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Blog Archives

5th Birthday Sonnet

On May 26th, 2016, we celebrated our 5th Birthday by launching our 5th season in Withrow Park. Our Board Chairman, Larry Smith, penned a sonnet for the occasion, in the spirit of William Shakespeare, and Sonnet 155 was born. Not only did he perform it for us, but he did so dressed as an Elizabethan playwright. What a guy! Sonnet  CLV – by Larry Smith When birthdays come, and come …Read More

2016 Season Announcement

Drum roll please… We are very excited to announce that this summer, Andrea Donaldson will be directing ‘Romeo & Juliet’ in Withrow Park. Both a highly creative mind and an East End resident, Andrea brings a fresh perspective to our landmark fifth season. Some of her most recent work includes ‘Within the Glass’ at The Tarragon Theatre, where she is the Associate Artistic Director, and ‘Mistatim’ at The Young People’s …Read More

Now do an improvised clown routine with your ass; or Becoming The Porter

I’ve lived in fear of improv for most of my life, certainly my adult life. All my buddies are improvisors, I’ve seen hundreds of improv shows, I’ve always secretly wanted to do it, but I’ve always been paralyzed by fear. To the point, that on a regular basis, I would have improv nightmares, where I’m called onstage incorrectly to do an improv show. But then this year, I thought, enough …Read More

From Volunteer to Lady Macbeth

With two more weeks of performances (final show is August 30th, 2015), we are looking for more Front of House volunteers. A free show, a night under the stars, and you get to wear a Ruff! A bonus for some… Tara Koehler, currently in the cast of ‘Macbeth: Walking Shadows’, met us as a volunteer in 2013. My first contact with Shakespeare in the Ruff was as a front of …Read More

Puppets + Shakespeare = The Canadian Way?

People keep asking what possessed us to combine Shakespeare and puppetry; as we head into the final week of rehearsals for ‘Macbeth: Walking Shadows’ (Aug 13th-30th), we thought we’d pass the buck, and ask someone else that very question. When we heard about Jillian Keiley’s decision to bring puppets to the world of ‘Twelfth Night’, next season at the NAC, we were very excited (and relieved), that we weren’t the only ones …Read More

2015 Season Announcement

Macbeth + Puppets = MacWhat??????   Ruff’s Artistic Director, Brendan McMurtry-Howlett, explains our most adventurous production yet. I love Macbeth. It’s one of my favourite plays to read, to speak, or to perform in (I played Malcolm under the direction of Nick Hutchinson in theatre school). The visceral imagery that Shakespeare uses in his writing is unparalleled anywhere else – it’s incredible. And now, this coming summer, I couldn’t be …Read More

Cymbeline Series-BONUS Edition

We are so thankful to directors Anita Rochon, Dawn McCaugherty, and Antoni Cimolino, who have shared their take on Cymbeline with us over the past month in our Cymbeline Series. Now that Ruff’s production is up and running, Brendan McMurtry-Howlett, our Artistic Director and director of Cymbeline’s Reign, tackles the same three questions we put to these thoughtful and generous theatre practitioners. 1. For a title character, King Cymbeline has …Read More

Shakespeare, Galileo, & Cymbeline by Dan Falk

There’s no getting around it:  Cymbeline is an odd play.  The plot is labyrinthine, even by Shakespearean standards, with at least three intertwined stories; texture and mood seem to change with the wind.  It’s also a bit of a hodge-podge, containing , as Jonathan Bate of Oxford has noted, an “array of favourite Shakespearian motifs: the cross-dressed heroine, the move from court to country, obsessive sexual jealousy, malicious Machiavellian plotting, …Read More

10 Easy Steps to Ruff by Sheila Macdonald

Shakespeare in the Ruff’s production of Cymbeline’s Reign ran in Withrow Park during the summer of 2014 1. Gather friends/family/children/dogs Everyone is welcome. The more the merrier! Ruff performs an abbreviated version of Shakespeare’s best that is easy to follow and an excellent introduction for the uninitiated. 2. Head to Withrow Park by 6:30 The performance officially starts at 7:30, but if you want to get the best seating, you …Read More

Highlights from ‘Between the Trees’: Ruff’s Pre-show Music Series

Ptarmigan (playing August 30th)   Highlights from ‘Between the Trees’ running Aug 12th-31st by General Manager and Resident Musician, Brooklyn Doran Our production of Cymbeline’s Reign begins tomorrow night and our pre-show music series is going to be off the hook! The ‘Between the Trees’ pre-show music series sees local and emerging musicians share in our evening of magic by performing a half-hour of music before our mainstage production. This year we are …Read More