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Jason Priestley to return to stage in T.O. production of Mamet's 'Race'

Jason Priestly poses for a portrait at Veritas Restaurant on King Street, Toronto, on Jan. 19, 2009.

Sami Siva/The Globe and Mail

Jason Priestley is to step on stage for the first time in over a decade next season at Toronto's Canadian Stage.

Priestley, Victoria-born star of the acclaimed HBO Canada series Call Me Fitz who first found stardom in the original Beverley Hills 90210, will take the lead role in David Mamet's Race, the recent controversial Broadway play about a wealthy white businessman accused of raping a young black woman.

Artistic and general director Matthew Jocelyn revealed the news as he unveiled Canadian Stage's 25th anniversary season Thursday morning.

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Opening the 2012-2013 programming on the Bluma Appel stage, as previously revealed in The Globe and Mail, will be the film/theatre hybrid Tear the Curtain! from Vancouver's Electric Company.

Later in the season, director Morris Panych and set designer Ken MacDonald will tackle Max Frisch's The Arsonists. Fiona Reid and the Shaw Festival's Michael Ball are set to star in this classic political parable about unreasonable accommodation, while songwriter Justin Rutledge will compose original music for the production.

Also on the main stage, Jocelyn will direct the long-awaited Toronto premiere of Canadian-American playwright Melissa James Gibson's "un-romantic comedy" This; Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shetcher will visit with his dance work Political Mother; and Canadian choreographer Marie Chouinard will be back with a new piece called The Golden Mean (Live).

The Company Theatre once again returns to Canadian Stage's Berkeley Street Theatre with a thriller called Speaking in Tongues by Andrew Bovell, the Australian writer behind last summer's Shaw Festival sensation When the Rain Stops Falling. Philip Riccio directs.

Also at the Berkeley, Calgary's acclaimed troupe the Old Trout Puppet Workshop will bring their latest, Ignorance, described as "a documentary about the evolution of happiness."

Director Chris Abraham's company Crow's Theatre will also pay a visit with a new play by I, Claudia creator Kristen Thomson called Someone Else.

And finally, after a year off, Canadian Stage's international festival will return with Spotlight on Japan, a showcase that will include performances from hip-hop dancer Hiroaki Umeda, the Android Robot Theatre, playwright Toshiki Okada and the "grande dame of butoh dance," Carlotta Ikeda.

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As previously announced, Canadian Stage's 25th anniversary season will officially kick off with Richard Rose directing A Midsummer Night's Dream in High Park this summer.

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Theatre critic

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

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