Soulpepper on 42nd Street is Soulpepper's US debut - a Festival of 12 Canadian productions, including original concerts. From July 1-29, the company is programming the entire Pershing Square Signature Center on 42nd St in New York, just off-Broadway.
Onstage Blog Canadian Contributor Damon Jang had a chance to attend Opening Night on Canada 150 on July 1st during his vacation in New York. Here are some facts about Soulpepper and the festival.
WHO Is Soulpepper?
Soulpepper Theatre A National Civic Theatre is a place of belonging for artists, audiences, and aspirants. We believe such an institution must deliver cultural enrichment, organizational innovation, and civic engagement, and it must have the capacity to train theatre artists from the ground up
Located in its multi-venue home the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto's Distillery Historic District, Soulpepper is Toronto’s largest not-for-profit theatre company. Founded and guided by artists, under the leadership of Artistic Director Albert Schultz and Executive Director Leslie Lester, Soulpepper has an integrated mission which includes: industry-leading youth outreach initiatives; the Soulpepper Academy, Canada's only multi-year paid professional training program for theatre artists of all disciplines; and a year-round diverse repertory season which is grounded in the classics and committed to the creation of new works, new forms and innovative practices.
WHERE They CAME FROM
In 1998, Soulpepper debuted a two-production summer season, with the twelve founding artists undertaking all operations, including fundraising. The company's ensemble approach to artistic rigor garnered an enthusiastic response from audiences, artists and critics alike. With a focus on youth outreach and artist-training, Soulpepper's activities grew year-over-year to fill a vital need in Canada's largest theatre market. In 2005, Soulpepper completed a $15 million capital campaign and migrated from Harbourfront to its new home in the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. With the support of generous donors and partners, Soulpepper now operates year-round, with an annual budget of $12 million. This success story is unrivaled in the history of Canadian theatre.
HOW They FIT IN
Soulpepper is proud to be North America's only year-round repertory company. We are also one of the most active commissioning bodies in Canada, developing new original work, devised creations, and vital Canadian translations and adaptations. Entrepreneurial in spirit, Soulpepper's unique business model allows the company to respond to opportunities and as a result, Soulpepper is singularly the most successful addition to the national theatre landscape in the last quarter-century.
STATEMENT OF SUPPORT
The artists and staff of Soulpepper and the Young Centre for the Performing Arts acknowledge the original caretakers and storytellers of this land - the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe, and the Huron-Wyndat First Nations. We commit to honouring and celebrating their past, present, and future.
Soulpepper believes all people have a right to express their individuality, to experience creative freedom, to feel safe at all times, and to be treated with dignity and respect.
The festival programming includes home-grown hits like Kim's Convenience, Spoon River, Of Human Bondage, CRASH, Alligator Pie and more. We're taking over 65 artists, plus support staff (while also programming a full summer season in Toronto).
If you're in New York this June, make sure you check out this Canadian company's Off Broadway takeover!
Visit Soulpepper.org for more details.
See NY Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/theater/soulpepper-theater.html
And videos including our Festival trailer can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/soulpeppertheatre/videos
for Media Inquiries contact: Katie.Saunoris@soulpepper.ca
Photo: 'Kim's Convenience' Credit: : Cylla von Tiedemann