Offensive Shadows

07 08 Season

Offensive Shadows Poster

By Paul Dunn
Directed by Michael Shamata

Presented in the SummerWorks Festival

August 2–12, 2007

Tarragon Theatre Extraspace

A critical and popular smash (it won the NOW Magazine Audience Choice Award), Paul Dunn’s sexy and darkly comic contemporary sequel to A Midsummer Night’s Dream explores what happens when Demetrius, Helena, Hermia and Lysander finally wake up.

Artfully blending the romantic heart of Shakespeare’s classic with a modern sensibility, Dunn (High-Gravel-Blind for the Stratford Festival and BOYS for Theatre Direct Canada) uses an edgy mix of humour and pathos to explore an uncertain future, where magic can’t always save the day.

Featuring a critically acclaimed cast, and expertly directed by Michael Shamata, Offensive Shadows delighted Shakespeare novices and aficionados alike. NOW Magazine’s SummerWorks 2007 wrap-up listed Offensive Shadows among the Outstanding New Plays, Productions and Ensembles of the festival.

Winner of the SummerWorks 2007 NOW Magazine Audience Choice Award

Written by Paul Dunn
Directed by Michael Shamata
Featuring Jessica Greenberg, Mark McGrinder, Jason Mitchell, and Kimwun Perehinec
Stage Managed by Michael Haltrecht
Lighting Designed by Michael Walton
Fight Choreographed by Joel Harris


Paul Dunn

Paul Dunn


Paul’s plays include Offensive Shadows (winner of the NOW Magazine Audience Choice Award at the Toronto SummerWorks Festival 2007), High-–Gravel-–Blind (which opened the Stratford Festival’s Studio Theatre in 2002 and was recorded for CBC Radio), and BOYS (a one-man show which he performed as part of the Buncha Young Artists Festival at Theatre Direct in 2001). His work has been published in the anthologies “5 Hot Plays,”, “Acting Out”, and “Gay Monologues and Scenes” (Playwrights Canada Press) and in “Canadian Theatre Review.”. He is a member of the 2008 Tarragon Theatre’s Playwrights Unit and a guest instructor at the National Theatre School of Canada. As an actor, he has performed at the Stratford Festival, the National Arts Centre, The Canadian Stage Company, Tarragon Theatre, Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Citadel Theatre and Theatre New Brunswick. Paul is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

Michael Shamata

Michael Shamata


For Studio 180: debut. Michael Shamata is the Artistic Director of Victoria’s Belfry Theatre. His past Artistic Director posts have included the Grand Theatre in London, and Theatre New Brunswick. Michael has directed at most of the major theatres across the country, including the Vancouver Playhouse, Theatre Calgary, The Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, the Manitoba Theatre Centre, Soulpepper, Canadian Stage and the Stratford Festival. His productions have received numerous awards, including a Jessie Award in Vancouver for Outstanding Production (Fiddler on the Roof), a Capital City Critics’ Award in Ottawa for Outstanding Production (Kilt), and a Dora Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical (A Little Night Music). A three-time Jessie Award nominee for Outstanding Director, he is also a writer, having been produced in many theatres across Canada, including the Neptune Theatre in Halifax, Young People’s Theatre in Toronto, and the Globe Theatre in Regina, plus Seattle Children’s Theatre, and, upcoming, the East-West Theatre in Shanghai.

Jessica Greenberg

Jessica Greenberg


For Studio 180: The Passion of the Chris. Jessica (she/her) is Studio 180’s Director of Youth and Community Engagement, a co-creator of the IN CLASS program, and a core member of the company since 2004. She is a Dora-nominated actor and a leader in drama education with a passion for promoting youth empowerment and building community through theatre. As an actor she has performed on stages across Canada and the US, including Studio 180, Canadian Stage, Crow’s Theatre, Mirvish Productions, Project: Humanity, Magnus Theatre, YPT, The Citadel, MTYP, Passe Muraille, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Theatre New Brunswick, Willow Cabin Theatre and Theatreworks/USA. She has appeared on The Handmaid’s Tale, Murdoch Mysteries and Being Erica as well as the animated series Fish ‘n Chips. At Studio 180 Jessica oversees all education and Beyond the Stage programming including the creation of study guide resources and the curation of lobby exhibits, chats, panels, talkbacks and other special events. She worked as Education Coordinator for ARCfest: Toronto’s Human Rights Arts Festival, and is the Director of Child Engagement for the Child-ish Collective. She holds an Honours BA in political science and women’s studies from McGill University and completed her classical acting training at Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York and as an apprentice at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in Kentucky.

Mark McGrinder

Mark McGrinder


For Studio 180: The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, The Passion of the Chris The Laramie Project. Mark is the Artistic Director of Studio 180 Theatre. His Studio 180 performing credits include Oslo, The Nether, You Will Remember Me, Clybourne Park and Stuff Happens. He has been a director and/or dramaturg(e) for many of Studio 180’s IN DEVELOPMENT projects and, as the program’s coordinator, has worked to connect creators with the appropriate collaborators required to bring their visions to the stage. He adapted and directed Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish for PANAMANIA, directed Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays and worked as Associate Director for Blackbird, God of Carnage and Studio 180’s 10th Anniversary reading of The Laramie Project. Mark was a member of the acting ensemble at the Shaw Festival for five seasons and he performed in several reviews with The Second City’s National touring company. He has been head or co-writer on several collective creations (Single and Sexy, That Artz Show and The Berlin Show) and his play MacHamlet was presented as part of the Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival. As an artist educator he has worked with high school, college and university students in and beyond the GTA and is continually inspired by the passion and vision of the young artists he has had the good fortune to connect with.

Jason Mitchell

Jason Mitchell


For Studio 180: debut. Originally from British Columbia, Jason is an actor and writer who now makes his home in Toronto. Selected theatre credits include ‘Mr. Lawson’ in Not Now Darling at the Drayton Festival Theatre and King’s Wharf Theatre; ‘Theseus’ in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Festival of Classics in Oakville; and three seasons at the Stratford Festival, where favourites included ‘Charles the Dauphin’ in Henry VI Part 1, ‘King Louis XI’ in Henry VI Part 2 and ‘Menno Miller’ in Quiet in the Land, as well as roles in The Birds, Two Noble Kinsmen, Henry V, Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice. He was also a member of the 2000  Stratford Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training. Other credits include A  Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, and All’s Well That Ends Well (Bard on the Beach), Two Ships Passing (Western Canada Theatre), and Rumours of Our Death (Epicentre Theatre). Jason holds a BFA with distinction in Theatre from the University of  Victoria.


Kimwun Perehinec


For Studio 180: The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, The Passion of the ChrisThe Laramie Project. Kimwun is a co-founder, artist educator and member of the Core Artistic Team for Studio 180. Other selected credits include Frankenstein’s BoyMadhouse VariationsSideshow of the Damned (Eldritch Theatre); Chasing Margaret Flatwood (Theatre Awakening); Like Wolves (GCTC); Wrecked (Roseneath Theatre); This Is About the Push (Seventh Stage); Mourning Dove (Ark Collective); Vanities (Theatre in Port); Spain (Absit Omen); Phae (Collective Architecture); High-Gravel-BlindShadowsWalk Right Up (Stratford Festival). Film and TV credits include recurring roles on the TMN series The Line and the web series B.J. Fletcher: Private Eye; and Puppets Who KillNikita and Thieves. Kimwun has been nominated for two Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Ensemble) and is a graduate of the actor training program at George Brown College.

Michael Haltrecht

Michael Haltrecht

Stage Manager

For Studio 180: The Laramie Project (2004). Michael’s recent theatre credits include Offensive Shadows (Summerworks/O7), Welcome to Eden: Population 2 (Toronto Fringe/06, SM); Hair (CanStageCanadian Stage Company, Apprentice SM); Storm Warning (Out of the Norm, SM); Gypsy, Journey’s End, and Pasque Flower (Shaw Festival, Apprentice SM); The Laramie Project (Studio 180, SM); Unbecoming (SummerWorks, SM); La Fille du Regiment, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Otello (Opera Ontario, Apprentice SM). Michael has worked for the Toronto, Dubai, Sundance, and HotDocs Film Festivals and develops Stage Management computer software. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo Michael (Psychology and Drama).

Michael Walton

Michael Walton

Lighting Designer

For Studio 180: debut. Michael Walton is a lighting designer currently based in Stratford, Ontario. Michael’s design work is heavily inspired by the unseen. What is the imagined world in the theatre trying to convey? How does light enhance, excite and support the event? “Event” can be translated into many forms including plays, musical scores, librettos, products, songs, or presentations. The function is the same and what is important is that the audience feels the message. Michael’s draws inspiration from many of the elements that surround us. The reflected light off a pond, the smell of freshly cut grass, the sound of fingers on a fret board, or the feel of a cool breeze on a sun burn. Each has the power to inform and inspire imagery and atmosphere. Many artist inspirations include Newfoundland painter Christopher Pratt and his use of simple lines and restrained colour, Pink Floyd’s multi layered sound and provocative poetry, and architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his focus on simplicity, strength and rhythm. Michael was born in Winnipeg, MB and moved to Toronto in 2005 and then to Stratford in 2009. He lives with his wife Tara and their dogs Murphy and Oscar.

Joel Harris

Joel Harris

Fight Director

For Studio 180: debut. Joel is a University of Waterloo graduate who has worked for the past ten years as a fight choreographer and professional stuntman. He has worked in such theatres as The Stratford Festival, The Shaw Festival, Guthrie Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Tarragon, YPT, Factory Theatre, Opera Ontario and the Canadian Opera Company. Film and Television credits include Bulletproof Monk, The Recruit, Crime Spree, Against the Ropes, Resident Evil, Mutant X, Tarzan, Dawn of the Dead, The Red Green Show and Incredible Hulk.


View photos from our 2008 production of Offensive Shadows here.


Performance and direction are pitch-perfect.

National Post

The cast is terrific, turning from comedy to heartbreak in a convincing moment.

CBC Radio

Highly recommended… a clever, imaginative romp that is augmented by a particularly likeable and capable cast.

Toronto Star

The show’s a winner, both in its writing and its performance.

NOW Magazine NNNN

Paul Dunn’s witty script is engaging and emotionally satisfying.

Paul Dunn’s bleak, wildly funny little comedy sports an articulate understanding of the original Shakespearean characters as he transplants them into a contemporary milieu ripe with camping gear, bonfires and bikinis… Beautifully played with comic finesse and great physical agility…. Michael Shamata’s direction is fast-paced and physically thrilling.

Xtra Magazine

A delightful romp in two acts, under the direction of Michael Shamata, who quite wisely keeps things simple… focusing his and our attention on the expert performers at the heart of his tale.

Toronto Sun