Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Aki Studio Theatre’

On Our Radar TO: Get Stoked for Theatre this November!

Why is theatre relevant? Whether it allows you to re-connect with your inner child, be exposed to a new perspective, challenges your pre-conceptions or allows you to let your guard down, whether you’re looking for a sexy night out, a night to sing and dance with childish glee without feeling out of place, or simply looking to be entertained and connect with those around you through classic love stories and a beer in hand, these productions are On Our Radar, Toronto, and we think you should get stoked for theatre this November!

Savage in Limbo

Written by John Patrick Shanley, presented by Bob Kills Theatre


With a newly extended run, we’ve heard nothing but exciting things about this production. Bold, brave work, exciting use of a new venue to the Toronto scene (The Downstage), and some incredible talent that must be noted!

“John Patrick Shanley is an Oscar, Tony and Pulitzer prize-winning writer of stage and screen. He is best known for the 1988 film Moonstruck, and the 2004 play Doubt, which was also adapted into an Oscar-nominated film in 2008.

Bob Kills Theatre is an experience in visceral theatre. Founded by Melissa D’Agostino and Diana Bentley, the company strives to present unique, often surreal, texts in interesting venues. With an emphasis on bold stories and the virtuosity of performance, Bob Kills Theatre aims to challenge, engage, entertain and instigate.”

Various 32-year olds seek love, sex and a way out of their dead-end lives.

Where: The Downstage, 798 Danforth

When: **Extended Run** October 22nd – Thursday November 7th 8pm.

Tickets: $20

The Double

A TheatreRUN production presented by Tarragon Theatre


Adapted from the novella by Dostoevsky, created and performed by Adam Paolozza, Arif Mirabdolbaghi and Viktor Lukawski, we’ve heard this production described as hilarious, whimsical, psychologically complex, haunting and magical. If that doesn’t catch your interest, maybe this delightful trailer will. Catch this gem of a remount before it closes!

“When are you no longer yourself? The anxious government clerk Golyadkin is plagued by a stranger who looks just like him but is more daring, romantic and brash. Inspired by Dostoevsky’s novella The Double, this theatrical triangle between a neurotic, his doppelganger and a stand-up bass transports us to 19th century Russian high society and Golyadkin’s labyrinthine search for his identity.

After a hit independent run last season that saw a Dora Award win for lighting design, Tarragon warmly welcomes this dark satire about our deepest fears of losing our identity.”

Where: Tarragon Theatre Extraspace

When: October 15th-November 24th

Tickets: 416-531-1827 Tarragon Box Office

Dirty Butterfly

Written by Debbie Tucker Green, presented by Bound To Create Theatre as part of Obsidian Theatre’s 2013/14 Presentation Series


If there is one production we have been excited about for its first professional Canadian Theatre debut, it’s Bound to Create Theatre’s production of Dirty Butterfly as part of Obsidian Theatre’s 2013/14 presentation series. Since its first run at the 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival, we’ve heard nothing but incredible things of this arresting play by British playwright Debbie Tucker Green and after seeing its opening, this hypnotic play is not to be missed!

“This drama explores voyeurism, power and guilt by confronting the collateral damage of domestic abuse and racial economic divide.”

Where: Aki Studio Theatre, 585 Dundas E.

When: Previews Oct. 30-31st, Opens November 1st and runs to November 17th. Tues-Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm

Tickets: $20-$25 Preview 15$, November 10th PWYC.

Moss Park

Written by George F. Walker, presented by Green Thumb Theatre/Theatre Passe Muraille

There’s a new George F. Walker in town and with some pretty incredible young Canadian talent as its leads, local talent Haley McGee and Vancouver native Graeme McComb, and we’re into it!

“Moss Park is an intimate look at two young people as they confront an uncertain future.  In this follow up to Tough!, George F. Walker takes Bobby and Tina on a journey as they fight to map a life that doesn’t include poverty.”

Where: Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson

When: Previews Runs November 5th-16th, Tues-Sat 7:30pm, Mat Sat 2pm.

Tickets: $15-$32.50, Matinee PWYC, 416-504-7529,

Alligator Pie

Featuring poetry by Dennis Lee, presented by Soulpepper

Soulpepper's Alligator Pie in rehearsal, Raquel Duffy, Mike Ross, Gregory Prest. Photo Credit: Nathan Kelly

This needed a remount in the most heart-felt way. We saw this last fall and what a treat it was to watch this talented group of artists weave the children’s poems of Dennis Lee together with heart, humour and glee-inducing creativity. This family-friendly production is definitely enjoyable for all ages on so many levels as it celebrates imagination and invention.

Where: Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Lane
When: Opens November 3rd and runs to December 1st
Tickets: $23, Rush $5-$22 416-866-8666,

Romeo and Juliet

Written by William Shakespeare, presented by Shakespeare BASH’d


If you know anything about Shakespeare BASH’d it’s the long line-up of Fringe hopefuls trying to snag the last few tickets at the door of their two sold-out Fringe hits with both their 2012 production of Taming of the Shrew and Much Ado About Nothing this past Summer at the Victory Café. If you managed to get your tickets early, then you got to see what all of the hype was about – a clean, story-focused Shakespeare, chalk-full of boisterous local talent, all of which you could enjoy with a drink in hand. Well BASH’d is about to present their first tragedy outside of the Fringe circuit and bring us to the incredible 3030 Dundas West in the Junction, inviting us to grab a beer (perhaps from one of the 3030’s many local craft beer selections) and reconnect with Shakespeare’s greatest story of original young love-at-first-sight.

Where: 3030 Dundas West in the Junction

When: November 19th-23rd Tuesday-Friday 7:30pm, Closing Saturday at 4pm

Tickets: $16-$21 with advanced purchase highly recommended*


Mature Young Adults

By Wesley J. Colford, presented by Aim for the Tangent

MYA Promo Shot #1

We had the pleasure of catching this gem at the Atlantic Fringe Festival on a visit to Halifax this September and we’re very interested to see it in its next stage of development in Toronto at the intimate Videofag space. Andrea Nemetz from the Chronicle Herald expresses our thoughts on Mature Young Adults perfectly: “Everyone has been a teenager in love, or will be. …an astonishingly real look at that most complicated of emotions.”

“This tragi-comic love story continues the theatrical tradition of East Coast playwriting greats David French and Daniel MacIvor with a contemporary twist for the Facebook generation. In a world where labels and gossip fly through cyberspace like lightning, is it possible to love without giving up your identity? Can you escape the container your community places you in?”

Where: Videofag, 187 Augusta Ave.

When: November 20th-24th: 19th-22nd 8pm, 23rd & 24th 4pm & 8pm

Tickets: $15 at the door. Advance tickets available through T.O. Tix

After Miss Julie

Written by Patrick Marber, presented by Red One Theatre Collective


If you are looking for a crazy, sexy performance to spice up your life as the temperatures drop… we’re looking to After Miss Julie presented by Red One Theatre Collective. After Miss Julie is a version of Strindberg’s Miss Julie by Patrick Marber, where Marber amps up the power play between Julie, John, and his fiancée Christine to a deliciously dangerous level. The result, a steamy and at times manic and even hilarious power play amongst the class structure of 1945 England. With David Ferry as the director and a cast of some exceptional young local talent (Claire Armstrong, Christopher Morris and Amy Keating), we can’t wait to see what Red One brings to the Storefront this November.

Where: The Storefront Theatre, 955 Bloor Street West

When: November 15th-30th (Preview November 14th) Tuesday-Saturday 8pm, Sundays 2pm

Tickets: $20/ Tuesdays $10/ $15 Preview)

The Sacrifice Zone

Written by Suzie Miller, presented by Theatre Gargantua


If you’ve never been to a Gargantua performance, now is your chance to catch their world premiere of their 10th cycle of work The Sacrifice Zone. Created through their unique process, Theatre Gargantua is artist driven and works as a creative ensemble, producing projects in two-year cycles. We’re overflowing with excitement to see their latest creation, blending physical theatre, vocal soundscapes and unique storytelling and staging and we think you should be too!

“An industrial explosion shatters lives in an isolated resource town, rocking the balance of the community. While Alex and Hannah struggle with the loss of their partners, Laura and Patrick renegotiate the boundaries of a love affair, and newcomer Elly watches the emotional landscape change as arrestingly as the physical environment does. When everything is at stake, what would you sacrifice to make things right?

The Sacrifice Zone cuts right to fundamental questions of who and what are our responsibilities? And is balance, indeed justice, ever possible? Gargantua explores real world issues of individual, corporate and environmental accountability through their signature physical and critically acclaimed contemporary visual style in this gripping production based on a script by celebrated Australian playwright Suzie Miller.”

Where: Factory Studio Theatre
When: November 13th-30th Wednesday-Saturday 8pm, Saturday November 16th & November 20th 2pm.
Tickets: $19-$25, Buy tickets at 

The Gay Heritage Project

Created and performed by Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn & Andrew Kushnir, presented by The GHP Collective in association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre


We just caught a glimpse of this promo video, and we can’t wait to catch it mid-November! A collaboration between acclaimed theatre makers Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn, and Andrew Kushnir, The Gay Heritage Project offers audiences a unique chance to discover, celebrate and connect to our queer heritage. Once again, Buddies in Bad Times provides Toronto with relevant, thought-provoking, socially-conscious theatre.

“Three of our country’s most gifted creator/performers set out to answer one question: is there such a thing as gay heritage? In their search, they uncover a rich history not often shared and shine new light on contemporary gay culture. The result is a hilarious and moving homage to the people who came before us and the events that continue to shape our lives.”

Where: Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander Street, near Yonge & College

When: November 17th-December 8th, Tuesday-Saturday 8pm, Saturday & Sunday 2:30pm, Preview Performances 8pm

Tickets: $20-$37

Know something that should be On Our Radar, Toronto? Connect with us through Twitter & Facebook using the hashtag #OnOurRadarTO or send us an email to What’s on your Radar? 

Bound to Create Theatre presents “Dirty Butterfly” as part of Obsidian Theatre’s 2013/14 Presentation Series

by Ryan Quinn

I sat down with director Jack Grinhaus and actor Lauren Brotman, Co-Artistic Directors of Bound To Create Theatre to discuss their upcoming production of Debbie Tucker Green’s Dirty Butterfly, being presented as part of Obsidian Theatre’s 2013-14 Presentation Series. We were also joined by their adorable ten-week-old Ethan, who the staff of the Artegelato cafe, where we were meeting, have been eagerly watching grow since he was born.

Dirty Butterfly is the story of an abused woman in a lower-class housing complex in Britain whose neighbours on either side have very different reactions to the sound of domestic violence coming through their walls. One neighbour actively avoids the entire situation, deluding herself into denying what’s happening, while the other becomes almost obsessed with it and completely drawn in. The show first ran at the 2012 Toronto Fringe, which, to Grinhaus, was a testing ground to see if the material could work as a full run. Of course, going from the Fringe Festival to being a part of a larger season at Obsidian has its own challenges, which have more to do with budget and promotion.


The pair first became interested in this show when they found themselves both working on different projects about domestic violence at the same time. “The statistics are frightening, on the rise, and damning,” they discuss. So, the pair went off in search of shows that deal with that topic, and Dirty Butterfly was so perfect for what they wanted to accomplish and explore, that they say they had no other choice. Bound to Create reached out to the White Ribbon campaign, and other local groups focused on this topic, and is happy to be working with them on this project.

Grinhaus and Brotman are incredibly excited to introduce Debbie Tucker Green’s work to the Canadian stage, as they see the power that British works can have on this side of the ocean: “There is a facility with language that even the lower classes have, that makes British theatre so different. Not only is the language fluid and precise, but Green writes in a cadence that the cast really has to tap into”. Grinhaus describes working on a scene where the character work was spot-on, then having to go back and speed up the pace to make the rhythm of the text work. “Trancelike is actually a really good word for it. The beat draws us into the action and really makes us feel complicit in what’s happening. The result is an audience that either identifies with one of the two neighbours, or falls somewhere in-between, on the spectrum of fear to obsession. What do we do on the other side of the wall?”


What makes this show leagues away from being a feel-good morality tale, though, is the complexity of the characters involved. “Green has made the main character, right from the top, do and say some things that are really…unlikeable,” Brotman tells me, “The audience probably won’t like this woman.” Also, there are no big acts of physical violence in this show, which separates Green from the fellow playwright to whom her work is most often compared, the late Sarah Kane. Brotman explains, “Jack’s done something smart where the little moments of violence in the play are closer to metaphors, leaving a play that strongly focuses more on the reactions and the repercussions of the violence.”

It’s also the smaller character moments that speak so much about the class culture in Britain and across the world. Grinhaus tells me about a small piece of text from a character who is a cleaner in a cafe, whose only dream is to someday be a barista. “It’s this tiny moment that happens too fast, but it really hits me”.

Luckily, the rehearsal space was one of the best she’s ever been in, Brotman explains. “It was very zen, you know. I was there with my husband, and my son was there in the room with me, it felt like a very safe place.”

When asked if he has any advice for young companies looking to produce important work, Grinhaus immediately replies “David Mamet is no longer relevant”. He explains that, sure, Mamet’s plays are full of angry conflicts, and that’s where young actors tend to be most comfortable at that stage of their lives, but his plays just are not the right kind of shows to be putting up right now.

His more direct advice, though, was that to be in the business, you have to be in the business. “When I was working at a restaurant in New York, I had to drop an audition because I couldn’t risk losing a shift. I never made that mistake again”. Grinhaus recommends working in any area of the theatre you can get into: “I got more acting jobs from being the guy sitting beside the director of another show in a different capacity than I did from auditioning”.

Bound to Create Theatre is also doing a cross-promotion with Paint Box Bistro for Dirty Butterfly. Paint Box is a restaurant and culinary school that teaches young people in Regent Park the skills they need to work in restaurants, or open their own. Their infrastructure supports establishing kitchens and allows use of the space to Regent Park start-ups. Paint Box is offering 10% off pre-show meals with proof of ticket purchase.

Dirty Butterfly


by Debbie Tucker Green

Presented by Bound to Create Theatre as part of Obsidian Theatre’s 13/14 Presentation Series

When: October 30th to November 17th

Where: Aki Studio Theatre, 585 Dundas Street East.

Tickets:, or by calling 1-800-204-0855.