Before we announce the winners of the 2019 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Nicole Underhay has long been one of my favourite actresses in the country. In Coal Mine Theatre’s hilarious and brutal Hand to God, she weaponized her natural sunniness to deliver a brilliantly dark and perfectly pitched […]

  Alisha Maclean

Ella Hickson’s OIL is a theatrical marvel that spans the lives of May (Bahareh Yaraghi) and Amy (Samantha Brown), a mother and daughter whose paths are steered by the equal parts wonderful and terrible force that is oil. Directed by ARC Artistic Producer Christopher Stanton, and Resident Artist Aviva Armour-Ostroff, this production is full of […]

  Duncan Derry

He appears suddenly, striding purposefully towards the corner of the stage and warily watching as the choir of thirty or so rehearse a piece under the direction of Claire (Raven Dauda). His presence is immediately unnerving – we know he’s going to do something terrible, but when, or what, and how will it involve these […]

  Alexander Franks

Now the fact I was wearing a heavy sweater probably added to this, but I exited out of The Runner (Human Cargo Productions, written by Christopher Morris) just absolutely sweating. I was exhausted by this play, but I would see it again and again. Directed by Daniel Brooks and the sole role of Jacob played by […]

  Thea Fitz-James

After a stellar workshop presentation at the 2017 Fringe, BRAIN STORM returns to Toronto with its world premiere at the intimate Dancemakers Studio Theatre.  An innovative performance, BRAIN STORM is a ghostly mix of dance, projection, and text that leads us through a young woman’s day-to-day, post-brain injury. The layers of performance—from non-verbal expressions, to versatile […]

  Jack Graham

For those who enjoy booking a play without knowing anything about it, Us/Them may provide a shock. It did for an elementary school teacher in attendance. The subject matter was very close to home: Us/Them tells the story of the 2004 school siege in Beslan, Russia, when hundreds of children, mothers and grandmothers were killed. […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2019 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Nominated this year for Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Play for his powerful performance in Soulpepper’s brilliant production of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brothers Size, the dynamic and thoughtful Marcel Stewart is a mainstay of our awards season […]

  Dom Harvey

Inside Box 4901 are some very different missed connections. Novelist Brian Francis makes his debut as a playwright and performer with a look back at a time when it was much harder to be himself. In 1992, as a young student with one foot still in the closet living in a straight house in a […]

  Alexander Franks

You ever fallen up the stairs before? I don’t know why but I feel more foolish when I fall going up the stairs then I do when I fall down the stairs. You see if you fall down the stairs at least it’s like gravity doing it’s natural part taking you down. But stairs are […]

  Kelly Bedard

Before we announce the winners of the 2019 MyEntWorld Critics’ Pick Awards, we’re proud to present our annual Nominee Interview Series. Five years ago, I interviewed the effusive and self-effacing Sergio Di Zio for the first time. Though he’s known for his screen work (you probably know him from Flashpoint but he’s in everything), he was nominated for […]

  Dom Harvey

Hannah Moscovitch’s Secret Life of a Mother is a raw and compelling portrait of the darker side of motherhood – one rarely acknowledged in polite conversation, forcing the arts to shoulder the burden of challenging these long-standing taboos. Moscovitch herself is the titular mother but the lead in this one-woman (but many-women) show is Maev […]

  Thea Fitz-James

Theatre Centre’s Progress Festival is one of my favourite annual festivals in Toronto. The programming is always sharp and smart, bringing cutting edge international performances to the Queen West theatre. I was only able to see a few shows in this year’s festival; this represents only a sliver of the festival’s programming. CAFÉ SARAJEVO Café […]

  Jackie Houghton

Ellie Moon’s This Was the World, now playing at The Tarragon Theatre, Extra Space, endeavours to take on the notions of white privilege and white fragility, and does so unapologetically. It is a study of Professor John Taylor (R. H. Thompson). John is not your overtly racist uncle (or aunt/brother/cousin) that makes family dinners awkward. […]

  Mark Kreder

What do you get when you combine sharply written dialogue, deft direction and an all-star ensemble? Coal Mine Theatre’s production of Marjorie Prime. In 90 minutes, I was taken on a journey that challenged the way I perceived the world around me, my relationships and my ideals. For me, it was Nick Blais’ lighting design […]

  Alexander Franks

Casimir and Caroline opens on a balcony. No…. more than that. The play opens on a balcony at a corporate office party while the heads of corporate are in fact up in the sky in a zeppelin.  Now have you ever actually really experienced a balcony at a corporate office party while the heads of corporate are […]

  Kelly Bedard

Coal Mine Theatre debuted with a Stephen Adly Guirgis text back in 2014 and his style of hard-hitting, emotionally complex American drama/black comedy has become something of the house style in the seasons since. Their return to the playwright isn’t as impactful as their debut with a more uneven cast and a less enthralling script but the floor […]

  Jackie Houghton

Clowning is an art. A wise woman who has spent most of her adult life performing as a both a theatre and a circus clown once told me that clowning is an impossible art to perfect because a true clown must be able to balance wearing a variety of hats all while acting the fool. […]

Strong design elements and performances give Girl in the Machine,…

  Kymberley Feltham

There is no doubt that when Daniel MacIvor enters the stage, he does so with seasoned confidence. He appears a bit agitated while dressing the stage, a picture here, a nice scarf there, perhaps even pandering a bit to an audience that is eating it up, quick to laugh at his antics. The mood shifts […]

  Kymberley Feltham

Daniel David Moses’ Almighty Voice and His Wife provides a contemporary retelling of the events leading to Cree Warrior Almighty Voice’s untimely death, and his ill fated love affair with the unnamed ‘White Girl’. First mounted in 1991, Director Jani Lauzon crafts a dream-like world for actors James Dallas Smith and Michaela Washburn to stretch […]

  Thea Fitz-James

We, the audience, are waiting for the play to start. Kitch (Mazin Elsadig), on stage, is waiting for his friend Moses (Kaleb Alexander) to wake up. Moses is waiting for a lot of things. For the promised land, for the seas to part, for him to live up to his name sake. He’s waiting to […]

  Jackie Houghton

Traditionally, the Gothic aesthetic has dabbled with imagery of the supernatural, haunted castles, and other spooky fare. It is more reminiscent of Stoker’s Dracula lurking around Transylvanian castles than velour tracksuits and cozy log cabins, but this is Canada, eh, and Canadian Gothic needs to represent this nation and its inhabitants. Yes, Canadian Gothic is […]

  Jackie Houghton

Set in the British Columbia town of Kelowna against the backdrop of the worst wildfire season in Canadian history, Dock Mother God Society, Blood Pact Theatre’s latest production, is the story of personal, familial, and societal dysfunction that is both tragic and hilarious in its storytelling and delivery. In this one act play, we meet […]

  Kelly Bedard

A captivating pairing of co-productions has taken over the east end Streetcar Crowsnest venue this fall with a world-renowned but perfectly grounded everyman epic in the mainspace and an understated but otherworldly one-act song cycle in the studio. The studio piece, Dave Malloy’s Ghost Quartet, is a Crows collaboration with Eclipse Theatre Company and it […]

  Amy Strizic

Tarragon Theatre has set up a wonderfully witchy opening to its autumn season. Leaves are turning, the air is cooling, and the fall season of theatre has begun. Onstage from September 17-October 27, Yaga is the perfect play to get those autumnal feelings flowing. We’re talking witches, murder, and powerful females, not pumpkin spice. Written […]

  Alisha Maclean

The Coal Mine’s presentation of Knives in Hens is a beautiful rendition of the mid-nineties play written by David Harrower — Director Leora Morris has skillfully and lovingly brought the Scottish work to Toronto in a way that captures the audience well for the 80 minute production. A small farming community’s characters know little more than what […]