Toronto theatre contest -win a pair of tickets to 'The Queens'

Lies, scandal, royalty and great Canadian Theatre!

This Thursday win a pair of tickets to go see The Queens at Alumnae Theatre. This show will be playing Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 pm with a Sunday matinee at 2:00. Tickets are $20 and PWYC (pay what you can) on Sundays, they can be purchased by contacting the box office at (416) 364-4170 or by email at

Or, if you’re feeling lucky be the 13th person to contact us here at quoting the subject line The Queens. The winner will be announced Wednesday so good luck!

For more information about this acclaimed play please read excerpts from the press release below and visit Alumnae Theatre

The Queens

by Normand Chaurette, translated by Linda Gaboriau

Directed by Mat Howard

Normand Chaurette’s Les Reines premiered in 1990 in Montreal, and the English version The Queens premiered at Canadian Stage in Toronto in 1992. Both won several honours, including a Chalmers Award and a Dora Award.

Set in snowbound London of 1483, The Queens gives us a world of intrigue and vaulting ambition, where six noblewomen battle to win the favour of the new monarch.

Mat Howard, director of Alumnae Theatre’s production, notes that The Queens really is a play of “in-betweens”…” It dances between fantasy and drama, between lightness and terrible dark. Its characters are both comic and cruel, and throughout, the audience is kept well and truly on its toes. The Queens lurks in hallways around Shakespeare’s Richard III, riffing off the original to create a piece that is poignant, hilarious and strange, and told entirely from the perspective of Shakespeare’s women. I’m drawn to plays that call on audiences (and artists!) to suspend their disbelief and trust in the magic of theatre. The Queens is a remarkable play and I’ve loved bringing it to life with this phenomenally talented team of actors and artists.”

Mitz Delisle’s set evokes a gothic palace, dominated by two tall arches and the Plantagenet throne. Heather Schibli’s costumes reconstruct the style of the period, down to the shoes, which she has made using traditional methods. Jen Miller contributes early gothic millinery to complete the visual world.

Sound designer Rick Jones found that period music from the early Renaissance lacked the menace and tension he was looking for, so he created his own score using the forms and rhythm patterns of the time, and Latin lyrics from a requiem mass. A trio of singers backed by a synthesized brass quintet performs the score.

“I decided to take liberties with harmony to evoke a turbulence within the soundscape”, says Jones.

“Working with a chorus of three singers on stage has been a rare treat both for me and for our director,

and the singers have really stepped up to the musical challenge I threw them.”

Montreal-born Normand Chaurette is a translator and novelist as well as a playwright – he has translated Shakespeare, Ibsen and Schiller into French. His own play Le passage de l’Indiana won a Governor General’s Award in 1996. The Queens, a multiple award-winner in both English and French (including the Prix CIC Paris Théâtre for a 1997 production at the Théâtre du Vieux Colombier in Paris), has also been translated into Italian, Spanish,Catalan and Dutch. Linda Gaboriau has translated over 80 plays by prominent Quebec writers such as Michel Tremblay and Michel Marc Bouchard. The Queens won the Chalmers Award for Outstanding Canadian Play in 1993.

Alumnae Theatre Company’s production of The Queens features Nonnie Griffin as Queen Margaret of Anjou, Patricia Hammond as the mute Anne Dexter, Elaine Lindo as Queen Elizabeth, Meghan McNicol as Anne Warwick, Jessica Moss as her sister Isabel Warwick, and Janice Tate as Cecily, Duchess of York (mother of Anne Dexter). The chorus of singers is Danielle Capretti, Kat Lai and Kat Letwin.