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Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory in 'Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools'. Photo: Jeremy Mimnagh.

Season Preview 2019–2020: Great Canadian Theatre Company

By Greggory Clark on March 22, 2019

L to R: Evalyn Parry & Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. Photo: Jeremy Mimnagh.

This week, Great Canadian Theatre Company revealed five plays in their next season, as well as a festival which kicks things off in September 2019. GCTC is bringing Prismatic Arts Festival to Ottawa.

The multi-disciplinary festival has been a mainstay in the Halifax theatre scene for over ten years.

It is the only multi-arts festival in the country featuring Indigenous and culturally diverse theatre, dance, music, visual arts, media arts, and spoken word artists.

This is the first time Prismatic will take place in two cities. A press release says the festival will run from September 12th to 22nd at multiple venues, both in Halifax and Ottawa, including GCTC’s Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre on Wellington Street West.

Shows have yet to be announced. Tickets go on sale in April, when we’ll learn which local venues are co-hosting Prismatic with GCTC.

L to R: Sebastien Heins, Jeff Lillico, Karen Robinson in ‘Bang Bang’. Photo: Joseph Michael.

The season proper opens October 22nd, one month after Prismatic. Kat Sandler’s Bang Bang is the first of five shows programmed by GCTC Artistic Director Eric Coates.

Sandler has made a name for herself with witty, satirical plays which routinely sell out at the Toronto Fringe Festival; and won a Dora Mavor Award for Mustard (Outstanding New Play) in 2016.

Only her comedy Punch Up has been performed in Ottawa, that we know of, and that was a big hit for the 2015 undercurrents festival.

Coates opted for proven hits for the 2019–2020 season. There are Ottawa premieres, however, and even the Canadian premiere of Daisy by Ottawa-based playwright Sean Devine—but no world premieres of new work.

The Daisy story revolves around a landmark moment in television advertising history: the infamous “Daisy” attack ad from the 1964 U.S. presidential election. It ran once and was immediately banned—but its impact is widely considered to have been a significant factor in Lyndon Johnson’s “landslide victory” over Barry Goldwater.

Devine’s Daisy was developed by Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Theatre company, premiered at Seattle’s ACT Theatre in 2016, and received its second U.S. production in Houston in 2018.


2019–2020 Season

Prismatic Arts Festival (Sept. 12–22, 2019)

Bang Bang by Kat Sandler (Oct. 22 to Nov. 10, 2019)

Cottagers and Indians by Drew Hayden Taylor (Nov. 26 to Dec. 15, 2019)

Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools by Evalyn Parry and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory (Jan. 22 to Feb. 9, 2020)

Daisy by Sean Devine (Mar. 10–29, 2020)

Unholy by Diane Flacks (Apr. 21 to May 10, 2020)


Visit gctc.ca to see the full 2019–20 program, schedule and box office info. Subscriptions go on sale June 14. Early bird pricing ends April 14.


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