2020/21 Season

Stuff Happens (2008)

by David Hare

March 2008
The Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs


“Stuff happens… and it’s untidy, and freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.”

(Donald Rumsfeld, April 11, 2003, in response to widespread violence in Baghdad after the American invasion of Iraq)

Beginning in the first days of the Bush administration and following its march to war, Stuff Happens is a dramatic speculation, authenticated from multiple real-life sources, on the behind-closed-doors proceedings that have shaped recent world events. Renowned playwright David Hare blends documented public-record information and theatrical invention to create a riveting drama that centres on still-living history.

Stuff Happens premiered in September 2004 at the National Theatre in London, England. New York’s Public Theater production ran from March through June 2006, and received a Drama Desk Award for best ensemble, as well as nominations for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Director of a Play.

The Canadian premiere, presented by Studio 180, played to tremendous critical acclaim and sold-out houses. In their year-end highlights, seven prominent writers from the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, NOW Magazine and National Post listed Stuff Happens among the top theatre productions of 2008.

DIRECTED BY Joel Greenberg
FEATURING Guy Bannerman, Ian D. Clark, Paul Essiembre, Barry Flatman, Neil Foster, David Fox, Andrew Gillies, Deborah Grover, Michael Healey, Sam Kalilieh, Hardee T. Lineham, Mark McGrinder, Yanna McIntosh, Sarah Orenstein & Nigel Shawn Williams
SET & COSTUME DESIGN Michael Gianfrancesco
LIGHTING DESIGN Kimberly Purtell
SOUND DESIGN Michael Laird
STAGE MANAGER Robert Harding
ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS Jessica Greenberg & Kimwun Perehinec
PRODUCED BY Joel Greenberg & Derrick Chua


As part of Mirvish Productions’ 2009/10 season, Studio 180 again brought together an outstanding ensemble of Canada’s most celebrated actors for an encore presentation, this time at the prestigious Royal Alexandra Theatre.



2008 end-of-year reviews

Listed among the top theatre productions of the year by
• Richard Ouzounian, TORONTO STAR
• Michael Posner, James Bradshaw and J. Kelly Nestruck, GLOBE AND MAIL
• Jon Kaplan and Glenn Sumi, NOW MAGAZINE
• Robert Cushman, NATIONAL POST

“Frighteningly good Studio 180 production! Slashingly funny and unexpectedly touching! A company of 15 amazing actors, led with skill by director Joel Greenberg, offer[s] us a compelling story whose ending has not yet been written. You can’t afford to miss it.”


“Killer Canadian premiere! It is difficult to imagine a better production of this play! Director Joel Greenberg has staged the events leading from George W. Bush’s first inauguration to the 2003 Iraq invasion with such velocity that you must dig your fingernails into your armrest to hold on. 15 stellar actors […] keep this finely tuned machine running.”


“A thrilling peek behind the closed doors of the White House.”

680 NEWS

“Pretty powerful stuff! A compelling piece of theatre that charts the confrontation between men and women of conscience in the face of global crisis in a world where might has too long been mistaken for right.”


“The 15-member cast is superb, as is Joel Greenberg’s taut direction. This is a don’t-miss production.”