Announcement: Theatre 20’s inaugural season of production features two new Canadian musicals and Sondheim’s Company

From Press Release 

Joseph Aragon’s Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare makes its Toronto premiere and Raindogs by Andrew MacBean will be presented in partnership with Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project

Theatre 20, Toronto’s artist-led musical theatre company, today announced its inaugural season of production at a press conference and exclusive ticketed cocktail affair, “A Taste of 20: Sample the Season”. The event launches a season which includes two workshops, two full productions, and a series of other events.

Preview performances at the event featured Theatre 20 Founding Artists and Emerging Artist Ensemble with guest artists including Jeff Madden, Tim Howar and Donnie Macphee.

First on the season roster is the Toronto premiere of Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare, by Winnipeg playwright Joseph Aragon. Theatre 20 Founding Artist and internationally renowned performer Colm Wilkinson makes his directorial debut with this delightfully dark true story of the 1829 West Port murders in Edinburgh.

A wickedly entertaining musical spectacle and award-winning fringe festival hit, the show recounts the historical case of two 19th century Irish serial killers who go into business selling corpses to medical anatomy schools. Reminiscent of Sweeney Todd, this raucous, eerie tale of deceit, murder and mayhem is told in memorable song, macabre humour, and compelling lyrics. Theatre 20 will workshop the show in April-May and the full production will run at the Panasonic Theatre from Oct. 16 through Nov. 11, 2012.

Next, Theatre 20 partners with Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project on the workshop of Raindogs by Canadian Andrew MacBean. This musical is based on Lanford Wilson’s Balm in Gilead. The show, which was the last project Wilson worked on before his death in March 2011, centres on a young prostitute who meets a somewhat inept drug dealer. Like Balm in GileadRaindogs is a moving and gritty look at the junkies, pushers, prostitutes and other freaks that inhabit an upper West Side greasy spoon.

Raindogs‘ workshop will take place during the late spring at Sheridan in conjunction with a comprehensive mentorship program between Theatre 20 Founding Artists and Sheridan Music Theatre Performance Program students. Public performances of the workshop will take place in both Oakville and Toronto. The full production of Raindogs will follow in Theatre 20’s 2013-2014 season.

The season wraps up with Company at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre considered by many the show that inaugurated the era of the modern musical. Theatre 20 Artistic Director Adam Brazier re-imagines this beloved show from the international musical theatre canon with Gary Griffin as Creative Consultant. Company, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth, centres on Robert, a single man unable to commit to a steady relationship, the married couples who are his best friends, and his three on-again off-again girlfriends. Set in early-1970s, upper-middle-class Manhattan and told through a series of vignettes in no particular chronological order, each character and scene is linked by the celebration of Bobby’s 35th birthday. It has been 25 years since a professional production of Company has been seen in Toronto.

Other events being held in Theatre 20’s 2012-2013 season include a cabaret of new work by Theatre 20’s Composium members, a sequel to 2011’s popular concert Driven to Score: Celebrating Canadian Musical Composers, and other events to be announced.

Theatre 20’s mandate is to present story-driven musicals by developing new Canadian works and by re-imagining existing repertoire, nurturing the talent of writers and composers and fostering the development of young artists through mentorship and education programs. For more information on the season, visit

Useful Links

Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare
Playwright Joseph Aragon (
Director Colm Wilkinson (

Official Site (
Lanford Wilson (
Andrew MacBean (
Boko Suzuki (
Paul Chant (
Rose Martula (

Official Site (
Director Adam Brazier (