HISTORY

Over the course of the past ten years, in addition to its own work, Infinithéâtre has made a concerted effort to help younger and smaller companies and writers develop their projects and stage their productions.

• 1995 – Sliding in all Directions, with a story by Ms Ackerman, wins the prestigious Les Masques award for the best English production of the season.

• 1988 – Theatre 1774 is founded by Marianne Ackerman and Claire Shapiro to create projects that synthesized the francophone and anglophone theatre traditions of Québec. Selected highlights: Woman by a Window and L'Affaire Tartuffe (both by Ms. Ackerman)

• 1997/98 – Mr. Sprung is named Artistic Director; he changes the company name to Infinithéâtre and overhauls the mandate. The depth and quality of Montréal's small English theatre companies are showcased with three festivals of new plays.

• 1999 – Infinithéâtre transforms Old Montréal’s immense abandoned Darling Foundry into a performance venue to present a bilingual production of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame/Fin de partie, subsequently remounted Sept. 2001 at the Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre, where Québec and Canada were represented for the first time through Infinithéâtre.

• 2000/01 – Co-production with OMNIBUS of the bilingual Farce (Michael Mackenzie) at Espace Libre as an official Heritage Canada Millennium event.  Byron Ayanoglu’s Food/Bouffe staged bilingually at Lion d’Or as a Montréal Highlights event.

• 2002 – Québec novelist Trevor Ferguson writes first play for Infinithéâtre, Long, Long, Short, Long, performed at Monument National and nominated for Best New Text at 2002 Soiree des masques. La Compagnie Jean-Duceppe later presented the translation, Le pont, directed by Mr. Sprung at Place-des-Arts in 2005.

• 2003 – Mr.  Sprung takes nine Montréal actors and American icon, William Hurt to Manitoba Theatre Centre, in Richard III, in a contemporary concept developed at Infinithéâtre. Production is a huge critical and box office success. Mr.  Sprung adapts and directs Major Barbara (G. B. Shaw) in an Infinithéâtre/Saidye Bronfman Centre co-production as part of the Centre’s subscription season.

• 2004 – Québec screenwriter and playwright, Bruce M Smith adapts Québec novelist Yann Martel’s short story The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, garnering the triple crown of awards: French Critics Association award, a les Masques for best English production, and the MECCA (Montréal English Critics Circle Award) for best production.

• 2005 – Death and Taxes, Mr. Sprung’s controversial play about the Gomery Commission breaks Infinithéâtre’s record for  single ticket sales at the Saidye Bronfman Centre and is nominated by the French Critics Association as best English production of the season.

• 2006 – The Pipeline public play reading series is inaugurated as part of the new work development process. The reading series has since blossomed into an important and popular event on the annual Infinithéâtre calendar.

• 2007 – The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, is remounted in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre as part of the Québec Scene festival, Infinithéâtre the only Québec English theatre company invited to participate. The production also plays at Toronto’s Factory Theatre. Trevor Ferguson’s fourth play, Zarathustra Said Some Things, No? is brokered by Infinithéâtre for an Off-Off-Broadway world premiere to rave reviews.

• 2007 – Nicholas Billon’s, The Elephant Song, which was initially developed through Infinithéâtre and the dramaturgy of Mr. Sprung, then world premiered at 2004 Stratford Festival, is given its Montréal premiere in February 2007 at the Bain-St-Michel.

• 2007/08 – Infinithéâtre’s first “season” of three plays: That Woman (by Daniel Danis, directed by Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal freshly appointed Artistic Director Emma Tibaldo), GAS, (by Jason Maghanoy, still a National Theatre School student at the time his play was developed through The Pipeline), and the Canadian premiere of Trevor Ferguson’s Zarathustra Said Some Things, No?. Infinithéâtre initiates the flexible 6 Pack discount ticket package and implements Gildan Action Infini, the High School, CEGEP and university outreach program. More than 1,000 students see GAS (the Bain St-Michel holds 100 seats) Maghanoy’s play about the war in Iraq. The play is remounted by the author at the Factory Theatre in Toronto and subsequently translated into Japanese and presented, thanks to Infinithéâtre’s brokerage, in Tokyo in 2010.

• 2008/09 – Another season of three productions: Carole Fréchette’s John and Béatrice (a Québec English premiere); the world premiere of Carolyn Guillet’s Plucked, Hammered and Strung; world premiere of Bruce M Smith’s Blessed Are They (developed through The Pipeline), which wins the Best Production MECCA. Write-On-Q!,an annual play writing competition is initiated: another essential building block in ongoing play development.

• 2009/10 – The three-play season is comprised entirely of scripts submitted to the previous year’s Write-On-Q! and read at The Pipeline 2008: Arthur Holden’s winning script, Father Land, former Gazette copy editor and journalist David Sherman’s The Daily Miracle, a comedic commentary on the future of print journalism, and National Theatre School student Amy Lee Lavoie’s Rabbit Rabbit, which won Ms Lavoie the MECCA Revelation Award.

• 2010/11 – Renowned playwright David Fennario bestows a new play about the realities of war, Bolsheviki, to Infinithéâtre for a world premiere on Remembrance Day and production tours to Stratford, Ontario the following spring while David Sherman’s bio-play, Joe Louis: An American Romance is world premiered  for a run during Black History Month.

• 2011/12 – The three-play season includes: Philippe Ducros’, The Poster, translated by Shelley Tepperman a guest production presented by Teesri Duniya Theatre, known for bridging opposing sides of charged socio-political issues; Arthur Holden’s Ars Poetica, a comedy about a Montréal Anglophone poetry magazine struggling to survive (incidentally his third consecutive submission to Write-On-Q!); and the postponed production of The Leisure Society, directed by Ellen David, a well-respected actor in both the French and English acting communities.

• 2012/13 – The three play season includes two world premières, Trench Patterns by Allyson Grant (the 2011 Write-On-Q! winner) and Kafka’s Ape, an adaptation of a Kafka short story by Artistic Director, Guy Sprung as well as a guest production Cornered, by Jim Burke, produced by Rabbit in the Hat. In addition Infinithéâtre provides the space, technical and organizational support to facilitate a variety of other groups and artists self producing in the Bain.

• 2013/14 – Due to popular demand, Kafka's Ape was remounted in the Fall of 2013. We held a full public workshop for Arthur Holden's Book of Bob in December 2013, which was runner-up in our 2011 Write-on-Q! competition, and was part of Centaur Theatre's 2013-2014 season. December also saw the return of our Pipeline series where 5 plays received public readings, including  Write-on-Q! winner Andrea Boyd's For the Love of Gracie Gray, and David Sherman and Nancy Lee's Lost & Found, which will be part of our 2014/2015 season. Our 2010 cooperation with a theatre in Tokyo led to our generosity being reciprocated, and we hosted the Ryuzanji Company from Tokyo for their production Hanafuda Denki, which was presented in Japanese with English and French surtitles. In February we presented the world premiere of Montréal-native Oren Safdie's  Unseamly.

• 2014/15 – As The City of Montréal is currently doing extensive renovations on the Bain St-Michel this season, Infinithéâtre finds itself homeless. We toured Ontario and Québec with Kafka's Ape, and will be presenting David Sherman and Nancy Lee's Lost & Found at the Rialto Theatre on Avenue du Parc in our Plateau neighbourhood. We will be holding our annual Pipeline Play Reading Series once again in the first week of December 2014.