By Keith Tomasek, March 22, 1980
Highlights of the Grand’s upcoming season include the works of Margaret Atwood and Timothy Findley, Djanet Sears directing Nigel Shawn Williams in August Wilson’s “Fences” and the Canadian debut of Inua Ellams’ “Barber Shop Chronicles.”
The 2018/19 lineup has Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum directing three productions and includes two works he’s adapted for the stage.
Opening the season is Garnhum’s adaptation of Timothy Findley’s “The Wars.” Garnhum worked with the renowned author to create this stage adaptation. The production, also directed by Granhum, commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War and closes on November 11.
Don’t miss my podcast with Garnhum where he discusses his first time working with Findley at The Stratford Festival.
Atwood’s Adaptation of The Penelopiad
Megan Follows, who starred as the lead in Margaret Atwood’s “The Penelopiad,” at Nightwood Theatre, will direct the Grand’s production. Writing in the National Post, Robert Cushman called Atwood’s adaptation “vibrant, moving and darkly, explosively funny.”
The international tour of Inua Ellams’ “Barber Shop Chronicles,” plays its only Canadian date at the Grand. “After England, Australia, and New Zealand, we can’t wait to share this story with audiences in Canada,” said Producer Sarah Wilson-White. The co-production of England’s National Theatre, Fuel, and the West Yorkshire Playhouse is a funny and powerful play set in five African cities: Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos, Accra, and London, England.
The Grand is creating an immersive production of “Cabaret,” directed by Garnhum, that promises to turn the McManus Stage and lobby into the Kit Kat Club.
“Prom Queen: The Musical,” also directed by Garnhum, is the Grand’s High School Project production. This production marks the first time the Project takes a new Canadian musical to the stage.
The Most Compelling Anti-hero Ever Written
Djanet Sears directs the Pulitzer Prize-winning August Wilson’s “Fences” which will star Nigel Shawn Williams. “Troy Maxson, the protagonist, is the most compelling anti-hero ever written for the stage. Nigel Shawn Williams was born to play this role, and I am thrilled to get the opportunity to direct him in it at the Grand,” said Sears.
Williams past work at the Grand includes the beautiful production of “The Mountaintop” and the hilarious “Art.” Williams is currently directing “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the Stratford Festival.
New collaborations for the 2018/19 Season include a co-production with the Charlottetown Festival to premiere “Mamma Mia!” at the Grand. The production then travels to Charlottetown for the summer season; the Crow’s Theatre production of “The Boy in the Moon,” starring Liisa Repo-Martell, David Storch, and Kelly McNamee; and Timeshare’s new production of “Maggie and Pierre,” starring Kaitlyn Riordan and directed by Rob Kempson.
Due to overwhelming demand, and a sold-out run, Catalyst Theatre brings the ghosts of the Donnellys back to London in “Vigilante” with the original cast, including Jan Alexandra Smith.
Garnhum’s adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” returns as a new holiday tradition with an added Victorian market in the lobby.
PROM QUEEN: THE MUSICAL
Directed by Dennis Garnhum
SEPTEMBER 18 to 29 | SPRIET STAGE
AN UNDISCOVERED SHAKESPEARE
A Spontaneous Theatre production by Rebecca Northan
OCTOBER 11 to 13 | McMANUS STAGE
TIMOTHY FINDLEY’S THE WARS
Adapted and Directed by Dennis Garnhum
OCTOBER 23 to NOVEMBER 11 | SPRIET STAGE
BARBER SHOP CHRONICLES
A Fuel, National Theatre, and West Yorkshire Playhouse co-production
NOVEMBER 15 to 24, 2018 | SPRIET STAGE
THE BOY IN THE MOON
A Crow’s Theatre Production
Directed by Chris Abraham
NOVEMBER 20 to DECEMBER 1| McMANUS STAGE
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Adapted by Dennis Garnhum, Directed by Megan Watson
DECEMBER 5 to 29 | SPRIET STAGE
Directed by Megan Follows
JANUARY 22 to FEBRUARY 9 | SPRIET STAGE
MAGGIE AND PIERRE
A timeshare Production
Directed by Rob Kempson
FEBRUARY 12 to 16 | McMANUS STAGE
A Catalyst Theatre Production
Directed by Jonathan Christenson
FEBRUARY 19 to MARCH 9 | SPRIET STAGE
Directed by Djanet Sears
MARCH 19 to APRIL 6 | SPRIET STAGE
Directed by Dennis Garnhum
APRIL 9 to 27 | McMANUS STAGE
Co-production with the Charlottetown Festival
Directed by Adam Brazier
APRIL 23 to MAY 11 | SPRIET STAGE