Basket of Deplorables (December 7-8, 2017)

by Tom Rachman
bestselling author of The Imperfectionists
the world’s first live staged reading of the audiobook
narrated by Teri Loretto-Valentik, Paul Rainville, David Whiteley, Brad Long and Rachelle Casseus

“Almost true stories for a post-truth world”

British-Canadian author Tom Rachman gives us five funny-scary stories about nasty women and men. Witty, cutting tales of Trump times, portraying Democrats and Republicans in a divided America, Basket of Deplorables is a timely take on the craziness of today. Each story is told by a different narrator sharing their unique view of our Deplorable New World. Originally commissioned to be an audiobook, Basket is meant to be heard, not read. For this first-ever live presentation of Rachman’s work, we’ve lined up a basket of all-star Ottawa talent: Teri Loretto-Valentik (Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike), Paul Rainville (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf), David Whiteley (The Norman Conquests), Brad Long (The End of Civilization) and Rachelle Casseus (The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble, GCTC).

Voices from the Front: The Radio Show (November 7-11, 2017)

By John Cook and Teri Loretto-Valentik
directed by Teri Loretto-Valentik
featuring the familiar voices of Katie Bunting, David Gerow, Michelle LeBlanc, Chris Ralph and Laurence Wall
and introducing Alex Zwierzchowski
“Gladstone Sisters” Robin Guy, Nicole Milne and Doreen Taylor-Claxton

Perennial Gladstone favourite, The Radio Show is back with a difference: Voices from the Front will feature verbatim reports, testimonials, letters and radio broadcasts from Canadians in the two world wars. Audience sweethearts, the Gladstone Sisters, will sing their way into your hearts with the songs from the eras. The first act will bring us the stories of the Great War, the second act World War 2. Verbatim theatre at its finest, Voices from the Front: The Radio Show is a moving and powerful theatrical event for the Remembrance Day week.

Maestro (May 26-June 10, 2017)

A Comedy about the off stage antics at the NAC Orchestra
By Claude Montminy
Translated by Nina Lauren and Danielle Ellen
Directed by Gilles Provost
Featuring Manon Lafrenière, Serge Paquette et David Whiteley

The NAC Orchestra’s principal second violin is gunning to be concertmaster, and invites her eccentric new conductor to her home to convince him to promote her, but the Maestro has something else in mind. To make matters worse, her ex-boyfriend composer shows up and insists on making himself a third wheel for the tête-à-tête. How low will they stoop to conquer the Maestro?

The English-language première of Québécois playwright Claude Montminy’s hit comedy, presented in alternation with performances of the French-language original on Thursdays and Saturday matinees. Plosive is thrilled to be offering this uniquely bilingual staging to Gladstone audiences.

« It’s THE play to see. If you like comedy, you have to see this one! » – Martin Perreault, Radio-Canada

Une comédie à propos des bouffonneries hors scène de l’orchestre du CNA
par Claude Montminy
mise en scène de Gilles Provost
avec Manon Lafrenière, Serge Paquette et David Whiteley

En pleine rupture amoureuse, Maude réalise qu’il est temps pour elle d’obtenir le poste qu’elle mérite. Elle n’en peut plus d’être second violon de l’Orchestre du CNA, elle veut devenir soliste. Maude décide d’inviter le nouveau chef d’orchestre chez elle pour le convaincre de l’engager, mais le capricieux chef ne se laisse pas séduire si facilement. La situation se complique encore quand l’ex de Maude, aussi musicien, s’invite au souper. Maude réalisera que nous sommes parfois prêts à bien des bassesses pour réaliser nos rêves professionnels….

La version originale française présentée en alternance avec des présentations de la traduction anglaise, avec la même distribution. Plosive est ravie d’acceuillir le public francophone pour cette double mise-en-scène bilingue.

« C’est LA pièce à voir. Si vous aimez le théâtre d’été, allez voir ça absolument! » — Martin Perreault, Radio-Canada

Romeo & Juliet REDUX (October 5-15, 2016)

By William Shakespeare
Adapted and directed by David Whiteley
Soundscape by Scottie Irving
Lighting by Laura Wheeler

William Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy reimagined. 4 actors, 80 minutes of raw, intimate passion. Don’t SEE Romeo & Juliet REDUX. Feel it.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (May 19-June 4, 2016)

By Christopher Durang

This rollicking farce for the digital age is a mash-up of well-known Chekhov characters in an entirely contemporary setting. Two middle-aged siblings, Vanya and Sonia, live a dull existence on the family farm. That is until a surprise visit from their movie-star sister Masha, with her 20-something boy toy Spike in tow. Hilarity ensues.
Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play.

Love Letters (January 28-February 6, 2016)

by A.R. Gurney
Directed by Teri Loretto Valentik
Starring Pierre Brault and Lucy van Oldenbarneveld

Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III are childhood friends who begin a correspondence that will last 50 years. As their lives take very different paths, they share with each other their hopes and dreams, ambitions and disappointments, victories and defeats through their notes, cards and letters.
“A.R. Gurney’s deceptively simple 1988 epistolary two-hander, Love Letters, is that rare work whose emotional richness requires no embellishment in order to become a full-bodied theatrical experience.” – The Hollywood Reporter

Winnie-the-Pooh: The Radio Show (December 8-13, 2015)

by A.A. Milne

Before Disney, before even the books, Winnie-the-Pooh was broadcast by the BBC on Christmas Day, 1925. No one is too old or too young to enjoy the tales of the Bear of Very Little Brain and his friend Piglet–a source of more inspiring wisdom than perhaps you remember! Our annual Radio Show, always full of songs and sound effects, brings you back in time into the sound studio to relive this historic moment.

The Norman Conquests (August 28-October 10, 2015)

by Alan Ayckbourn
Directed by John P. Kelly
Featuring AL Connors, Michelle LeBlanc, Julie Le Gal, Margo MacDonald, Steve Martin and David Whiteley

From the comic genius behind How the Other Half Loves and Absurd Person Singular come not one but three scintillating comedies about one farcical weekend with a dysfunctional family. Each play portrays different events of the weekend from a different location (dining room, living room and garden) as assistant librarian Norman attempts to seduce the three women present at the house with varying results. Each show stands on its own, but the hilarity multiplies when you catch multiple shows!

Table Manners (Aug 27–Sept 5 and again in rep Sept 30–Oct 10)
The weekend as seen from the dining room: Reg finds food rather scarce despite having it thrown at him by Sarah, Sarah is scandalised by Annie, Annie is disappointed by men in general and Tom in particular, Tom knocks down Norman, Norman’s romantic proposals are ruined thanks to Ruth, Ruth loses her patience, her temper and her glasses, and everyone has trouble deciding where to sit.

Living Together (Sept 10–19 and again in rep Oct 1–10)
The weekend as seen from the living room: Reg is driven mad by Tom, Tom tells Annie a thing or two, Annie nearly comes to blows with Sarah, Sarah sees a different side of Norman, Norman sorts things out with Ruth, Ruth discovers the charms of a fireside rug, and nobody enjoys playing board games.

Round and Round the Garden (Sept 24–26 and again in rep Sept 29–Oct 10)
The weekend as seen from the garden: Ruth thoroughly confuses Tom, Tom succeeds in asking Annie, Annie gets a glimpse of Norman’s pyjamas, Norman tells Sarah stories by moonlight, Sarah disapproves of Reg’s outdoor sports, and everyone gets to roll in the grass.

Venus in Fur (April 9-18, 2015)

By David Ives
Directed by Bronwyn Steinberg

Welcome to The Gladstone’s most sizzling show of the season! This award-winning play by David Ives is a delicious, suspense-packed study of the erotics of power. A writer-director laments the woeful parade of actresses who have auditioned for his new play. Enter Vanda, an out-of-work actress who turns the tables and takes charge in this sexual roundelay about power and powerlessness! Venus in Fur redefines the classic sex comedy.

Bankrupt (February 27–March 14, 2015)

By Stéphanie Turple
Directed by Kevin Orr

A dirty, sexy new comedy about the high price of low finance. Anna, deep in debt, decides that bankruptcy is her only option. She meets with bankruptcy trustee James Larson, whose dry, uncaring information about the bankruptcy process hits poor Anna like a cold shower after a hot day of shopping. In order to avoid a life without Louis Vuitton, Anna takes up an ancient profession that promises a lot of income in a short amount of time. This intertwines her fate with that of James, his ex-wife and their son, in a series of hilarious and unexpectedly sexy ways.

The Radio Show: Christmas Classics (December 10–14, 2014)

Featuring works by O. Henry and others
Directed by Teri Loretto-Valentik and David Whiteley

Always a song and story spectacular, the popular Radio Show is back! This time, it’s an evening of heart-warming holiday classics for the entire family. Join us for an night of vintage fun with live re-tellings of The Gift of the Magi’Twas the Night Before ChristmasThe Little Prince and other timeless treats. The Gladstone Sisters are back with some local celebs and sing along carols and the result is pure enjoyment for the holidays.

Billy Bishop Goes to War (November 7-23, 2014)

Written & composed by John Gray in collaboration with Eric Peterson
Directed by Teri Loretto-Valentik
Produced by Plosive Productions and The Acting Company

In 2014, we remounted our very successful production of Billy Bishop Goes to War at the Avalon Studios. Our February 2013 production at The Gladstone earned Chris Ralph a Prix Rideau Award nomination for Outstanding Male Performance and was also nominated for Outstanding Production. Directed by Teri Loretto-Valentik and starring Chris Ralph as 18 characters and featuring James Caswell on piano, this musical about Canada’s flying ace brought John Gray the 1981 Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Award, the 1982 Chalmers Canadian Play Award, and the 1983 Governor General’s Award for drama.

The School for Wives (September 12–27, 2014)

By Molière
Translated by David Whiteley
Directed by John P. Kelly
Presented by SevenThirty Productions and Plosive Productions

Perhaps the funniest play by probably the world’s funniest playwright, in a fresh new translation by possibly Canada’s greatest translator of French comedies, directed by perchance Ottawa’s best director. We like those odds!

Detroit (January 17–February 1, 2014)

By Lisa D’Amour
Directed by Chris Ralph

In a “first ring” suburb outside a midsize American city, Ben and Mary fire up the grill to welcome the new neighbours who’ve moved into the long-empty house next door. The fledgling friendship soon veers out of control, shattering the fragile hold that newly unemployed Ben and burgeoning alcoholic Mary have on their way of life—with unexpected comic consequences. Detroit is a fresh, offbeat look at what happens when we dare to open ourselves up to something new. Premièred at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre to rave reviews, Plosive Productions is thrilled to be the first to bring this devastating comedy to Canada.

The War of the Worlds (October 30–November 2, 2013)

By H.G. Wells, radio drama adaptation by Orson Welles
Conceived for the stage and directed by Teri Loretto-Valentik

On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles sent America into a panic with his adaptation of The War of the Worlds in the form of a series of news bulletins, which many listeners mistook for breaking news of an alien invasion. Celebrate the 75th anniversary of this infamous broadcast this Hallowe’en, when Wells’s story and Welles’s words get our trademark Gladstone Radio Show staging, with live music and on-stage foley that bring you back to the 1938 radio studio where the legend was born. Save $5 when you buy tickets as an add-on to your subscription!

Private Lives
Photo by Andrew Alexander

Private Lives (September 20–October 12, 2013)

By Noël Coward
Directed by Craig Walker
Featuring Alix Sideris, David Whiteley, Steve Martin, Bronwyn Steinberg and Camille Beauchamp

To launch our season, Plosive Productions brings you the second wittiest play in the English language, Noël Coward’s classic 1930s comedy of bad manners. When a divorced couple discover they are honeymooning with their new spouses in adjacent hotel rooms, it isn’t long before the sparks fly and their stormy romance is reignited.

In the Next Room
Photo by Andrew Alexander

In the Next Room or the vibrator play (May 15-June 1, 2013)

By Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Bronwyn Steinberg
Presented by Same Day Theatre and Plosive Productions

Imagine a time when electricity was a novelty and female “hysteria” was considered a treatable problem. Now imagine what happens when they both come together…

Sarah Ruhl’s Tony and Pulitzer Prize-nominated comedy is set in a genteel, Victorian-era spa town where Dr. Givings specializes in treating hysteria with a mysterious, electrically powered device, but is blind to the state of his own unfulfilling and sterile marriage. As patients arrive for their electrically powered, secret treatment, his wife Catherine becomes curious… and jealous. What is going on in the next room?

Ruhl’s play is at once a deftly comic skewering of societal repressions and a lyrical exploration of love. It has been staged across North America and Europe and has been translated into Spanish, Hebrew and German.

Featuring Rideau Award nominated actors Michelle LeBlanc and Sarah Finn.

“In the Next Room or the vibrator play” is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

False Assumptions (March 26-30, 2013)

Written by Lawrence Aronovich
Directed by Teri Loretto-Valentik
Presented by Ottawa Theatre School and Plosive Productions

The Ottawa Theatre School and Plosive Productions invite you to the world premiere of False Assumptions, an exciting new play about Nobel Prize-winning scientist Marie Curie.

Written by local award-winning playwright, Lawrence Aronovitch, False Assumptions is part mystery, part history, part drama, and part romance. In this world, the ghosts of three scientists discover a set of radium-soaked notebooks and uncover the hardships, heartbreaks and hard-won achievements that led to Marie Curie becoming the first woman ever awarded the Nobel Prize.

Directed by Plosive’s own Teri Loretto-Valentik, False Assumptions is theatrical, entertaining and uplifting!

Billy Bishop Goes to War (February 8–23, 2013)

Written & composed by John Gray in collaboration with Eric Peterson
Directed by Teri Loretto-Valentik

One of Canada’s most popular stage plays comes to The Gladstone in February. This musical about Canada’s flying ace brought Gray the 1981 Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Award, the 1982 Chalmers Canadian Play Award, and the 1983 Governor General’s Award for drama. Directed by Teri Loretto-Valentik and starring Chris Ralph as 18 characters and featuring James Caswell on piano, this is one show you don’t want to miss!

“Chris Ralph is one of the finest actors working in Ottawa or the country for that matter and always plays with honesty and directness. His affable connection with the audience
earned him a well-deserved standing ovation.”
Charlebois Post – Jim Murchison

“All Canadian history should be delivered this way!”
Production Ottawa – Allan Mackey 

“Chris Ralph absolutely nails the many and challenging demands of his role… He pulls it all off with charm and style, entertaining every step of the way.”
The Visitorium – Kevin Reid

“Director Teri Loretto-Valentik although not a pilot herself is from a flying family and this helps infuse an understanding into the play. The lobby of the theatre is filled with artistic renderings of WWI planes in action, on loan from the Canadian War Museum. When you get inside the theatre there are working models of various fighter planes suspended from the ceiling.”
Charlebois Post – Jim Murchison

Miracle on 34th Street: The Radio Show (December 14–23, 2012)

Adapted by John Cook with assistance from Teri Loretto-Valentik and Nicole Milne from the book by Valentine Davies
Directed by Nicole Milne

Could the Macy’s department store Santa be the real thing? This holiday season, Plosive takes you back to the Golden Age of Radio with a new adaptation of everyone’s favourite Christmas story, Miracle on 34th Street. This much-loved holiday classic is a treat for families of all ages!
Extra family-friendly 3 p.m. matinee on Friday Dec. 21.

How it Works (October 5–20, 2012)

By Daniel MacIvor
Directed by Stewart Matthews

A heartwarming tale told with humour and love, about reinventing family and the healing power of storytelling. Well known to local audiences for Marion BridgeThis Is What Happens Next and Communion, MacIvor’s works have earned him Governor General, Chalmers, Dora and Genie Awards and the Siminovitch Prize. How It Works maintains MacIvor’s impeccable standard, “a wise, witty and warm family drama, shot through with insights.” — The Toronto Star.

Death and the Maiden

Death and the Maiden (May 2 – 19, 2012)

By Ariel Dorfman
Directed by Craig Walker
Featuring Paul Rainville, Geneviève Sirois and Chris Ralph

The hated dictatorship has been overthrown.  Democracy has won a difficult victory. But now former torturers, murderers and oppressors mingle quietly amongst one’s neighbours. And when Paulina’s husband brings home the good Samaritan who had helped him when his car broke down, she believes she recognizes the voice from her past nightmarish ordeal… A play about innocence and guilt, vengeance and paranoia.

Cyrano de Bergerac (February 1 – 18, 2012)

By Edmond Rostand
Translated and Directed by David Whiteley
Featuring Richard Gélinas as Cyrano,
Élise Gauthier as Roxane and
Warren Bain as Christian
with Katie Bunting, Zach Counsil, Robin Guy, Scott Humphrey, Stewart Matthews, Chris McLeod, Tim Oberholzer, Garret Quirk and Chris Ralph

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Cyrano de Bergerac is sure to warm your heart in the dark of winter. Tragic romantic hero and Renaissance man, Cyrano is skilled with both sword and pen, but his deformity dooms him to solitude. Presented in a new English translation which renders the original rhymed verse with “panache”—a word this very play introduced into our vocabulary.
Assistant Director… Lucy Collingwood
Costume and Set Designer… Nancy Solman
Lighting Designer… John Solman
Properties Designer… Rachel-Dawn Wallace
Stage Manager… Jess Preece

“Spirited”, “Gélinas makes a brash, conflicted and engaging Cyrano.” – Ottawa Citizen
“The whole thing is a rousing, raucous joy.” “Plosive’s CYRANO does indeed have Panache.” – The Visitorium
“An epic tale cracked open to reveal an intimate portrait of love and loss that moves the heart and soul.” – The Charlebois Post

VIDEO: Richard Gélinas and Élise Gauthier’s apearance on Rogers Daytime

The Shadow: A Christmas Mysteries Radio Show (December 7-17, 2011)

Directed by Kel Parsons

For the past few years The Gladstone has presented a Christmas-themed show in the style of a 1940s live radio show. Plosive continued the tradition with The Shadow: A Christmas Mysteries Radio Show. The show included two holiday special episodes of The Shadow, voiced by Tim Oberholzer, Allan Pero, Katie Bunting and Michelle LeBlanc, with live sound effects performed by Karen Benoît and festive songs by The Gladstone Sisters. The Arthur Murray Swing Dancers kept the place hopping before the show and during intermission.

Speed-the-Plow (October 5-22, 2011)

By David Mamet
Directed by Teri Loretto-Valentik
Set, Costumes and Sound Design by Ivo Valentik
Lighting Design by David Magladry
Featuring: Kyla Gray, John Muggleton and Chris Ralph
Assistant Director: Nicolas Alain
Stage Manager: Christine Hecker

Speed-the-Plow by Pulitzer Prize winning author David Mamet was Plosive’s first show as part of the Autumn 2011 season at The Gladstone. Some feedback from critics and audiences:
“It’s awesome to watch”
“very funny”
“in a word, it was great”
“Anyone who wants to see three great, well-directed local actors bring a genius script to life on an unbelievable set should see this production.”
“Director Teri Loretto-Valentik has captured the high powered rhythm of Mamet’s intense exchanges”
“[The set is] a thing of bizarre beauty — a marvel of rampaging black and white lines”
“Ivo Valentik’s set design is one of the most beautiful and transformative structures I have seen on a small independent stage in this city for a long time”
“Ralph positivley rocks the joint”
“John Muggleton’s performance as Bob Gould was absolutely impeccable”
“Muggleton and Ralph wear their roles as comfortably as old shoes”
“As Karen, Kyla Gray has a very good debut”
“[Kyla Gray’s] work is infinitely preferable to Madonna’s”

The Importance of Being Earnest (February 10-26, 2011)

by Oscar Wilde
directed by David Whiteley
Cast: Katie Bunting, Sean Conforti, Teri Rata Loretto, Stewart Matthews, Kel Parsons, Garret Quirk, Chris Ralph, Henna Kaur Sodhi, and Bronwyn Steinberg

We were overwhelmed by the audience support we received for our first show. Produced in association with The Gladstone and Seventhirty Productions, this rollicking new production of Wilde’s masterful comedy moved the action to colonial India of the 1920s — a setting that underscored the frivolous nature of the ruling class of the era and when “mad dogs and Englishmen” went out in the midday sun.

Plosive was thrilled to be able to work with several of Ottawa’s best-known actors for our inaugural production, many of whom are no strangers to The Gladstone stage. We were also proud to have Henna Kaur Sodhi, a student at Canterbury Arts High School, make her professional début with us.