thelivingproject Presents: The Living

Our friends at thelivingproject are working on a great new show for the SummerWorks Festival. Check out some info about the show!FB-ad-1

Governor-General Award winner Colleen Wagner (The Monument) brings audiences a stirring new play about women on the frontlines of violence, of forgiveness and of redemption.  Directed byInes Buchli, designed by Shawn Kerwin (set and costumes), Elizabeth Asselstine (lighting) and James McKernan (sound), and featuring a cast of Toronto indie theatre stalwarts, this Summerworks show promises to be a moving and unforgettable experience.

The Living, a documentary play, inspired by the actual stories of women and girls who survived trauma in post-conflict zones, examines the lives of victims and perpetrators, post-genocide, who live side-by-side in government-issued housing, and NGO-funded campaigns to encourage reconciliation in hopes that the impossible act of forgiveness can end the cycle of revenge.

Jacqui and Henry have known each other since primary school. Henry rescued Jacqui during the genocide but was part of the mob that killed her father and brother. Their relationship challenges the vengeful hearts of the community. Henry and Jacqui struggle to move on by reimagining idyllic memories of their childhood despite the war’s aftermath: AIDS, perpetrators returning from prison facing their own guilty consciences, husbands and wives who barely recognize each other, ghosts of the dead, revenge festering in hearts and minds, imposed notions of reconciliation, and a crisis of faith. And in the middle: impossible love, and a radical approach to reconciliation – transformational justice.

Written by Colleen Wagner
Directed by Ines Buchli
Featuring Miriam Fernandes, Richard Lee, Francoise Balthazar, Kaleb Alexander,
Beryl Bain, Stephanie Jung, Wayne Ward, Gabrielle Graham, Anita La Selva, and Cindy Block

Set and Costumes by Shawn Kerwin, Lighting by Elizabeth Asselstine, Sound by James McKernan, Movement by Erika Batdorf.
Assistant Directed by Lucy Powis
Stage Managed by Cole Vincent

Produced by

The Theatre Centre BMO Incubator

1115 Queen St. West Toronto, ON

Friday August 7th                     7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Saturday August 8th                2:45 PM – 4:15 PM

Sunday August 9th                  2:15 PM – 3:45 PM

Monday August 10th                10:00 PM – 11:30 PM

Wednesday August 12th          9:45 PM – 11:15 PM

Thursday August 13th              7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Saturday August 15th             2:45 PM – 4:15 PM

Sunday August 16th                5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Single Performance: $15, 3-Show Pass: $40, 7-Show Pass: $85, 10-Show Pass: $120Taster Pack: $55

Tickets available at the door 1 hour before show time or Advance tickets are available up until 3 hours before show time and can be purchased as follows:

  • In person at the SummerWorks Central Box Office – located at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst St). Open August 4-16 from 10am-7pm
  • By phone at 888-328-8384, Monday – Friday 8:30am-5pm
  • Available online through Ticketwise

Call for submissions from Canadian directors for 2016- The Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction

Our friends at the Stratford Festival are offering a unique opportunity to emerging theatre directors across Canada!

This call is for theatre directors, from emerging to mid-stage in their career. Their primary task will be assistant directing one of the plays in the Festival’s 2016 season. The Festival’s 2016 season begins in February with the final openings in August. Assistant directors are usually required for 8-16 weeks within that timeframe. Our 2016 playbill is available here.

Participants will join existing classes in text, voice, movement and other disciplines regularly held by the Festival’s Theatre Training Department as well as specialized classes exploring the text, vocal and physical skills for use in the rehearsal process of a classical play. Selected participants will be given the opportunity to choose a piece of classical text for the Directors’ Workshop Presentation slated for the fall of 2016.

Details on the workshop, and how to apply can be found here! But hurry- the deadline to apply is August 10, 2015!

Sonnets-by-Kids – A Unique Gift for Valentine’s Day!

Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day is celebrating its 5th year!

This Valentine’s Day, why not give the gift of poetry and let the Bard do the talking!

  • Visit
  • Select and purchase your favourite Shakespeare Sonnet – 18, 29, 105, or 116. (Only $25 CDN)
  • On Valentine’s Day, between 2:30pm and 4:30pm EST, a talented and charming Shakespeare Kid will call your lucky Valentine and recite the sonnet with a heart full of love!
  • A Shakespeare Kid will also sign and mail a personalized copy of the sonnet for your Valentine!

SONNETS BY KIDS are available in Canada and the US until Friday, February 13, 2015 at 5pm EST, while quantities last.

Shakespeare in Action is a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to introducing young people to the magic of Shakespeare, language and live theatre. All proceeds support our educational programs throughout Toronto – the kids are “graduates”!


– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2011 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action



– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2012 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action




– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2013 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action



– Sonnets by Kids for Valentine’s Day 2014 – Photo: Shakespeare in Action



A Shakespeare Summer- Productions and Festivals Across Canada!

The summer holidays are fast approaching, which means travel and vacations for some. No matter where your days off take you, there are many ways to experience Shakespeare across Canada! Here’s a look at Shakespeare festivals and productions happening this summer.


Vancouver, British Columbia is host to Bard on the Beach, one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare Festivals. Celebrating their 25th season, they are presenting A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, and Cymbeline. In addition to those three Shakespeare plays, they are presenting Equivocation by Bill Cain, a play in which “Shakespeare is commissioned to write a play about the Gunpowder Plot, only to discover there are times when writing the truth can be deadly…”. Bard on the Beach runs from June – September.
For more information visit

Since 1989, Freewill Shakespeare Festival has been offering Edmonton their summer Shakespeare experience in the Heritage Amphitheater in Hawrelak Park (though they’ve had to change venues for this season due to repairs at the amphitheater). Their 2014 season showcases The Taming of the Shrew, running from July 9-27.
For more information visit

Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan
is presented on the banks of the beautiful South Saskatchewan River in the heart of Saskatoon. For their 30th season, they are producing Romeo and Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew. Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan runs from July 9 – August 24.
For more information visit

From June 4 – June 28, Shakespeare in the Ruins presents The Comedy of Errors. The shows are played in the Ruins in the Trappist Monastery Provincial Heritage Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
For more information visit

Canadian Stage presents Shakespeare in High Park every summer in Toronto, Ontario. This season they offer us As You Like It and Titus Andronicus running from June 26 – August 31.
For more information visit

In various parks across Quebec, Repercussion Theatre presents Shakespeare-in-the-Park: Harry the King – The Famous Victories of Henry V. This year’s tour offers an adaptation of Shakespeare’s historical plays Henry IV pt. 1, pt. 2 and Henry V, and runs from July 4 – August 2.
For more information visit

Shakespeare by the Sea
is an artist-driven collaborative organization in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This season, they offer The Taming of the Shrew from July 6 – August 30 and Merchant of Venice from August 2- 29. Visit for more information.

Newfoundland offers Shakespeare by the Sea Festival, the longest running outdoor summer theatre event in the St. John’s area. Their 2014 season presents The Taming of the Shrew from July 6 – August 11 and All’s Well That Ends Well from July 18 – August 16, as well as other performances and events. Visit for more information.

Victoria’s Shakespeare by the Sea is in its second year, and will be presenting Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors. The shows will be running from July 1 – August 3. Visit for more information!
(Thanks to Pauline for the tip!)

These are some of the Shakespeare performances occurring this summer. If you know of any others being produced, let us know in the comments below!

Shakespeare Everywhere- Shakespeare in Za’atari

The imagination is a powerful thing. Through the alchemy of imagination, a broomstick turns into a sword, a crown of paper is transformed to glittering gold, and a tent in a Jordanian refugee camp becomes the Danish palace in Elsinore, or a windswept heath in pre-modern England. Shakespeare knew this, but even he acknowledges that sometimes the imagination requires a little encouragement to flourish:

“And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.”

In Za’atari refugee camp, a Syrian actor is using theatre to help dozens of displaced children create a better “habitation” out of “airy nothing.” Nuwar Boulboul, former star of the Syrian soap opera Bab al-Hara, has adapted two Shakespeare plays for children, and is training more than 6 dozen children from the camp. The young actors rehearse in one of the camp’s tents, using props and decorations they make themselves.


Boulboul’s only request of his students is that they agree to attend one of the three schools set up by aid societies to serve the more than 25,000 children living in the camp. Before the uprising, Syria had one of the highest literacy and school enrollment rates in the region, but most of the children in Za’atari have now been out of school since the uprising began three years ago. Along with the acting training, Boulboul’s program builds children’s literacy and social skills, and provides them with a safe space to discuss and understand their feelings of loss, fear, isolation, and anger through the universal themes of Shakespeare’s works. Shakespeare in Za’atari provides a welcome creative and educational service to a population struggling to meet even basic needs.


This project is also an opportunity to draw the world’s attention to Syria’s refugee crisis. The children will perform their productions of Hamlet and King Lear for World Theatre Day on March 27th, 2014, and Boulboul is hoping that UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and other world leaders and celebrities will attend. The students of Shakespeare in Za’atari are lucky to have support of an educator like Nuwar Boulboul to ignite their imaginations and lift them out of their circumstances. The selfless dedication of Mr. Boulboul is an important reminder that all children, regardless of circumstance, deserve an education and a childhood.

If you are interested in learning more about Shakespeare in Za’atari, you can visit their Facebook page!

You can also do some more reading on Shakespeare in Za’atari here:

Shakespeare Sonnets by Kids- A Family Tradition

Shakespeare in Action’s Sonnets by Kids program has been bringing the bard to poetry-lovers everywhere for three years’ worth of Valentine’s Days now. As the big day draws closer once again, and our Sonnet Kids make their final preparations to spout sonnets to your sweeties, we wanted to take some time to reflect on how this program has touched the lives of everyone who participates in it: from the kids who read the sonnets, to the patrons who give the gift of poetry to their loved ones, to the volunteers and staff here at Shakespeare in Action who make the program a reality.

Alania Weisdorf has purchased Sonnets by Kids for her loved ones every year since the program’s inception. We asked Alania what the program means to her:

“With regards to my story, we got married at Toronto City Hall and Sonnet 116 was read at the end of the ceremony. Then a few years back, sometime in February, the National Post featured an article on gift ideas for Valentine’s and that’s how I found out about Sonnets by Kids. Since then, it has become a tradition in our family. To me, the message in the sonnet is a meaningful and lasting gift that I want to share with my family and friends.”

Sonnets by Kids has also had important impact on our Sonnet Kids. Every year in 30 different library branches across the GTA, SIA runs TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club, a free readers’ theatre program for young people. And every year we invite the most enthusiastic, the most excited, the most dedicated Library Club students to become Sonnet Kids. SIA’s education team works closely with the Sonnet Kids to teach them about Shakespeare’s sonnets: what the words mean, how the rhythm of the poetry flows, how best to deliver a line, etc.

We asked some of our Sonnet Kids what they liked about Library Club and Sonnet by Kids. Sonnet Kid Temina Tova (age 12) liked the programs because she was able to develop her acting skills, and learning Shakespeare’s plays and poetry gave her confidence at school.

The best part for Sonnet Kid Spencer (age 8) was being able to share the poems he had learned with his friends and family.

For Sonnet Kid Audrey (age 9), it was the fact that these programs united all of her passions:

“I love Library Club because I love acting, and I love reading, and I love libraries, and I love books, and I love Shakespeare, and other people.”

And in all this reflection, how could we not hear from the brains of the operation, our wonderful and dedicated Education Coordinator, Laboni?

“For me, the program celebrates poetry and kids!  I love meeting them, helping them learn, learning from them, and seeing their confidence build and build.  In the bigger picture, I enjoy linking all of our kids’ programming – TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club, Sonnets by Kids, and Summer Camp – to create a Shakespeare Family.  It’s special having these kids grow up with us and hearing their younger siblings say: ‘I want to learn Shakespeare too!’”

So, from our Shakespeare family to yours, happy Valentine’s Day!

Sonnets will be available for purchase until 5PM on February 13, so be sure to order yours now!

Sonnets by Kids- A 7 year-olds translation of Sonnet #18


Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often in his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.


You’re a wonderful person…
When the seasons pass[,] you change.
Your heart will not fade because I write…
Your heart won’t die because you’ll live in the poem.

Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!
For more information or to purchase a sonnet, click here.

Sonnets by Kids- An 8 year-olds translation of Sonnet #116


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments.  Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no!  It is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error, and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


Love always stays.
Love is a guide.
Love lasts forever.
Every word I have written is true.

Give the gift of poetry this Valentine’s Day!
For more information, or to purchase a sonnet, click here.

Romeo and Juliet DVD and Blu-Ray Giveaway!

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

We were lucky enough to snag two copies of the recently released Romeo and Juliet film, just in time for Valentine’s Day!
Thanks to our friends at DFilms, we have one DVD and one Blu-Ray to give away, and you could be a winner!

Since we are getting close to the most romantic day of the year, all you have to do is submit an original love poem (max. 6 lines) along with the following:

  • Your Name
  • Your Age (If you are under 18, make sure to get parental permission first!)
  • Your Mailing Address
  • Your Phone Number
  • Whether you want a DVD or Blu Ray

Submissions should be sent to

We will post the winning poems on our blog and social media pages!

*This contest is open to all residents of Canada. Entries can be submitted until 11:59PM EST on Friday, February 14, 2014. Winners will be contacted via e-mail or phone to confirm mailing information.

What if Shakespeare… Lit the Olympic Flame?

The opening ceremony for the Olympics in Sochi are due to start in less than two hours, so we thought it would be fitting to reshare a blog post from the last Summer Olympics in London!

What if Shakespeare lit the Olympic Flame?

To be to thee this night a torch-bearer! (1)

[Lights the cauldron]

O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright / It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night / Like a rich jewel (2) / Like twenty torches join’d! (3)

Can you think to blow out the intended fire your city is ready to flame? (4)  This is the place where the torch doth burn (5) a fortnight and odd days (6).  ‘Tis time, ’tis time. / Round about the cauldron go! (7)

London doth pour out her citizens! / The mayor and all his brethren in best sort (8), a medal hanging/ About his neck (9) / As victors wear at the Olympian games (10):

The first, of gold, who this inscription bears, / ‘Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire;’ / The second, silver, which this promise carries, / ‘Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves;’ / This third, dull lead [the new bronze…] (11).

To swim, to dive into the fire, to ride / On the curl’d clouds (12); horses…/Printing their proud hoofs i’ the receiving earth (13); Olympian wrestling (14) – now, blow wind, swell billow and swim bark! (15)

BE NOT AFRAID OF GREATNESS: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em.  Thy Fates open their hands; let thy blood and spirit embrace them! (16)

Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back, / When gold and silver becks me to come on – (17)

I wish ye sport! (18)

Shakespeare re-arranged by L.I.

1)  Romeo & Juliet, III.v, 2111

2)  Romeo & Juliet, I.v, 666-668

3)  Julius Caesar, I.iii, 438

4)  Coriolanus, V.ii, 3417-3418

5)  Romeo & Juliet, V.iii, 3140

6)  Romeo & Juliet, I.iii, 400

7)  Macbeth, IV.i, 1550-1551

8)  Henry V, V.o, 2839-2840

9)  The Winter’s Tale, I.ii, 414-415

10)  Henry VI, Part III; II.iii, 1081

11)  Merchant of Venice, II.vii, 990-994

12)  The Tempest, I.ii, 309-310

13)  Henry V, Prologue, 27-28

14)  Troilus and Cressida, IV.v, 2818

15)  Julius Caesar, V.i, 2420

16)  Twelfth Night, II.v, 1166-1169

17)  King John, III.iii, 1311-1312

18)  Cymbeline, IV.iii, 2352

We also want to wish the best of luck to our Canadian athletes competing in the games!