Artistic Director Ken Gass to Open Canadian Rep Theatre

Artistic Director Ken Gass
Ken Gass
Artistic Director Ken Gass
Ken Gass

Former Factory Theatre Artistic Director Ken Gass has announced he will establish the Canadian Rep Theatre in 2013 and early 2014 with new works by Canadian playwrights including Metaphor by George F. Walker, Watching Glory Die by Judith Thompson and Pacamambo by Wajdi Mouawad.

Gass states, “Canadian Rep Theatre has been a dream of mine for the past four decades, with the long-term goal of building a major repertory company predicated on both classical and innovative approaches to the contemporary Canadian canon.”

Gass was fired by Factory Theatre in 2012 as a result of a conflict over his plans to renovate the theatre. In response, high profile playwrights Walker and Thompson pulled their plays from Factory Theatre’s programme. Many of Canada’s artistic community including Atom Egoyan, Martha Henry, Gordon Pinsent, R.H. Thomson and Fiona Reid vowed to boycott working at Factory Theatre as a result of the Gass’s dismissal. Gass founded Factory Theatre in 1970.

In April/May 2013, Ken Gass will direct the English-language premiere of Wajdi Mouawad’s Pacamambo at Canadian Rep Theatre. The play, which is translated by Shelley Tepperman, and features a multi-racial cast, focuses on the story of a girl who disappears for 19 days and is found in the basement with her dog and the decomposing body of her grandmother.

Canadian Rep Theatre will produce the Canadian premiere of George F. Walker’s Dead Metaphor in the fall of 2013 after the play’s debut at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre. Dead Metaphor is the story of an Afghanistan war veteran who returns to face unemployment and a pending divorce.

In April/May, 2014, Judith Thompson’s Watching Glory Die, a fictional depiction of troubled young women in our prison system, will make its world premiere at Canadian Rep Theatre. Watching Glory Die will be performed by Judith Thompson and directed by Ken Gass.

Ken Gass founded Factory Theatre in 1970, then left to create Canadian Rep Theatre. Gass returned to help ressussitate Factory Theatre in 1996. Gass explains, “It had always been my intention to segue back to Canadian Rep Theatre over the next few years.  Given my sudden and unexpected departure from Factory this summer, I now see a golden opportunity to fast-track that ambition…key to this work will be creating a strong resident company of artists committed to risk and to continual renewed training and experimentation, and who, as an ensemble, reflect the face of our richly diverse country.”

In January, 2013, Canadian Rep Theatre will stage public readings of Canadian plays with a resident ensemble cast and will offer educational workshops and master classes.