Taking A Chance on Love (March 19-22, 2014)

An American Romantic Comedy by C. Robert Jones.

The fourth play of the 2013-14 season is a comedy by award-winning playwright C. Robert Jones, which will definitely be a Toronto — and, indeed, Canadian — premiere.

Change of venue and schedule

As the Fairview Library is unable to confirm that the theatre will be reopened by March 16th, the Board has made the decision to move our production of Taking A Chance on Love to the Crescent School Theatre. It is a lovely facility that is located in the Bayview/Post Road area. We do have to change the run of the show from two weeks to one week. As the theatre seats about 300, we are able to accommodate all of our patrons. The show will now open on Wednesday, March 19th and will close on March 22nd. There will be a matinee on the 22nd so there will be a total of five performances.

Newspaper editor Edgar Rutledge is weighing an offer from the powerful Gannett Company to buy the family’s 80-year-old newspaper. While he and his mother, Margaret, are the major shareholders, his two ex-wives, Roxana and Adele, also are part owners. Edgar invites them all to a weekend gathering at the Rutledge home on Kiawah Island near Charleston to make a decision and to celebrate the engagement of son, Ned, to new fiancée, Madeleine, whom none of them has met. When it turns out that Madeleine is French — and nearly as old as Ned’s mother, Roxana, things turn topsy-turvy. The merriment is heightened by the unexpected arrival of beautiful femme fatale, Solange, Madeleine’s daughter, who makes a play for Edgar who’s busy being smitten again with wife number two, Adele. In the midst of all this, Cupid’s arrow catches 75-year-old Margaret totally unaware when Madeleine’s ex-husband, Kiki, arrives and falls madly in love with her. It’s an inter-generational and saucy excursion into the realm of romance. Everybody in Taking A Chance On Love is in love with somebody else on stage, but not necessarily the “logical” person. The delightful plot meanderings and unexpected twist at the end make this a memorable evening of fun and laughter.

“Full of humour and insight. Taking A Chance On Love features lovable, zany characters who, for all their foibles, do follow their hearts. The result is entertaining and satisfying” — Asheville Citizen-Times.

The Heiress (January 16-25, 2014)

An American Drama by Ruth and Augustus Goetz

First seen in 1947, this juicy, high-toned melodrama was recently revived on Broadway to great acclaim. Based on Henry James’ short 1880 novel Washington Square it recounts the conflict between a dull but sweet daughter and her domineering father. The plot is based upon a true story told to the author by his close friend, British actress Fanny Kemble. Somehow, this makes the play even more chilling. Stage Centre Productions presented The Heiress in 1993 and we are looking forward to this restaging.

The Game’s Afoot (November 21-30, 2013)

or Holmes For The Holidays

An American Comedy Thriller by Ken Ludwig

Winner! 2012 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allen Poe Awards – Best Play!

It is December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Then it’s up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays.

“An inspired whodunit…a snappy, clever drawing-room mystery. There are twists in playwright Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot that cause the audience to gasp.” – The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Taking Sides (November 6-9, 2013)

Taking Sides is set in post-World War II Germany and contains offensive language and subject matter which some may find disturbing. Discretion is strongly advised.

Taking Sides View trailer

Directed by Michael James Burgess

Designed by Karen Edgley


Taking Sides, a Drama by Ronald Harwood, best known for his plays for the British stage as well as the screenplays for Quartet, The Dresser and The Pianist, was first presented by Stage Centre Productions on March 7th, 2013. It is now being remounted for five performances only at the Al Green Theatre starting November 6th, 2013.

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The action takes place in the American Zone of occupied Berlin, in 1946…

…where the De-Nazification Tribunal has convened to take over the questioning of Wilhelm Furtwängler, one of the outstanding conductors of his time. Furtwängler was at the height of his career in 1933, just as Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. As the terrors of Nazism spread, many of Furtwängler’s colleagues fled the country but Furtwängler chose to stay. Did he stay to do as much good as possible in the face of evil, or did he stay to serve Hitler? The Tribunal’s evidence has been prepared firstly by the British, and then taken over by two groups of Americans: one in Wiesbaden which assisted in Furtwängler’s defence, the other in Berlin which helped build the case against him.

Little is known of the motives and methods of this group, which is the focus of Taking Sides. What is known is that Furtwängler was humiliated, pursued and, even after his acquittal, disinformation followed him. This may or may not have been justified – it all depends on the side you take.


Special features

Rehearsal photographyRemount Trailer Time Lapse of set constructionTime Lapse of set construction


Comments from the audience
following the standing ovation curtain call on March 9th




“The best-acted play I have ever seen anywhere!”

“Absolutely outstanding!”





“Thank you for having the guts to do this play.”

“The finest production Stage Centre Productions has ever done.”

“The director inspired the company to give their best.”

“The Company should feel very proud of themselves.”

“An extraordinary evening in the theatre.”

“Not to be missed!”

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More about the author

Ronald Harwood is also the author of Quartet. Background:

Dustin Hoffman makes his directorial debut with this tale of four aging opera singers (Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins).

One of the most celebrated actors in world cinema, multiple nominee and two-time Academy Award® winner Dustin Hoffman steps behind the camera for the first time with this charming adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s eponymous play. Having played a variety of roles spanning generations, from Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman to Jack Crabb in Little Big Man, it’s fitting that Hoffman’s first effort as director addresses the theme of aging, and does so with grace, gusto and wonderfully wry humour.

Quartet tells the story of retired opera singers and lifelong chums Wilf (Billy Connolly) and Reggie (Tom Courtenay) who, together with their former colleague Cissy (Pauline Collins), reside in the Beecham House retirement home. No ordinary residence, Beecham is host to an entirely musical clientele, from orchestra members to operatic luminaries. Each year on Giuseppe Verdi’s birthday, the residents arrange a concert to raise funds for their home. It is usually a smooth-running, perfectly pleasant event, evoking warm memories of old times and grand traditions. Enter stage right Jean (Maggie Smith), Reggie’s ex and the fourth, most famous member of the former quartet. Having recently fallen on hard times, the aged diva checks into Beecham, and it’s not long until long-buried grievances rise to the surface, rivalries resume, and plans begin to fall apart. Reconciliation is not on the program, but the show must go on — right?

Under Hoffman’s affectionate and attentive gaze, these marvellous veteran actors shine. Connolly is as wise-cracking and boisterous as ever, while Smith is divine as a charismatic old tigress who can make one wither with the slightest glance. The music enchants and the banter is steady and playful. Beneath all the tensions and the fun there is a quiet fire, an urge to feel alive again, to use art as a way of raging against the dying of the light. This is a sweet, delightful and moving film—and an auspicious debut.

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The Unexpected Guest (October 3-12, 2013)

A “Whodunit” by Agatha Christie

This is the play which scored by far the highest number in the “Wouldn’t Miss” category when we did our Audience Survey earlier this season. This intriguing thriller is by England’s Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie, the most widely published author of all time with her works outsold only by Shakespeare and the Bible. She is regarded by generations of fans as the greatest mystery writer ever. This play (first staged at the Duchess Theatre in London in 1958) begins when a stranger runs his car into a ditch in dense fog near the South Welsh coastline and makes his way to a nearby house. It looks like a straightforward case of murder. Or is it? As the ghosts of an old wrong begin to emerge from the past, the case begins to look anything but straightforward… The original production ran for 604 performances and is as gripping and ingenious as you would expect from Dame Agatha.