Arsenic and Old Lace (October 2-11, 2014)

by Joseph Kesselring

We launch Stage Centre Productions’ 38th season with one of everybody’s favourite comedies, as funny now as it was when it was first seen in 1941. Arsenic and Old Lace centres on two charming and (apparently) innocent elderly sisters, Abby and Martha Brewster, who are famous in their Brooklyn neighbourhood for their numerous acts of charity. Unfortunately, however, their charity includes poisoning lonely old men who come to their home looking for lodging! The two sisters are assisted in their crimes by their crazy nephew who believes he is Teddy Roosevelt and who frequently blasts a bugle and yells “charge” as he bounds up the stairs. Matters get complicated when a second nephew, a theatre critic, discovers the murders. In trying to explain his aunts to his new wife, he tells her: “Insanity runs in my family…. It practically gallops.” Then there’s the third nephew who has just escaped from a prison for the criminally insane… Only last year, Broadway World.com said that “The zany, madcap comedy… is one that still manages to captivate audiences today… The play is as funny as ever… leaves the audience rolling with laughter.”

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 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

Romantic Comedy (May 9-18, 2013)

Romantic ComedyA COMEDY by Bernard Slade

May 9 – 18, 2013

Arrogant, self centred and sharp tongued Jason Carmichael, successful co-author of Broadway romantic comedies, is facing two momentous events: he is about to marry a society belle and his collaborator is retiring. Enter Phoebe Craddock, mousy Vermont schoolteacher and budding playwright. Presto! Jason acquires a talented and adoring collaborator. Fame and success are theirs for ten years and then Jason’s world falls apart. His wife divorces him to go into politics and Phoebe, her love for Jason unrequited, marries a breezy journalist and moves to Paris. Jason goes into professional, financial and physical decline. Re-enter a now chic and successful in her own right Phoebe — guess the ending!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (January 10-19, 2013)

A Midsummer Nights DreamView the trailer

Stage Centre Productions proudly presents its first production of a play by the world’s greatest and most famous playwright, William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

 

Directed by Michael James Burgess

Designed and lit by Clay Warner

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Written more than 400 years ago…

…this timeless comedy – one of Shakespeare’s most beloved works for the stage – offers us a dose of summer magic in the midst of winter. Four plots intertwine: the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta; the entangled love affairs of Hermia and Lysander, Helena and Demetrius; the preparations for the performance of a “play within a play” – The Most Lamentable Comedy and Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisbe – by the well-meaning but talentless tradesmen of Athens led by Bottom the weaver; and the forest antics of King Oberon and Queen Titania and their fairy court, including the mischievous Puck.

 

Special features

Rehearsal video   Making The Donkey Mask
Backstage Tour Striking the set

 

“FRONT ROW CENTRE: Stage Centre makes Shakespearean debut”

“For the production on stage at York Woods Library Theatre, [artistic director, Michael James Burgess] has a assembled a terrific cast from the company’s roster including regulars Roger Kell, Heather Goodall, Bob Martyn and Frank Keenan.”
Mark Andrew Lawrence | InsideToronto.com

 

Featuring

Alisa Berindea
Mia Berindea
Holm Bradwell
Heather Goodall
David Galvin Heppenstall
Olivia Jon
Frank Keenan
Roger Kell
James Marshall

Bob Martyn
Thomas McMahon
John Mencarelli
Katie Pinhorn
Ted Powers
Pierre Rajotte
Irit Shomrony
Demetri Tsioris
and Keith Williams

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Enjoy one of Shakespeare’s funniest and most colourful comedies…

…full of love triangles, mischievous, fun-loving creatures and over-heated romantic intrigue! Don’t miss Stage Centre Productions first venture into Shakespeare! “A deeply poetical and delightful play, satisfying all hearts.” ~ Karl Elze

The Play’s the Thing (January 12-21, 2012)

A Comedy by Ferenc Molnar

The Play’s The Thing is one of the funniest comedies ever written about the theatre. In it, playwright Turai and his collaborator bring a young composer, Albert Adam, on a surprise visit to a castle on the Italian Rivera with their prima donna, Ilona, Albert’s fiancee. When Albert overhears his beloved being wooed in her boudoir, Turai tells him it is all a silly mistake, explaining to the besotted young man that the passionate scene was merely a rehearsal for a new play. To support his fabrication, Turai stays up all night to write a play which includes the overheard love talk. The next day, during a public rehearsal, the suggestive dialogue is reborn as an innocent, harmless bit of dialogue from a play, but actually a barbed satire showing just how ridiculous a writer can make an actor appear, especially when the actor is in no position to protest!

Praise for The Play’s the Thing

 

Pygmalion (January 14-30, 2010)

A Comedy by George Bernard Shaw

One of Shaw’s finest plays, and a source of theatre-audience delight for over a hundred years! It achieved further distinction when adapted into the stunning musical My Fair Lady. Phonetics expert Henry Higgins, wagers he can transform the flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, into a lovely lady of high society.

“The most brilliant comedy of the century.” – Times of London

Private Lives (October 1-17, 2009)

A Comedy by Noël Coward

Amanda and Elyot can’t live together and they can’t live apart. When they discover they are honeymooning in the same hotel with their new spouses, they not only fall in love all over again, they learn to hate each other all over again. A comedy with a dark underside, fireworks fly as each character yearns desperately for love.

“…[Noël] Coward is most seriously good when he is funniest.” – New York Times