Out of Town

Factory Theatre Toronto Announces Their Dynamic New Season

Factory Theatre Toronto Announces Their Dynamic New Season



As the theatrical world holds its collective breath, waiting and hoping for the bright light of live theatre to return to our stages, Factory Theatre in Toronto, one of Canada’s most vibrant cutting-edge theatre company, has proudly and excitedly announced its 2020-2021 Season entitled The Satellite Season: Canadian Stories in Orbit. Presented by Artistic Director Nina Lee Aquino and Managing Director Jonathan Heppner, Factory will unleash a full season of new and reimagined works continuing their undying support for Canadian artists across the country. Since returning to my Canadian roots this year, even before the pandemic hit hard, this is one company that I was intrigued to get to know. This theatre junkie is thrilled to be hearing about their new season which will feature six world premieres and one reimagined Canadian classic,. This entirely digital season thrillingly offers uncompromising Canadian stories that embrace and reimagine how theatre is performed in this complicated COVID-19 era, and I can’t wait to dig in. In addition, admission for this season will be entirely free of charge, thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group.

“The world as we know it has changed. It continues to change, and theatre is no different. Although we cannot gather the way we are used to, Canadian stories are resilient and enduring. As theatre artists, we are trained to respond to challenges with opportunities, with new ways of sharing, shaping, and receiving stories. At the heart of this all-digital season is our commitment to storytelling: no matter how it’s told, a good, compelling story will always transform, heal, reconcile, illuminate.” – Nina Lee Aquino, Artistic Director

David Yee, Actor, Playwright, and Artistic Director of fu-GEN Theatre Company, Toronto.

Factory kicks off the Satellite Season in November with a commissioned world premiere of David Yee’s an act of faith. Directed by Nina Lee Aquino, the solo piece is specifically designed to be presented online with Yee bringing his trademark command of language and form to a unique and compelling new theatrical experience, one that meets our current moment and desired engagement. The piece will be presented live for 6 performances in an intimate live digital performance experience, direct from one of Canada’s most influential playwrights. David Yee is a mixed race actor and playwright of Chinese and Scottish ancestry, born and raised in Toronto. He is a graduate from the University of Toronto Mississauga theatre and drama program in 2000, with the intention of pursuing acting, before focusing his skill and expertise on playwriting, co-founding and becoming the Artistic Director of fu-GEN Theatre Company, Canada’s premiere professional Asian Canadian theatre company. A Dora Mavor Moore Award nominated actor and playwright, his work has been produced internationally and at home, including the World Premiere of acquiesce which debuted on the Factory stage in 2016. He is a two-time Governor General’s Literary Award nominee for his plays lady in the red dress and carried away on the crest of a wave, which won the award in 2015 along with the Carol Bolt Award in 2013. It’s an impressive list of achievements, and one that I am most interested to be acquainted with.

Factory Theatre will also begin the new year with the launch of a new audio series, You Can’t Get There From Here, to be released as a pre-recorded podcast over the course of five weeks beginning March 2021. For many of us out there in the theatre world, the pandemic has greatly altered our understanding of place and our relationship to the city, especially for this Canadian who has lived abroad for the last 30 years . These five micro-commissions will offer fresh perspectives on Toronto’s many neighbourhoods, forgotten landscapes, and help see the land on which we live and work anew, an idea that sits warmly in my theatrical and emotional heart. Vivid audio experiences will usher us in to the experience from five of our country’s most creative minds. We all can listen from the comfort of our own rooms and journey forward into an urban exploration and connection at our own speed and sensibility.

Don Druick, Playwright.

Factory will then close the Satellite Season with what is being called “a radical new interpretation” of Don Druick’s critically acclaimed tour de force solo show, Through the Eyes. Directed by ahdri zhina mandiela and produced in the Factory Studio, this production will be live streamed for 6 nights to audiences at home. It is a play about seeing and about possible new ways of looking at the world.  Don Druick is a distinguished playwright, translator, librettist, and baroque flautist. His plays and translations have been produced on stage and radio throughout Canada, and in Europe, Japan, and the USA. Previous works include Recipe for Murder (CBC), The Frozen DeepTulip (Nightswimming Theatre), and Lizzie Stratas (Grand Theatre). His award-winning plays Where is Kabuki? and Through the Eyes were both shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award. It’s a compelling descent into a theme that is being felt the world over, about how we tell stories, and how we see our places within them. I can’t wait to tune in.

This upcoming season will be presented entirely free of charge to audiences across Canada thanks to support from the TD Bank Group. Through the TD Ready Commitment, the bank’s global corporate citizenship platform, this support helps enable opportunities for cultural and community connection in a time of social isolation and other hardships presented by COVID-19. With this recent support for the 2020-21 Season, Factory and TD continue to uplift a national cultural dialogue by offering free artistic programming for Canadians from coast to coast and beyond. TDhas worked with Factory for a decade to bring Canadian theatre to Toronto audiences, most recently as the founding sponsor of the CrossCurrents Canada presentation series which in two years has brought seven award winning productions from across Canada to Factory‘s stages.

Nina Lee Aquino. (Graham Isador)

“This season, you may not be able to be with us in our home at Adelaide and Bathurst, but we’re making damn sure that the Factory you know and love comes to you. Whether live-streamed or podcasted, we’re preparing for this orbit around the sun and asking you to invite us into your homes to bring you the full spectrum of Canadian stories. Until we can connect again in the flesh, let us come to you. This is Factory’s Satellite Season: Canadian Stories in Orbit.

– Nina Lee Aquino, Factory Artistic Director


an act of faith

by David Yee and directed by Nina Lee Aquino

World Premiere

November 19 – 28, 2020

Streamed live for 6 performances from the Factory Theatre Rehearsal Hall


5 World Premieres

Beginning March 2021

Audio series will release one episode per week for 5 weeks 


by Don Druick and directed by ahdri zhina mandiela

April 29 – May 8, 2021

Streamed live for 6 performances from the Factory Studio Theatre

Registration for David Yee’s an act of faith opens on Monday October 19, 2020 – Audiences will register for performances directly on the Factory Theatre website https://www.factorytheatre.ca/

Factory Theatre, Toronto.

Factory would like to thank the government funding bodies, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and The Government of Canada, our Digital Programming Sponsor TD Bank Group, our Corporate Sponsor BMO, as well as our generous donors who make developing, producing, and presenting Canadian theatre possible.

Founded in 1970, Factory was the first theatre company in the nation to devote itself to producing 100% Canadian content. Over 50 years later, Factory continues to lead in the development and sharing of Canadian stories having produced more than 300 productions from a diverse source of Canadian playwrights and launching the careers of countless theatre professionals.

Factory stands on the land under The Dish With One Spoon Wampum Covenant, a treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee that binds them to share the territory and protect the land.Subsequent people – Indigenous and settlers alike – have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect. Today, the meeting place of Toronto (Tkaronto) is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island. Factory would like to acknowledge with gratitude all the storytellers, stewards, and caretakers -recorded and unrecorded – that continue to host Factory at this gathering place for over 30 years.

Out of Town

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my last...so far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

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