Albert Schultz, Founding Artistic Director of Soulpepper Theatre Company and General Director of the Young Centre for the Performing Arts today announced a full year's slate of artistic and community-based activity for Soulpepper and the Young Centre in 2013. Over 700 performances representing the remarkable artistic and cultural diversity of the city will happen under the Young Centre's roof next year, including festivals, cabarets, and community partnerships. Soulpepper Theatre Company's repertory season features fifteen plays including two marathon-style theatrical events to be staged in their entirety: Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning Angels in America (Part One: Millennium Approaches & Part Two: Perestroika) and Alan Ayckbourn's The Norman Conquests (Table Manners, Living Together & Round and Round the Garden). Soulpepper's season includes adaptations of plays from the classical canon (Beaumarchais/Rossini's The Barber of Seville, Schnitzler's La Ronde, and Dickens' Great Expectations) alongside twentieth-century gems by Tom Stoppard, Joe Orton, Sam Shepard and Canada's John Murrell.
In its ongoing commitment to keep its best-loved productions alive, Soulpepper will remount: Alligator Pie, with poems by Dennis Lee, created by the Soulpepper Creation Ensemble (Ins Choi, Raquel Duffy, Ken Mackenzie, Gregory Prest and Mike Ross); Miklós László's Parfumerie (adapted by Adam Pettle & Brenda Robins); and Ins Choi's Kim's Convenience. Soulpepper's Kim's Convenience will also be travelling across Canada on a national tour next year: confirmed cities include London, ON; Port Hope, ON; and Calgary, AB, with several more cities planned for 2014.
Joining Soulpepper next year for a residency at the Young Centre, will be several brilliant and varied companies representing The Young Centre's Community Partnership Initiative.
As well as growing its performance season, in 2013 Soulpepper will significantly expand its professional training Academy to create distinct programs for directors, designers, playwrights, stage managers, technical directors and producers.
"It is important, in this community, to be able to tell good stories. Stories that convince us that there is a demand in our community for the work that we do and the opportunities we provide. Stories to encourage us to find new audiences and experiment with new forms. Stories that give us the hope and strength to move forward despite some troubling times. I see and feel these good stories all around me in this city. I see them in the boundary-crashing programming that my colleague Andy McKim is doing over at Theatre Passe Muraille, and in the packed out houses of new audiences at the Tarragon when Ravi Jain is sharing his delightful mother Asha with the world. I feel a good story when I stand among a hundred patient Torontonians late at night waiting for our turn to watch The Clock at The Power Plant. I hear the pride in the voices of the National Ballet of Canada dancers returning triumphantly from a Los Angeles run. I feel the good when I stand amongst a cheering crowd saluting a company of artists with Down Syndrome who have just rearranged our hearts.
And yes, I feel a great deal of good story happening in this building. I feel good when I contemplate the fact that a brave (some would say foolhardy) experiment by 12 of our city's actors 15 years ago has become the largest employer of theatre artists in this city. As Toronto's largest theatre company, residing in the city's finest multi-venue facility, it is our responsibility to provide more opportunities to our city's artists than any other company is able to, and we take that responsibility very seriously. In 2013 alone, nearly 400 of our city's artists - actors, choreographers, composers, dancers, designers, directors, musicians and writers - will practice their craft at Soulpepper and the Young Centre representing over 2,800 weeks of creative employment. Between the Soulpepper season, Young Centre Programming, and our community partnerships, this city's dazzling array of gifted artists will perform to over 700 audiences in 2013. That is the good story I am telling today."