Soulpepper launches 25th season with eight in-person shows

New shows by Kim's Convenience creator Ins Choi and If We Are Birds' Erin Shields are on the bill for anniversary season

Two world premieres, one Canadian premiere and a splashy new concert are on the bill for Soulpepper’s 25th season, beginning in February 2022.

The world premieres are Bad Parent, a comedy about new parents by Kim’s Convenience playwright Ins Choi, and Queen Goneril, a prequel to Shakespeare’s King Lear seen through the eyes of Lear’s daughters, by Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Erin Shields (If We Were Birds). Bad Parent runs September 15 to October 9, and Queen Goneril runs August 25 to October 2.

The Canadian premiere is Pipeline, by Dominique Morisseau, a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship recipient and writer of other acclaimed works like the three-play Detroit Projects cycle. The show runs April 7 to May 8.

The Golden Record is part of the company’s hugely popular concert series. Frank Cox-O’Connell directs a collective creation inspired by The Voyager Golden Record, a message that NASA sent out to space to communicate our world to any other beings out in the universe. This show, which kicks of the company’s season on February 9 (until February 27), will feature the new Slaight Music Residents, Divine Brown, Beau Dixon, Raha Javanfar, Travis Knights and Andrew Penner, as well as Cox-O’Connell, Sarah Wilson and music director Mike Ross.

All the works deal with the idea of family, community and belonging.

“The plays in our season all speak to the challenges and beauty of belonging,” says Soulpepper artistic director Weyni Mengesha in a press release. “I want Soulpepper to be the place that brings us together through the simple act of sharing stories, and helps us to discover the connections that make us stronger as a community.”

The rest of the programming is just as exciting.

Haley McGee‘s delightful solo show The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale, previously presented at the Progress Festival and programmed for Soulpepper’s 2020 season, will now take place February 11 to March 6.

Kevin Loring‘s Governor General’s Award-winning Where The Blood Mixes, about an Indigenous family dealing with the residential school system, gets a new production, directed by Jani Lauzon. It runs May 26 to June 26.

Kim Senklip Harvey‘s Kamloopa, another winner of the Governor General’s Award for drama, follows three Indigenous women taking a road trip to an enormous powwow on the West Coast. It runs June 23 to July 24.

And finally, Kim Collier directs a new production of Shakespeare‘s King Lear. It will run in rep with Shields’s Queen Goneril from August 27 to October 1.

In addition to the eight productions, Soulpepper is including Community Conversations, a forum to discuss ideas in each of the seven plays. They range from a conversation about healing with humour for Kamloopa, to a two-part discussion about adaptations for Queen Goneril and King Lear. Details can be found here.

The company’s Free 25 & Under program continues in the new season. It makes free tickets available for all shows, available at 8 am on the day of a performance for audience members 25 years old or younger. And a $25 ticket tier will be available to everyone throughout the season.

Theatres will at 100 per cent capacity. All patrons, artists, crew, staff and volunteers will need to provide proof of full vaccination or a medical exemption provided by a physician or nurse along with a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of a performance.

Season tickets are now on sale at

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