Talk Is Free Theatre: 12th Season

“Press releases and announcements” are presented verbatim without comment.

An European transfer, a national co-production and a re-imagined classic are on tap for TIFT’s 12th Season.

March 21, 2013. Barrie, ON… A transfer of this season’s production of Possible Worlds to Munich, Germany, a co-production of the haunting musical Floyd Collins and a new conceptual adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set in a retirement home are among the highlights. Today Artistic Producer Arkady Spivak announced details of the upcoming season for Talk Is Free Theatre (TIFT), which sees the company producing a wide range of new and re-imagined material in Barrie, Ontario and beyond.

The 2013-2014 Season will begin with a transfer of the current season’s production of Possible Worlds by John Mighton, directed by Mitchell Cushman, to BeMe Theatre’s John Mighton Festival in Munich, Germany in October, 2013.

On the home front in Barrie, Ontario, the season will be launched with The Sneeze by Anton Chekhov, translated and adapted by Michael Frayn (Noises Off, Copenhagen). The collage evening will include material Chekhov wrote for the stage, pieces he adapted to the stage himself and Chekhov stories adapted by Michael Frayne for the stage.  These hilarious short “vaudevilles” are the brief glimpses into human folly, adversity, eccentricity, ego and exasperation. Directed by Marti Maraden and starring Lucy Peacock, it will run from November 28 to December 7, 2013.

The Last of Romeo and Juliet, a conceptual adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy will be set in a Canadian retirement home. Romeo & Juliet has become synonymous with the idea of forbidden love, love that is not condoned by society. In Shakespeare’s day, young teenagers may not have been in control of their own sexual destinies, but now today it is our oldest generation for whom new love is taboo. In our version, Romeo and Juliet will be played by actors in their 70s whereas their parents will be played by actors of the biological age to be their children. Through this relocating of Shakespeare’s text, the production will explore the “fated powerlessness” and subject of “old love”, which can feel more impossible and just as star-crossed as that experienced by Romeo and Juliet. Directed by Mitchell Cushman, this production will run from January 9 to 18, 2014.

The Wakowski Brothers – A Canadian Vaudeville with book, lyrics and music by Wesley J. Colford, will be given the world premiere after the pervious version’s successful run at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2012. Eight years after splitting their act, Canadian Vaudeville legends Jimmy and Conrad Wakowski reunite for a one night tribute performance. As the night goes on, original skits and songs bring old demons to the surface. Jimmy’s ex-wife Caitlyn joins them as painful memories and past betrayals conspire to destroy the attempt to rebuild their shattered relationship. Directed by Richard Ouzounian, The Wakowski Brothers will be performed from March 20 to March 29, 2014.

The haunting contemporary musical Floyd Collins, with music and lyrics by Adam Guettel, book and additional lyrics by Tina Landau and directed by Peter Jorgensen, in co-production with Vancouver’s Patrick Street Productions, will play from April 10-19, 2014.  In 1925, while chasing a dream of fame and fortune by turning a Kentucky cave into a tourist attraction, Floyd Collins himself became the attraction when he got trapped 200 feet underground. One of the most acclaimed in recent years, this revolutionary musical­ tells the transcendent tale of a true American dreamer.

Miss Caledonia, written and performed by Melody A. Johnson, will round off the home season playing between May 23 and 31, 2014. Desperate to escape the stall-cleaning, hay-baling drudgery of 1950’s life on Rural Route 2, Peggy Ann Douglas dreams of becoming a movie star. Can she sing, twirl and pivot her way into the hearts of the pageant judges to set her on her path?

Other activities of the organization next season will include the inaugural Barrie Comedy Festival running from September 19 to 21, 2013; a brief one day appearance on October 2, 2013 of Hawk from Halifax’s Onelight Theatre and the US tour of Tales of an Urban Indian by Darrell Dennis, staged on a moving bus, in 2014. Additionally, Richard Ouzounian’s adaptation of Great Expectations, based on the TIFT world premiere production, will be seen around Ontario next season.

New work development initiatives will include an original piece written by Kristen Thompson and directed by Chris Abraham in co-commission with Crow’s Theatre; an adaptation of Heinrich von Kleist’s The Prince of Homburg, directed by James Kudelka; and a musical version of Moll Flanders, written by Leslie Arden.

Early-bird rates for subscriptions and 4-ticket passes for the 2013-2014 season are available until May 31, 2013. Single tickets are available from August 1, 2013. For more information, please visit or call (705) 792-1949. All performances are held at the Mady Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Dunlop St. West in Barrie, Ontario.

For more information, interviews or photos, please contact:

Arkady Spivak
Artistic Producer
Talk Is Free Theatre
P.O. Box 247
Barrie, ON L4M 4T2
Telephone: (705) 792-1949
Fax: (705) 792-6108

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