About Us



1. A person who stood in the pit of an Elizabethan theatre
2. One that lives or works on or near the ground

The Will of the People:
Shakespeare Re-invented

Founded in 2011 by Graham Abbey, Groundling Theatre is a Toronto based theatre company committed to producing imaginative, original and accessible productions of Shakespeare’s plays as well as works inspired by Shakespeare, in an effort to educate and inspire a new generation of audiences and artists.

By taking Shakespeare out of its traditional context Groundling Theatre hopes to re-examine and re-interpret the canon, allowing audiences old and new alike to relate the timeless themes contained in Shakespeare’s plays to their own world and the issues relevant to a contemporary Canadian context.

Goal and Mandate


To employ the top classical actors, directors and designers across the country in an effort to produce world class Shakespeare here in Toronto.


To present imaginative productions of Shakespeare’s plays that are accessible, entertaining, inspiring and relevant to today’s audiences.

To break down traditional boundaries between audience and artist/art and find new ways to fuse the disciplines of music and dance with theatre.

To offer the same, high quality experience to underserved communities in Toronto through innovative initiatives (workshops, outreach programs, pre-show talks, reduced ticket price to performances).

To foster young Canadian talent through mentorship and apprenticeship programs, pre-show talks, seminars etc. in an effort to inspire a new generation of artists dedicated to Shakespeare’s work.

Who We Are

Artistic Director
Graham Abbey

Interim General Manager
Kristen Leboeuf

Board of Directors

Derrick Chua (chair)
Jane Freeman
Diane Pitblado

Artistic Advisory Board

Brian Borts
Michael Levine

All photos by Dahlia Katz (2019).