All posts by Madeleine Copp

Madeleine Copp saw her first show when she was four years old and it was love at first sight. She pursued a bachelor’s in theatre production and design and English literature, culminating in a love for flexible, innovative, and diverse theatre artists that challenge all our preconceived notions of the stage. Her thesis, Printed Voices: Women, Print, and Performance pushed for new interpretations of closet drama from the early modern to modern period in the hopes of seeing more female playwrights included in the performance canon. Since graduating, Madeleine continues to seek out unexpected, startling, and challenging works that leave her angry, speechless, and wonderfully confused.

2018 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: The Surprise (Christel Bartelse/DutchGirl Productions)

Photo of Christel BartelseThe problem with a surprise is that you never know whether it’s going to be good or bad. Christel Bartelse/Dutchgirl Productions’s The Surprise playing at the Factory Theatre Ante-chamber as part of the 2018 Next Stage Theatre Festival capitalizes on the unpredictable as the audience tries to help throw a surprise party for Ginger (Christel Bartelse).


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2018 Next Stage Festival Review: That “F” Word (SaMel Tanz)

Photo of Melissa Hart and Samantha Schleese

There is an unsurprisingly apt description of feminism in SaMel Tanz’s That “F” Word playing at the Factory Theatre Mainspace as part of the Next Stage Theatre Festival. A series of expertly choreographed dances informed by questions of femininity, society, race, body image, and gender roles uses words sparingly, preferring the twist of bodies to try and examine that insurmountable word: feminism.

While hitting the mark technically, with wonderful sequences, it’s the show’s on-the-nose interpretation of the issue it seeks to explore that might be its biggest weakness or biggest strength.

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Review: Unholy (Nightwood Theatre)

Photo of Diane Flacks and Bahareh YaraghiToronto playwright Diane Flacks examines the intersection of women and religion in her play Unholy

I think most people have had that one dinner where they’re told: whatever you do, don’t mention religion. Nightwood Theatre’s Unholy playing at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is that dinner—except imagine that dinner is televised and there are no consequences for letting your opinions fly.

It’s exactly as intense, exciting, and hilarious as it sounds.

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Review: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Young People’s Theatre)

Photo of Beauty and the BeastYPT’s Beauty and the Beast is a hit with kids but misses the mark with some adults, on stage in Toronto

It’s not every day you get the opportunity to go to the theatre and let yourself be a kid. Attending Young People’s Theatre‘s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast playing at the Young People’s Theatre mainstage was a chance to revisit enchanted castles, fun music, and a little bit of romance.

Of course, I know when I sat down that its an ambitious project. Think about it: how many kids in that audience were familiar with the Disney movie? Live-action or animated, if you put on a Disney show it should do one of two things: either embrace its roots or deliver something unexpected.

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Review: Title and Deed (Nightfall Theatrics)

Photo of Christopher StantonTitle of Deed questions the meaning of home, on stage now in Toronto

To say someone is ‘here’ begs the question: what, precisely, is that place? Nightfall Theatric’s Title and Deed, playing at the Tarragon Theatre Workspace, follows the story of one man trying to dig into the nature of leaving home and arriving in a new place. Unfortunately, this production begs the question a bit too pointedly of its audience, as its answers are often safe and mostly underwhelming.

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Review: Mockingbird Close (Inpulse Theatre)

Photo of Mockingbird CloseMockingbird Close is a quick-witted dark comedy playing at the Red Sandcastle Theatre in Toronto

It never matters how much people care or love or even feel about another person, memories are always full of holes that get eaten away by preferred fictions. Eroding memory in the face of tragedy is the core of INpulse Theatre’s Mockingbird Close playing at Red Sandcastle Theatre.

There is no closure to be found in this show, just an uneasy, reflection on the nature of community, family, and what we want to be true.

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Erased: Billy & Bayard (Queer Songbook Orchestra) 2017 SummerWorks Review

Photo of Erased Billy and Bayard“What year is it?” The innocuous questions opens Erased: Billy and Bayard by Queer Songbook Orchestra playing at the Toronto 2017 SummerWorks Festival.

Its the uncertainty in the answer that is at the heart of the show as it digs into the lives and accomplishments of musicians and Civil Rights activists Billy Strayhorn and Bayard Rustin.

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