Calpurnia

Written and Directed by Audrey Dwyer
A Nightwood Theatre and Sulong Theatre Co-Production

January 14 - February 4, 2018
Evening Performances at 8:00 PM
Matinee Performances at 2:30 PM

At Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
12 Alexander Street


★★★ (out of 4) - The Toronto Star

NNNN - “Destined to be one of the most talked-about shows of the season. Don’t miss it.”
-Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine

“Audrey Dwyer’s gutsy new comedy will leave you cringing in your seat as it fearlessly confronts the racism and inequality festering under the surface of liberal Toronto.” - Toronto Life

“Deeply nuanced and provides much fodder for discussion and debate [...] eye-opening” - Mooney on Theatre

 

A classic novel turned on its head. A dinner party gone wrong.

A hilarious and provocative look at class, race and family dynamics under the roof of a wealthy Jamaican-Canadian home. As screenwriter Julie seeks to redress To Kill a Mockingbird through the perspective of Calpurnia - the Finch family maid - her tactics meet with explosive results at an important family dinner party. A brave, insightful, and outrageous new play.

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

Click here to watch the trailer

Click here for the Calpurnia Educational prompt



NNNN - “Audrey Dwyer’s new sure-to-sell-out play that will get you laughing, thinking and (occasionally) shifting uncomfortably in your seat.” -Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine
★★★ (out of 4) - “Likely to prompt many a soul-searching conversation about how race, privilege, and gender intersect. It’s more outspoken and insightful about these issues than any Canadian play I’ve seen.” - The Toronto Star
“It’s the start of a discussion that must continue off-stage in everyday life. It’s a play you’ll be referencing for seasons to come.” - ByBlacks.com
Revisited ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ at Buddies shines a spotlight on racialized labour - by Dr. Cheryl Thompson in Spacing.ca
“Audrey Dwyer’s game-changing play effortlessly captures the ways that complex legacies of oppression can function in everyday, contemporary Canadian domestic space.” - Tobias B. D. Wiggins
Take Five: A Revealing Q&A with Audrey Dwyer from TAPA
“Race, Allyship & How the Past Informs the Present” - In Conversation with Audrey Dwyer on In The Greenroom
5 Questions with Playwright Provocateur Audrey Dwyer in Hye’s Musings
Calpurnia featured in The Globe and Mail as one of the 5 Hottest Tickets in Canada
Toronto Life names Calpurnia one of the Top Things to Do in Toronto
Breaking Character: Artist Perspective from Sulong Theatre’s Catherine Hernandez in Intermission Magazine
NOW Magazine features Dwyer as one of 18 Artists to Watch in 2018
Coming into one’s own: an interview with Dwyer in She Does The City
Audrey Dwyer featured on Stageworthy Podcast
Toronto theatre to warm up your 2018 - Calpurnia featured in the Toronto Star‘s Winter Theatre preview
For Women’s Theatre, The Game Has Changed – profile on Nightwood Theatre in The Globe and Mail


Click here for information on sponsorship opportunities
Production Supporter for Calpurnia: TD Bank Group
Media Partner: ByBlacks.com
With thanks to our Community Partners: Organic Garage, Glad Day Bookshop, Black Canadian Studies, Ontario Black History Society, and Pride Toronto.


Photo of Audrey Dwyer by Dahlia Katz.

Calpurnia

CAST
Don Allison
Matthew Brown
Carolyn Fe
Natasha Greenblatt
Andrew Moodie
Meghan Swaby

CREATIVE TEAM
Audrey Dwyer - Playwright & Director
Tsholo Khalema - Assistant Director
Anna Treusch - Set Design
Jackie Chau - Costume Design
Bonnie Beecher - Lighting Design
Johnny Salib - Sound Design
Christine Urquhart - Props Coordinator
Megan Cinel - Assistant Set Designer
Emma Welsh - Assistant Costume Designer
Christina Cicko - Stage Manager
Neha Ross - Assistant Stage Manager
Suzie Balogh - Production Manager
Adriana DeAngelis - Assistant Production Manager

Calpurnia

Sunday, January 14 - 2:30pm *Preview
Tuesday, January 16 - 8:00pm *Preview
Wednesday, January 17 - 8:00pm *Opening Night - SOLD OUT*
Thursday, January 18 - 8:00pm *Community Night - SOLD OUT*
Friday, January 19 - 8:00pm *SOLD OUT
Saturday, January 20 - 2:30pm
Saturday, January 20 - 8:00pm *SOLD OUT
Sunday, January 21 - 2:30pm *SOLD OUT

Tuesday, January 23 - 8:00pm
Wednesday, January 24 - 8:00pm *Post-show talkback with the cast  
Thursday, January 25 - 8:00pm  
Friday, January 26 - 8:00pm
Saturday, January 27 - 2:30pm  
Saturday, January 27 - 8:00pm
Sunday, January 28 - 2:30pm

Tuesday, January 30 - 8:00pm
Wednesday, January 31 - 8:00pm *Post-show talkback with the cast
Thursday, February 1 - 1:00pm *Post-show talkback with the cast
Thursday, February 1 - 8:00pm
Friday, February 2 - 8:00pm *Post-show talkback with the cast in celebration of Black History Month - moderated by Kayla Carter
Saturday, February 3 - 2:30pm
Saturday, February 3 - 8:00pm
Sunday, February 4 - 2:30pm

Calpurnia

Click here to download the full press release, featuring cast and creative team bios

CALPURNIA

A classic novel turned on its head. A dinner party gone wrong.

A Nightwood Theatre and Sulong Theatre Co-production
Written and directed by Audrey Dwyer
January 14 – February 4, 2018

(Toronto) Nightwood Theatre is thrilled to partner with Sulong Theatre in the World Premiere of Audrey Dwyer’s Calpurnia, onstage at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre from January 14 – February 4, 2018.

A hilarious and provocative look at class, race, and appropriation, Calpurnia invites us into an outrageous and unexpected evening at the home of a wealthy Jamaican-Canadian family. As Justice Lawrence Gordon (Andrew Moodie) prepares for an important dinner to introduce his son Mark (Matthew G. Brown) to a Senior Partner at a prominent law firm (Don Allison), his daughter Julie (Meghan Swaby) grapples with her new screenplay. Seeking to redress To Kill a Mockingbird through the perspective of Calpurnia – the Finch family maid – Julie, privileged and disconnected from domestic work, turns to her long-term Filipina caregiver Precy (Carolyn Fe) for research on servitude. But as Julie examines mammy culture from the inside out, her tactics are met with explosive results.

“Audrey Dwyer’s direction pulls no punches.”  – Torontoist

“As a Black woman who creates theatre, I wanted to create characters who make mistakes while growing into their politics,” says Dwyer. “Julie charges through her values, making mistakes and coming out on the other side to take a hard look at herself. Through her, I wanted to show the difference between intention and impact.” Having grown up with a mother and aunts who were caregivers, Dwyer also interviewed domestic workers throughout her research, mindful of the need to keep her own privilege in check while bringing the character of Precy to life.

A rich and layered piece of theatre, Calpurnia seeks to challenge the lasting impact of a problematic so-called “classic” novel still taught in schools and playing on our stages today. The themes of race and allyship reflected in the response to Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird are further explored in Julie’s relationship to her best friend Christine (Natasha Greenblatt), a white woman who also happens to be dating Julie’s brother Mark. Award-winning playwright Audrey Dwyer takes on all these themes with deft charm and cringe-worthy dark humour. Having earned a 2016 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play for Young People’s Theatre’s wordless play One Thing Leads to Another, Dwyer is eager to unleash this brave new satirical piece that will speak volumes.

“There is no better way to end Sulong Theatre Company’s decade-long journey than to co-produce Calpurnia alongside Nightwood Theatre,”
says Catherine Hernandez, Artistic Director of Sulong Theatre. “Audrey’s work is a much-needed difficult conversation around race and class in action and onstage.” Nightwood is honoured to bring this piece to the stage after having worked alongside Audrey Dwyer for over ten years, and since first presenting a reading of Calpurnia as part of the 2014 Groundswell Festival. “In Calpurnia, Dwyer balances on a razor’s edge between horrifying discomfort and outright hilarity,” says Kelly Thornton, Artistic Director of Nightwood Theatre. “She speaks about hard issues, while making the audience laugh the entire time.” 

Starring Don Allison, Matthew Brown, Carolyn Fe, Natasha Greenblatt, Andrew Moodie and Meghan Swaby
Lighting Design by Bonnie Beecher | Sound Design by Johnny Salib | Set Design by Anna Treusch | Costume Design by Jackie Chau

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre | 12 Alexander Street

Performance schedule: Tuesday – Friday at 8pm | Saturday at 2:30pm & 8pm | Sunday at 2:30pm
Opening Night: Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tickets: $35 | $25 Artsworker/Seniors/Under 30 | $25 Previews (January 14 at 2:30pm & January 16 at 8pm)
Available at buddiesinbadtimes.com/show/calpurnia/ or at 416.975.8555

To expand the conversation around Calpurnia, we look forward to hosting such ancillary educational activities as an anti-oppression and inclusivity workshop led by multidisciplinary artist and social justice activist Kim Katrin Milan on Saturday, January 20th, onstage at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

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Calpurnia

Nightwood Theatre and Sulong Theatre proudly celebrate community at these ancillary events around Calpurnia:

Tuesday, January 9 | 1pm at Theatre Centre Café/Bar, 1115 Queen St W. | January Community Meal catered by Catherine Hernandez, Artistic Director of Sulong Theatre, featuring Beer and roasted garlic Filipino chicken adobo, assorted grilled vegetables and steamed rice - $5 for a plate of delicious home cooking!

Saturday, January 20 | 5pm-6:30pm | Workshop on Allyship & Intersectionality with renowned activist Kim Katrin Milan - FREE to attend - please RSVP via Brown Paper Tickets
*CLICK HERE to follow along with Kim’s Prezi presentation at the workshop

Wednesday, January 24 (following the 8pm show) – Q&A with cast, moderated by Sulong Theatre AD Catherine Hernandez

Wednesday, January 31 (following the 8pm show) – Q&A with cast, moderated by director/playwright Audrey Dwyer

Thursday, February 1 (following the 1pm matinee) – Q&A with cast, moderated by director/playwright Audrey Dwyer

Friday, February 2| (following the 8pm show) – Post-show talkback with the cast, moderated by Kayla Carter, in celebration of Black History Month

Calpurnia

To continue the conversation, click Here to download the Calpurnia Educational Prompt, developed by Karen Gilodo in collaboration with Audrey Dwyer.

And please join us on Saturday, January 20th, 5pm-6:30pm at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander St.) for a workshop on Allyship & Intersectionality with renowned activist Kim Katrin Milan - FREE to attend - please RSVP via Brown Paper Tickets
*CLICK HERE to follow along with Kim’s Prezi presentation at the workshop

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