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Canstage lures Atom Egoyan back to the stage

Canadian Stage has enticed Atom Egoyan back to the Toronto stage for its 2011-2012 season.

The Academy Award-nominated film director will direct his wife, actor Arsinée Khanjian, in a production of British playwright Martin Crimp's Cruel and Tender next January in the Bluma Appel theatre.

Egoyan, whose last stage work in the city where he is based was the Canadian Opera Company's 2006 production of Die Walkure, is just the biggest name on a list of crème de la crème directors and choreographers announced today by Canadian Stage's artistic and general director, Matthew Jocelyn.

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They include Siminovitch Prize winners and nominees Kim Collier, Daniel Brooks, Jennifer Tarver and Ross Manson, as well as - continuing Jocelyn's branching out into "interdisciplinary" work - top figures from the dance world such as Marie Chouinard, James Kudelka and Crystal Pite.

Below is the full 2011-2012 Canadian Stage season.

Along with Cruel and Tender, at the 876-seat Bluma Appel Theatre:

  • Siminovitch Prize-winning director Kim Collier will direct Red, John Logan's play about painter Mark Rothko that won the 2010 Tony for best play. This will be a co-production with the Vancouver Playhouse and Edmonton's Citadel Theatre.
  • Jocelyn will direct a new production of Marivaux's 18th century classic, The Game of Love and Chance, in co-production with Montreal's Centaur Theatre.
  • Dance pieces Marie Chouinard's Orpheus and Eurydice and Crystal Pite's The You Show will each play for short, week-long runs.
  • As previously revealed by The Globe and Mail, Volcano Theatre's Another Africa, featuring two plays from its acclaimed Africa Trilogy at the Luminato Festival, will be reprised at Canadian Stage. Opening the season, the double-bill is comprised of Shine Your Eye by Binyavanga Wainaina and Peggy Pickit Sees the Face of God by Roland Schimmelpfennig.

Meanwhile, at the 240-seat Berkeley Street Theatre:

  • Director Daniel Brooks and choreographer James Kudelka team up for I Send You This Cadmium Red, a production of the Art of Time Ensemble. This double-bill features a stage exploration of the correspondence between artist John Berger and filmmaker John Christie, along with a pas-de-deux set to Gavin Bryars's chamber composition Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet.
  • Irish director Jason Byrne and the acclaimed Company Theatre ( A Whistle in the Dark, Festen) partner with Canadian Stage to present the English-language premiere of The Test by German playwright Lukas Bärfuss. Eric Peterson of Corner Gas fame stars alongside Liisa Repo-Martell and Philip Riccio in this "ambiguous dark comedy about politics and paternity."
  • Stratford Shakespeare Festival star Jennifer Tarver returns to her favourite playwright with Beckett: Feck It, an evening of Samuel Beckett's shorter plays combined with classical music from Irish composers inspired by his absurdist worlds.
  • Last, but not least, Canadian Stage resumes its relationship with Studio 180 to present the Canadian premiere of Bruce Norris's Clybourne Park - a sequel of sorts to A Raisin in the Sun.
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Theatre critic

J. Kelly Nestruck is The Globe's theatre critic. More

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