2009 Theatre Subscription Series – Theatre Passe Muraille

By Megan Mooney

Next in the subscription series profiles is Theatre Passe Muraille.

This is the 42nd season of Theatre Passe Muraille.  I’ll admit a bias here – I have loved Theatre Passe Muraille ever since I was first introduced to them in university (I lived a wee sheltered theatre life before university).  I’ve never worked for them or anything, I just, I don’t know, there’s something there I connected with.

I subsequently have fallen in love with many theatres in Toronto, but Passe Muraille, well, they were my first, and you always have a certain place in your heart for your first, right?

And now, onto the info about Theatre Passe Muraille’s 2009-10 season and subscription series.

There are 4 subscription options for Theatre Passe Muraille.  They range in price from $125 for 5 shows ($25 a show) to $175 ($22 per show) for 8 shows.  You can get the details at the Arts Box Office.

The 2009-2010 season is focusing on “Toronto” as a theme.  The 5 shows in the main season are:

BASH’d – October 12 to October 30, 2009

Written and performed by Chris Craddock and Nathan Cuckow – in its exciting return to Toronto after its huge success Off-Broadway.  Richard Ouzounian talks about it here

BASH’d! is a fast-paced, high energy, musical love story, told almost entirely in rhyme. Performed by two gay hip-hop artists, T-Bag & Feminem, BASH’d! tells the story of Dillon and Jack. Dillon is a young man who comes out of the closet, leaving his conservative parents and the "905" suburbs behind for the downtown streets of The Big Smoke. Jack has two gay dads, and already lives in the big city. He is fabulous and fun, stylish and charming. Jack and Dillon meet, fall in love and get married; but just before they can live happily ever after, Jack is viciously attacked.


Letters to my Grandma – November 23 to December 12

Written and performed by Anusree Roy.  This piece was previously reviewed on Mooney on Theatre.

Letters to my Grandma is an unforgettable one-woman show that weaves together the journeys of a grandmother and her granddaughter. On the day of her wedding, Malobee reads back through her grandmother’s letters, revealing her grandmother’s fight to survive in Second World War India and her own struggles to create a new life in present-day Toronto. Letters to My Grandma is a courageous and honest portrayal of loneliness, regret, forgiveness, and the divide between immigrant youth and the loved ones they leave behind. This is a story that reflects the reality of so many of our city’s citizens where, in 2001, 44% of Toronto’s residents were immigrants. Letters to My Grandma was developed with the  support of Theatre Passe Muraille and appeared in the Backspace for one week in March 2009. It is a wonderful follow up to Anusree Roy’s Dora Award winning Pyaasa.

Such Creatures – January 11 to February 6, 2010

World Premier of Judith Thompson’s latest work. 

Such Creatures addresses the life and death choices we make that create our stories; two deeply linked monologues show us the often astonishing courage and resilience of the young human being during earth shattering moments.

Each piece introduces us to a fifteen-year-old girl; the first speaks to us from the dark side of contemporary Toronto, and the second from one of the bleakest times and places in history: Auschwitz, 1945. Each girl believes in miracles when there is almost no hope, and although they are both furious at times, each finds sharp humour in their most fearful moments. When the real world is unbearable, they both dive into the realm of their beloved Shakespeare, and use his poetry and insight to navigate their way through the Odyssey they face.

While these girls are radically different in almost every way, they are also, in their deepest souls, the same. Such Creatures is about how we never truly know who we really are until we find ourselves making history.

Theatre Passe Muraille is excited to welcome Judith back 30 years after her first work, The Crackwalker, burst onto its Backspace stage.


Yichud (Seclusion) – February 1 to March 6, 2010

This was created by Convergence Theatre, and is co-produced with Harold Green Jewish Theatre company – EYE Weekly certainly liked this play set in Toronto’s Orthodox Jewish community what they saw it at the Next Stage Festival earlier this year.  Their review is here.

This play is a remarkable work developed by Convergence Theatre over nine performances as part of the Toronto Fringe’s Next Stage Theatre Festival, January 7-18, 2009. This co-production will continue to develop with the support of Theatre Passe Muraille and the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company.
Yichud (Seclusion) is set in Toronto’s Orthodox Jewish community, and has a story that is accessible to all. It is an unforgiving, tender and humorous exploration of the universal desire for intimacy, and how we cope with the repression of that desire. It also provides a window into an extraordinary Toronto community.


Future Folk – February 15 to March 6, 2010

Another world premiere, this was created by the Sulong Theatre Collective. 

Sulong Theatre Collective, their battlecry is in the form of multidisciplinary experiences that shout, wail and scream on behalf of brown women everywhere.

Future Folk uses the vocabulary of Filipino folk arts to tell the story of Filipina nannies in Toronto whose labour under Canada’s notorious Live-In Caregiver Program is the subject of this powerful multi-disciplinary work.

Sulong Theatre Collective Members: Karen Ancheta, Romeo Candido, Aura Carcueva, Catherine Hernandez


In addition to the core season there are three shows being presented “in association with”
Theatre Passe Muraille.  They are Alameda Theatre Company’s The Refugee Hotel, Rusticle Theatre’s Birnam Wood and a remount of Contrary Company’s You Fancy Yourself (which was reviewed on Mooney on Theatre earlier this year), all in the Mainspace.


Some things that may (or may not) influence your decision:

– Cool open feeling 2-level space with a bar on the se
cond level

– Good restaurants nearby (the theatre is one block north of Queen, between Spadina and Bathurst)

– Parking can be a bit of a challenge, but if you get there early enough you can likely get free parking on the street.  Otherwise, there’s a pay parking lot about a block away off of Queen St.