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About World Stage

Take a closer look into the future of performance.

Experience tomorrow's theatre today with World Stage, Harbourfront Centre's signature series of contemporary Canadian and international performance. This is your opportunity to sample the best the world has to offer in theatre, dance, music and multidisciplinary performance from the globe's leading visionaries.

These productions push forward, break boundaries, demand questions, and put the world as we know it under an artistic microscope, revealing the intricacies that both bind us together and drive us apart.

Step up. Lean in. Look closer.

We look forward to seeing you in the audience.

Letter from the Artistic Director >>

There is a lot to choose from in the cluttered channels of entertainment delivery. What makes World Stage unique is that there is a thoughtful artistic purpose in the selection of work we bring to you with a core belief that through connecting to what you feel and being invited to see the world in a different way, it can raise the human spirit. I believe that art can improve people's lives and be a reflection of what one believes about the world.

World Stage provides opportunities for you to reflect on who you are and what you stand for. This is a chief outcome that compels artists to create, so, indeed, you are a very necessary ingredient in the delicate ecosystem of live performance and I welcome you.

World Stage is for those who know that there is always more than meets the eye. There are many people who are fighting against being overwhelmed by and disassociated with the world around them and are yearning for unique and relevant contemporary artistic experiences. I’m proud to say that this season has a lot of exciting opportunities to offer as a responsive antidote.

The line up is a kick-ass sampling of works from across the globe that is even more interesting, complex and meaningful than it might appear at first glance. I invite you to look closer. Look closer, for I am confident that these selected works will spark debate, invite contemplation, and challenge assumptions.

We can meet the world through these offerings − from Belgium, Italy, Wales, and The Netherlands to Finland, England, Rwanda and Canada. The international creators brought together this season reflect and express the spirit of our times in their own innovative and imaginative ways and are indeed shaping the future.

For certain the late Pina Bausch is present in this season, as Platel, Delbono and St-Pierre have all been inspired and were mentored by her desire for reality on stage.

In a growing trend in contemporary performance, some work this season places the spectator at the heart of the action. In Home Sweet Home you build your own cardboard community and govern with − real time and on the interweb. In Complaints Choir, you provide the content and give voice (literally) to your current beefs, as a choir is formed − flash mob style − in surprise locations around the city.

Performative music is centre stage as urbanvessal mounts a competitive concert in a boxing ring and Art of Time Ensemble delivers their accomplished interdisciplinary vision in a staged radio drama.

PHOTOG and The Monument test our mettle about conflict and war, Ivo van Hove brings about a masterful performance in La Voix Humaine, Hoipolloi spin charming “hand knit” yarns and Louise Lecavalier defies aging right before our very eyes.

Look closer and be witness to ideas and to risk, examine the many ways at how we can arrive at love; laugh, cry, sing, play, wonder; discover the metaphors for life and encounter the humanity that exists at the centre of all of these performances.

As in every season, I invite you to further shape your beliefs, test your position on style and form and be open to what the world of live contemporary performance has to offer. It will leave you with something to talk about.

If you like it, tell others to join you.
You have credibility.

Tina Rasmussen
Artistic Director

Order by October 16, 2010 and save up to 40%.

The World Stage Flex Pass lets you reserve tickets in advance without committing to specific performances — all at one low price. Purchase eight tickets for $240 or four tickets for $140 and save up to 40% off single ticket prices.

But act fast.

The Flex Pass is only on sale until October 16, 2010 and only available by phone or in person. Call the Box Office at 416-973-4000 to order.


A Short History of the “World”

World Stage, Harbourfront Centre’s signature series of contemporary Canadian and international performance, first began in 1986 as a biennial festival. Then known as the du Maurier World Stage, Toronto audiences had a total of 15 days to soak in the finest contemporary theatre from around the world. The landscape was a much different place back then. There was no Rogers Centre (or Skydome for that matter) no streetcars along Queen’s Quay and what’s now known as the Enwave Theatre was called “The Ice House.”

World Stage maintained its condensed festival timeframe until 2007, and saw a multitude of artists, musicians and dancers from all parts of the world. Some notable artists who appeared as part of World Stage during those years include Robert Lepage, Athol Fugard, Peter Brook, Atom Egoyan, Daniel McIvor, Daniel Brooks, Laurie Anderson, Darren O’Donnell, Ute Lemper, and Theatre Babel, among others.

In 2007, World Stage expanded the condensed festival timeframe to showcase productions from January to June. That year also saw the wildly successful The Spiegel Show, as part of a partnership with Luminato. In 2008, the timeframe extended even further, and Toronto audiences can now enjoy the best in live performance from early fall to late spring.

Thank you to our dedicated partners!