October 22, 2021 update on live performances and events at the NAC.

Artistic Director Peter Hinton unveils the National Arts Centre English Theatre 2010-11 Season

On Monday, March 22, 2010, at the National Arts Centre, Peter Hinton, Artistic Director of Canada’s National Arts Centre English Theatre, will unveil the 2010-11 season.

The NAC English Theatre looks into the future with a sense of curiosity and anticipation. Youth and Family are at the heart of our 2010-11 English Theatre Season: classical, international and Canadian plays rejoicing in the tenacity of youth and the enduring strength of families. The 2010-11 Season will also mark the return of the English Theatre Acting Company who will appear in four productions. Additionally, English Theatre will continue to partner with the national theatre community through its work with theatre companies from across Canada.

The Theatre 5 season kicks off with one of Shakespeare’s true classics, Romeo & Juliet. This most beloved of love stories will feature the NAC English Theatre Acting Company and introduce the 50th Anniversary English Theatre graduates of the National Theatre School of Canada.  A new family musical, nativity: a coyote’s christmas comes next, directed by Leah Cherniak and written by Vancouver’s Peter Anderson, who audiences will remember from The Overcoat. In January, the one-woman tour-de-force by Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking, will star the incomparable Seana McKenna.  A new translation of Michel Tremblay’s powerful Saint Carmen of The Main (in co-production with Toronto’s Canadian Stage Company) will follow, and the Theatre 5 season will end with the hip hop, tap production of i think i can – a show for the whole family.

The Studio 3 Series opens with a special, first-ever co-production with Ottawa’s Great Canadian Theatre Company: on November 11th Vimy by Vern Thiessen will focus on one of the most important events in Canadian history. Agokwe, from Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto, a play that swept the Dora Mavor Moore Awards, arrives in early February and the series concludes with laugh-out-loud Cape Breton comedy with Lauchie, Liza & Rory.

The season lineup is perfect for a FamilyPackage. In addition to nativity: a coyote’s christmas and i think i can, a third show, Tales of the Moon, will feature special matinee performances on Family Day. Education and outreach programmes for students and adults alike will be served through Hinterviews, Talkbacks and, the NAC English Theatre’s Student Club.

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For more information about the English Theatre 2010-11 season, and to schedule an interview with Peter Hinton, please contact Sean Fitzpatrick, Communications Officer for the NAC English Theatre at (613) 947 7000 ext. 389; (613) 899-9737; sfitzpat@nac-cna.ca

THEATRE 5

 October 19 – November 6, 2010
Romeo & Juliet 
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Peter Hinton
Dramaturgy by Paula Danckert
An NAC Production starring the National Arts Centre English Theatre Acting Company
Introducing the 50th Anniversary English Theatre Graduates of the National Theatre School

“What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

In a city bound by religion and caught in the struggle of civil strife, two young people are trapped by a secret love. As the fighting spills out onto the streets, Shakespeare’s most famous lovers are forced to risk everything to be together. Throughout the world, the names Romeo and Juliet are synonymous with the idea of being young and in love.  Performed on the Shakespearean thrust stage in vivid period costume, our opening production is a powerful evocation of Shakespeare’s most romantic tragedy.

“It is Shakespeare all over, and Shakespeare when he was young.” --William Hazlitt 

December 8 – 23, 2010

nativity: a coyote’s christmas 
By Peter Anderson
Directed by Leah Cherniak
Musical Direction by Allen Cole; Choreography by Dayna Tekatch

Dramaturgy by Paula Danckert

An NAC Production starring the National Arts Centre English Theatre Acting Company.

“Whatever magic’s in your heart,
We pray you like the gifts we bring
For though we enter by the wings,
You’re the angels for whom we sing.


From the star of The Overcoat comes a new telling of the very first Christmas. In the spirit of last season’s A Christmas Carol, nativity: a coyote’s christmas is a holiday musical comedy for the entire family -- where shepherds speak in rhyme, animals sing and dance, angels appear in the night sky, an expectant couple keeps searching for a place to stay, and three hungry coyotes look for a good meal. A rousing play for all ages and denominations, nativity: a coyote’s christmas explores the origins of the Christmas story with its universal appeal for peace, safety and a little comfort and joy.

 Peter Anderson is a National treasure. --Peter Hinton

THEATRE 5

January 11 – 29, 2011
The Year of Magical Thinking 
By Joan Didion
Directed by Michael Shamata
Starring Seana McKenna
A National Arts Centre English Theatre presentation of the Belfry Theatre (Victoria) production.

“For once in your life, let it go.

Winner of the 2005 National Book Award and The Pulitzer Prize for Biography/Autobiography.

Seana McKenna, a leading lady of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and one of Canada’s most renowned actresses, stars in this one-woman tour-de-force. Based on Joan Didion’s best-selling memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking captures the compassion, humour and bewilderment of a fiercely intelligent woman whose world lurches suddenly from the ordinary to the unimaginable. This magnificently written meditation on grief – a place none of us know until we reach it – is also a celebration of family, filled with a luminous belief in the power of the human spirit to overcome heartbreak and to endure.

McKenna is, quite simply, perfect. --Victoria News 

March 16 – April 2, 2011
Saint Carmen of The Main

By Michel Tremblay
Translated by Linda Gaboriau
Directed by Peter Hinton
Dramaturgy by Paula Danckert 
An NAC/Canadian Stage Company (Toronto) co-production starring the National Arts Centre English Theatre Acting Company

Carmen is a Country & Western singer who has returned to Montreal from Nashville and begins to write her own songs -- about real people and real problems, all in a language they understand. Soon she becomes an inspiration for the oppressed; their sun, their idol, their voice. However, a question arises.  While it may be good to “wake people up”, what do you do with them once they are awake?

Created in 1976 on the eve of the referendum, Saint Carmen of The Main is one of Michel Tremblay’s most important plays. The NAC/Canadian Stage revival with a new translation by Linda Gaboriau, marks the first English language production of the play since 1978. Set in the nightclubs on Montreal’s infamous St. Laurent Boulevard, known locally as “The Main”, the play unfolds as a twentieth century “Greek tragedy” with its underworld goddesses and heroes, monsters and myths, exploring the nature of revolt, rebellion and cultural identity. 

“Michel Tremblay has steeled his courage and done that which lesser writers dare not do: written a classical tragedy... a powerful playwright ...a formidable accomplishment. --The Globe and Mail. 

THEATRE 5

May 11 – 28, 2011
i think i can
Co-created by Florence Gibson and Shawn Byfield
Directed by Conrad Alexandrowicz
A National Arts Centre English Theatre presentation of the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People (Toronto) production.

“This show is a great opportunity to get audiences interested in dance... to show that tap dancing isn’t just something ‘that our grandparents used to do’! ” --Shawn Byfield. 

Winner of the 2007 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Musical!

Here’s a story told without words: characters listen with their ears and speak with their feet. Using the rhythms of tap, hip hop and percussive sound, i think i can is about a physically-challenged young man who overcomes the bullying and aggression of his peers through the beauty of physics and a fanciful project in a science fair. While the characters are young, this show is for audiences of all ages. Performed by many of Canada’s top dancers, it’s The Drowsy Chaperone meets Stomp! In a world of “So You Think You Can Dance?” our final production illustrates through bodies in motion what happens when someone asserts:  “I think I can.”

Suitable for families and young people ages 8 and up.

“i think i can is high-octane fun!   --Toronto Sun 

Studio 3
November 9 – December 5, 2010
Vimy

By Vern Thiessen
Directed by Linda Moore
An NAC/Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC) co-production
starring the National Arts Centre English Theatre Acting Company.

“I’m going to tell you the story of Vimy.

France. 1917. Aided by a nurse from Nova Scotia, four wounded Canadian soldiers recover in a field hospital in the wake of the battle for Vimy Ridge. Governor General’s Literary Award-winner Vern Thiessen explores how a nation’s defining moment is reflected in the lives of everyday people, their hopes and their dreams.

Each November at public gatherings in Ottawa and around the country, Canadians are asked to pause in memory of the thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives in military service. As a part of Remembrance Day activities in 2010, the NAC will partner for the very first time with our colleagues at GCTC to open this very important play on November 11th.

“A victory of a play. --Globe and Mail

Staged at The Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre home of the GCTC
1233 Wellington Street, Ottawa 

February 1 – 12, 2011
Agokwe

Created and performed by Waawaate Fobister
Directed and dramaturged by Ed Roy

A National Arts Centre English Theatre presentation of the Buddies in Bad Times (Toronto) production.

“Within the man there is woman…not one spirit but two.

Winner of Six Dora Mavor Moore Awards

Mike is a hockey player and Jake is a dancer. The boys notice each other at the Kenora Shoppers Mall and ultimately connect through a mutual love of movement — when Mike is skating and Jake is dancing, "like grass blowing in the wind." Playing these and many more characters through the iconic multifarious persona of Nanabush, the trickster, Fobister intertwines the boys' attraction to each other through activities that traditionally separate gender and orientations. Agokwe (pronounced “agoo-kway; meaning “wise woman” or “Two-Spirited”) is a remarkable and refreshing testament to the joys and the tragedies of growing up gay and marginalized by race and gender within a small community.

“…positive and empowering and drew cheers from members of the audience. --Toronto Star 

Studio 3
April 5 – 16, 2011
Lauchie, Liza  and Rory

By Sheldon Currie
Directed by Mary-Colin Chisholm
An NAC English Theatre presentation of the
Mulgrave Road Theatre (Guysborough, NS) production in association with Frankie Productions (Halifax, NS).

“I guess death is a lot like rum, the truth comes out in it.

From the author of Glace Bay Miner’s Museum comes a play set in a 1940's coal mining town in Cape Breton. Lauchie MacDonald lives a humdrum existence but his world soon turns upside down when the vivacious Liza dances into his life. The courtship is sealed with a big win at bingo, until Lauchie’s daredevil twin brother, Rory bursts back onto the scene. A wry spinster, a sonorous priest, a reformed party girl, and a cantankerous Cape Breton matriarch, are all witnesses to a twenty-year interrupted love story. Two actors and a fiddler bring the whole town vividly to life in this heartwarming comedy of misguided loyalty and unspoken emotion.

“One of the funniest, technically dazzling, smartly-acted pieces to drop on a Nova Scotia stage all year.” --Coast Magazine, Halifax.

 

In Celebration of Family Day 2011
February 20 – 21, 2011

Tales of the Moon
By Philippe Soldevila inspired by the short stories of Pere Calders
Translated by Leanna Brodie
Directed by Philippe Soldevila

An NAC presentation of

Le Théâtre des Confettis (Quebec City) and Théâtre populaire d’Acadie (Caraquet, NB) in collaboration with Théâtre Sortie de Secours (Quebec City)

Nothing is impossible when you believe in your dreams: a hairbrush can become a ferocious dog and you can even get the moon to come down into your bedroom. A diary found in an abandoned suitcase carries us back to the 1940's, to a little Catalan village in the heart of Spain. Joan Casesnoves-Durante is ten years old. The war that has torn his country apart is finally over and after an absence of five years, his father at last returns home. Joan’s wild imagination helps him to survive not only the absence of a father imprisoned by Franco's fascists but also the disappearance of his dog --and the fact that he's rotten at math! Years later, his luggage still holds the diary that tells of the Spanish Moon, of lemon trees and of long forgotten days.

For families with young people ages eight and up
Special matinee performances for Family Day!

“..offers us a touching fable that goes straight to the heart of father-son relations and a play that is sure to enchant children. --Le Droit 

Family 3 

Suitable for ages eight and up

December 8 – 23, 2010
nativity: a coyote’s christmas

by Peter Anderson
Directed by Leah Cherniak
Musical Direction by Allen Cole
Choreography by Dayna Tekatch
Dramaturgy by Paula Danckert

An NAC Production starring the National Arts Centre English Theatre Acting Company.

In the spirit of last season’s A Christmas Carol, this production is a holiday musical comedy for the entire family.

February 20 – 21, 2011

Tales of the Moon

By Philippe Soldevila inspired by the short stories of Pere Calders
Translated by Leanna Brodie
Directed by Philippe Soldevila
Suitable for ages 8 and up

An NAC presentation of Le Théâtre des Confettis (Quebec City) and Théâtre populaire d’Acadie (Caraquet, NB) in collaboration with Théâtre Sortie de Secours (Quebec City).

Joan’s wild imagination helps him to survive his father’s absence, the disappearance of his dog – and the fact that he’s rotten at math!

With special matinee performances on Family Day! 
May 11 – 28, 2011

i think i can

Co-created by Florence Gibson and Shawn Byfield
Directed by Conrad Alexandrowicz

A National Arts Centre English Theatre presentation of the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People (Toronto) production.

Tap, hip hop, and percussive sound! Audiences of all ages will love this story without words.

The National Arts Centre English Theatre Acting Company

Last year we brought back a resident company of actors to the NAC English Theatre, and we are happy to say that the company is here to stay. Like the members of an orchestra, or the players on a hockey team, our Acting Company is all about the dynamic of teamwork and the value of an ensemble telling a story from a variety of perspectives. This year we are bringing back some familiar faces and many new actors drawn from across the country; from British Columbia to Newfoundland. Working with our directors, designers, playwrights and dramaturg, we will continue to interpret the Classics, including a new holiday musical by Vancouver’s Peter Anderson, and we have expanded our repertoire, to include a recent play by Winnipeg-born Vern Thiessen, and a seminal work of the Canadian canon by Quebec’s most celebrated playwright, Michel Tremblay. With the Acting Company, the diversity of our stories and experience is told with passion and excitement.

 

Subscriptions with the National Arts Centre’s English Theatre

Why Subscribing Makes Sense

More benefits. More savings. More choice. Subscribing to the NAC English Theatre has never offered so much. Take advantage of one of our subscription packages!

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Significant Savings
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Discounts on Other NAC Shows
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All this with subscription prices frozen at 2009-2010 season levels! Save 8% - subscribers who renew by April 30th, 2010 will be exempt from the new HST (13%) that will be applied to all ticket purchases as of May 1st. GST (5%) is still included in the price for subscriptions purchased prior to May 1, 2010.

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The National Arts Centre Foundation extends a warm thank you to the members of the Donors’ Circle and the Corporate Club who generously support English Theatre at the National Arts Centre and the National Youth and Education Trust.

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