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Canadian Stage

Spotlight South Africa Turns on in Toronto

ORGANIZED BY THE CANADIAN STAGE, SPOTLIGHT SOUTH AFRICA ILLUMINATES THE COUNTRY WITH THREE WEEKS OF INNOVATIVE THEATRE, DANCE AND PERFORMANCE-ART WORKS

Spotlight South Africa Canadian Stage

Left: Ubu and the Truth Commission (photo: Luke Younge); right: Dominion (photo: John Hogg)

APRIL 8 TO 25 Though the end of apartheid and its transition to democracy (21 years ago this month) made South Africa a major success story of reconciliatory nation-building, today it represents far more than a simple feel-good story. This month the Canadian Stage explores the country’s rich history and complex cultural tapestry in Spotlight South Africa. Featuring six unique productions—including the multidisciplinary, puppetry-incorporating project Ubu and the Truth Commission, and Luyanda Sidiya tribal-inspired dance work, Dominion—the festival both illuminates and interrogates South Africa’s past, present and future. Berkeley Street Theatre, $39 to $99; call 416-368-3110 or visit canadianstage.com for a full schedule and to purchase tickets.  —Craig Moy

See Dynamic New Dance in The Golden Mean (Live)

Dance Golden Mean Toronto Marie Chouinard

Marie Chouinard’s latest dance work, The Golden Mean (Live) comes to Toronto (photo: Sylvie-Ann Paré)

MAY 8 TO 12  When words prove an insufficient medium for conveying life’s true beauty, the description falls to imagery and imagination. Montreal choreographer Marie Chouinard uses the poignancy of dance to express the search for existential balance in her new dance work, The Golden Mean (Live). Pure movement takes precedence in this Canadian Stage presentation; when performed with minimalist costumes and set decoration, each gesture is magnified—and truly memorable. Bluma Appel Theatre, Wednesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m., $24 to $79; call 416-368-3110 or visit canadianstage.com to purchase tickets.  —Anna Marszalek

Melissa James Gibson’s This Opens at the Berkeley Street Theatre

Melissa James Gibson This Berkeley Street Theatre

Melissa James Gibson’s modern dramedy This plays out in Berkeley Street Theatre’s historic environs

MARCH 18 TO APRIL 13  Life as a 30-something can be fraught with perils and pratfalls—at least according to playwright Melissa James Gibson’s This. Presented by Canadian Stage, this candid, witty, “un-romantic comedy” follows widowed single-mother Jane and her friends as they struggle to deal with love, loss and the sometimes absurd realities of urban life. Sharply observed and thoroughly contemporary, the play is forward-looking but also slightly nostalgic, a sentiment underscored by its historic venue. Berkeley Street Theatre, $22 to $49; call 416-368-3110 or visit Canadian Stage’s website for showtimes and more information.  —Macrina Smart