Montreal, April 18, 2019 – Artistic and Executive Director, Eda Holmes, proudly announces a striking line-up for Centaur Theatre’s 51st season with carefully selected plays and events that cater to every taste. As the theatre steps into a new era under the aegis of Ms. Holmes, the spectrum of entertainment, informative initiatives, and ancillary events continues to expand, offering unparalleled, engaging theatre that reflects today’s world and the people shaping it. With a new season come thrilling new opportunities. The main stage ESSENTIAL SERIES is condensed to five productions, leaving room to add new, exciting events to the CENTAUR PRESENTS SERIES and the enriching CONVERSATIONS SERIES.
“All the plays and other initiatives next year are meant to offer us the chance to look at our collective experience of being human through a different lens than the one we might normally look through”, explained Ms. Holmes. “Our world is evolving and shifting so fast, where can we go to take stock; to examine our options and gain a new perspective on it all? The theatre is the place!”
The ESSENTIAL SERIES offers subscribers a wide variety within three, four, or five-play customized packages. Alexandria Haber’s Alice and the World We Live In opens the season in October with an intimate, life-affirming two-hander directed by Eda Holmes, starring Jane Wheeler and Danny Brochu. Ms. Haber is one of two Montreal female playwrights featured in the series who bring two vastly different, modern stories to life. The holiday season offers a cheeky new treat as puppeteer extraordinaire, Ronnie Burkett, returns with his newest creation, Little Dickens, based on the classic, A Christmas Carol, for adult eyes only!
The season’s largest main stage production is in January 2020 with Erin Shields’ witty and highly entertaining re-telling of Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost. Jackie Maxwell directs the Stratford Festival hit that stars Canadian stage icon, Lucy Peacock, and a ‘heavenly host’ of Canadian actors fighting for the souls of Adam and Eve. In March, the prominent French Canadian actor and playwright, Catherine-Anne Toupin, exposes a provocative side of daily contemporary life with her incendiary MOB. This English-language premiere, translated from last season’s La Licorne hit, La meute will be directed by Andrew Shaver and stars Susan Bain, Matthew Kabwe and Adrianne Richards.
A Pulitzer Prize-winner wraps up the main stage programme with August Wilson’s Fences, the centrepiece of the distinguished playwright’s remarkable ten-part cycle chronicling the African-American experience one decade at a time. Centaur unites with longstanding artistic partner, Black Theatre Workshop, to co-produce this enduring drama directed by Mike Payette, featuring Quincy Armorer and Lucinda Davis.
Next season’s CENTAUR PRESENTS SERIES makes a dazzling debut with a TOHU collaboration. As the weather cools down in September, the internationally acclaimed circus duo of Alfonso Barón and Luciano Rosso heat up the stage in the hilarious Argentinian import, Un Poyo Rojo. With the generous support of the Cole Foundation—a non-profit devoted to intercultural exchange—Century Song, the Canadian triumph making waves on both sides of the Atlantic, has a five-day run in February. This unique and moving musical account looks at the 20th Century through the eyes of Black women, embodied by the radiant Neema Bickersteth. The booming storytelling phenomenon, Confabulation, curated by Montreal artist, Matt Goldberg, has three one-night-only themed events in September, January (as part of the Wildside Festival) and May 2020.
The CENTAUR PRESENTS SERIES also includes the return of the Wildside Festival (January 7 to 18, 2020), now in its 23rd incarnation and featuring the 2019 winner of the Montreal Fringe’s Best of the Fest. Spring 2020 explodes with the second annual Queer Readings Series, a three-night event featuring three new LGBTQ voices, in partnership with Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal. From April 17 to 26, Brave New Looks settles into a new time slot on the calendar, with a local independent production to be announced this coming fall. Centaur continues to foster a love of theatre in youngsters with the TD Saturday Morning Children’s Series, one-off affordable daytime family events sprinkled throughout the school year. The Theatre of Tomorrow initiative, funded by Canada Life, introduces high school students to professional theatre through discount tickets, pre-show workbooks and theatre games, and post-show talkbacks.
Complementing the ESSENTIAL SERIES is the revealing CONVERSATIONS SERIES, informal audience-artist interactions tailored to broaden theatre knowledge and appreciation. The Thursday Pre-Show Convos shine a spotlight on designers, as they share the creative tricks of their trade. Sunday Chat-Ups, hosted by Montreal Gazette’s Editor-in-Chief, Lucinda Chodan, feature experts discussing and taking questions about play-related topics. Both events are held in Centaur’s intimate main floor Gallery and are free and open to the public. Post-show Talkbacks are offered in the theatre, following select performances, affording audience members the opportunity to share insights and ask questions of the artists. Also free and held in the Gallery are the Saturday Salons animated by Ms. Holmes. These are casual conversations, driven by audience participation, with a wide range of guest artists discussing all aspects of theatre. Centaur’s e-newsletter and social media platforms provide reminders and updates concerning CONVERSATIONS dates, times and guest speakers.
Centaur introduces a special bonus four-part event for fans of the all-but-disappeared piano bars and Tea Room sing-a-longs. The Sunday Cabaret is a casual, fun-filled hour of past and present musical theatre hits, hosted by former Broadway chorus performer, Martin Bédard, accompanied on piano by Doug Price, an Honours graduate of Sheridan College and the current National Theatre School’s Head of Music. The four events—scheduled for October 27 and December 1, 2019 and January 26 and March 15, 2020—will also be held in the main floor Gallery, following Sunday matinées and are free and open to all.
Three, four, or five-play subscription packages are available through Centaur’s box office (514-288-3161) or online (www.centaurtheatre.com). Subscribers save up to 30% on regular prices, can exchange tickets with only 2 hours’ notice, receive the popular Subscriber Perk Card with discounts at local eateries and local events, and enjoy first-in-line choice of the best seats in the house. They pay only $30 for the four-play Wildside Pass, (regularly $50), and can purchase single tickets to other Centaur Theatre events at a discount. Under 30s pay only $125 for the complete season package and receive a free Bring-a-Friend Pass, as do all five-play subscribers.