Past Productions


JULIUS CAESAR

JULIUS CAESAR
A Groundling Theatre & Crow’s Theatre Co-Production
January 7-February 2, 2020 (extended)
Streetcar Crowsnest

Season Sponsor BMO_k

This co-production brought together a powerhouse team of the country’s leading classical actors to present an urgently contemporary spin on Shakespeare’s iconic story of idealism, power, corruption and violence. Directed by Chris Abraham and starring Dion Johnstone as Brutus and Graham Abbey as Marc Antony, Julius Caesar played to sold-out houses and rave reviews.

CAST & CREATIVE TEAM

Featuring
Graham Abbey
Dion Johnstone
Andre Sills
Jim Mezon
Moya O’Connell
Sara Afful
Ryan Cunningham
Diego Matamoros
Michelle Giroux
Walter Borden
Jani Lauzon

Chris Abraham
Director

Rouvan Silogix
Assistant Director*
*Supported by the Toronto Arts Foundation’s RBC Arts Access Award

Zack Russell
Additional Writing

Lorenzo Savoini
Set and Lighting Design

Thomas Ryder Payne
Sound Design

Ming Wong
Costume Design

Laura Delchiaro
Head of Wardrobe

Lisa Nighswander
Head of Props

Melissa Rood
Stage Manager

Madison Kalbhenn
Assistant Stage Manager

Scarlett Larry
Apprentice Stage Manager

REVIEWS

“Resurrected with imagination, intelligence and brio.”
“Driven by a distinctly theatrical urgency and immediacy.”
NOW MAGAZINE (NNNN)

“A roaring, resonant performance… genuinely artful.”
“An unexpectedly reflective and powerfully frightening.”
THE GLOBE AND MAIL (★★★☆)

“A superb cast of seasoned performers.”
“A fast-moving, expertly-designed production makes for a deeply intense viewing experience.”
THE TORONTO STAR (★★★☆)

“The best production of this play that I have ever seen.”
“Dion Johnstone impresses us as one of the finest Shakespearean actors of his generation.”
STAGE-DOOR.COM (★★★★☆)

“This Julius Caesar is fantastic.”
“Even if you have resisted Shakespeare for decades – I recommend this production, at once tense and tender, most highly.”
MOONEY ON THEATRE


LEAR
January 9-28, 2018
Harbourfront Centre

Season Sponsor BMO_k

Widely considered Shakespeare’s masterpiece, Lear tells the story of an aging monarch’s loosening grip on the reigns of power and the slow, lonely descent into madness that follows.

Starring one of Canada’s most celebrated actresses, Seana McKenna, in the title role, this production brought new life to Shakespeare’s classic tale, challenging our assumptions about familial loyalty and the fragile balance of sanity and chaos that exists within us all.

CAST & CREATIVE TEAM

Seana McKenna
Lear  

Colin Mochrie
Lear’s Fool

Jim Mezon
Earl of Gloucester   

Kevin Hanchard
Earl of Kent 

Deborah Hay
Goneril 

Diana Donnelly
Regan   

Mercedes Morris
Cordelia 

Antoine Yared
Edgar 

Alex Poch-Goldin
Duke of Cornwall 

Alex McCooeye
Edmund   

Karl Ang
Duke of Albany

Augusto Bitter
Oswald 

Ron Kennell
Lear’s Fool, Alternate

George Meanwell
Composer/Musician 

Graham Hargrove
Musician 

Director
Graham Abbey

Music by
George Meanwell

Associate Director
Brad Hodder

Assistant Director
Edmund Stapleton

Set and Costume Design
Peter Hartwell

Lighting Design
Kimberly Purtell

Fight Director
John Stead

Stage Manager
Brian Scott

Production Manager
Ray Salverda

Poster Design
Scott McKowen

Executive Producer
Robert Richardson, Marquis Entertainment

Executive Director
Anna Kajtar

Company Manager & Associate Producer
Rosie Driscoll

REVIEWS

Groundling’s fresh, relevant Lear speaks to our rapidly changing world…Chalk it up as another Groundling success. (The Globe and Mail) 

Seana McKenna’s all-out, heart-wrenching performance as Queen Lear is more than enough to recommend Graham Abbey’s production, Karen Fricker writes. (Toronto Star)

Powerhouse Performances Deliver a Riveting LEAR…one of the most powerful theatrical experiences I’ve had in months…
Abbey’s direction and Seana McKenna’s artistry – is masterfully presented…a show you will not want to miss.
 (BroadwayWorld.com)

McKenna transforms spectacularly into madness before our eyes…What a truly eventful evening of pure performance in theatricality and sound. Get to see this LEAR before it closes. (Onstageblog.com)

When this stunning production ends you are left wanting more.”
this production is vibrant and visceral.”
McKenna’s incomparable portrayal of Lear… has the power to break your heart.
 (Mooney on Theatre)


MEASURE FOR MEASURE & THE WINTER’S TALE
January 17-February 19, 2017
Winter Garden Theatre

Audiences for both shows experienced Shakespeare like never before with seating on the beautiful and historic Winter Garden stage, with the theatre house serving as the backdrop.

True to the company’s name, a limited amount of Groundling seats were available for patrons who wish to watch Shakespeare in its most natural form.

CAST


Brent Carver
Mark Crawford
Charlie Gallant
Patrick Galligan
Michelle Giroux
Roy Lewis
Callum McAllister
Tom McCamus
Lucy Peacock
Sarena Parmar
Karen Robinson
Steven Sutcliffe

Season Sponsor
BMO Financial

Director
Graham Abbey

Associate Director
Brad Hodder

Live, original music by
George Meanwell

Set and Lighting Design
Steve Lucas

Costume Design
Jenna McCutchen

Stage Manager
Brian Scott

Apprentice Stage Manager
Gregory McLaughlin

Production Manager
A.J Morra

Producer
Anna Kajtar

Executive Producer
Robert Richardson, Marquis Entertainment

Publicity
Touchwood PR

Social Media
SnowSocial

“The Winter’s Tale to be remounted at Winter Garden Theatre” (read the Globe and Mail announcement)

REVIEWS

4**** (out of 4)   “Top-notch cast in delightful The Winter’s Tale and Measure for Measure Karen Fricker, Toronto Star

NNNNN  “Measure For Measure is a perfectly built production Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine

“One of the best productions I’ve seen. Don’t miss it” Mooney on Theatre

“a funny, sophisticated, moving, and simply wonderful modern-dress adaptation.” Chris Klippenstein, Mooney on Theatre


WintersTale_poster_web8_940

THE WINTER’S TALE
January 28-February 20, 2016
Coal Mine Theatre

Groundling Theatre Company’s inaugural production, a full staging of William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, was presented as part of the Coal Mine Theatre’s second season of adventurous theatre. One of the most psychologically engaging romances in the English language, this intimate chamber production of The Winter’s Tale was directed by Graham Abbey, founder and artistic director of Groundling Theatre Company.

CAST


Brent Carver
Mark Crawford
Charlie Gallant
Patrick Galligan
Michelle Giroux
Roy Lewis
Callum McAllister
Tom McCamus
Lucy Peacock
Sarena Parmar
Robert Persichini

Production Sponsors
Eli and Philip Taylor
THANK YOU.

DIRECTOR
Graham Abbey

Live, original music by
George Meanwell

Set and Lighting Design
Steve Lucas

Costume Design
Michael Gianfrancesco & Jenna McCutchen

Stage Manager
Michael Hart

Dora Mavor Moore Award for “Best Production of the Year” for The Winter’s Tale

REVIEWS

The new Groundling Theatre Company makes its bow with the best Shakespeare I’ve seen in Toronto”
Robert Cushman, National Post Read more

“Expert performances and direction combine with an intimate venue to make The Winter’s Tale a knockout”
Jon Kaplan, Now Magazine Read more

The Groundling Theatre Company telling of The Winter’s Tale is not only the best rendition of that play I have ever seen, but one of the finest Shakespearean productions as well”
Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star



Other Work

Artistic Director Graham Abbey’s adaptation of the first half of Shakespeare’s history cycle, titled Breath of Kings, headlined the Tom Patterson Theatre in the Stratford Festival 2016 season. Graham worked closely with directors Weyni Mengesha and Mitchel Cushman to mount this ambitious project. This two evening piece was originally conceived and developed under the Groundling umbrella and we hope to bring it to Toronto as a future Groundling production.


We reprised the exciting salon evening that led to the creation of our company. We performed selections from Shakespeare’s history plays with an original adaptation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

April 17 and 18, 2012 at 8pm
Trinity St. Paul’s

Performed by
Graham Abbey
Rosemary Dunsmore
Nigel Bennett
Sophie Goulet
Gareth Potter

with music by members of the Talisker Players.

The Talisker Players also be performed musical selections inspired by Shakespeare and performed by acclaimed Mezzo-Soprano Norine Burgess.


COMPANY LAUNCH

Groundling Theatre celebrated its company launch on Sunday, November 27th, 2011
at the Ignatieff Theatre, followed by a cocktail reception at Massey College,
University of Toronto.

To read more about the event, click Toronto Star – A sprightly new troupe and other good news

Thank you to everyone who made this evening so successful.

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