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Artistic director Ken Gass poses for a photo on the Factory Theatre set of the play, The Rez Sisters, in Toronto, Ont. on November 8, 2011. (Michelle Siu for The Globe and Mail)
Artistic director Ken Gass poses for a photo on the Factory Theatre set of the play, The Rez Sisters, in Toronto, Ont. on November 8, 2011. (Michelle Siu for The Globe and Mail)

Theatre

Ken Gass to relaunch his Canadian Rep Theatre in Toronto Add to ...

Ousted Toronto theatre director Ken Gass has unveiled plans for relaunching his long-dormant Canadian Rep Theatre with productions of plays pulled from the Factory Theatre during a boycott.

The Factory Theatre fired Gass last summer in a dispute over renovations to its downtown building, and several prominent artists, including playwrights George F. Walker and Judith Thompson, participated in a boycott to protest the move, pulling their work out of the theatre’s 2012-2013 season.

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Gass announced Monday that he is reviving the Canadian Rep Theatre, a company he established in the 1980s before rescuing the near-bankrupt Factory in 1996. The revived company will offer a season featuring the English-language premiere of Pacamambo by Quebec playwright Wajdi Mouawad next spring, the Canadian premiere of Dead Metaphor by George F. Walker next fall and the world premiere of Watching Glory Die by Judith Thompson in 2014. No firm dates or venues have been set.

After mediation in the dispute, Gass dropped efforts to return to Factory in September, informing the theatre community the fight was over. Meanwhile, the Factory Theatre itself announced a revised season in October, filling in the blanks left by the departing playwrights. Its new season, which launches in January, includes four plays. Two are projects that were being developed in house: Stopheart by Amy Lee Lavoie and Every Letter Counts by Nina Lee Aquino. Iceland is a hit from the SummerWorks Festival by Nicolas Billon and Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craiglist Cantata by Bill Richardson and Veda Hille is a co-production with the Acting Up Stage Company.

 

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