SOULPEPPER THEATRE PLANS TO RELAUNCH TRAINING RESIDENCY NEXT FALL

The Soulpepper Theatre Company says it plans to relaunch its training program after putting it on hold last year in the wake of sexual-harassment allegations.

TORONTO — The Soulpepper Theatre Company says it plans to relaunch its training program after putting it on hold last year in the wake of sexual-harassment allegations.

The Toronto-based non-profit says it hopes to accept a new class of actors, designers, directors, and playwrights to join the Soulpepper Academy next fall.

Soulpepper says the admissions process is set to kick off this spring, pending confirmation of government funding and donations.

A Soulpepper spokesman said last year the academy was put on hiatus while the theatre company conducted a review of the program and looked for new leadership.

Soulpepper co-founder Albert Schultz stepped down as artistic director in January 2018, vowing to vigorously defend himself in a sexual-harassment lawsuit filed by four actresses.

In August 2018, all parties said they had reached an out-of-court settlement, the terms of which have not been disclosed.

The Soulpepper Academy is expected to resume under the leadership of the theatre company’s new artistic director Weyni Mengesha.

Soulpepper is also launching a program in January that offers patrons aged 25 and under two free same-day tickets to mainstage and concert productions.

Every morning, the remaining tickets to that day’s performances will be made available online to young theatre-goers, who are welcome to bring a guest of any age.

The initiative was announced Monday as Soulpepper unveiled its programming for January to August 2020.

Highlights include Mengesha’s direction of “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train,” written by Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis, and the Canadian premiere of Roland Schimmelpfennig’s “Winter Solstice,” directed by Alan Dilworth, with a cast featuring Soulpepper founding members Nancy Palk and Diego Matamoros.

The Canadian Press

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