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Theatre Kingston

Company in Kingston, Ontario, founded in 1990 as Theatre Beyond by Paul Gelineau. It became the People's Theatre Kingston in 1992 (artistic directors included Kathryn MacKay and Kathleen LeRoux). In 1997 Craig Walker was appointed artistic director, and the company took its present name. It moved into the Baby Grand Studio where it began offering a full season of three or more productions. Walker was Artistic Director from 1997 to 2007, followed by Kim Renders (2008-2011), and Brett Christopher (2012-2016). The current AD is Rosemary Doyle.

Theatre Kingston is known for the quality and innovative nature of its productions. These include two co-productions with the local French theatre group, Les Treteaux de Kingston, of bilingual plays: David Fennario's Balconville and Marianne Ackerman's L'Affaire Tartuffe; productions of Ann-Marie MacDonald's The Arab's Mouth and Judith Thompson's Perfect Pie.

Theatre Kingston also takes original approaches to more familiar plays, such as Thompson's Lion in the Streets, presented in the round on a sand-floor in a setting which resembled a cross between a public park and a bullring. Its production of Henry James' ghost story, The Turn of the Screw took place in a long dark hallway with the two performers isolated by spots of light. Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion was set as if in the playwright's own study, Shaw himself narrating, dressing the stage, playing the minor characters and filling out the story with short scenes drawn from his own screenplay.

The company has also presented several world premieres, including the collective creation Princess Street: The Great Divide; Fred Euringer's Night Noises; Craig Walker's Finnegans Wake: a dream play; and Kim Renders' Talking of Michelangelo (2009).

To celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2016/17, Theatre Kingston mounted Almighty Voice and His Wife by Daniel David Moses (dir. Lib Spry); Concord Floral by Jordan Tannahill (dir. Gregory Wanless) in collaboration with the Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen's University in the Isobel Theatre Centre for the Performing Arts; and Armstrong's War by Colleen Murphy (dir. Craig Walker). In 2021, Theatre Kingston celebrated its thirtieth anniversary and the reopening of the theatre during the Covid-19 pandemic with the premiere of The Sylvia Effect by Peter Hinton, based on the poems of Sylvia Plath.

Theatre Kingston maintains a community outreach program which has included classes for adults and children, and workshops in the local schools and prisons. Recently, the Company has joined with Queen's University to produce an annual summer project: the Young People's Theatre Festival.

Website: www.theatrekingston.com

Last updated 2021-12-08