“A must-see event in the summer calendar”
– Neil Boyce | The Montreal Mirror
Founded in 1988, Montreal’s Repercussion Theatre is best known for its annual Shakespeare-in-the-Park summer tour. As a professional theatre company and non-profit arts organization, our core values are artistic excellence, social relevance and accessibility.
Mission: Repercussion Theatre’s mission is to deliver professional, classically based, visually dynamic theatre that is accessible to all, regardless of income, culture, language, age or education.
“We don’t just present Shakespeare’s plays – we enter into dialogue with them. Just as William Shakespeare used the theatre as a way to ‘hold a mirror up to nature’, we seek to explore the major issues of our time through the work we create. So why Shakespeare? He asks some deeply important questions in sublimely subtle ways. His intelligence, humanity and imagination are endless sources of inspiration. As a creative partner, he’s without equal.”
– Amanda Kellock | Artistic Director
Shakespeare-in-the-Park and Beyond…
On the Road: Repercussion Theatre has toured professional productions of Shakespeare’s plays to parks throughout Montreal and beyond for 30 years. Our productions are performed in the open air. Our venue is the community park. Our theatre, including the stage, lights and sound equipment, can be set up and torn down the day of the show. Our audiences arrive at their local park with lawn chairs and blankets, ready to enjoy Shakespeare under the stars. They can make a donation, or enjoy the show free of charge. Over 12,000 people see our shows each summer.
Launching Careers: Shakespeare-in-the-Park has helped more than 450 actors, designers and technicians establish their careers in the theatre. That first professional experience is so vital to one’s development, and Repercussion’s commitment to mentorship allows emerging and established practitioners to learn from each other.
Love of Learning: Children and teens do more than just watch our productions. Through ongoing and ever-evolving activities, many of our younger patrons are given opportunities to engage directly with our productions. Theses opportunities for youth promote a lifelong love of language and the arts, and encourage creativity, compassion and cooperation.
Mentorship and Community-Building
Repercussion Theatre is committed to reflecting the artistic and cultural richness of Montreal, a community that prides itself on diversity. Our performances explore this dynamic city’s multi-lingual and multi-cultural identity – and exploration that is central to our ability to understand one another as citizens and neighbours. Between Shakespeare’s poetic investigation of what it means to be human and our contemporary stagings of his work, we invite our audiences to contemplate the role of the arts in their lives, to value difference, and to engage in community-building together.
Repercussion Theatre also offers professional and educational workshops, and partners with other companies in creating/curating events.
Gender Parity and Cultural Representation
After our all-female production of Julius Caesar in 2016, we committed to ensuring our Shakespeare-in-the-Park artistic team (directors, designers and actors) will be comprised of at least 50% women each summer. Cultural diversity has been an unspoken part of our DNA from the beginning, but now we are saying aloud that we are committed to presenting the cultural diversity of Montreal’s communities on our stage. This isn’t simply a question of “color-blind-casting”, this is about bringing a plurality of voices into the room to engage with and affect how we interpret and present Shakespeare’s plays.
Repercussion Theatre’s Shakespeare-in-the-Park festival was born in the summer of 1988, when a dedicated group presented four performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (directed by Julie Miller) to 800 people in Beaconsfield and Westmount Park. Ten years later, under the artistic direction of Cas Anvar, Repercussion Theatre toured North America, playing several cities throughout the United States, while still calling Montreal home. The 1990’s also saw the emergence of the company’s first Shakespeare-in-the-Schools tours, which visited a number of schools in Montreal and Ontario and, bringing its unique brand of the Bard to young audiences.
In 2002, the company refocused on touring Montreal and the surrounding areas, particularly to the English-language communities in Quebec (official language minority communities) many of whom have limited access to cultural events in their own language. Under the artistic direction of Kevin Orr, many experiments in bilingualism ensued, such as a collaboration with the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde in 2004, and a fully bilingual production of a Molière play in 2007.
In 2007, Repercussion Theatre returned to its roots when Paul Hopkins (the company’s Romeo in 1993) came onboard as the new Artistic Director. Paul’s belief in the transformative power of Shakespeare’s language and in the creative potential of mentorship set the stage for the next 8 years. During this time, Repercussion became a full member of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT), focused on bringing together established and emerging artists, and began making training and mentorship key parts of the company’s work.
In January of 2015, Amanda Kellock was chosen as Artistic Director, bringing with her a vision of the company that continues to combine artistic excellence and social relevance. As an actor, director and teacher who has worked with the company many times since 2004, Amanda’s roots with Repercussion run deep. She is committed to holding a mirror up to nature – to reflecting the complexity and diversity of this city – and to continuing to explore all the ways in which we can engage with Shakespeare’s work.