Lisa McKeown

Initially staged at SummerWorks in 2015, Erin Shields’ Beautiful Man features Jennifer, Sophie, and Pam (Ashley Bottling, Mayko Nguyen, and Sophía Rodríguez), who perch on stools facing the audience. They chat about their favourite show featuring a woman detective who investigates violent crimes targeting beautiful young men. They gush over her darker side – she’s […]

  Lisa McKeown

Before we announce the winners of the 2018 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Emmelia Gordon‘s stand-out portrayal of Jayne in the Criminal Girlfriends production of Fierce offered a deeply human portrait of both the feral and the vulnerable elements of George F Walker’s traumatized drug addict, blowing us away […]

  Lisa McKeown

Before we announce the winners of the 2018 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Elizabeth Saunders-Brown is a theatre director, teacher, writer and actor, known for her work on Slings and Arrows, Orphan Black, and Alias Grace, among others. She has been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Play for her […]

  Lisa McKeown

This Crow’s remount of the 2017 Shaw production of Will Eno’s Middletown, is the story of a generic town, equidistant from its neighbouring towns, with a stable population, elevation, not too big, not too small. This is, not surprisingly, a kind of metaphor, and the play is less about a grand narrative than it is an […]

  Lisa McKeown

Writer/director Bobby Del Rio’s ambitious attempt to take on the ever-relevant themes of rape and trauma is an admirable undertaking with an uneven execution. Del Rio points out in the programme that you might assume this piece was written in response to #MeToo. In fact, he wrote the first draft six years ago. The script […]

  Lisa McKeown

Secret Life of a Mother at the Theatre Centre is a stunning exploration of the raw, invisible, and gritty realities of two women’s experiences of parenthood. Created by Hannah Moscovitch, Maev Beaty, Ann-Marie Kerr, and Marinda de Beer, the narrative centres on Moscovitch’s early experiences with motherhood, performed as a solo show by Beaty. The […]

Thalia Kane’s new play offers up a dark version of four young women’s coming of age in a rural Canadian high school. While the script needs some development, the play makes a significant contribution to current political conversations around consent and assault. Entering the space, the set is immediately impressive. Strings hanging from the ceiling […]

  Lisa McKeown

Love is a daunting theme on which to base any kind of project, not least because it’s been written about for thousands of years, and any attempt to say something new is nearly impossible. 40 Days and 40 Nights (co-produced by Necessary Angel Theatre Company, Electric Company Theatre, and the Theatre Centre) ambitiously tries to […]

On April 16th, 350 artists, arts administrators, arts critics, and arts everything else gathered at The Great Hall in Toronto to celebrate another year of creativity, ambition, talent, and hard work as we looked back on the productions that defined 2017 in Toronto Theatre. With help from sponsors like Dufflet Pastries and our generous patrons […]

  Lisa McKeown

The smaller space at the Crow’s Nest Theatre is a great venue for The Howland Company’s production of Punk Rock, a show that inspires both admiration on a production level and some low-burn consternation. The play starts out as an ordinary story about several teenagers in a small British town: in the first scene we […]

  Lisa McKeown

Set in a dystopic future post-war landscape and based on T. S. Eliot’s Wasteland, Bloom is a story of an old war veteran, Gerontion (Peter Farbridge), a young boy who lives with him (Liz Peterson), and Maria (Kim Nelson), a woman who haunts his memories. The story centers around Gerontion in old age, dealing with […]

  Lisa McKeown

Before we announce the winners of the 2017 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Anusree Roy’s Little Pretty and the Exceptional was a part of Factory’s 2017 season, tackling the daunting but relevant themes regarding the stigma and the realities of mental illness within an immigrant family in downtown Toronto. […]

Before we announce the winners of the 2017 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Kay Brattan has worked as a stage manager, writer, and, since Lysistrata, a director. St. Stella is an established member the Toronto burlesque scene. Together they combined their talents and inspiration to bring us an adaptation of […]

  Lisa McKeown

Before we announce the winners of the 2017 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. She may be experienced in design and installation but Pencil Kit Productions’ The Hungriest Woman in the World was Jessica Hiemstra’s first theatrical set design. She blew us away with her creative and elegant work, so much so […]

  Lisa McKeown

Rarely am I so entirely delighted with almost every moment of a production as I was with Hannah Moscovitch’s new play Bunny, on at the Tarragon until April 1st. In the playwright’s note, Moscovitch explains that writing this play was a vehicle for processing her relationship to the Victorian novels she loved so much as […]

  Lisa McKeown

The Chekhov Collective’s Midsummer Night’s Dream is a delightfully entertaining escape from the brutal winter weather into a different kind of natural disorder, and while fairly brief (running time is 2 hours), is rarely tedious. Elizabeth Saunders is charming as Puck, drawing me completely into the story every time she was onstage. Her fawning, obsequious […]

  Lisa McKeown

What does it take to get someone to show you their most vulnerable parts, to get them to reveal them not just to you, but to themselves? George F. Walker’s new play, Fierce, gives us one kind of answer to that question. It’s also one of the best theatre experiences I’ve had in a while. […]

  Lisa McKeown

The Shakespeare Bash’d production of Richard III at the Monarch Tavern was just the thing for one of these wintry February nights. In contrast to the weight of the play, the atmosphere is cozy as we walk into the space: the narrow space has been transformed into a stage – chairs line the sides of the […]

  Lisa McKeown

Originally written (and performed) by Dave Deveau, My Funny Valentine is a play based around the true story of a gay teen who was killed by his classmate in 2008. The narrative weaves through the surrounding community in the aftermath, and shows us the ways they are processing (or not processing) their grief, and the […]

  Lisa McKeown

The Harold Experience This Assembly Improv show invokes the Harold Technique of audience participation to get suggestions from the crowd on which the theme of the show is based. The night I went, actors came down and bantered with the crowd, asking questions and making fast and funny connections between audience members until finally one […]

Pencil Kit Productions’ The Hungriest Woman in the World is certainly an interesting show. It bills itself as a ‘sexy and elliptical new play’ by Canadian poet and playwright Shannon Bramer. It follows a young woman – Aimee (Nora Jane Williams) – as she escapes from the loneliness and confusion of her own life into […]

  Lisa McKeown

Manwatching is a one-man show written by a woman. That’s all I know about the author going in to see the show, because she remains anonymous. And each night a different male comedian sees her script for the first time, as he performs it. This was such a weird premise for a show that I […]

  Lisa McKeown

Inspired by the true story of an opera singer and a French diplomat, Mr. Shi and His Lover is a semi-operatic play currently on Tarragon’s mainstage. The narrative traces a story in which the two fall in love, and proceed to have a twenty year relationship, during which time Mr. Shi believed his lover to […]

  Lisa McKeown

Poison, currently on at The Coal Mine Theatre, is a story about two people. Actually, it’s a story about three people. We open on a man (Ted Dykstra) waiting in a lobby. Eventually, a woman (Fiona Highet) enters. There is immediate tension. What follows is a simple but heartbreaking story about grief. Originally written by […]

  Lisa McKeown

Edward Albee’s The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia? is currently on at Soulpepper, directed by Alan Dilworth. I love this play for so many reasons, not least of which is that I think it’s a great example of a man actually writing an amazing and complex female lead character, who essentially carries the entire show. […]

  Lisa McKeown

Adam Lazarus’s play Daughter is about masculinity. Or rather: it is a play about toxic masculinity. Or, even more accurately: it is a play about the ways in which the patriarchy molds men into defective moral agents. This is a very intellectual description for a theatre review, and of a very visceral experience. So let me […]