Other Desert Cities (May 19 – May 28, 2022)

Brooke Wyeth returns home to Palm Springs after a six-year absence to celebrate Christmas with her parents, her brother, and her aunt. Brooke announces that she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history – a wound they don’t want reopened. In effect, she draws a line in the sand and dares them all to cross it.

Enchanted April (Mar 24 – Apr 2, 2022)

** IMPORTANT NOTICE:

Tickets for this production are available through the box office only. Please call 416-299-5557.

A Comedy Drama by Matthew Barber from the novel by Elizabeth von Arnim.

When two frustrated London housewives decide to rent a villa in Italy for a holiday away from their bleak marriages, they recruit two very different English women to share the cost and the experience. There among the wisteria blossoms and Mediterranean sunshine, all four bloom again – rediscovering themselves in ways that they – and we – could have never expected.

2003 Tony Award Nominee—Best Play.
“ENCHANTED APRIL is as good as they come: a lush, thoroughly refreshing theatrical holiday. Escape has seldom seemed so sweet. A magical triumph.” —LA Times.

The Deep Blue Sea (Sept 28 – Oct 7, 2017)

The season will open with the British Drama, The Deep Blue Sea by Sir Terence Rattigan.

The Deep Blue Sea offers a portrait of a woman caught between forbidden love and the fear of loneliness, or the devil and the deep blue sea. It is now considered one of Rattigan’s greatest triumphs. It was first produced at the Duchess Theatre, London, on 6 March 1952.

The play’s action takes place in the sitting-room of a furnished flat in a block in the north-west of London, over the course of a single day. It begins with the discovery of a body lying in front of a gas fire. Hester Collyer has left her husband, Sir William Collyer, a high court judge, to live with Freddie Page, an alcoholic fighter pilot from the last war. Injured beyond endurance by his continual failure to return her passion, she has tried to commit suicide, and has only failed because the gas meter ran out before she could complete the act. She is discovered by four other residents of the tenement block: a married couple, Philip and Ann Welch, the landlady, Mrs. Elton, and a mysterious ex-doctor, Mr. Miller. The play follows Hester through the rest of the day as the consequences of her attempt induce Freddie to leave her, and threaten to push her towards a second suicide attempt.

The Deep Blue Sea is a study of forbidden love, suppressed desire, and the fear of loneliness – but is at heart a deeply moving love story, a portrait of need, loneliness and long-repressed passion. “…a play that cuts at the heart… a masterpiece.” ~ Daily Telegraph, 2011

One of the greatest plays of the 20th century… an emotionally devastating study of the inequality of love. It has been filmed twice, first with Vivien Leigh and then with Rachel Weiss, and was recently revived to great acclaim at the British National Theatre.

The Deadly Game (January 21-30, 2016)

Adapted by James Yaffe from the novel by Friedrich Dürrenmatt.

Three retired lawyers in a remote village in the Swiss Alps amuse themselves by going through the legal ceremony of prosecuting strangers who drop in. One evening, a stranded American travelling salesman is their guest, having run his car into a snowdrift during a fierce blizzard. Although the men’s ‘deadly game’ seems foolish to him, he agrees to participate to humour his hosts. Since he has never been guilty of a crime in his life, he is unable to suggest anything they can try him for. After some amiable social conversation, the retired prosecutor discovers a plausible case and accuses the salesman of having murdered his boss. At first, this appears to be a wild improvisation, but the playwright gradually makes something real out of phantoms… “… genuinely engrossing … the tension builds with the slow, steady, intricate movement of a courtroom drama” wrote Leah D. Frank of The New York Times. Be sure not to miss this cat and mouse thriller!

Love Letters (June 11-20, 2015)

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Love Letters centres on two characters who sit side by side at tables and read the notes, letters and cards – in which over nearly 50 years, they discuss their hopes and ambitions, dreams and disappointments, victories and defeats – that have passed between them throughout their separated lives.

“LOVE LETTERS is an extraordinary piece. You cannot stage a play more simply than this, and yet it’s about everything in life. First love, loss of opportunities, loss of life, loss of love…It’s a beautiful play, and all you do is speak it.” ~ Brian Dennehy, 2014

Four different couples will be on stage over nine performances, as follows:

  • Lorraine Kimsa and Michael James Burgess: Thursday June 11 at 8:00 PM and Saturday June 20 (mat).
  • Judy Gans and Roger Kell: Friday June 12 and Wednesday June 17 at 8:00 PM and Saturday June 20 at 8:00 PM.
  • Dani Holden and Michael Chodos: Saturday June 13 and Thursday June 18 at 8:00 PM.
  • Heather Goodall and Alan Washbrook: Sunday June 14 (mat) and Friday June 19 at 8:00 PM.

Special 2-for-1 offer for repeat bookings!

“… superbly crafted…  If one goes back to see the production with alternate couplings, one has the opportunity to appreciate the human capacity for soul intimacy expressed via Gurney’s fine writing…  I was thrilled and engaged by continual discovery.” ~ blogcritics.org

84 Charing Cross Road (November 20-29, 2014)

In 1949, when Helene Hanff was a struggling and unsuccessful author, she started to write to Marks and Co., a London bookshop, inquiring about editions of the obscure classics and English literature she loved. Her book, 84 Charing Cross Road, first published in 1970, chronicles her twenty years of correspondence with Frank Doel, the manager of the shop. As time passed, she became intimately involved in the lives of the shop’s staff, sending them food parcels during Britain’s postwar shortages and sharing with them details of her life in Manhattan. Due mainly to financial difficulties, she put off visiting her English friends until too late; Frank Doel died in December 1968, and the bookshop eventually closed. Hanff did finally visit Charing Cross Road and the empty but still standing shop in the summer of 1971, a trip recorded in her 1973 book The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. The 1983 play based on her letters was a great success in both London and on Broadway. Writing in the New York Daily News, Liz Smith said, “84 Charing Cross Road is a play I loved… This is really unusual theatre that will touch the heart.” We hope it will touch the hearts of our audiences, too.

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.

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

“Wow!”

“Incredible!”

“Stupendous!”

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

“Absolutely outstanding!”

“Astonishing!”

“Fabulous!”

“Brilliant!”

“Wonderful!”

“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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