Our Class

10 11 Season

Our Class Poster

By Tadeusz Slobodzianek
English version by Ryan Craig
Directed by Joel Greenberg

In association with Canadian Stage

April 4–30, 2011

Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs

In 1925 Poland, a group of Jewish and Catholic schoolchildren declare their ambitions: to be a fireman, a film star, a doctor. As the children grow up their country is torn apart by invading armies, and internal grievances deepen as fervent nationalism develops. The tension escalates into violence as these ordinary people carry out an extraordinary and monstrous act.

Our Class explores the events leading up to a dark moment in history and follows the fortunes of ten one-time classmates from one century into the next. This haunting play is a courageous examination of loyalty and treason, individual bravery and collective cowardice and the actions that ripped apart a small community during the Second World War.

In October 2010, Our Class won the 2010 NIKE Award, Poland’s top literary prize – the first time the prestigious award has gone to a play. The premiere production ran in its English version from September 2009 to January 2010 at London’s National Theatre in the UK. The play had its Polish premiere at the ‘Na Woli’ Theatre in Warsaw, in October 2010.

Our Class was listed among the theatrical highlights of 2011 by the National Post, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and Theatromania.ca, and as one of the top 10 productions of the year (alongside The Normal Heart) by Lynn Slotkin of The Slotkin Letter/CIUT 89.5 FM.

North American Premiere

Dora Award Nomination: Outstanding Performance, Ensemble

Listed amongst the top highlighted performances of the year by National Post, Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Slotkin Letter/CIUT 89.5 FM & Theatromania.ca.

Written by Tadeusz Slobodzianek
English Version by Ryan Craig
Directed by Joel Greenberg
Featuring David Beazely, Jonathan Goad, Jessica Greenberg, Ryan Hollyman, Mark McGrinder, Kimwun Perehinec, Alex Poch-Goldin, Dylan Roberts, Michael Rubenfeld, and Amy Rutherford
Stage Managed by Robert Harding
Assistant Stage Managed by Liz Campbell
Set and Costume Designed by John Thompson
Lighting Designed by Kimberly Purtell
Sound Designed by Michael Laird
Musical Directed by Lily Ling
Production Managed by Derek Bruce and Nathaniel Kennedy
Head of Wardrobe by Michelle Bailey
Original Score by Sophie Solomon
Movement by Trevor Copp

Proves, with unsensational dignity, [that] you can never bury the truth.

Guardian UK

Company

Tadeusz Slobodzianek

Playwright

Tadeusz Slobodzianek is one of Poland’s most important dramatists. A prolific and internationally recognized playwright and director, he is also Poland’s most important educator and developer of new playwrights. He is the Head and Artistic Director of the Gustaw Holoubek Drama Theatre in Warsaw.


Ryan Craig

Ryan Craig

English Translation

Ryan Craig is Writer-in-Residence at the National Theatre Studio. He has written for television, film, radio and Theatre. In 2005 he received a Most Promising Playwright Nomination at the evening Standard Awards in 2005 for his play What We Did to Weinstein (Menier Chocolate Factory). Other plays include the Holy Rosenbergs and the English version of Tadeusz Slobodzianek’s Our Class (National Theatre); the Glass Room (Hampstead); Broken Road (edinburgh. Fringe First Award); Happy Savages (Lyric Studio/Underbelly); and a translation of Portugal (National Theatre). Television work includes the ChAnnel 4 Drama documentary Saddam’s Tribe, and episodes of Robin Hood, Hustle, and Waterloo Road (BBC). In 2005 he was Writer-in-Residence at BBC Radio Drama and his radio plays include English in Afghanistan, the Lysistrata Project, Hold My Breath, Portugal, the Great Pursuit, and Looking For Danny.


Joel Greenberg

Joel Greenberg

Director

For Studio 180: Parade, The Overwhelming, Stuff Happens, Blackbird, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, The Passion of the Chris & The Laramie Project. A co-founder of Studio 180, Joel is a Chalmers and Dora award–winning playwright and director who has directed productions across Canada. Elsewhere: Ain’t Misbevain‘, What the Butler Saw, Taking Sides, Vanities, Bells Are Ringing, Second City (Toronto and Chicago), Dames at Sea (too many times), Tonight at 8:00…8:30 in Newfoundland (all three editions), The Foreigner, Alice, Drink the Mercury and The Nuclear Power Play. Joel taught at Humber College Theatre School from 1984 to 1989 and the Drama Department at the University of Waterloo from 1991 to 2014, also serving as the Chair of each department.


David Beazely

David Beazely

Jakub Katz

For Studio 180: debut. Credits include The Story (Caravan Farm Theatre); East of Berlin (ATP – Betty Mitchell Nomination); Rage (Green Thumb Theatre/PuSH Festival/SPARK Festival Belfry Theatre – Jessie Richardson Nomination); Hippies and Bolsheviks, Picking Up Chekov (ATP playRites Festival); As You Like It, Love’s Labour’s Lost (Bard on the Beach); Bonehouse, The Stone Boy, Pink Sugar (Solo Collective); Cost of Living (Jessie Richardson Award), New Canadian Kid, Peacemaker, Clean (Green Thumb Theatre). Film: Eighteen (Leo Award Nomination). Originally from Saskatchewan, David is a Graduate of Mount Royal College and Studio 58.


Jonathan Goad

Zygmunt

For Studio 180: The Laramie Project. Jonathan spent fifteen years with the Stratford Festival: Henry VIII, To Kill a Mockingbird, Hamlet, The Alchemist, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Pentecost, Phèdre, The Music Man, King John, Pericles, Orpheus Descending, Henry Iv, Henry VI, Fiddler of the Roof, As You Like It, Fuente Ovejuna, Julius Caesar, The Two Noble Kinsmen, Bartholomew Fair, The Brothers Karamazov. Elsewhere: A Whistle in the Dark, Speaking in Tongues, (Company Theatre); Our Class, the Laramie Project (Studio 180); King Lear (Soulpepper); Arcadia (Theatre Junction). Directing: The Crucible by Arthur Miller (Stratford festival); John by Annie Baker (Company Theatre). Film/TV: Reign, Alias Grace, Dark Matter, Dorsal, Nikita, Republic of Doyle, Heartland, Murdoch Mysteries, Unnatural History, Othello, Rookie Blue. Training: NTS, Birmingham Conservatory, University of Waterloo, Banff Centre. Teaching: NTS, Fanshawe College


Jessica Greenberg

Rachelka/Marianna

For Studio 180: Parade, Blackbird, Offensive Shadows & The Passion of the Chris. Jessica (she/her) is an actor and artist educator who has worked on and off stage with Studio 180 since 2004. As an actor, she has appeared in our productions of Indecent, King Charles III, NSFW, Cock, Our Class, Parade, Blackbird, Offensive Shadows and The Passion of the Chris. As the Director of Youth and Community Engagement, Jessica creates our production study guides and lobby exhibits, runs our Studio 180 IN CLASS and Beyond The Stage programs, and contributes to Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT and AT HOME programming. She has acted on stages across Canada and the United States including Canadian Stage, Crow’s Theatre, 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. Jessica has more than 20 years of experience as a guest artist and educator with children and youth of all ages from preschool to post-secondary, was 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.


Ryan Hollyman

Ryan Hollyman

Rysiek

For Studio 180: debut. Other theatre includes The Mill parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 (theatrefront); Mojo (Red One); Fernando Krapp Wrote Me This Letter and The Overcoat (Canadian Stage – Dora Nomination for _Overcoat_); Someone Who’ll Watch over Me (Adeona); Lawrence and Holloman (Circus Shak – Dora Nomination); Scratch (Factory); A Good Idea in Theory, Sparta, The Rochdale Project (Theatre Passe Muraille); Glory Days (Theatre Aquarius); Blue/Orange (Les Masques Award), A Moon for the Misbegotten, The Winter’s Tale (Centaur); The Mousetrap (Segal); A Thought in Three Parts, Terminating (SummerWorks), Andromache (Necessary Angel), The Tempest (Theatre by the Bay). Recent TV: Republic of Doyle, Othello, Unlocked (CBC); King, The Dealership, Degrassi (Global); Flashpoint, The Robber Bride (CBS/CTV).


Mark McGrinder

Mark McGrinder

Wladek

For Studio 180: Parade, Stuff Happens, Offensive Shadows, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, The Passion of the Chris & The Laramie Project. For Studio 180: The Laramie Project, Stuff Happens, Our Class, Parade, Clybourne Park, You Will Remember Me and, most recently, The Nether. Mark is a member of Studio 180’s Core Artistic Team and co-ordinates the Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT program. He also adapted and directed Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish for the company and has assistant directed productions of Blackbird, God of Carnage and The Laramie Project 10th Anniversary reading. Mark was a member of the Shaw Festival’s acting ensemble for 5 seasons and performed in several reviews with The Second City’s National Touring Company. Film and television credits include; Spotlight, Remedy, Murdoch Mysteries and Mayday.


Perehinec

Kimwun Perehinec

Zocha

For Studio 180: Offensive Shadows, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, The Passion of the Chris & The 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.


Alex Poch-Goldin

Alex Poch-Goldin

Menachem

For Studio 180: debut. Alex is a Dora and Meta award-winning actor and has worked extensively in theatre, including Oslo (Mirvish/Studio 180), Disgraced, (Mirvish), The Dybbuk, Ma Rainey (Soulpepper) Angels In America, Harper Regan (Canadian Stage), Scorched (Tarragon), Bang Bang, Asher Lev (RMTC) and in film and television (Burden of Truth, Nurses, The Kennedy’s, Cardinal, Suits, Dark Matter, Private Eyes, The Calling). He is also an internationally produced playwright and librettist. He has developed projects for CBC, Bravo! and was a nominee for the Siminovitch Prize for playwriting. His play The Great Shadow will be produced this summer at 4th Line Theatre.


Dylan Roberts

Dylan Roberts

Heniek

For Studio 180:  As fight choreographer, The Overwhelming, Blackbird; As actor, The Laramie Project. Dylan’s recent credits include: Caliban in Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Resurgence Theatre); Srgt. Pissani in Accidental Death of an Anarchist (The Globe Theatre); and Teddy in Science Fiction (Factory Studio Theatre). Dylan is very excited to be joining the ranks of Video Caberet for their next production. Thanks as always to wife Shari, who makes him laugh so.


Michael Rubenfeld

Michael Rubenfeld

Abram

For Studio 180: debut. Michael is an actor, writer and director, originally from Winnipeg and now based in Toronto. In May of 2009, he proudly performed in The Book of Judith, which he co-created with Sarah Stanley under a tent at CAMH. Other acting credits include Talk (Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company), Yichud (Theatre Passe Muraille), Spain (The Bridge Theatre Company in New York), Tideline (Factory), The Comedy of Errors (Theatre by the Bay), Romeo and Juliet (ShakespeareWorks), The Trials of John Demjanjuk (Theatre Asylum) and The Diary of Anne Frank (Manitoba Theatre Centre). Film and TV credits include Lucky Number Slevin, Fever Pitch, The Recruit, Summer and Queer as Folk. Michael is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and was the Artistic Producer of the SummerWorks Theatre Festival.


Amy Rutherford

Amy Rutherford

Dora

For Studio 180: debut. Amy was classically trained at both The National Theatre School of Canada and at The Stratford Festival Conservatory. She has since worked in film and TV and with Canada’s leading directors and playwrights. She has been nominated for several Dora Mavor Moore Awards, one Calgary Critter and was named one of Toronto’s Top Ten Theatre Artists by Now Magazine. Amy has performed internationally; at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival, Rwanda Arts Azimut Festival, The Ricardo Montalban in Los Angeles and at New York’s PS122 theatre. Recent acting credits include: Snow White (Theatre Replacement); Infinity (Volcano Theatre/NAC/Tarragon); The Public Servant (Common Boots, Nightwood) Sherlock Holmes (Sidemart Theatrical Grocery) and As You Like it (Canadian Stage).


Robert Harding

Robert Harding

Stage Manager

For Studio 180: Parade, Stuff Happens & Blackbird. Credits elsewhere include Divisidero: A PerformanceThis Is What Happens Next (Necessary Angel); Side by Side by Sondheim (The Grand Theatre); “Master Harold”…and the boys (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Happy Days (Theatre Columbus); Another Home InvasionCommunionA Beautiful ViewHow It WorksPast Perfect (Tarragon Theatre); FestenMarion BridgeA Whistle in the Dark (Company Theatre); British Invasion!British Invasion 2: America Strikes Back! (Charlottetown Festival); Seussical (YPT); Carmela’s Table (Centaur Theatre); and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Resurgence Theatre).


Liz Campbell

Liz Campbell

Stage Managed by

For Studio 180: Parade, The Overwhelming & Stuff Happens
. Other credits include Wife Begins at FortyHotbed HotelNot Now DarlingThe Sensuous SenatorThe Odd Couple and The Long Weekend (Upper Canada Playhouse). As Apprentice Stage Manager, The 39 Steps (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Another Home InvasionThe Black RiderAlias Godot (Tarragon Theatre); Cash on DeliveryWrong for Each OtherPerfect WeddingOut of OrderThe Affections of MayWally’s CaféA Gift to Last (Upper Canada Playhouse); Suessical (SilverMist Productions); and Mambo Italiano (Bellweather Productions at The Sudbury Theatre Centre). As Company Manager, High School Musical 2 (SilverMist Productions at The Niagara Centre for the Arts).


John Thompson

Set and Costume Designer

For Studio 180: debut. Other theatre credits: Speaking in Tongues, The Test, Through the Leaves (Dora Award), Festen, A Whistle in the Dark, Marion Bridge (Company Theatre); Divisadero (Necessary Angel); The Retreat from Moscow, The Tempest, The Clean House, A Christmas Carol, Humble Boy, The Shape of Things (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre); Waiting for Godot, No Man’s Land, The Mill on the Floss, Betrayal, Twelfth Night, Don Carlos, The Misanthrope (Soulpepper); The Trials of Ezra Pound (Stratford Festival); The Pessimist, Care, Alice’s Affair, Helen’s Necklace, Russell Hill, Little Mercy’s First Murder, The Good Life, Skylight, Girl in the Goldfish Bowl, Earshot, The Road to Hell (Tarragon Theatre); Eternal Hydra (Crow’s Theatre – Dora Award); Caught, Unity (1918), Blood (Theatre Passe Muraille). John teaches design at the University of Toronto Drama Centre.


Kimberly Purtell

Kimberly Purtell

Lighting Designer

For Studio 180: Parade, The Overwhelming, Stuff Happens & Blackbird. Kimberly is a Toronto based lighting designer for theatre, opera and dance and is thrilled to be working with Studio 180 once again. Her designs have been critically acclaimed across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Prague, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Moscow and Mongolia. She has designed for the Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, Canadian Stage Company, Soulpepper Theatre, Mirvish Productions, National Arts Centre and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Philadelphia, Arena Stage in Washington DC, Tapestry Opera, Hamilton Opera, Edmonton Opera, Theatre Calgary, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Citadel Theatre, Place des Arts, among many others. She has also designed productions for the Pan Am Games and the Vancouver and Beijing Cultural Olympiads. Kimberly has received three Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the Pauline McGibbon Award, a Sterling Award, and a Montreal English Theatre Award. She is the Vice President of the Associated Designers of Canada and IATSE ADC659.


Michael Laird

Michael Laird

Sound Designer

For Studio 180: The Overwhelming, Stuff Happens, Blackbird & Offensive Shadows. Selected Sound Design credits: AnnieCinderellaA Year with Frog and ToadThe Princess and the HandmaidenYou’re a Good Man, Charlie BrownThe Wizard of Oz (YPT); Seussical (YPT/Citadel Theatre); Spamalot!Sound of MusicLittle Women (Citadel Theatre); Great ExpectationsBarber of Seville (Soulpepper); 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Legally Blonde (Neptune Theatre); Speaking in TonguesThrough the LeavesFestenMarion Bridge (Company Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage); A Synonym for Love (Volcano Theatre); Evil Dead: The Musical (Off B’way); and A Beautiful View (da da kamera).


Lily Ling

Lily Ling

Musical Director

For Studio 180: Parade. Credits elsewhere include One Touch of Venus and Intern Musical Director (Shaw Festival); Little Women (Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts); the Canadian premieres of High Fidelity, Jerry Springer: The Opera and Reefer Madness (Hart House Theatre); and Nine and Cabaret (UC Follies). Lily holds a Bachelor in Piano Performance from the University of Toronto.


Derek Bruce

Derek Bruce

Production Manager

For Studio 180:  As Associate Sound Designer, Stuff Happens
 (2009). Derek has been working in the theatre industry in Canada for the past 20 years as a Production Manager, Sound Designer and Technician. He was the Production Manager for the Toronto Fringe Festival and George Brown College Theatre School. He has been nominated twice for Dora Mavor Moore Awards and won the Victoria Critics Choice Award for his Sound Design on Earshot. He was also the recipient of the 2001 Pauline McGibbon Production Craftsperson Award. Derek is currently the Production Coordinator at the Meaford Hall Opera House.


Nathaniel Kennedy

Nathaniel Kennedy

Production Manager

For Studio 180: Parade, The Overwhelming, Stuff Happens, Blackbird & Offensive Shadows. Nathaniel has worked in theatre production across Canada and internationally. Most recently he has worked with Tarragon Theatre, Necessary Angel and Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People. Nathaniel is currently a Special Events Supervisor for the City of Toronto.


Michelle Bailey

Michelle Bailey

Head of Wardrobe

Michelle lives and works in Toronto as a professional costumer for theatre, primarily as Head of Wardrobe for Tarragon Theatre. Her Tarragon work includes MimiIf We Were BirdsForestsAfter Akhmatova and The Misanthrope. Select design credits include The Red Queen Effect (Dora Nomination, Seventh Stage Theatre) and King LearComedy of ErrorsTwelfth NightMacbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Driftwood Theatre).


Sophie Solomon

Composer

Trevor Copp

Movement Coach

Gallery

The cast of Our Class. Photo by John Karastamatis.
The cast of Our Class. Photo by John Karastamatis.
Jessica Greenberg and cast in Our Class. Photo by John Karastamatis.
The cast of Our Class. Photo by John Karastamatis.
Amy Rutherford in Our Class. Photo by John Karastamatis.
The cast of Our Class. Photo by John Karastamatis.
Ryan Hollyman, Amy Rutherford and Dylan Roberts in Our Class. Photo by John Karastamatis.
Jonathan Goad, Mark McGrinder and Ryan Hollyman in Our Class. Photo by John Karastamatis.
The cast of Our Class. Photo by John Karastamatis.

Reviews

Superb theatre! Brilliant performances! Joel Greenberg’s staging and the work of his entire cast in this Studio 180 production are excellent!

Toronto Star

The place was packed… and you could have heard a pin drop. A compelling, moving, soul-shaking production! Theatre at its best! Should not be missed!

The Slotkin Letter

Mesmerizing! Director Joel Greenberg’s cast is a true ensemble. Don’t miss this finely staged show!

NOW Magazine NNNN

Tremendously powerful! Heart-rending… Necessary viewing!

Eye Weekly ★★★★

Daring… gripping play! The acting ensemble brims with talent. Director Joel Greenberg is a storytelling wizard.

Globe and Mail ★★★1/2

Powerful! Outstanding! Remarkable! Amazing! An emotional evening… theatre at its best! I highly recommend it!

Mooney on Theatre

Studio 180’s Joel Greenberg and a dedicated 10-member cast tackle the story with unflinching courage.

Toronto Sun ★★★★