After long lockdowns shuttered their 2020 season and kept them in the dark for 20 months, the Great Canadian Theatre Company is back with a full slate of five shows for the 2021–22 theatre year.
“The power and energy of theatre exists in bringing people together to collectively engage with something new, unknown and immediate, and it’s been so long since that’s been possible,” says GCTC managing director Hugh Neilson. “The joy we feel in reopening is beyond words. We absolutely can’t wait.”
Local playwright Sean Devine’s political thriller Daisy kicks off the new season. The show ran for one day before the first lockdown in March 2020, and much of the original cast, including former GCTC Artistic Director Eric Coates, are returning. The play focuses on the 1964 presidential election and history’s first attack ad, but the parallels to our own recent election are clear.
TACTICS, a stalwart incubator of independent theatre in Ottawa, is also bringing two shows to the GCTC as part of their Mainstage Series. The first, Blissful State of Surrender by Sanita Fejzić, explores the relationships of a Muslim refugee family in Canada. Brownyn Steinberg, founder of TACTICS, returns from her new position as Artistic Director of Lunchbox Theatre in Calgary to direct Fejzić’s piece, which she created while Playwright-in-Residence at GCTC.
TACTICS Mainstage Series is also performing Heartlines, which makes the jump from the 2021 undercurrents festival. In this play, Ottawa playwright Sarah Waisvisz interprets the life of Jewish lesbian artists Claude Cahune and Marcel Moore.
“Heartlines had its start and its growth with TACTICS and we are honoured to present it on a large stage that can support the wildest dreams of its creators,” says Ludmylla Reis, TACTICS Co-Artistic Producer, in a press release.
GCTC is also bringing the three-time Dora Award-winning play The Runner by Christopher Morris to Ottawa. The show—whose actor runs on a treadmill the entire performance—zeroes in on Jacob, whose job is to identify the remains of Jews killed in accidents.
The mainstage season concludes with the multidisciplinary ASL show Speaking Vibrations by Jordan Samonas, King Kimbit, Carmelle Cachero, and Jo-Ann Bryan. The show features ASL songs, poetry, dance, and music, with English subtitles.
Along with the mainstage series, GCTC is also offering the popular FemmeVox Concert Series on select Sunday afternoons, and two new shows for young audiences: One Thing Leads to Another from Young People’s Theatre for infants, and Estelle Savasta’s Traversée, the story of a child refugee.
The upcoming season will also offer a new ticketing model to bring more people into the theatre. Tickets will be pay-what-you-can pegged at $15, $25, $40 or $55 and will be available beginning October 27.
Check out the Great Canadian Theatre Company’s website for more information on the 2021-22 season.
GCTC 2021–22 full lineup:
- Daisy by Sean Devine: Nov 30—Dec 17, 2021
- Blissful State of Surrender by Sanita Fejzić: Feb 1—13, 2022 (part of the TACTICS
- The Runner by Christopher Morris: Feb 24—Mar 6, 2022
- Heartlines by Sarah Waisvisz: Mar 22—Apr 3, 2022 (part of the TACTICS Mainstage
- Speaking Vibrations created by Jo-Anne Bryan, Carmelle Cachero, King Kimbit & Jordan
Samona: May 24—Jun 4, 2022
- You and I created by Maja Ardel: Feb. 15—19, 2022
- Traversée by Estelle Savasta, translated by Kirsten Hazel Smith: March 23—25, 2022
FemmeVox Sunday afternoon dates (subject to change):
- December 19, 2021
- February 6, 2022
- April 10, 2022