2018-19 Season Info

Welcome to Nightwood Theatre’s 39th season.

As Canada’s flagship feminist theatre, Nightwood has spent nearly four decades igniting a vital conversation about women’s lived experiences, providing our audiences with provocative, entertaining and socially relevant theatre.

As storytellers we are driven by an inherent desire to change the world: To create a dialogue about pertinent issues, to build bridges between our differences, to confront injustices, and collectively celebrate our humanity; in short, to heal the world and bring joy, laughter, release and recognition. It seems like a tall order, naïve one might say, or idealistic. But the fact of the matter is we crave this communal catharsis; these gatherings in the dark, huddled together, grappling with our world, are not only necessary but life-affirming.

The stories we share this season represent vast and intricate worlds conceived and created by this bevy of powerful women. Like a prism they reflect women’s lived experiences from a multitude of perspectives: and each selection bounces and reflects light towards the others revealing where our humanity intersects. From the musings of an elder-clown seeking to heal the world, to the unspoken isolation of a new mother, our stories give voice. Tackling western notions of beauty and the dreams of African girls, the trappings of the public persona, the invisibility of aging women, or the failure of justice for a young woman’s family, this is the rising collective voice that asks to be heard. With wit and wisdom these creators carve out a space to confront and call to action a response, a resolution, a communal catharsis.

We invite you to join us this season, as we continue to define the conversation, and yes, in a way, change the world.

See you at the theatre.

Kelly Thornton                         Beth Brown
Artistic Director                       Managing Director

2018-19 Season Passes are now on sale!

Click here to purchase your pass
or call 416-944-1740 x 4 to book over the phone.

Four Show Season Pass Now On Sale!
Includes one ticket to each production in our mainstage season:
Grace, School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls, A Blow In the Face and Inner Elder
$100 ($75 for Under 30 & Senior)
Prices do not include HST

Full Season Pass Sold Out
Includes one ticket to each production in our mainstage season:
Now You See Her, Grace, School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls, A Blow In the Face and Inner Elder
$125 ($100 for Under 30 & Senior)
Prices do not include HST

Please call Angie at (416) 944-1740 ext. 4 or email angie [at] nightwoodtheatre.net if you have any questions regarding our season pass subscription.


Now You See Her

Created by Lisa Karen Cox, Maggie Huculak, Raha Javanfar, Amy Nostbakken, Norah Sadava and Cheyenne Scott
Co-produced by Nightwood Theatre, Quote Unquote Collective, and Why Not Theatre
October 16-November 4, 2018 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander Street)

They are the invisible, the vanishing and the disappeared. In an insurrectionary outburst of original music, words and movement, six characters in Now You See Her explore some of the diverse ways women fade from sight in our culture. They sing, dance and thrust themselves into the elements as they travel through the seasons of their lives. Their voices are defiant. Their question is simple: why and how do we allow our power to disappear without a fight?

Now You See Her follows Quote Unquote Collective’s acclaimed international hit Mouthpiece.

For Quote Unquote Collective:

“A new kind of feminist language which ignites pure, intravenous emotion.” - Jodie Foster and Alexandra Hedison

★★★★ – The Globe and Mail
★★★★ – The Guardian
★★★★ – The Scotsman

Winner of 3 Dora Mavor Moore Awards
Nominated for 9 Dora Mavor Moore Awards
Winner of the Edinburgh Fringe Stage Award


Written by Jane Doe, Directed by Andrea Donaldson
A Nightwood Theatre production in association with Crow’s Theatre
January 8-26, 2019 at Streetcar Crowsnest (345 Carlaw Ave)

“There was no justice, there was just a legal outcome.” In the wake of a young woman’s disclosure of childhood sexual assault, a family presses charges. But as they put the case together, they must confront a new challenge. Grace is an exquisite piece of documentary theatre about the pursuit of truth and justice that unflinchingly examines our legal system — its loopholes and its failures — through the lens of a playwright searching for how to share her family’s story.

“Donaldson’s name on a program always promises suggestive staging that teases the imagination.” - NOW Magazine

School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play

Written by Jocelyn Bioh, Directed by Nina Lee Aquino
Produced by Obsidian Theatre in association with Nightwood Theatre
March 5-24, 2019 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander Street)

Paulina, the reigning Queen Bee at Ghana’s most exclusive boarding school, has her sights set on the Miss Universe pageant. But the mid-year arrival of Ericka, a new student with undeniable talent and beauty, captures the attention of the pageant recruiter — and Paulina’s hive-minded friends. Jocelyn Bioh’s buoyant and biting comedy explores the universal similarities (and glaring differences) facing teenage girls across the globe. How far would you go to be Queen Bee?

New York Times Critics’ Pick
Nominated for 4 Lucille Lortel Awards
Nominated for 4 Drama Desk Awards

A Blow in the Face

Written by Lisa Ryder, Directed by Monica Dottor
Based on characters created by Selina Martin & Lisa Ryder
Produced by Bald Ego Theatre in association with Nightwood Theatre
March 26-April 14, 2019 at The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street W)

Alice’s life is perfect. She has a wonderful husband and a gorgeous new baby.  The only thing is: her husband has left on a work trip and the baby is colicky. Alice cannot sleep.  Into her chaotic world arrive two fantastical creatures who take an unnatural interest in her child. In a play described as Rosemary’s Baby meets Fight Club, playwright Lisa Ryder explores the taboo subject of postpartum depression and the extreme places the mind can go. A Blow in the Face is a searing and irreverent take on a subject to which every parent will relate.

“It’s funny, it’s incisive, it’s smart as hell. It’s also utterly original and thoroughly theatrical.”
– Michael Healey, acclaimed Canadian playwright

Inner Elder

Written by Michelle Thrush, Directed by Karen Hines
Co-presented by Nightwood Theatre and Native Earth Performing Arts
May 8-12, 2019 at Aki Studio (585 Dundas Street E, #120)

Inner Elder takes audiences on a journey of transformation through laughter and real-life memories of Gemini Award-winning Cree artist Michelle Thrush as she explores her own inner elder. Using a delicate blend of Bouffon and Indigenous clowning, this performance offers a heightened experience in the theatre and an extraordinary vision of our world.

★★★★ “A master storyteller. […] Thrush’s recollection is so vivid, it sears itself into your consciousness.” – Calgary Herald

GROUNDSWELL UNPLUGGED: Write from the Hip Reading Series

Readings from our 2017/18 Emerging Playwrights program
Facilitated by Andrea Donaldson
September 25 – 30, 2018
Ernest Balmer Studio, The Distillery District

Be the first to hear new work from some of the most exciting emerging female playwrights in the city. The 2017-18 Write from the Hip writers are Intisar Awisse, Monica Garrido, Meghan Greeley, Ali Joy Richardson, Chelsea Woolley, and Andrea Scott in partnership with Nick Green. Write from the Hip is a year-long script development program designed to support new writers toward the completion of a full-length play. Come hear what these talented playwrights have created.

Click here for the full 2018 Groundswell Festival schedule.

Nightwood Staff Photo: Beth Brown, Andrea Donaldson, Angie Ho, Kelly Thornton, Victoria Laberge, Sadie Epstein-Fine and Naz Afsahi. Photography by Brooke Wedlock.

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