Factory Theatre 2011-12 season announcement

by Lynn on March 25, 2011

in The Passionate Playgoer


Here’s the line-up with comments at the end.

“Factory’s 42nd Season promises to be one of our most exciting ever,” says Artistic Director Ken Gass as he and Managing Director Sara Meurling announce Factory Theatre’s 2011/12 Season. “We have an exceptional line up of theatrical Canadian productions and artists from coast to coast.

Dora and Gemini Award-winner Rick Miller returns to Toronto to launch Factory Theatre’s season with a trio of celebrated solo pieces.”


Directed by Sean Lynch and designed by Beth Kates.

MacHomer is Miller’s impersonation of the entire cast of “The Simpsons” doing Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Opening September 13 and running to September 25, 2011.


Co-created and directed by Daniel Brooks and designed by Beth Kates and Ben Chaisson.

Bigger Than Jesus is a “sinfully funny” multimedia mass exploring the “thorny crown” of Christianity. Running September 28 to October 9, 2011.


Co-created by Rick Miller and Daniel Brooks. Directed by Daniel Brooks.

Hardsell is a multimedia extravaganza that examines the “commodification” of everything, and the lies inherent in advertising.

It runs from October 13 to October 23, 2011.


Written by Tomson Highway, directed by Ken Gass.

In The Rez Sisters, seven women all dream of winning The Biggest Bingo in the World. They band together to raise money toward their trip from their small community to Toronto – to change their luck and their lives.

It plays November 5 – December 10, 2011 (previewing Friday, November 5 – Wednesday, November 10; opening Thursday, November 11),


Created and performed by critically acclaimed puppeteer Ronnie Burkett.

Title character Penny Plain sits in her overstuffed chair, listening to the news of civilization’s inevitable end. When her companion dog Geoffrey leaves to live as a man, the outside chaos invades Penny’s sanctuary. With a cast including survivalists, a serial killer, a cross-dressing banker, talking dogs and mysterious strangers, Penny Plain is a chilling apocalyptic gothic drawing room comedy of ill manners.

Runs January 19 – February 24, 2012 (previewing Thursday – Sunday, January 19 – 22; officially opening Tuesday, January 24


Written by Anosh Irani

In Irani’s irreverent comedy, Granny travels to Canada from Bombay to visit her beloved grandson Nico who is in hospital in Vancouver. Her “cure alls” are attitudes, platitudes and a full flask of whiskey. Despite Nico’s neurotic and hysterical protests, Granny helps him truly heal – ultimately proving that laughter is the best medicine.

Runs March 17 – April 15, 2012 (previewing Saturday, March 17 – Wednesday, March 21; opening Thursday, March 22)


Written by Robert Chafe, directed by Jillian Keiley and produced by Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland.

Oil and Water is a theatrical retelling of the incredible true story of Lanier Phillips. Shipwrecked in 1942, Mr. Phillips was the only African American survivor. He was saved and openly embraced by the “people of St. Lawrence” and his world was forever altered. This legendary story of tolerance and humanity resonates with power 70 years later. A ten-person cast sings an a cappella score by Andrew Craig that blends the Newfoundland folk tradition with African American gospel.

Opens on Monday, April 16 and runs to May 6, 2012, in the Mainspace Theatre.



Rick Miller is a wildman of theatrical invention as is his director Daniel Brooks. I’m glad Bigger Than Jesus is being remounted. It’s a terrifically funny, perceptive and thoughtful piece.

I strongly hope that HARDSELL has been revisited and reworked, because when it was first done a few years ago, it was not ready.

And MacHomer is one of those clever ‘what if’ plays–such as ‘what if the Simpson’s did Macbeth. It’s a party piece, which is where Miller first did the show. It took off after that.

We’re good on doing premiers of our own plays, but not so good on doing remounts of them. So I’m delighted to see The Rez Sisters is having another production at Factory.

Any new play by Ronnie Burkett is cause for celebration so I’m happy to see that Penny Plain gets its Toronto premier at Factory. Factory seems to be Burkett’s Toronto venue of choice. Another cause for celebration.

The same goes for anything produced by the Newfoundland company, Artistic Fraud. If you’ve never seen this company, then rush to see Oil and Water.

Robert Chafe as writer and Jillian Keiley as director make it a production to look forward to. Chafe’s writing is spare yet complex. The story sounds intriguing. And Jillian Keiley is one of the best young directors in this country.

All in all, it looks like a strong season next year at Factory.

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