of sexual content.

A theatre company in Poland’s controversial play, The Curse, has been causing an uproar in Warsaw. Here are the two most contentious points of the play per The Guardian:

In the play’s most notorious scene, an actor simulates oral sex on a plastic statue of the late Polish pope John Paul II, as a sign reads: “Defender of paedophiles”.

In another scene, an actor considers the legality of a fictional speech in which she would – hypothetically – raise money to pay for the assassination of Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS).

There have been clashes outside the theatre between religous groups, free speech advocates, nationalist groups, theatre goers and the police. How far is too far when it comes to using theatre to spark popular interest in a political issue? Where does the theatre’s role in politics begin and end?  Send us your thoughts on this on twitter!


We found this great video via Philanthropy New York of a PHIL Talk with Katy Rubin and Devyn Mañibo of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC on how to make community engagement FUN. How fun is a sit-in really? The video gives a great overview on Augusto Boal, Theatre of the Oppressed, and spect-actors before going into what Legislative Theatre is – a technique they developed and to encourage political engagement beyond voting once every four years.



The Wall Street Journal and the UK’s National Theatre are joining forces to create a global storytelling partnership. The idea is that the National Theatre can provide excellent opportunity to disseminate Wall Street Journal content. From

National Theatre Chair, Sir Damon Buffini, said: “The National Theatre is a truly international brand renowned globally for excellence in theatre making. By joining forces with The Wall Street Journal, another world-class innovator, this partnership offers a truly unique approach to the development of creative content for brands across the globe.”

It’s not clear exactly what the stories will be about, and the more community-minded theatre practitioner will question the overall intention behind the partnership. Is it a marketing ploy to sell commodities or is a sincere storytelling operation? Should theatre as an art form be co-opted into the economy? What do you think? Let us know on Twitter!