Theatre Smith-Gilmour on the Main Stage at the National Arts Centre

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The Bundren family is once again on the move as Theatre Smith-Gilmour takes its critically acclaimed show TAKE ME BACK TO JEFFERSON to the nation’s capital. “What an honour it is for us to be invited to perform at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. We want to thank Artistic Director, Jillian Keiley from the bottom of our hearts.”  Co-Artistic Directors and co-creators Michele Smith and Dean Gilmour enthuse, “2003 was our first time performing in the capital with CHEKHOV LONGS at the Magnetic North Festival in the NAC Studio Theatre. In 2011, our co-production SPENT, was invited to the Undercurrents Festival at GCTC, and now we are coming back to perform on the Main Stage of the National Arts Centre with TAKE ME BACK TO JEFFERSON.

The feeling is mutual as Jillian Keiley, Artistic Director at the NAC adds, “Theatre Smith-Gilmour has been such an important influence in Canadian theatre, it is only natural that they should be featured on our Main Stage at the NAC.  Lucky for us, their recent TAKE ME BACK TO JEFFERSON is also a brilliant piece of theatre – one that will feed our audiences, and further inspire our imaginations!”

As an indie theatre company, Theatre Smith-Gilmour’s usual audience capacity is anywhere from 60-200 seats.  The NAC Main Stage audience can hold 897.  While daunting, this is a challenge Dean, Michele and company are more than capable of meeting.“The potential is huge,” says Gilmour, “not just for audience sizes, but the recognition on a national level as a Canadian indie theatre company, not just a Toronto one. We are hoping that being part of the NAC season will lead to other opportunities to share this show and our unique style of theatre with more and more Canadians. When you give life to these characters, you want them to have a good, long  life – especially when you love them as much as we do.”

This is not just a momentous step for Dean & Michele, seasoned veterans who have walked stages from Toronto to Vancouver to Russia and Japan. The rest of the cast composed of emerging artists and indie producers in their own right are equally thrilled about this opportunity and exposure.

“It is a career highlight to get to play ‘the big house’ at our country’s most prestigious repertory theatre,” says Julian De Zotti who plays Darl Bundren. “I’m extremely excited to speak William Faulkner’s beautiful prose and perform Theatre Smith-Gilmour’s one-of-a-kind physicality on the NAC stage. I promise we shall deliver an unforgettable night of theatre for the Main Stage audience.”  Last month Whatever, Linda — a show De Zotti co-wrote and co-created — was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award in the Best Original Digital Fiction Program.

Performance information for TAKE ME BACK TO JEFFERSON

Venue: National Arts Centre Mainstage (53 Elgin Street, Ottawa)
Dates: March 25 – April 11, 2015
Tickets: Starting at $25
Available online or phone via ticketmaster (1-888-991-2787) or in person at the box office