Artistic experiences are essential to lifelong learning, enabling us to reflect upon ourselves and our world with new eyes. Live theatre encourages students of all ages to develop critical thinking, expand points of view, understand different perspectives, and foster a sense of identity, opinion and artistic appreciation. At NAC English Theatre we want every child, student, adult and elder to feel welcome and comfortable in the theatrical experience. Our goal is to foster dialogue, empathy and inspiration, and create a space where artistry, education and passion collectively take centre stage.
NAC English Theatre takes pride in bringing the best of Canadian theatre to our national stage. All our student matinees feature artist Talkbacks – a chance to meet, explore and share with the people behind the plays. Most productions have companion study guides including curriculum connections, classroom activities and discussion questions, giving educators tools to engage their students in meaningful conversations.
We're pleased to present the 2019/20 Season English Theatre Student Matinees.
We hope you will join us for some or all of these diverse, unique, Canadian stories.
Grade 11 and up - Curriculum connections in Indigenous Studies, Social Studies, Cultural Studies, Drama and Canadian History
An NAC English Theatre/NAC Indigenous Theatre Co-production
Award-winning Métis-Dene playwright Marie Clements’ tender and provocative The Unnatural and Accidental Women courageously demands that we never forget the continuing crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls across Canada. In this remarkable play, the spirits of ten women bear witness to each other’s lives and deaths as they convene to support Rebecca’s search for answers about her own mother, who went for a walk and never returned.
Using humour and deeply rooted ancestral knowledge to tell their stories, The Unnatural and Accidental Women fearlessly walks Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, pushing us ever closer to truth and remembering.
*Contains mature themes, sexual content, nudity and strong language.
Grade 9 and up – Curriculum connections in Literature, Music, Cultural Studies, Canadian History, World History and Drama
A 2b theatre company (Halifax, NS) Production
Part high-energy musical and part darkly funny folktale, Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story stars genre-bending sensation Ben Caplan, one of Canada’s most riveting and compelling performers. Written by Ottawa’s own Hannah Moscovitch, this klezmer music-theatre hybrid is inspired by the true story of two Jewish Romanian refugees who immigrated to Canada in 1908.
Shifting seamlessly between heartbreak and joy, Old Stock is about losing everything and finding the courage to make a new start.
Grade 8 and up – Curriculum connections in Classical Music, World History, Asian History, Canadian History, Cultural Studies
Written, composed and performed by
Nina Lee Aquino
A Factory Theatre (Toronto) Production
This poised, witty and heartfelt piece by Jeff Ho brings to life a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother – each of whom made difficult and life-altering decisions to protect their families, moving from China to Hong Kong to downtown Toronto.
With gambling debts, unfaithful husbands, rebellious teenagers and several tables of gossiping Majohng players, trace draws a line from occupied China to present-day Toronto, revealing universal truths about hardship and hope along the way.
Grade 3 and up – Curriculum connections in Literature, Drama, Music and Visual Art
Based upon the novel by
David S. Craig
An NAC English Theatre Production in association with the Stratford Festival
Embark on the quest of a lifetime.
Hiding in an attic to avoid school bullies, a strangely magical book falls into the hands of ten-year-old Bastian: the tale of a hero’s quest to save the world of Fantastica from the encroaching emptiness called the Nothing. But is Bastian just a reader of this extraordinary story – or a vital part of it?
Filled with spectacle and wondrous other-worldly creatures, this beautiful coming-of-age tale of the trials of childhood and the triumph of imagination will delight and inspire your students.
Grade 11 and up – Curriculum connections in Social Sciences, Cultural Studies, Civics, Religious Studies and Drama
Alex Ivanovici, Annabel Soutar and Brett Watson
A Porte Parole (Montreal) Production
In this astonishing theatrical social experiment, playwrights Alex Ivanovici, Annabel Soutar and Brett Watson dare you to look away from the tribalism and polarization that threaten the civility of public discourse today.
Four strangers are brought together, each with opposing political, social, cultural and religious views, to hash out their differences. Discussing issues like freedom of speech and immigration, they must also consider the quality of their conversation, transcending their ideological differences by listening not just to reply, but also to hear.
This unnervingly entertaining production reminds us that the survival of our democracy we profess to cherish might just require one awkward, conflict-soaked meal at a time.
*Contains strong language
Grade 11 and up – Curriculum connections in English, Religious Studies, Drama, Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, and Philosophy
Sarah Garton Stanley
An NAC English Theatre Production
Heaven and Hell are turned upside down in this retelling of John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost by Governor General Award-winning playwright Erin Shields.
Satan and her army of dark angels have been expelled from Heaven and Satan is not happy. Learning that God has created a delicate new creature called “human,” she vows her revenge and escapes from Hell in order to undo all the Almighty has wrought, shrewdly navigating the sticky quagmire of free will. Never has the boss of the underworld been more ambitious or entertaining – or the line between good and evil been so unclear – as in this “funny, shocking, and thought-provoking” offering hailed by The Globe and Mail as one of the best new plays of 2018.
*Contains strong language