LSM Newswire

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

December events at the RCM

The Royal Concert Season 08.09
Warm up December with Spectacular Performances!

December at The Royal Conservatory (RCM) is filled with very special events, most of them free to the public, as The RCM continues to enjoy its return to Bloor Street and its newly refurbished TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning.

Legendary American pianist and conductor, Leon Fleisher, opens the first week of December with Fleisher Master Class Week from December 2 to December 5, during which he will give five master classes. The Master Classes are free and open to the public, a wonderful way to see a great artist at work! As well, Mr. Fleisher will give a very special concert on December 3, as part of the Great Artists Series. During the concert on Wednesday, (his first solo Toronto performance in over six years), Fleisher will perform a first half of solo piano repertoire. The second part of the concert will be comprised of Brahms' Piano Quintet in f minor, for which he will be joined by members of ARC (Artists of The Royal Conservatory) Erika Raum and Marie Brard (violins), Steven Dann (viola), and Bryan Epperson (cello).

Great Artists Series will continue on Friday, December 12, with the renowned violinist and pedagogue Paul Kantor and his wife, Virginia Weckstrom (piano), both of whom joined the faculty of The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory in September of this year. They will be joined by two ARC members, Bryan Epperson (cello) and Joaquin Valdepeas (clarinet), in an array of chamber music repertoire.

Firmly rooted in the soil of their native land, the energetic and traditional Qubcois folk 'power trio', Genticorum, incorporates the dynamism of today's North American and European folk cultures in their music. They have performed in more than 15 countries all over the world, and on Thursday, December 11, they will appear as part of the World Music Concerts at The RCM.

Internationally renowned pianist and Beethoven interpreter Anton Kuerti returns to The RCM for the second of his 5-part lecture series, devoted to the Second Beethoven Piano Concerto, on Friday, December 12. Another wonderful free event will be the Saturday, December 6, concert by the Academy Symphony Orchestra, lead by conductor and artistic director, David Visentin.

A very special event will round out the December performances at The RCM - the world premiere of Dean Burry's opera, Pandora's Locker. This is the first major operatic commission by The Glenn Gould School, written specifically for a high school audience. Inspired by the Greek myth of Pandora's Box, in which a young woman's curiosity leads to the unleashing of all the world's evils, it is a simple, archetypal myth, which reflects humankind's own hunt for knowledge and the potential for disaster upon its discovery. Through the use of themes such as gender issues, sexuality, and gun violence, set to a musical ensemble including modern "urban music scratch electronica", the opera places the Pandora myth within a contemporary, inner-city high school setting. Performances on December 5, 11, and 13, will be conduced by Brian Current and directed by Jennifer Parr.

Leon Fleisher, piano (GGS Master Class Series): Tuesday, December 2 time TBD*
Leon Fleisher, piano, with members of ARC (Great Artists Series): Wed, December 3 at 8pm
Leon Fleisher, piano (GGS Master Class Series): Thursday, December 4 at 10am and 2pm*
Leon Fleisher, piano (GGS Master Class Series): Friday, December 5 time TBD*
Pandora's Locker (GGS New Music Ensemble and Opera Division): Friday, December 5 at 8pm*
Academy Symphony Orchestra (Rising Stars Series): Saturday, December 6 at 8pm*
Pandora's Locker (GGS New Music Ensemble and Opera Division): Thurs, December 11 at 11am*
Genticorum (World Music Concerts): Thursday, December 11 at 7:30pm
Anton Kuerti, piano (GGS Lecture Series): Friday, December 12 at 2pm*
Paul Kantor, violin, Virginia Weckstrom, piano, with members of ARC (Great Artists Series):
Friday, December 12 at 8pm
Pandora's Locker (GGS New Music Ensemble and Opera Division): Sat, December 13 at 2pm*

Tickets $20.00 - $30.00, students $10
Tickets available online at, by calling 416-408-2824 X321,
or at the door at the RCM, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto
* Free event

All events take place at the Conservatory's new home, the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, 273 Bloor Street West.

More information about the 2008-2009 Concert Season is available on The Royal Conservatory website at

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Esprit Orchestra launches 2008-09 season with Inspired by Traditions

Inspired by Traditions

Esprit Orchestra launches its 2008-09 season

Toronto, ON (November 5, 2008)ĶEsprit Orchestra opens its 2008-09 season on Sunday, November 23, 2008 with Inspired by Traditions, a concert of electrifying music exploring diverse styles from jazz to late-Romanticsm. Alex Pauk, Esprits founding music director will conduct the program which features pianist Andrew Burashko and violinist Marie Brard, Concertmaster of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra.

Inspired by Traditions includes John Adams exhilarating Short Ride in a Fast Machine, R. Murray Schafers romantic Dream Rainbow, Dream Thunder, the North American premiere of Valentin Silvestrovs Dedication and Aaron Coplands rarely-performed, jazz-inflected Piano Concerto No. 1.

John Adams Short Ride in a Fast Machine is a thrilling, joyfully exuberant piece in the established tradition of minimal music. One of Americas most admired and performed living composers, Adams has built a huge audience worldwide through the immediacy and sincerity of his music. Short Ride in a Fast Machine, with its steady beat, and repeating and shifting rhythmic patterns, has become one of the most frequently requested and performed compositions in American concert-halls.

One of Canadas most highly ranked classical composers, R. Murray Schafer needs no introduction. His work titled Dream Rainbow, Dream Thunder is a sumptuous fantasy for orchestra inspired by Schafers visit to Neuschwanstein, King Ludwigs magnificent Bavarian castle built as an homage to Richard Wagner. Wagners influence is detectable in Schafers work, as are the styles of other composers. Esprit Orchestras recording of Dream Rainbow, Dream Thunder won a Juno Award in 1986.

Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov is beginning to become better known in the West, whereas in the former Soviet Union he has long earned the respect of such contemporary heavyweights as Alfred Schnittke and Arvo Prt. His Dedication, a symphony for violin and orchestra, is a broadly sweeping, lyrical piece which explores the phenomenon of melody as a symbol of gratitude. In the composers words, melody, in its widest sense, has always been entrusted to us, simply as Gods gift to music. Joining Esprit in presenting this North American premiere of Silvestrovs masterpiece will be violin soloist Marie Brard.

American composer Aaron Copland helped define a twentieth century American sound by creating a musical style that combined the myths of the American West and the styles of Latin American music. His works have great impact and resonance in North America and he has exerted tremendous influence on a huge number of American composers including the likes of Leonard Bernstein. A distinct, Gershwin-like style comes through strongly in Coplands Piano Concerto No. 1 which will be performed by the accomplished pianist Andrew Burashko.

Concert and Ticket Details

Inspired by Traditions takes place on Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 8 p.m. at the Jane Mallett Theatre in the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts (27 Front Street East). A pre-concert talk begins at 7:15 p.m. Tickets to Inspired by Traditions are $15 for students, $24 for seniors and $32 for adults. Group rates (8+ people) are $25. Subscriptions to Esprit Orchestras 2008-09 season start at $45. For tickets or subscriptions contact the St. Lawrence Centre Box Office at 416-366-7723 or .

About Esprit Orchestra

Esprit Orchestra is Canadas only orchestra devoted exclusively to performing new orchestral music and developing a legacy of Canadian orchestral music. Founded by composer/conductor Alex Pauk in 1983, Esprit Orchestra is comprised of a core of 45 dedicated musicians with the special skills required to perform contemporary orchestral music. Esprit commissions and premieres new works each season and ensures continued public access to these works through encore performances, radio broadcasts, compact disc and film recordings, and national and international tours. For more information visit

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Manic Monday is here

On your mark, get set and become a Passholder on


MON., NOV. 17 and save 50%!


Toronto, ON Factory Theatre proudly present MANIC MONDAY. Factory Theatre will be selling a special Preview Pass with save 50% off the regular priced pass for ONE DAY ONLY on MANIC MONDAY - November 17, 2008.

Enjoy six (6) performances from our 2008-09 Season for only $60 by purchasing a Preview Pass on MANIC MONDAY. Purchasing a Pass is the best and most economical way to see groundbreaking Canadian theatre at Factory Theatre, including three (3) world premieres and three (3) shows from the national scene during Performance Spring. Take advantage of the savings and all the benefits that are offered by becoming a Passholder on MANIC MONDAY!

Mark your calendar, this sale is for one day only and a limited number will be sold!


Six (6) play flexi-pass for loaded with savings and benefits. Use them any way, any time to any preview performances and to all productions of the Performance Spring Festival.

Price: $60 for 6 tickets to our preview performance and all performances during the Performance Spring Festival. *Not valid with any other offer. Offer not valid on previously purchased passes or tickets. Available only on Monday, November 17 from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Some restrictions may apply. Subject to availability.

On Sale : Monday, November 17, 2008 ONE DAY ONLY WHILE QUANTITIES LAST!

Online: 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.

In person at our box office: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

By phone: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

About 2008-09 Season

Toronto the Good by Andrew Moodie, directed by Philip Akin

World Premiere | January 31 March 1

Chalmers Award Winning playwright Andrew Moodie (Riot, The Real McCoy) investigates the politics of race right in our own backyard.

Missing by Florence Gibson, directed by David Ferry

World Premiere | March 8 April 5

In a small Ontario town, women are disappearing and Detective Carol Seaforth has to crack the case in order to move up in the ranks. Was Evelyn abducted, was she running to escape her unfeeling husband, or did she simply vanish? And if so, why?

The Madness of the Square by Marjorie Chan, directed by Ruth Madoc-Jones

Produced by Cahoots Theatre in association with Factory Theatre

World Premiere | April 16 May 3

The Madness of the Square sheds light on a moment in history that unfolded on television screens around the world on June 4th 1989 in Tiananmen Square , Beijing .

Performance Spring | May 13 24

Fear of Flight by Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, directed by Jillian Keiley

An Artistic Fraud production presented by Factory Theatre

Toronto Premiere | May 13 24

A music and movement spectacle that tracks fourteen nervous passengers on a bumpy transcontinental flight. Combining monologues, choral text and movement, and an ensemble of singing travelers, Fear of Flight marks a return for Artistic Fraud to the large scale music performances that defined the beginnings of the company.

Plus two (2) other performance to be announced in the New Year. All Manic Monday Season Passholders will get to go to the front of the line and redeem their tickets before the public.

Passholder Benefits

A further 10% off on all additional ticket purchases throughout the season

Invitation to the exclusive Special Tuesday Passholder Evenings with pre-show chats with the playwright, complimentary snacks, and post-show Q&A with the cast

FREE exchanges - Cant make your date? Dont worry, as a Passholder you can exchange your tickets for free!

NEW! Buzz Stub program pass along your used ticket stub purchased with your Pass to a friend and they can purchase a single ticket for $5 off the regular price for the same production

Hot off the press receive advanced information on all our productions and news about Factory

Convenience Calling! Passholders can bypass the Box Office Patron Services Manager for your Pass needs

Front of the Line to buy tickets to Performance Spring performances


In person: 125 Bathurst Street (at Adelaide )

Box Office: 416-504-9971


About Factory Theatre: 39 YEARS AND COUNTING!

Factory Theatres central mission is to create, develop and produce new Canadian theatre with an emphasis on original Canadian plays and the development of Canadian playwrights. Factory has a longstanding commitment to the development of emerging artists, and to giving our own indigenous artists, from all of Canada s diverse communities, a theatrical voice.

The CrossCurrents Festival | May 1 10

A dynamic festival dedicated to playwrights of colour and celebrates the great diversity of the national scene.

Artistic Producer Nina Lee Aquino is excited to announce the playwrights participating in the 2009 CrossCurrents festival. They are:Tara Beagan (Quilchena), Camyar Chai, Guillermo Verdecchia and Marcus Youseff (Ali and Ali, The Deportation Hearings (the Extraordinary Rendition Edition): Part 7 of a Two-Part Trilogy) and Michael Miller (Editing Down to This)

For more information please visit our website at:

For downloadable images please visit our Press Zone at:

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Wexford Festival Opera announces 2009 Season

Wexford Festival Opera announces 2009 Festival Programme

(Wexford, Sunday November 2, 2008)
After a tremendously successful 2008 season at the new Wexford Opera House, which saw more than 29,000 tickets sold, Wexford Festival Opera Artistic Director David Agler has announced details of the 2009 Festival.

Running from October 15 until November 1, 2009 the 58th Festival will feature the following operas on stage in the John and Aileen OReilly Auditorium in Wexford Opera House:

MARIA PADILLA | Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)
A melodrama in three acts to a libretto by Gaetano Rossi and Donizetti after Franois Ancelots play. First performed Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 26 December 1841. Sung in Italian.

THE GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES | John Corigliano (b. 1938)
Grand opera buffa in two acts to a libretto by William M. Hoffman after Beaumarchaiss play La Mre coupable (1792 ). First performed New York, Metropolitan, 19 December 1991. European premiere in a newly revised version by the composer. A co-production with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Sung in English.

IL CAPPELLO DI PAGLIA DI FIRENZE (The Florentine Straw Hat) | Nino Rota (1911-1979)
Farsa musicale in four acts to a libretto by Nino and Ernesta Rota after Eugne Labiche and Marc Antoine Amde Michels vaudeville Un chapeau de paille dItalie.
First performed Palermo, Teatro Massimo, 21 April 1955. Sung in Italian.

In addition to these operas, the 2009 Festival will feature three short works, choral recitals and concerts. Friends and priority booking will open on May 5, 2009 with general ticket sales starting June 1, 2009.

For more information please visit

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shaw Festival Announces 2009 Season

The Idea

Shaw Ķ Coward Ķ Osborne? The ideas of these playwrights rocked society far beyond the confines of the theatre world. The Shaw Festivals 2009 season celebrates the brilliance of the work of these writers and opens up a new corner of its mandate to show the continuum of provocative theatre The Shaw is renowned for producing. In announcing the 2009 Season today, Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell said, Were thrilled to be embarking on our 2009 adventure. Two exciting events will be highlights of the season: a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of one of Bernard Shaws most famous contemporaries, fellow provocateur Noel Coward, and a new initiative in a new space with a new writer for The Shaw. Well do that and well present an additional six remarkable plays, while continuing our exploration of contemporary Shavian writers in our reading series. The choices made this season play to the strengths of our multi-faceted and extraordinary Company and are made in concert with our ongoing emphasis on nurturing the careers of emerging theatre artists and developing new work for our stages. Welcome aboard, and enjoy the ride.

The Reality

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, September 23, 2008 . . . Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell officially announced the Shaw Festivals 2009 season today. In 2009 The Shaw takes on a monumental and historic project with full productions of each play in Noel Cowards famous Tonight at 8:30 collection. The Shaws 2009 productions represent the first time all ten short plays have been performed in repertory by a professional company since they were first produced by Londons Phoenix Theatre in 1935-36. The plays will be performed in sets of three, one on each of the Festivals Niagara-on-the-Lake stages, with the tenth, the rarely produced Star Chamber, being the lunchtime production in the Royal George. And to celebrate this idea for the event that it is, on two separate occasions, we will present all ten in one day an event we are appropriately naming Mad Dogs and Englishmen.

Ms. Maxwell said of the collection: As the idea of doing all of Cowards Tonight at 8:30 came to me, and as I reread the plays, I was struck that each one is a brilliant jewel like the best short stories some well known, some not. As is typical of Coward who was always pushing the envelope in both form and content the ten plays vary hugely. There are out-and-out comedies, heart-wrenching dramas, fantasy musicals and historical tales. Coward is a brilliant miniaturist, a master storyteller, and any group of these plays, seen together, is a truly satisfying evening at the theatre. The experience of seeing them in one fell swoop, for those who are game, will be thrilling indeed.

English actor, playwright and composer Noel Coward (1899-1973) is renowned for his full-length plays The Vortex, Hay Fever, Easy Virtue, Bitter Sweet, Cavalcade, Private Lives and Design for Living, most of which have been produced by The Shaw. His ambitious Tonight at 8:30 cycle, which he wrote and starred in with his frequent stage partner Gertrude Lawrence, was originally written to be performed in combinations of three plays for a different playbill each night.

Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell will direct the first set of plays, in the Festival Theatre. Titled Brief Encounters, this includes Still Life, We Were Dancing and Hands Across the Sea. The Royal George set, directed by Artistic Director Emeritus Christopher Newton, titled Play, Orchestra, Play, will include Red Peppers, Fumed Oak and Shadow Play. The Court House group, director to be announced, titled Ways of the Heart, will include Ways and Means, Family Album and The Astonished Heart. Kate Lynch will direct the lunchtime Star Chamber. Music plays a huge role throughout Tonight at 8:30 and The Shaws Music Director Paul Sportelli will be Music Director for the whole project.

John Osborne (1929-1994), playwright, activist and the original inspiration for the phrase angry young man, revolutionized English theatre in 1956 with his play Look Back in Anger. An outspoken critic of The Establishment and the monarchy, as well as English theatre, Osborne combined unsparing truthfulness with devastating wit. In 2009 The Shaw will produce a limited run of Osbornes 1957 play The Entertainer, directed by Jackie Maxwell in the Festival Theatre Rehearsal Studio. The Entertainer, a boldly theatrical piece combining drama and vaudeville that Osborne wrote for Laurence Olivier, uses the metaphor of the dying music hall tradition to comment on the vicissitudes of post-war life in 1950s England. The production of both Tonight at 8:30 and The Entertainer in the 2009 season will create a vivid juxtaposition between Osbornes angry existential soul search and the polished work of Coward, while also revealing the deep connection between the two.

The 2009 playbill includes six additional full productions. The Shaws celebration of Cowards witty and subversive world sits perfectly beside the work of house wit and subversive, Bernard Shaw. Bernard Shaws exhilarating The Devils Disciple, last produced at The Shaw in 1996, is directed in 2009 by renowned Polish director Tadeusz Bradecki, and presented in the Festival Theatre. The upcoming American election and the ensuing new administration will provide a fascinating backdrop to Shaws drama of the struggles between England and her American colonies in the late 1700s. In the Royal George, Shaws hilarious satire of philosophy, playwriting and acting, In Good King Charless Golden Days, will be directed by Eda Holmes.

Garson Kanins classic comedy Born Yesterday, directed by Neil Munro, will share the Festival Theatre stage. An enduring story of a corrupt tycoon and his not-so-dumb blonde girlfriend, the play was a huge hit on Broadway in 1946 with Judy Holliday as Billie Dawn. Denouncing bribery, corruption and greedy corporate interests, this highly entertaining play could well have been written yesterday.

The Court House Theatre season also includes Eugene ONeills romantic drama A Moon for the Misbegotten, directed by Joseph Ziegler, who deftly handled ONeills Ah Wilderness for The Shaw in 2004. Continuing to programme Canadian classics, Michel Tremblays phenomenal Albertine in Five Times, in a new translation by Linda Gaboriau and directed by Micheline Chevrier, will complete the Court House season. The play, which provides a wonderful challenge for six female actors, is a brilliant deconstruction of the life of Albertine, a complex, troubled woman who appears in many of Tremblays plays and is one of theatres most mercurial characters.

Building on the success of the 2008 seasons A Little Night Music and Follies: In Concert, The Shaw continues to explore the work of Stephen Sondheim with a production of Sunday in the Park with George, directed by Alisa Palmer, which explores the eternal conflict between life and art through the story of the French Impressionist painter Georges Seurat. The piece is a perfect fit with the intimate jewel-box setting of the Royal George Theatre.

The Shaw Festivals popular reading series of contemporary Shavian writers continues to be an integral component of each season and an important area of growth for the Company. For the reading series, Jackie Maxwell and director Eda Holmes choose full-length plays that represent contemporary writing at its best witty and compelling, with a distinct modern-day perspective. Like Shaws, the work of these writers centres on the critical examination of the times and communities in which they live. The 2009 Reading Series focuses on diverse female playwrights with a political voice. It includes the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Topdog/Underdog, a bitingly funny, hard-hitting examination of poverty in America by African-American playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Obsidian Theatres Artistic Director Phil Akin, and further titles to be announced.

The reading series is often informed by The Shaws play development work. As part of the 2009 reading series The Shaw also presents a new musical based on the brief life of Maria Severa Onofriana, a famous Portuguese fado singer who achieved near-mythical status after her death. Maria Severa is written by Shaw Festival Music Director Paul Sportelli and Ensemble member Jay Turvey, whose musical Tristan received its world premiere at The Shaw in 2007.

The Shaws play development programme is actively engaged with writers, providing dramaturgical support, playwright-in-residence opportunities and workshops with actors, often working towards producing new work for The Shaws stages. In addition to Maria Severa, other projects in development include an adaptation of Oscar Wildes The Canterville Ghost by Robin Patterson, Artistic Director of St. Catharines Theatre Beyond Words; Kaj Munk by Dave Carley, The Shaws 2008 playwright-in-residence; an adaptation, by Associate Director Neil Munro, of Henrik Ibsens The Master Builder; and an exciting new project with Cahoots Theatre Projects exploring and developing work from Asia and China of the mandate period.

For theatregoers who like to dig a little deeper into the world of plays, playwrights, theatre artists, and the world backstage, the 2009 season is complemented by Shaw Enriched, an extensive offering of seminars, workshops and other entertaining and informative behind-the-scenes experiences.

Regular ticket prices for the 2009 season range from $30 to $110 including GST. For Special Matinees, student tickets are $25 and senior tickets are $40. Lunchtime ticket prices are $30. Sunday night performances are available all season from $45 to $60 and, for patrons aged 19-29, $30 tickets are available for most performances. Preview prices are $55 to $70. Family tickets are available in each theatre: for each regularly-priced ticket purchased, one or two youth tickets (18 years or under) may be purchased for just $30. New in 2009 are specially designated $30 seats for most Festival Theatre performances.

Tickets for the 2009 season go on sale to Shaw Festival Members according to Membership level starting November 8. Tickets go on sale to groups and schools on January 5. Tickets go on sale to The Shaws high-loyalty customers on January 3 and to the general public by mail, fax or online on January 5 and by phone or in person on January 10.

Tonight at 8:30 is generously supported by Lombard Insurance.

Shaw Festivals 2009 Season at a Glance










Brief Encounters (1935/36))

Noel Coward

Jackie Maxwell/
William Schmuck

April 11

May 20

October 24


CIBC World Markets

In Good King Charless Golden Days (1939)

Bernard Shaw

Eda Holmes/

Camellia Koo/

Michael Gianfresco

April 17

May 21

October 9

Royal George


Sunday in the Park with George (1984)

James Lapine/Stephen Sondheim

Alisa Palmer/

Judith Bowden

April 1

May 22

November 1

Royal George

TD Canada Trust Music

A Moon for the Misbegotten (1947)

Eugene ONeill

Joseph Ziegler/

Christina Poddubiuk

April 28

May 23

October 9

Court House

Scotiabank Group

Born Yesterday (1946)

Garson Kanin

Neil Munro/

Sue LePage

May 5

May 23

November 1


Sun Life Financial

Play, Orchestra, Play (1935/36)

Noel Coward

Christopher Newton/

Cameron Porteous

June 9

July 11

October 31

Royal George


Albertine in Five Times (1986)

Michel Tremblay, Linda Gaboriau

Micheline Chevrier/

Teresa Przybylski

June 24

July 10

October 10

Court House


Star Chamber (1935/36)

Noel Coward

Kate Lynch/

William Schmuck

June 25

July 11

October 11

Royal George


The Devils Disciple (1897)

Bernard Shaw

Tadeusz Bradecki/

Peter Hartwell

June 14

July 9

October 11



Ways of the Heart (1935/36)

Noel Coward


Sue LePage/

Judith Bowden

July 21

August 1

October 11

Court House


The Entertainer (1957)

John Osborne

Jackie Maxwell/

Peter Hartwell

July 31

August 15

September 20

Rehearsal Studio


* titles and dates subject to change

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