2020/21 Season

Studio 180 READS

In our 2016/17 season, we launched Studio 180 READS – a program that invites you to attend readings of plays that we are considering for production.

We look forward to hearing your feedback about the plays that intrigue us, and we welcome the chance to see more of you over the coming season.

Contractions The Chinese Lady The Niceties 

Please be advised that Studio 180 productions are intended for mature audiences and frequently tackle challenging subject matter. If you have concerns about specific content in any of our presentations, please contact jessica@studio180theatre.com.

Photo Right: Karl Ang and Elena Juatco read The Chinese Lady by Lloyd Suh.
Photo by Bryn Kennedy.



BY Eleanor Burgess

A Digital Presentation

Our March 180 READS presentation of The Niceties has been postponed to our 2021/22 Season. We are excited to continue our collaboration with playwright Eleanor Burgess and share this timely and provocative play with our audiences soon. 

Zoe, a Black student at a liberal arts college, is called into her white professor’s office to discuss her paper about slavery’s effect on the American Revolution. What begins as a clash in perspectives explodes into an urgent debate about race, history, and power.

Past Events

January 22, 2021 at 7:30 PM

BY Lloyd Suh
DIRECTED BY Marjorie Chan
FEATURING Mayko Nguyen & John Ng
In partnership with fu-GEN Theatre

A Digital Presentation 

Afong Moy is fourteen years old when she’s brought to the United States from Guangzhou Province in 1834. Allegedly the first Chinese woman to set foot on U.S. soil, she has been put on display for the American public as “The Chinese Lady.” As the decades wear on, her celebrated sideshow comes to define and challenge her very sense of identity. Inspired by the true story of Afong Moy’s life, it is a dark, poetic, yet whimsical portrait of America through the eyes of a young Chinese woman.

PLUS! After the reading, join fu-GEN Theatre Artistic Director, David Yee, in conversation with award-winning playwright Lloyd Suh! Space is limited, first come, first served.

Meet the Team of The Chinese Lady

Marjorie Chan is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist, based in Toronto, and currently the artistic director of Theatre Passe Muraille. Most recently, she directed a remount of her debut play China Doll at the Gateway Theatre, in Richmond, BC. Other directing credits include: John & Waleed and Ultrasound (Cahoots/TPM), The Enchanted Loom (Cahoots/Factory), Late (Obsidian Theatre), I Call Myself Princess (Paper Canoe/Cahoots/Native Earth), Frankenstein’s Boy (Eldritch Theatre), Knives In Hens and A Doll’s House (Theatre du Pif, Hong Kong). She also assistant directed Maria Stuarda (Pacific Opera Victoria), A Synonym for Love (Volcano Theatre) and Pirate Widow Cheng (Puppetmongers).

Afong Moy
Mayko Nguyen is a Toronto based actor presently living in St. John’s Newfoundland where she is shooting the third season of the CityTV series Hudson & Rex. Theatre credits include Beautiful Man, Salt-Water Moon (Factory Theatre – Dora Nomination, Best Actress); The Unending (Convergence Theatre); Passion Play (Outside the March/Convergence Theatre/Sheep No Wool – Dora Nomination, Best Ensemble); carried away on the crest of a wave (Tarragon Theatre), Offensive Fouls (Roseneath Theatre), among others.


John is a first generation, Hong Kong-born Chinese-Canadian actor/playwright of Taishanese ancestry. He received his theatrical training at the University of Ottawa, in the city where he first landed and still resides. As a performer, he has worked with various companies across the country, including the NAC, GCTC, Factory, Tarragon, Passe Muraille, Modern Times, fu-Gen, Native Earth, YPT, Cahoots, Electric Company, Nightwood, Royal MTC, Vertigo, Gateway, and VACT. John can also be spotted in a recurring role as Mr. Chin in the CBC TV series Kim’s Convenience.

October 2020

BY Mike Bartlett
FEATURING Virgilia Griffith & Ordena Stephens-Thompson
VIDEO EDITING BY Matthew Takatsch

Emma’s been seeing her coworker Darren. She thinks she’s in love. Her boss thinks she’s in breach of contract. In a series of cordial but increasingly tense conversations, the two dissect the differences between “sexual” and “romantic,” negotiate the length of Emma’s interoffice relationship, and face the consequences of shrinking privacy and binding contracts.

“A totally riveting, thought provoking piece of art, digital theatre, film…whatever! It was all really inventive … Kudos to Sabryn for the direction and of course to the performers.” 

– Audience Member Feedback

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Meet the Team of Contractions

Sabryn is an actor, singer, arts educator and budding director originally from Regina, Saskatchewan. She directed the site specific production of Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman at The Summerworks Festival that took place on a city bus, has directed youth in Musical Stage Company’s One Song Glory as well as abridged versions of The Tempest & As you Like It for Shakespeare in Action. She also has assisted on several productions including Intimate Apparel (Obsidian), The Wizard of Oz (YPT) and most recently Next to Normal (MSC/Mirvish). Earlier this year she staged and directed the Banks Prize Cabaret for the Musical Stage Company. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, The Birmingham Conservatory at Stratford and the Canadian Film Centre’s Actors’ Conservatory.

Virgilia is a Toronto based theatre artist.  Winner of the Meta Emerging Artist Award for Gas Girls. Winner of the Dora Mavor Moore awards for Outstanding Performance for Harlem Duet. She was also a Dora Mavor Moore nominee for Outstanding Female in the Independent Division for her performance of Honesty directed by Jordan Tannahill and a Dora nomination for Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land) (Saga Collectif).  Selected credits include: Guarded Girls (Tarragon Theatre/Greenlight Arts), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Soulpepper Theatre), The Wedding Party (Crow’s Theatre), Other Side of the Game (Cahoots/Obsidian Theatre),  Da Kink In My Hair (Theatre Calgary/ NAC), How We Are (Mikaela Davies and Polly Phokeev Productions), Up The Garden Path (Obsidian Theatre Company).

Ordena’s most recent theatre credits include,
Fences (Grand Theatre), Harlem Duet (Tarragon Theatre), Risky Phil (YPT), Other Side of the Game (Cahoots/Obsidian Theatre), For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf (Soulpepper Theatre), How Black Mothers Say I Love You (Factory Theatre). Selected television and film credits include: Umbrella Academy, The Handmaid’s Tale, Designated Survivor, da kink in my hair, Rookie Blue, Committed and The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe. Ordena is grateful for the opportunity to continue to pursue her passion and for the continued support of her loving family.

Video Editor
Matthew is a video editor from Toronto, Canada. A graduate from Humber College in Film and Television Production, Matt specializes in picture editing, sound editing, mixing, and directing. Films include Oscar (Award of Excellence at the One Reeler Film Festival; Official Selection at Toronto Indie Horror Fest, Toronto Independent Film Festival & Blood In The Snow Canadian Film Festival), All It Gives (Semi-Finalist for Best International Documentary at the Story International Student Documentary Festival; Official Selection at Festival of Recorded Movement, Fuselage Dance Film Festival & Seattle Hip Hop Film Festival) and Hot Cup Of Garbage (Winner of the Canada International Film Festival Best Documentary Short; Official Selection Toronto Independent Film Festival). Learn more about his work at matthewtakatsch.com.

MARCH 2020

BY Mark Ravenhill
DIRECTED BY RBC Emerging Director Rebecca Gibian
FEATURING Anthony Bekenn, Sharry Flett and Amelia Sargisson

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre  12 Alexander Street, Toronto

 After 45 years as a dedicated teacher, Edward is looking forward to the imminent celebration to mark his retirement. But his home is under siege. A mob of angry students have gathered. A brick has been thrown through the window, he and his wife haven’t left the house for six days, and now his estranged daughter has arrived with her own questions. Mark Ravenhill’s taut domestic drama explores power, control, identity and gender as well as considering the major failure of the echo-chamber of liberalism.


BY Jonathan Spector
DIRECTED BY RBC Emerging Director Sabryn Rock
FEATURING Deb Drakeford, Jeff Irving, Elena Juatco, Rick Roberts &
Sophia Walker

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre  12 Alexander Street, Toronto

At Eureka Day School, all decisions are made by consensus, diversity of opinion is valued, and vaccinations are a personal matter. When a mumps outbreak hits the school, it turns out that not everyone in the community has the same definition of social justice. Now the board of directors must confront the central question of our time: how do you find consensus when you can’t agree on the facts?

JUNE 2019

BY Lloyd Suh
DIRECTED BY RBC Emerging Director Kerry Ann Doherty
FEATURING Elena Juatco and Karl Ang

Tarragon Theatre Workspace  30 Bridgeman Avenue, Toronto

In 1834, Afong Moy is brought to the United States from Beijing and put on display for the American public as the “Chinese Lady.” Over the next 45 years, she performs in a side show that both defines and challenges her own view of herself. Inspired by the true story of America’s first female Chinese immigrant, playwright Lloyd Suh spins a tale of dark poetic whimsy in this piercing  portrait of America as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman.

Studio 180 READS 'If I Forget', May 2018, photo by Byron Abalos.

MAY 2018

BY Steven Levenson
DIRECTED BY RBC Emerging Director Sarah Orenstein
FEATURING Jessica Greenberg, Thomas Hauff, Niki Landau, Mark McGrinder, Noah Spitzer, Nicole Underhay and Richard Waugh

University Club of Toronto  380 University Ave, Toronto

In the final months before 9/11, the Fischer siblings reunite for their father’s 75th birthday. As destructive secrets and long-held resentments bubble to the surface, the three negotiate—with biting humor and razor-sharp insight—how much of the past they’re willing to sacrifice for a chance at a new beginning. From the bookwriter of Dear Evan Hansen, If I Forget tells a powerful tale of a Jewish family wrestling with questions of personal and cultural identity.

Sabryn Rock and Allegra Fulton. Photo by Annie MacKay.OCTOBER 2017

BY Lucy Prebble
DIRECTED BY Mark McGrinder
FEATURING Allegra Fulton, Jeff Lillico, Sabryn Rock & Sanjay Talwar

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Cabaret Space  12 Alexander Street, Toronto

The Effect is a clinical romance. Two young volunteers, Tristan and Connie, agree to take part in a clinical drug trial. Succumbing to the gravitational pull of attraction and love, however, Tristan and Connie manage to throw the trial off-course, much to the frustration of the clinicians involved. This funny, moving and perhaps surprisingly human play explores questions of sanity, neurology and the limits of medicine, alongside ideas of fate, loyalty and the inevitability of physical attraction.

Studio 180 READS, October 2016: Nancy Palk, Patrick Galligan, Michael Healey, Jessica Greenberg, and Marcel Stewart
Studio 180 READS, October 2016: Nancy Palk, Patrick Galligan, Michael Healey, Jessica Greenberg, and Marcel Stewart


BY Lucas Hnath
DIRECTED BY Mark McGrinder
FEATURING Patrick Galligan, Jessica Greenberg, Michael Healey, Nancy Palk & Marcel Stewart

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Cabaret Space  12 Alexander Street, Toronto

Twenty years ago, Pastor Paul’s church was nothing more than a modest storefront. Now he presides over a congregation of thousands, with classrooms for Sunday School, a coffee shop in the lobby, and a baptismal font as big as a swimming pool. Today should be a day of celebration. But Paul is about to preach a sermon that will shake the foundations of his church’s belief. A big-little play about faith – and the trouble with changing your mind.

Sponsored in Memory of James Wark