FACTORY ANNOUNCES 2020-2021 SEASON
THE SATELLITE SEASON: CANADIAN STORIES IN ORBIT
As the theatrical world holds its collective breath, waiting and hoping for the bright light of live theatre to return to our stages, Factory Theatre in Toronto, one of Canada’s most vibrant cutting-edge theatre company, has proudly and excitedly announced its 2020-2021 Season entitled The Satellite Season: Canadian Stories in Orbit. Presented by Artistic Director Nina Lee Aquino and Managing Director Jonathan Heppner, Factory will unleash a full season of new and reimagined works continuing their undying support for Canadian artists across the country. Since returning to my Canadian roots this year, even before the pandemic hit hard, this is one company that I was intrigued to get to know. This theatre junkie is thrilled to be hearing about their new season which will feature six world premieres and one reimagined Canadian classic,. This entirely digital season thrillingly offers uncompromising Canadian stories that embrace and reimagine how theatre is performed in this complicated COVID-19 era, and I can’t wait to dig in. In addition, admission for this season will be entirely free of charge, thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group.
“The world as we know it has changed. It continues to change, and theatre is no different. Although we cannot gather the way we are used to, Canadian stories are resilient and enduring. As theatre artists, we are trained to respond to challenges with opportunities, with new ways of sharing, shaping, and receiving stories. At the heart of this all-digital season is our commitment to storytelling: no matter how it’s told, a good, compelling story will always transform, heal, reconcile, illuminate.” – Nina Lee Aquino, Artistic Director
Factory kicks off the Satellite Season in November with a commissioned world premiere of David Yee’s an act of faith. Directed by Nina Lee Aquino, the solo piece is specifically designed to be presented online with Yee bringing his trademark command of language and form to a unique and compelling new theatrical experience, one that meets our current moment and desired engagement. The piece will be presented live for 6 performances in an intimate live digital performance experience, direct from one of Canada’s most influential playwrights. David Yee is a mixed race actor and playwright of Chinese and Scottish ancestry, born and raised in Toronto. He is a graduate from the University of Toronto Mississauga theatre and drama program in 2000, with the intention of pursuing acting, before focusing his skill and expertise on playwriting, co-founding and becoming the Artistic Director of fu-GEN Theatre Company, Canada’s premiere professional Asian Canadian theatre company. A Dora Mavor Moore Award nominated actor and playwright, his work has been produced internationally and at home, including the World Premiere of acquiesce which debuted on the Factory stage in 2016. He is a two-time Governor General’s Literary Award nominee for his plays lady in the red dress and carried away on the crest of a wave, which won the award in 2015 along with the Carol Bolt Award in 2013. It’s an impressive list of achievements, and one that I am most interested to be acquainted with.
Factory Theatre will also begin the new year with the launch of a new audio series, You Can’t Get There From Here, to be released as a pre-recorded podcast over the course of five weeks beginning March 2021. For many of us out there in the theatre world, the pandemic has greatly altered our understanding of place and our relationship to the city, especially for this Canadian who has lived abroad for the last 30 years . These five micro-commissions will offer fresh perspectives on Toronto’s many neighbourhoods, forgotten landscapes, and help see the land on which we live and work anew, an idea that sits warmly in my theatrical and emotional heart. Vivid audio experiences will usher us in to the experience from five of our country’s most creative minds. We all can listen from the comfort of our own rooms and journey forward into an urban exploration and connection at our own speed and sensibility.
Factory will then close the Satellite Season with what is being called “a radical new interpretation” of Don Druick’s critically acclaimed tour de force solo show, Through the Eyes. Directed by ahdri zhina mandiela and produced in the Factory Studio, this production will be live streamed for 6 nights to audiences at home. It is a play about seeing and about possible new ways of looking at the world. Don Druick is a distinguished playwright, translator, librettist, and baroque flautist. His plays and translations have been produced on stage and radio throughout Canada, and in Europe, Japan, and the USA. Previous works include Recipe for Murder (CBC), The Frozen Deep, Tulip (Nightswimming Theatre), and Lizzie Stratas (Grand Theatre). His award-winning plays Where is Kabuki? and Through the Eyes were both shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award. It’s a compelling descent into a theme that is being felt the world over, about how we tell stories, and how we see our places within them. I can’t wait to tune in.
This upcoming season will be presented entirely free of charge to audiences across Canada thanks to support from the TD Bank Group. Through the TD Ready Commitment, the bank’s global corporate citizenship platform, this support helps enable opportunities for cultural and community connection in a time of social isolation and other hardships presented by COVID-19. With this recent support for the 2020-21 Season, Factory and TD continue to uplift a national cultural dialogue by offering free artistic programming for Canadians from coast to coast and beyond. TD has worked with Factory for a decade to bring Canadian theatre to Toronto audiences, most recently as the founding sponsor of the CrossCurrents Canada presentation series which in two years has brought seven award winning productions from across Canada to Factory‘s stages.
“This season, you may not be able to be with us in our home at Adelaide and Bathurst, but we’re making damn sure that the Factory you know and love comes to you. Whether live-streamed or podcasted, we’re preparing for this orbit around the sun and asking you to invite us into your homes to bring you the full spectrum of Canadian stories. Until we can connect again in the flesh, let us come to you. This is Factory’s Satellite Season: Canadian Stories in Orbit.“
– Nina Lee Aquino, Factory Artistic Director
20/21 SEASON SHOWS
an act of faith
by David Yee and directed by Nina Lee Aquino
November 19 – 28, 2020
Streamed live for 6 performances from the Factory Theatre Rehearsal Hall
YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE
5 World Premieres
Beginning March 2021
Audio series will release one episode per week for 5 weeks
THROUGH THE EYES
by Don Druick and directed by ahdri zhina mandiela
April 29 – May 8, 2021
Streamed live for 6 performances from the Factory Studio Theatre
Registration for David Yee’s an act of faith opens on Monday October 19, 2020 – Audiences will register for performances directly on the Factory Theatre website https://www.factorytheatre.ca/
Factory would like to thank the government funding bodies, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and The Government of Canada, our Digital Programming Sponsor TD Bank Group, our Corporate Sponsor BMO, as well as our generous donors who make developing, producing, and presenting Canadian theatre possible.
Founded in 1970, Factory was the first theatre company in the nation to devote itself to producing 100% Canadian content. Over 50 years later, Factory continues to lead in the development and sharing of Canadian stories having produced more than 300 productions from a diverse source of Canadian playwrights and launching the careers of countless theatre professionals.
Factory stands on the land under The Dish With One Spoon Wampum Covenant, a treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee that binds them to share the territory and protect the land.Subsequent people – Indigenous and settlers alike – have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect. Today, the meeting place of Toronto (Tkaronto) is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island. Factory would like to acknowledge with gratitude all the storytellers, stewards, and caretakers -recorded and unrecorded – that continue to host Factory at this gathering place for over 30 years.