About

Preparing for performance in Moscow

Dean Gilmour and Michele Smith met in 1978 while studying at the School of Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France. In 1980, they formed the company and since have created 30 shows, 16 of which were original plays. The company has toured across Canada several times and to 14 countries throughout Europe and Asia. Our work has been nominated for 24 Dora Awards (winning 5), as well as being nominated twice for the Chalmers’ Best Canadian Play Award.

In 2000-2001, Chekhov’s shorts played a total of 22 sold-out weeks with rave reviews at the Factory Theatre in Toronto, the Firehall Arts Centre in Vancouver, Workshop West in Edmonton, the Hong Kong Cultural Arts Centre in Hong Kong, Eastern Front Theatre in Dartmouth and the Saidye Bronfman Arts Centre in Montreal. The show returned to Vancouver for two weeks in March 2002.

Part II of the Chekhov Cycle, Chekhov longs…In The Ravine enjoyed a virtually sold-out run at Toronto’s Factory theatre in February 2002 and was presented at Carrefour International Theatre Festival in Quebec City in May 2002, The Magnetic North Theatre Festival in Ottawa and the Festival des Ameriques in Montreal in May/June 2003. Part III of the Chekhov Cycle, Dr. Chekhov: Ward 6 premiered at the Factory Theatre in 2004 and Part IV, Chekhov’s Heartache premiered at the Factory Theatre in 2005 and was remounted there in 2006.

In 2007 Smith and Gilmour travelled to Shanghai, China to create and perform Lu Xun blossoms with three actors from the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and three actors from Canada. This show is the first ever Sino-Canadian co-production in theatre. In 2008, the world premiere of Katherine Mansfield was presented in Toronto, to great acclaim and revisited in Spring of 2009. In October 2009, Michelle and Dean partnered with Adam Paolozza and Ravi Jain for the incredibly successful run of SPENT Smith and Gilmour also developed a play based on the stories of the Brothers Grimm, Grimm too which was presented in association with Factory Theatre in February 2010.

Theatre Smith-Gilmour, Why Not Theatre and TheatreRUN are thrilled to announce the return engagement of last year’s Dora-Award winning and critically acclaimed smash hit SPENT at the Factory Studio Theatre, October 29-November 28, 2010.

Michele Smith

* We believe that the actor’s imagination is at the centre of the process and the actors must risk failing in order to find a new freedom.

* Beyond linguistic, cultural and age barriers, we believe in a theatre of image and action that can make us feel by speaking to the heart.

* We believe that theatre can make us more humane, more tender, more compassionate, and more refined.

* We believe that the audience takes part in the show; that we are in a dialogue with the audience, a dialogue of feelings. We want to open their eyes, to make them feel, to touch them through feelings and vulnerability.

* We believe in a theatre that has no 4th wall, no sofas, no kitchen sinks. We believe in a theatre that is here and now on a bare stage but at the same time somewhere else through the actor’s imagination and the audience’s imagination.

Dean Gilmour

* In our work we write with our bodies.

* We believe that theatre asks people to listen, see and feel with the heart.

* We believe that the purpose of art is to make people more fragile, tender and tolerant.

* We believe that theatre creates a sense of community.

* We believe that theatre should destroy certitude and open up the imagination.

* We believe that art should educate and encourage change.

* The artistic process is at the heart of every aspect of our company’s operations.

* We believe that art is vital to our community.

* We believe that artistic diversity is what will make our culture healthy.