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5 True Stories Told on Stage

January 15, 2018 by Anne Berkowitz
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Sometimes, the real world provides the most compelling narratives. As the saying goes, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” The stage can be the perfect place to tell these tales, as the liveness often adds a legitimacy and personal element to the performance. This year, a handful of true stories have made their way to the world of theatre, as well as narratives asking what it means to fictionalize the truth. Here are some of our favourite truth-inspired tales to take the stage this year. Be sure to check out all the exciting stories being told on stage in 2018 in Toronto, New York, and beyond on TodayTix.

1. True Crime

“True” is in the title of the Crow’s Theatre’s presentation of this Castleton Massive Production. True Crime is a mind-twisting encounter with an artist obsessed with how we all fake it, one way or another. This exciting piece centers around Clark Rockefeller, a real-life conman of the highest order, now serving a near-life sentence in a California State prison. And iconic Canadian ranter and rocker Torquil Campbell wants to try him on for size. What does it mean for an excellent fabulator to embody an excellent fabulator? And in the end, does an intricate con differ that much from a successful work of art? Torquil’s dogged investigation and impersonation challenges us to find the truth in True Crime and confronts our cultural addiction to a good story.


2. Bang Bang

With playwright Kat Sandler’s trademark wit, Bang Bang traces the impact of what it means to be inspired by true events. In this Factory-commissioned World Premiere, a white playwright uses the shooting of an unarmed young black man by a police officer as a “jumping off point” for his hit play that is soon to be adapted into a major movie. As Hollywood comes knocking for the writer, he makes a surprise visit to the home of the officer involved. Bang Bang is running from February 1st through the 18th. You can purchase tickets now through TodayTix, starting at just $23!


3. My Funny Valentine

My Funny Valentine is the tragically moving story of a town recovering from a fear-induced hate crime by the hand of a young boy. In February 2008, a fifteen-year-old boy asked another boy in his class to be his valentine. The next day, that boy shot and killed him during first period. My Funny Valentine enters the minds of people on the fringes of a murder that will forever affect them and examines the ripple effect of hatred in a community. Haunting, moving, and at times strangely comedic, My Funny Valentine cracks open the greater humanity of a town trying to heal. My Funny Valentine is currently playing at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre until the end of January.


4. Come From Away

After a sold-out, standing-room only Toronto engagement before heading to Broadway (and being nominated for 7 Tony Awards, winning for Best Direction of a Musical), Come From Away returns due to overwhelming demand! This lovely, exuberant, and moving show is set in Newfoundland, which has been called the “edge of the world.” The weather is wild, but the locals never lack for warmth. And it’s here, in Newfoundland, where a remote town became the epicenter of a remarkable true story filled with unusual characters, unexpected camaraderie and uncommon generosity. Come From Away is the breathtaking new musical that Toronto embraced with open arms and had audiences leaving the theatre night after night claiming they were “proud to be Canadian!” Come From Away will be returning to town in February, so set your alerts for when tickets become available through TodayTix now.


5. What a Young Wife Ought to Know

Set in 1920s Ottawa, What a Young Wife Ought to Know tells the story of Sophie, a young working-class wife who has a lot to learn about love, sex, and birth control. An examination of the destructive shame enacted upon women in western society for centuries via the withholding of knowledge, What a Young Wife Ought to Know is also a sensual, sometimes funny, love story. Sophie’s journey through womanhood and motherhood is sometimes tragic, sometimes ridiculous, and always recognizable. An unflinching look at love, sex, and fertility, What a Young Wife Ought to Know is not based on one true story, but sheds light on the Canadian birth control movement of the early 20th century. Crow’s Theatre Presents this 2b Theatre Production, which begins performances in March. Set an alert for when tickets become available!


What true stories are you excited to be told in 2018? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.