July 22, 2021 / 2021-2022 Season

Announcing our 2021/2022 Season

Shift, a season in two acts

We’ve announced our 2021/2022 Season! Proudly presented by Artistic Director Nina Lee Aquino, in her final season, and Interim Managing Director Mark Aikman, we will have a full season, presented both digitally and in person, that will continue to push the boundaries of Canadian storytelling. Admission for our digital shows this season will once again be entirely free of charge to audiences around the globe, thanks to the support of the TD Bank Group.

Featuring ten world premieres, one Toronto premiere, one live audio drama, and a rebroadcast of an audience favourite from last year, this hybrid season consisting of both digital and in person shows, is filled to the brim with brand new and reimagined Canadian stories that are sure to shift and shape audiences’ perspectives on how we view the world around us. 

A shift in a script indicates a change of location, a change of perspective, a change of time or tone.  Our 2021-2022 Shift Season captures the change that is happening both inside and outside Factory Theatre. This season showcases the theatrical ingenuity of virtual performance and audio mediums with the return to live performance that we all crave. It is represents the best of what theatre can be, in any medium.

Nina Lee Aquino, Artistic Director

We kick off Shift in October with a rebroadcast of our Fall 2020 production of acts of faith by David Yee, directed by Nina Lee Aquino, and starring Natasha Mumba. Returning by popular demand, acts of faith follows a young woman named Faith who gets mistaken for a prophet. When a revered religious leader attempts to take advantage of her plight, she begins using her ‘gift’ to right wrongs and punish the wicked. As her spiritual notoriety grows, her own faith gradually erodes, driving her away from her home and the church in a quest for justice. Factory is very excited to be able to rebroadcast last year’s production and offer audiences another chance to catch this whirlwind play written exclusively for digital presentation.

In November, Factory joins forces with Obsidian Theatre to present Cast Iron by Lisa Codrington, directed by Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu. Reimagined as a live audio drama, this production will be streamed for 6 nights to audiences at home. Cast Iron is a vivid story that follows Libya from the sun drenched cane fields of Barbados to the sub-zero temperatures of Winnipeg as she wields acerbic wit and humour in an attempt to appease the ghosts of her past. Alone in her Winnipeg nursing home, Libya receives an unexpected visitor from Barbados. Past repression resurfaces, until the tragedy that shaped her life spills from her soul.

We begin the new year with the launch of Year of the Rat, a brand new series of short mono-dramas about our personal connections to some of our most sacred places within our homes. Featuring four commissioned pieces from Augusto Bitter, Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman, Rosa Laborde, and Anita Majumdar, each short play takes place in a different part of the home and is performed by the playwrights themselves. Streamed live for six performances, one piece right after another, each moving to a different part of the home, Year of the Rat is sure to give audiences a glimpse into the lives that are lived behind closed doors when no one is watching.

Following a highly acclaimed first season, we’re proud to be returning to headphones across the globe with You Can’t Get There From Here, Vol. 2! A limited series featuring a brand new set of five commissioned audio theatrical works from even more of our country’s most creative playwrights. Volume 2 will feature new audio works by Marjorie Chan, Ins Choi, Amy Lee Lavoie & Omari Newton, Kat Sandler, and Guillermo Verdecchia. Each episode offers listeners fresh perspectives on familiar Toronto landmarks and neighbourhoods, and glimpses into the micro-dramas occurring around us each day, hidden in plain sight. Episodes will begin to be released in March 2022 and will be available to listen to on all podcasting platforms.

Following our digital programming, we will SHIFT (see what we did there?) to Act 2 of our Season – live, in person performances!

First up is the World Premiere production of David Yee’s among men, directed by Nina Lee Aquino to be presented in Factory’s Mainspace Theatre. On the edge of spring, Al Purdy and Milton Acorn are finishing an A-frame cabin on Roblin Lake. In the coming decade all three of them – Al, Milt, and the A-frame – will become famous and change the face of Canadian poetry. But for now all they have is the stench of sweat, whiskey, and words.

We close the SHIFT Season with the Toronto Premiere of Wildfire, translated by Leanna Brodie from the play Le Brasier by David Paquet, and directed by Soheil Parsa. Claudette, Claudia, Claudine, Carol, Callum, and Caroline all have two things in common: names that start with the letter C and they’re all haunted by a family history of childhood trauma. They do what they can to survive. Sometimes by baking cookies, sometimes by playing fantasy games, and sometimes by smashing a hammer into a TV. Wildfire is a dark comedy with a spark— highly absurd and ferociously funny.

Factory’s 2021-2022 Shift Season is a reflection of our immediate past, our present, and looks with optimism to our future. We remain confident that we can flip the script, shift, and return to gathering once again.  Whatever form our seasons take, the heart of what we do remains the same: from words on the page, to bodies in space, to the eyes and ears of our beloved audience. 10 world premieres, 9 commissions, new and familiar artists, virtual and literal spaces: it’s our most bold and ambitious programming yet, dedicated to bringing you another season of fiercely Canadian stories.”

Nina Lee Aquino, Artistic Director

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