Nina Lee Aquino and Nigel Shawn Williams, Factory Theatre Co-Artistic Directors, are pleased to offer Toronto theatre patrons a chance to see the 2012 SummerWorks audience favourite, Iceland. Written by Nicolas Billon and directed by Ravi Jain, the play about greed, sex and survival runs March 2 – 24 in the Mainstage Theatre.
“Being able to share this unique and innovative play with our audience fills us with great pride,” say Aquino and Williams, “It is important to us to shine a light on powerful new works, such as Iceland, being created all over our great city.” Iceland is an award-winning play about money and the economic crisis.
“The collapse of Iceland’s three major banks (Landsbanki, Kaupthing, and Glitnir), considered one of the catalysts that precipitated the credit crisis, became the starting point for the play,” explains playwright Billon, “I drafted a series of interconnected monologues that examine the different facets of the financial crisis. My approach in ICELAND is to humanize the financial crash, with the idea to avoid didacticism and any overly political ‘message’.” Nicolas Billon’s plays and translations have been produced at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Soulpepper Theatre, Canadian Stage, and Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui. He is best known for The Elephant Song, Greenland, and Iceland. Voted one of the Top 10 Theatre Artists of 2009 by Toronto’s NOW Magazine, Nicolas also works in film and has three features in development.
Iceland examines the fallout of the 2008 banking crisis through the chance encounter between three characters: "Halim," the Toronto real estate agent played by Kawa Ada (Factory’s My Granny the Goldfish; The Canny Afghani, Ada’s solo show at Boston Centre for the Arts; Canadian Stage’s Comedy of Errors and It’s a Wonderful Life; Cahoots’ paper SERIES; and three seasons with The Shaw Festival); “Anna,” a pious condo tenant played by Claire Calnan (Theatre Smith-Gilmour/Factory Theatre’s Katherine Mansfield and Chekhov's Heartache; Tarragon Theatre’s The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs, The Clockmaker, After Akhmatova and Past Perfect; Soulpepper’s Antigone; Ahuri’s A Fool's Life; Volcano/Theatre Passe Muraille’s Appetite; Young People's Theatre’s Duel at Dawn, New Canadian Kid; SummerWorks Festival/Bridge Company NYC’s Greenland and Iceland; and, Rhubarb Festival, Buddies in Bad Times’ Faroe Islands; and “Kassandra,” a prostitute played by Lauren Vandenbrook (Alumnae Theatre’s Lover's Flight; Theatre in the Raw’s A Tranny Tale and Ravish Me; and, Theater@York’s Metamorphoses).
Director Ravi Jain (recipient of the Ontario Arts Council’s 2012 Pauline McGibbon Award) is joined on the Factory Theatre production by the original creative team of Lighting Designer Kimberly Purtell, Sound Designer Richard Feren, Set & Costume Designer Joanna Yu, Assistant Director Jenna Turk and Stage Manager Neha Ross. Iceland is produced in collaboration with Why Not Theatre.
Iceland was a SummerWorks Performance Festival 2012 sold-out hit, and received critical and audience acclaim – the Contra Guys Award for Outstanding New Performance Text and NOW Magazine’s Audience Choice Award, as well as rave reviews by critics of The National Post, Torontoist.com, Grid TO, BlogTo.com, MooneyOnTheatre.com, NOW Magazine and Theatromania.com.
Iceland is on now and closes on Sunday, March 24. Show times are Tuesday to Saturday, 8pm, and Sunday, 2 p.m. regular single tickets are $32 Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday (advance), $36 Friday and $42 Saturday. Tickets are available through Factory’s Box Office at (416) 504-9971, in person during box office hours at 125 Bathurst Street, Toronto, or online here.