Studio 180 READS
Launched in 2016
Step into the role of artistic director and join us for readings of critically acclaimed plays.
We invite you to hear a published play we are considering for production, experience the actors’ first instincts and share your feedback with us on whether you would like to see it produced.
With Studio 180 READS as a part of our Studio Series, we look forward to hearing your responses to the plays that intrigue us, and we welcome the chance for further conversation with you, our audiences.
4 Minutes 12 Seconds, The Niceties
4 Minutes 12 Seconds
By James Fritz
October 21, 2021
Di and David, have devoted their lives to giving their son Jack every opportunity they never had. But a startling incident outside the school gates threatens to ruin everything they’ve striven for. As events begin to accelerate, Di and David begin to question whether they can trust Jack, his closest friends, or even themselves. James Fritz’s deeply provocative and topical drama explores issues of consent and privilege and sheds light on the insidious opportunities new technology offers.
WARNING: Boys who will be boys become men.
Boys Will Be Boys
October 19, 2021
What do we mean when we talk about rape culture? What role does technology play in mitigating or exacerbating harm? What are the impacts of gender-based privilege and how do we promote healthy models of masculinity? We’ll tackle these topics and more in conversation with some of Canada’s leaders in sexual violence education and prevention. Bring your own questions to our expert panel as we delve into the complexities of sexual and cyber violence and prepare for our 180 READS presentation of 4 Minutes 12 Seconds. Co-presented by Community Partner Next Gen Men.
James Fritz is a multi-award-winning writer from South London, whose plays for stage and radio include Four Minutes Twelve Seconds, Parliament Square, Ross & Rachel, Start Swimming, The Fall, Comment Is Free, Death of A Cosmonaut and Lava. He has won the Critics Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright, a Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and the Imison and Tinniswood BBC Audio Drama Awards, the first time a writer has won both in the same year. He has also been nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre, a BBC Radio Award for Best Single Drama, and was named runner-up in the 2013 Verity Bargate Award. He is a graduate of both the Channel Four Screenwriting Program and the BBC TV Drama Writers Program and has a number of original television series in development.
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.
Vivien is a Toronto born film, television and theatre artist. She has worked with some of Canada’s foremost theatre companies including Canadian Stage, Tarragon Theatre, The National Arts Centre, Factory Theatre, Theatre Aquarius, Crow’s Theatre and Toronto indie favourites; Volcano, The Coal Mine, Shakespeare in the Ruff and the Summerworks Performance Festival. Her work in Lo or Dear Mr. Wells (Nightwood Theatre) and Guarded Girls (Tarragon Theatre) garnered her two back to back Dora Mavor Moore Outstanding Performance Award nominations. Vivien was nominated for an ACTRA Outstanding Performance Award for her work in the feature film The Shape of Rex and has featured in numerous other films and television series. Her recent favourites include; Sarah Polley’s latest feature film Women Talking, Justin Baldoni’s feature Clouds (Disney+) and the TV series New Eden (Crave TV). A recent graduate of the Canadian Film Centre Actor’s Conservatory, Vivien is currently completing her short film Grandma was a Cowgirl which she produced, directed, wrote and stars in.
Though born in Toronto, Ngabo Nabea spent much of his childhood travelling and studying abroad. He returned to Toronto to study theatre performance at Ryerson University. His first experience working with Studio 180 was for a reading of Common by Marie-Beath Badian as part of their new works IN DEVELOPMENT program. Upon graduating, he has performed in various shows around Toronto, including leads in Twisted (Factory Theatre), The Postman (Appledore Productions, Pan Am Games), The Numbers Game (Storefront Theatre), I and You (Globe Theatre), As You Like It and Fences (Grand Theatre). He has continued to hone his skills with the Factory Theatre Mechanicals and the Stratford Birmingham Conservatory. He has also appeared in various TV shows, including Pretty Hard Cases, The Strain, Salvation and The Expanse. Ngabo is also an avid self-taught illustrator, having recently drawn promotional artwork for events hosted by Stratford Theatre, Suddenspark Collective and Soulpepper.
Selected Theatre (Acting): War Horse (Mirvish); If We Were Birds, No Great Mischief, Alias Godot (Tarragon); Leisure Society, Zadie’s Shoes (Factory); Fire (Charlottetown Festival, Theatre Calgary – Betty nomination); Doubt (Theatre Northwest); Tuesdays With Morrie (TIP); You Will Remember Me, Games, How Do I Love Thee? (ATP); A Few Good Men, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Neptune); Moon For The Misbegotten (Watermark); The Miser, The Game of Love & Chance, Three Days of Rain (STC); Romeo & Juliet, Juno & The Paycock, Cyrano (Stratford), Oslo (Studio 180 Theatre). Selected Theatre (Directing): As You Like It (GBTS); Brown Bull of Cuilange, Red Machine (The Room); Western (NSTF); A Quiet Place (NSTF – Dora nomination); The Swearing Jar (Best of Fringe); The Seagull (LabCab). Recent Film & TV: It (New Line), Impulse (YouTube), Private Eyes (Global), The Girlfriend Experience (Starz).
Zorana is a Dora-winning actor and singer who has performed throughout Canada and the U.S. Recent Theatre: Towards Youth (Crow’s Theatre/Project Humanity), CHILD-ISH (Summerworks) and Bend it Like Beckham (Starvox), Helen’s Necklace (Canadian Rep. Theatre), The Enchanted Loom (Cahoots Theatre/Factory Theatre), Dido and Aeneas: 21st Century Remix (Soulpepper Global Cabaret), Sultans of the Street (Young People’s Theatre), Melancholiac (Bad New Days) and Tout Comme Elle (Necessary Angel Theatre). Film/TV: Strays, In the Dark, Designated Survivor, Kim’s Convenience, the Gill Deacon Show, Little Mosque on the Prairie, ZeD: Candid, The Mulroney’s and Burnt Toast (Rhombus Media – CBC: Opening Night and BravoFact!). As a new-music soprano, recent appearances include Eleven Moons (Boston Musica Viva), Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation (Vancouver Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic), Ainadamar (Los Angelos Philharmonic), Air India: Redacted (Turningpoint Ensemble), Airline Icarus (Soundstreams). Her solo show, MixTape opens this fall at Crow’s Theatre.
By Eleanor Burgess
September 29, 2021
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 polite clash in perspectives explodes into an urgent debate about race, history, and power.
Launch Party: Reclaim & Reframe
September 28, 2021
Live on Kumospace
This unique, virtual Kumospace gathering will connect artists and audience members in a curated evening introducing the themes and big questions inspiring our 19th season. Dive deeper into our 2021/22 AT HOME programming with interactive digital content; mingle with fellow Studio 180 fans and artists alike; and participate in moderated, issue-based discussions about memory, generational divides, accountability and how we reclaim and reframe our stories. A great way to kick off the season and prepare for the next evening’s digital presentation of The Niceties by Eleanor Burgess. Co-presented by Community Partner Shameless Magazine – an independent, grassroots voice to inspire, inform, and advocate for youth of marginalized genders.
Eleanor Burgess’s work has been produced at Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre Center, Geffen Playhouse, Huntington Theatre Company, the Alliance Theatre, Writers Theatre, Finborough Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Geva Theatre Center, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Portland Stage Company, and Centenary Stage, and developed with The New Group, New York Theatre Workshop, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Salt Lake Acting Company, the Lark Play Development Center, and the Kennedy Center/NNPN MFA Playwrights Workshop. She has been a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages, Page 73’s writers’ group Interstate 73, The Civilians’ R&D Group, and New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship. She has also been a staff writer for Perry Mason on HBO. Originally from Brookline, Massachusetts, she studied history at Yale College and Dramatic Writing at NYU/Tisch.
As an actor Kimberley has appeared in various theatres across Canada including Mirvish, RMTC, Stratford and Shaw Festivals. Her work as a choreographer has been recognized with two Dora nominations for Passing Strange (Musical Stage/Obsidian) and Seussical – the Musical (YPT), respectively and an Evie Award for Matilda – The Musical (Royal MTC/ Citadel/ Arts Club). As a director, Kimberley was featured in the New York Times for directing a full- length production of Man and Superman at the Shaw Festival. Other directing credits include How Black Mothers Say I Love You (GCTC) (2018 Prix Rideau Award – Outstanding Production) and The Color Purple (Neptune and Citadel/ Royal MTC) which received Sterling and Merritt Awards for Outstanding Direction and Productions amongst others. In the community she contributes to the work of the Philp Akin – Black Shoulders Legacy Award, Gina’s Prize, and sits on the board of AFC. Kimberley is currently the Associate Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
Natasha Mumba is a Zambian artist currently based in Toronto. She is a graduate of the Acting program at The National Theatre School of Canada and a Dora Nominated actress whose recent credits include: Canadian Stage: Measure for Measure; Shaw Festival: Henry V, The Adventures of the Black Girl; Obsidian Theatre: School Girls; Or the African Mean Girls Play; Factory Theatre: Trout Stanley, Acts of Faith. She also recently served as the Apprentice Artistic Director at Factory Theatre with the generous support of the Metcalf Foundation. Her directing credits include; Driftwood Trafalgar: Balance; Factory Theatre: Lady Sunrise (Assistant Director); YPT: The Water Gun Song; she is also Nominated for the Pauline McGibbon Emerging Director Award.
For over 30 years Maria has worked in Film, Television, Radio and Theatre in both the US and Canada. As a member of the Stratford Festival for 5 Seasons she played leading roles in King Lear, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Twelfth Night, Measure for Measure and Hamlet. Other theatre work includes roles at the Tarragon Theatre, Canadian Stage, Necessary Angel, Nightwood Theatre, The Storefront Theatre, The Manitoba Theatre Center, The Harold Green Jewish Theatre and Studio 180. Maria has been a series lead, guest star and recurring character on TV series including Ransom, The Strain, Flashpoint, The Good Witch and CTV’s Designated Survivor. Leading roles in feature films include The Inlaws, Some Things That Stay and The Space Between. Maria teaches Acting for Film and TV at Humber College and currently is an on-set Acting coach for the Netflix series Tiny Pretty Things. Maria is also a street photographer whose photographs have been featured in photo publications and in the Contact Photography Festival.
The Chinese Lady, Contractions
The Chinese Lady
By Lloyd Suh
Directed by Marjorie Chan
Featuring Mayko Nguyen & John Ng
In partnership with fu-GEN Theatre
January 22, 2021
WARNING: Audience complicity may also be on display.
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.
Dragon Ladies, China Dolls & Beyond
January 20, 2021
Transforming Representations of the Asian Female
Join award-winning theatre artists Marjorie Chan, Jasmine Chen and Jean Yoon for a panel discussion about their experiences as Asian women working in theatre and the changing representations of female Asian characters in theatre, film and television. Studio 180’s Byron Abalos moderates this intergenerational conversation.
By Mike Bartlett
Directed by Sabryn Rock
Featuring Virgilia Griffith & Ordena Stephens-Thompson
Video Editing by Matthew Takatsch
October 23, 2020
WARNING: Extreme compromises, power imbalances and the disconcerting realization that this is in fact what you signed up for.
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.
Meet the Team
October 21, 2020
Contractions by Mike Bartlett
Join us AT HOME with Contractions director Sabryn Rock in conversation with Kerry Ann Doherty. Both accomplished actors and recent Studio 180 RBC Emerging Directors, Sabryn and Kerry Ann will chat about career transitions, women in leadership and how to direct a play via Zoom.
The Cane, Eureka Day
By Mark Ravenhill
Directed by RBC Emerging Director Rebecca Gibian
Featuring Anthony Bekenn, Sharry Flett and Amelia Sargisson
March 6, 2020
Buddies in Bad Times
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.
By Jonathan Spector
Directed by RBC Emerging Director Sabryn Rock
Feautiring Deb Drakeford, Jeff Irving, Elena Juatco, Rick Roberts & Sophia Walker
November 22, 2019
Buddies in Bad Times
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.
The Chinese Lady
The Chinese Lady
By Lloyd Suh
Directed by RBC Emerging Director Kerry Ann Doherty
Featuring Elena Juatco and Karl Ang
June 7, 2019
Tarragon Theatre Workspace
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.
If I Forget, The Effect
If I Forget
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
May 25, 2018
University Club of 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.
By Lucy Prebble
Directed by Mark McGrinder
Featuring Allegra Fulton, Jeff Lillico, Sabryn Rock & Sanjay Talwar
October 24, 2017
Buddies in Bad Times
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.
By Lucas Hnath
Directed by Mark McGrinder
Featuring Patrick Galligan, Jessica Greenberg, Michael Healey, Nancy Palk & Marcel Stewart
October 13, 2016
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
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.