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Theatre season an exercise in diversity - Metro US

Theatre season an exercise in diversity

A woman with meticulous to-do lists, soldiers in the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Hamlet, a magician and homeless youth in Toronto will make up the Great Canadian Theatre Company’s 2010-2011 season.

Unveiled yesterday, the season, called Theatre with character, will “touch your heart, captivate your imagination, engage your mind and tickle your funnybone,” said artistic director Lise Ann Johnson.

The season opens with the world premiere of the English translation of Jennifer Tremblay’s The List, which runs from Sept. 14 to Oct. 3.

The original French version of the play, La Liste, won the Governor General’s Award for French-language drama in 2008.

In this one-woman show, a woman tries to maintain control of her chaotic life by keeping to-do lists. When one of the items is forgotten, there are disastrous consequences.

Vern Thiessen’s Vimy, running from Nov. 9 to Dec. 5, marks the first-ever co-production with the National Arts Centre English Theatre. Vimy tells the story of four wounded soldiers following the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

“The play … puts a human face to the 4,000 Canadian men who died and the 10,000 Canadian men who were injured at Vimy,” said Johnson. “And on another level, it’s a play about us as a nation, about the moment Canada ceased to be a British colony and became a country with an independent identity.”

The new year kicks off with Evelyne de la Chenelière’s Strawberries in January, which follows four romantically challenged characters, followed by the world premiere of Pierre Brault’s The Shadow Cutter, which tells the story of Ottawa-born Dai Vernon, a magician who earned his international reputation as the only man ever to fool Houdini. The show runs from March 8 to 27.

Andrew Kushnir’s The Middle Place, verbatim theatre emerging from interviews at a Toronto youth shelter, runs from March 29 to April 17, 2011, while Daniel MacIvor’s This Is What Happens Next, rounds out the season from May 24 to June 12, 2011.

The season also features two special presentations, Hamlet (solo), and Undercurrents: Theatre below the mainstream, a repertory festival in the GCTC’s Studio Theatre.

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