SummerWorks' sweet 16 The lotteried SummerWorks Festival , turning 16 this year, will be a hotbed of new scripts and a few classics presented by local artists, with an added venue showcasing six works from across the country. Among the artists and companies chosen for this year's fest are Kate Lynch , Hannah Moscovitch , Jess Dobkin , Actors Repertory , b current , Belltower Theatre , MacKenzieRo , Modern Times and UnSpun Theatre . Opens August 3 and runs to August 13 at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst) and Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson). 416-410-1048.
The Cooking Fire Theatre Festival has become an annual event, a gift for those who love grassroots outdoor theatre and a chance to be part of a new community for an evening. The fest combines a shared organic meal with a quartet of shows from across North America. This year's participants are Zuppa Circus Theatre , Drama of Works , Theatre SKAM and Stranger Theatre , with hosts Number Eleven Theatre . June 14 to 18 in Dufferin Grove Park (Dufferin south of Bloor).
Ecstasy in Egypt
Didn't know that Withrow Park could be transported to the banks of the Nile? Check out Shakespeare in the Rough 's Antony And Cleopatra , the tragedy about a pair of lovers doomed to die in each other's arms. Think of them as an older version of Romeo and Juliet. Ruth Madoc-Jones directs Sean Dixon and Lesley Dowey , with a supporting cast that includes Dalal Badr , Brett Christopher , Richard Lee , Christopher Morris and Lisa Norton . Previews August 3, opens August 5 and runs to September 4. Withrow Park (south of Danforth, east of Logan). 416-556-6226.
Fringe on top
The 18th Fringe Festival grows to 136 productions presented in 28 venues, both traditional theatres (including the KidsVenue) and BYOV spaces. Lotteried as always, the 12-day fest is the most intense theatre event of the year, with productions from Toronto, Canada and around the world. Those participating this year include Geoff Pounsett , Jane Moffat , Cheryl McNamara , Caroline Azar , Dean Gabourie , Adrian Griffin , Alison Lawrence , Matthew Payne and Mike McPhaden . Opens July 5 and runs to July 16. 416-966-1062.
If you get some of the characters in CanStage's Dream In High Park mixed up, don't worry. So does just about everybody in Shakespeare 's The Comedy Of Errors , in which two sets of identical twins cause mayhem in ancient Ephesus. Kelly Thornton directs, with Kevin Hanchard and Alex Poch-Goldin as one set of twins, Bradley Brackenridge and Anthony Malarky as their servants, also twins, and Christine Brubaker and Niki Landau as confused sisters. Previews from June 27, opens July 2 and runs to September 3 at the Dream Site, High Park. 416-368-3110.
From Bombay to T.O.
Bollywood comes to the stage in Bombay Dreams , the musical tale of a handsome East Indian actor who hopes to become a movie star, especially after meeting the daughter of a respected Bollywood director. With music by A. R. Rahman (The Lord Of The Rings), lyrics by Don Black and book by Meera Syal and Thomas Meehan , the touring production touches down in Toronto August 16 to 20 at the Hummingbird Centre (1 Front East). 416-872-2262.
Absurd is the word
Soulpepper returns to absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco to mount The Chairs , a metaphoric tale about a couple who plan to deliver an earth-shaking message to a group of invisible guests. Dora-winning director Jim Warren helms the production, and his talented company includes Kevin Bundy , Oliver Dennis and Kristen Thomson . Previews from June 22, opens June 29 and runs to September 6 at the Young Centre (55 Mill). 416-866-8666.
Taste of Sophocles
A newbie on the summer theatre scene is the Stone Circle Project , whose mandate is the presentation of classical theatre in Greektown during Taste Of The Danforth . They lead off with Sophocles ' Antigone , directed by Graham Cozzubbo , featuring Sarah Evans , Victoria Adilman and Adrian Proszowski . Their venue? An outdoor space at Jackman Avenue Public School (79 Jackman) that echoes the atmosphere of a Greek amphitheatre. August 10 to 13. 416-910-3518.
A black lace bra sends a quartet of post-40 women into reminiscences about their changed lives in Meno-pause Out Loud! The show's a musical, with reworked pop tunes from the 60s to the 80s that allow the four - played by Jayne Lewis , Nicole Roberts , Rose Ryan and the wonderful Sandi Ross - to comment on where they were then and where they are now. Performances begin June 21 at the Capitol Theatre (2492 Yonge). 416-872-1111.