Grandticipation
2021/22 Season

Artwork depicting the Spriet Stage at the Grand Theatre, with the Artistic Director, Dennis Garnhum peeking through the curtains.

Grandticipation

A return to live performances in our newly renovated theatre in 2021/22

The Grand Theatre announces plans to return to live performance for its 2021/22 Season – a joyous celebration of new spaces and new voices.

With a 10 month, $9 million renovation project drawing nearing completion, and COVID restrictions slowly lifting, the Grand is readying for a re-opening with tremendous Grandticipation.

“Throughout the last 16 months, we’ve said that we will be back, that the theatre will return, and when we do, we will be even better than before. And today, we are following through on that commitment. Not only have we used this time of being closed to public performances to renovate our physical spaces, but as a company we’ve embarked on a journey to grow, learn and work through a renewed Anti-Oppression lens, and we can hardly wait to welcome Londoners into the gorgeous space we have created, both inside and out.” - Dennis Garnhum, Artistic Director and Deb Harvey Executive Director

TICKETS ON SALE AT A FUTURE DATE

In consultation with the Board of Directors and health officials, we are continuing to monitor public health guidelines and work on safety protocols and procedures. The health and safety of our staff, artists, volunteers and patrons have always been our top priority, and we are committing to clear communication for Londoners on what to expect once we are given the go-ahead to invite folks into our spaces.

Tickets will not be available for purchase until we have a clear direction about capacity levels. Subscribers and patrons with credits on account will be provided with first opportunities when tickets are available.

We encourage everyone to check the Grand’s website, e-newsletters and social media channels for the most updated information.

2021 HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT – OUTDOORS
"THE GREAT GRAND ROAD TRIP"

Student Program: August 9-27, 2021

Filmed Performance Presentation: August 27, 2021

Curated by Andrew Tribe

The Grand Theatre’s High School Project is back for 2021 in its most creative, collaborative, and imaginative edition yet! And this year, the High School Project is going OUTSIDE! The only program of its kind in North America, the High School Project (HSP) offers an exceptional opportunity for students to receive education and training with professional theatre mentors.

This safe, flexible, hybrid model that can easily pivot at a moment’s notice according to current public health restrictions will combine outdoors and virtual programming. Theatre-loving high school students will come together to build a community for three weeks through the collective creation of a summer theatrical treat!

The final product will be THE GREAT GRAND ROAD TRIP, our love letter to London, Ontario in the summertime. We’ll be outdoors exploring some of London’s favourite landmarks with curiosity, and imagining the possibilities for theatrical magic. We’ll be rethinking some of your favourite musical numbers in new, exciting ways—and outdoors! Think of it as the biggest, sprawling summer musical revue ever.

Starting with research of London heritage and using the city as our canvas to safely explore and create dramatic moments, students will learn the building blocks of devising by creating a filmed 20 minute piece of theatre that combines music, dance, spoken word, and performance — and we’ll be throwing in some of your favourite musical numbers too!

So, grab your flipflops, sunglasses, and beach umbrella for this delightful video postcard, destined to be the perfect summer treat dressed up in perfect Grand style!

No experience necessary—just a love for theatre!

To learn more including how to apply to be a part of this program, please click here.

GRAND RE:OPENING FESTIVAL

October 13-November 6, 2021

Festival Director: Megan Watson
With original work by Summer Bressette, Richard Gracious, Alexandra Kane, Mark Uhre

In October, the Grand will launch its 2021-22 programming with an innovative Grand Re: Opening Festival. Four London artists - Summer Bressette, Richard Gracious, Alexandra Kane, and Mark Uhre - have been commissioned to create multi-layered events that will take many forms – from concerts to art installations, from readings to new plays and more.

Four photos - one of each of the performers participating in the festival. Richard Gracious is seen playing guitar on stage, Summer Bressette and Alexandra Kane smile for the camera, and Mark Uhre can be seen painting a large canvas.
Clockwise from top left: Richard Gracious, Summer Bressette (photo credit: Shawn Johnston), Mark Uhre, and Alexandra Kane

“We have these beautiful, newly renovated spaces – clean and open canvasses – and so we’ve invited these four local artists to ‘come and play in our sandbox’! Come and make art. Come and celebrate with us. We’re delighted to be working with them and seeing how they’ll fill the Grand with their brilliance.” - Megan Watson

For a total of 16 evenings of special events, each artist will make use of the various spaces throughout the Grand, from the Auburn Developments Stage to the Drewlo Lounge, from the BMO London Proud Floor to the Spriet Stage and throughout the main lobby – no space is off-limits to their imagination.

“We think this is a joyous way to welcome Londoners into our new spaces. A gorgeous new building with inspiring performers making art from top to bottom.” - Dennis

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
A Grand Concert Celebration

Created and Directed by Dennis Garnhum

December 1-24, 2021

Spriet Stage | Opens December 3, 2021

In support of the London Food Bank

“This year we celebrate the holiday season with an original concert bursting with songs, laughter and joy. I cannot wait to welcome you into our Grand Home for this musical event as we celebrate this magical time of the year. Home for the Holidays will be a true family celebration with one goal in mind - to uplift your hearts”. - Dennis

ROOM

By Emma Donoghue, based on her novel
Music & Lyrics by Cora Bissett and Kathryn Joseph
Directed by Cora Bissett
A co-production with Covent Garden Productions

January 11-29, 2022

Spriet Stage | Opening Night January 14, 2022

The Grand Theatre is thrilled to announce the return of Room to the Spriet Stage.
Following three preview performances in March of 2020, the production was halted immediately before its official opening night.

Kidnapped as a teenage girl, Ma has been locked inside a purpose built room in her captor’s garden for seven years. Her five year old son, Jack, has no concept of the world outside and happily exists inside Room with the help of Ma’s games and his vivid imagination where objects like Rug, Lamp, and TV are his only friends. But for Ma the time has come to escape and face their biggest challenge to date: the world outside Room.

Adapted to include music and lyrics, a cast of seven featuring Little Jack shadowed by his alter ego SuperJack, Room is a story about resilience, exploring the power of the imagination and a mother’s love.

The North American premiere of Room, based on Emma Donoghue’s bestselling novel Room, is presented in collaboration with UK's Covent Garden Productions. Room has been adapted for the stage by Donoghue, with songs by Scottish songwriters Kathryn Joseph and Cora Bissett. Previously adapted by Donoghue for the screen, the film won Academy Awards®, Golden Globes, and BAFTAs.

The world premiere of Room (May-July 2017), was co-produced by Theatre Royal Stratford East and Abbey Theatre Dublin. You will not want to miss this “story that is in some ways a harrowing one, that brings many in the audience to tears. Yet is also a tremendously beautiful, vivid and uplifting show about the power of a mother’s love.” (The Scotsman)

“We managed to have three public preview performances of ROOM but never made it to opening night due to the pandemic . I can tell you from direct experience this is one incredibly powerful night in the theatre. And now that we are finally able to proceed with opening night, from here I know it will go on to many stages around the world. Londoner Emma Donoghue’s brilliant adaptation of her award winning novel will do us all proud. And you can say you saw it first.” - Dennis

RUBABOO - Songs and Stories with Andrea Menard

By Andrea Menard

February 1-12, 2022

Auburn Developments Stage | Opening Night February 4, 2022

Rubaboo is the Michif word for 'leftovers stew' or 'big pot' and a fitting title for this musical feast. Accompanied by an acoustic guitarist, Andrea's beautiful voice and masterful storytelling will create an intimate, moving and joyous experience on the Auburn Stage, described by Garnhum as “a perfect setting for Andrea to take us on this very special and personal journey.”


Andrea Menard

Andrea describes Rubaboo as “a musical feast of my Métis culture that includes songs of reconciliation, songs of unity, love songs, drum songs, resilience songs, as well as some leftover feelings of frustration that so many Canadians still don't know our history. Can’t have a Métis rubaboo without all the flavours!"

“The Auburn stage is the perfect setting for Andrea to share her original songs and stories. Andrea’s warm and bright heart will fill you up as she takes us on a very personal journey. I’ve been an huge Andrea fan for a few years now, and it’s a real honour to have her with us”. - Dennis

CONTROLLED DAMAGE

by Andrea Scott

February 22-March 12, 2022

Spriet Stage | Opening Night February 25, 2022

Award winning playwright Andrea Scott, who hails from London, Ontario has created a wonderfully imaginative play that illuminates Viola Desmond - the Canadian Civil Rights Leader - in an original and vibrant way. This new production will showcase this extraordinary woman, also known as the face of the Canadian ten dollar bill, on our Spriet Stage.

"To me, her story is a Canadian story. Not just a Nova Scotian story, not a woman's story, not a Black story, but a story about our country and how we took a giant step into civil rights." - from an interview with Andrea Scott, February 2020 - The Coast.

Viola Desmond as seen on the Canadian 10 dollar bill.
Viola Desmond

Often referred to as Canada’s Rosa Parks, Viola Desmond was a successful business woman and a mentor to young Black women in Nova Scotia. In 1946, she challenged racial discrimination when she refused to leave the segregated Whites-only section of the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Unaware the theatre was segregated, Viola took a seat on the main floor instead of in the balcony where Black patrons were expected to sit. She was eventually arrested and dragged out of the theatre, jailed overnight and convicted without legal representation for an obscure tax offence. Desmond’s courageous refusal to accept an act of racial discrimination provided inspiration to later generations of Black persons in Nova Scotia and in the rest of Canada. Her stand against injustice would galvanize Nova Scotia’s Black community and helped inspire Canada’s civil rights movement.

"The first time I read this play, I was so struck by Andrea’s originality in telling the story of Viola Desmond in a detailed, honest and often heartbreaking way. This is much more than a play about a moment in time - Andrea connects it directly with the here and now - and makes the point very clear: Everyone should be welcomed in all places. Powerful, uplifting and truthful.” - Dennis

GROW

A new musical comedy celebrating family, community ... and a really special plant.

Book by Matt Murray
Music by Colleen Dauncey
Lyrics by Akiva Romer-Segal
Directed by Dennis Garnhum

March 29-April 20, 2022

Spriet Stage | Opening Night April 1, 2022

Originally scheduled in April of 2020, GROW will have it's long-awaited World Premiere on the Spriet Stage in 2022.

GROW is an outrageously fun, big-hearted musical that examines the bonds of sisterhood, community and the choices we all must make as we grow.

Before they are baptized into their faith forever, twin sisters Hannah and Ruth go on Rumspringa – a 'hall pass' for Amish teenagers – to explore the modern world. When the sisters find themselves stranded in a rough Toronto neighbourhood, their beliefs are tested as they team up with a down-on-his-luck cannabis dealer to help run his illegal grow-op.

“We love GROW’s heart and humour and the portrayal of two very different communities, with more in common than it may seem. At the heart of the story are two sisters who discover that growing up may mean growing apart.” – Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals, January 2020

"This musical, from the composers of 'Prom Queen' (retitled 'The Louder We Get') is one of the most musically exciting shows I have come across in years. I find the story compelling and surprising, the music incredibly uplifting and the contemporary relevance irresistible. GROW reminds us that we live in an incredible country that allows all points of view to grow. It’s pure joy." – Dennis

Developed and workshopped in 2016 at Canadian Musical Theatre Project at Sheridan College as “Rumspringa Break”.
Developed and workshopped in 2019 at Canadian Musical Theatre Project at Sheridan College as “GROW”
Workshopped at the Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals in January 2020.

COMPASS New Play Development logo

JEANS ‘N CLASSICS

Spriet Stage

Peter Brennan’s Jeans ’n Classics returns with an abridged three-concert series performing the best of rock and pop.

February 10, 2022

THE MUSIC OF PINK FLOYD

Bringing you the concert that was cancelled in 2020

March 17, 2022

RATTLE AND HUM - U2

Celebrating all things Irish on St. Patricks Day!

May 5, 2022

SHE'S GOT IT - VOLUME I

Featuring the powerhouse women of Jeans 'n Classics

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471 Richmond St.

London, ON N6A 3E4