A case of mistaken identity ends in hilarity. A case of mistaken intent results in war. Canadian Stage returns to Toronto’s High Park for its 33rd season with two of Shakespeare’s great "Roman" plays on alternating nights throughout the summer: the fast-moving, delightful The Comedy of Errors, and the classic tragedy, Julius Caesar. With two exciting directors (graduating this year from York University's MFA program in Stage Direction in Collaboration with Canadian Stage) and one sparkling cast, you have two opportunities to take in this summer tradition under the stars in the High Park Amphitheatre.
“Shakespeare in High Park [is] an indispensable summer fixture”
– NOW MAGAZINE
Pick your date
- High Park Amphitheatre
- Get Directions
AdmissionThis general admission event is free for children 14 and under. Adults may make a pay-what you-can donation with cash, debit or credit cards at the gate. The suggested minimum donation is $20 per-person. Food, beverages and cushions are available for purchase.
Reserve a premium spot in advanceWhen reserving in advance, there’s no need to show up early to snag a spot (but of course you’re still welcome to arrive at 6pm and enjoy a picnic on the hill). Plus you’re guaranteed a premium view for your preferred performance. To reserve a cushion in the Premium zone in advance, pick a specific date, make an online $25 per-ticket donation, and we’ll save you a spot. Seating is first come, first served within the Premium zone. Print out and present your tickets at the gate on your selected date and you’re set!
Policies for reserving premium seating
- Reservations are accepted until 5pm on the day of the performance.
- Reservations are only held until 7:45pm, so please allow extra time for any delays.
- Upon arrival, present your printed ticket at the gate to be escorted to the Premium zone on the hill where you can sit on available cushions.
- If the performance is cancelled due to inclement weather, you will receive a Premium rain voucher to redeem for another performance until August 23 (subject to availability). Vouchers may be exchanged in advance until 5pm the same day as the new performance. Please call the box office 416.368.3110.
- Advance reservations are only available for performances July 2 to August 23.
- Premium seating ticket donations are not eligible for a tax receipt.
- Julius Caesar runs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
- The Comedy of Errors runs every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday
- No performances on Mondays
- Julius Caesar runs for 1 hour and 45 minutes, with no intermission
- The Comedy of Errors runs for 1 hour and 35 minutes, with no intermission
ConcessionsFor your added comfort, seat cushions are available for purchase and blankets or back supports may be rented. A tasty selection of food and non-alcoholic beverages is available for purchase:
Joia All Natural Soda
Water, Juices and Cola
Coffee & Tea
Getting to the High Park AmphitheatrePlan to arrive early by allowing ample travel time during the increased activity this summer during the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. This applies particularly when using alternative transportation on these performance dates when there is no vehicle access to High Park:
In addition to the Toronto 2015 Games Trip Planner above, another resource is the City of Toronto’s Road Restriction Map that is useful in the summer months for potential construction diversions.
Friday, July 24: The Comedy of Errors
Saturday, July 25: Julius Caesar
Friday, August 7: The Comedy of Errors
High Park is located in Toronto's west end, stretching from Bloor Street West in the north to The Queensway in the south and from Parkside Drive in the east to Ellis Avenue in the west. High Park is easily accessible by foot, bicycle, TTC or car. However, parking in High Park is extremely limited.
The Amphitheatre is located just east of Grenadier Restaurant, towards the centre of the park.
Click here to download a map of High Park.
Rain CancellationRain and lightning conditions are assessed at 8pm. If the performance cannot safely commence without endangering the cast and audience, the performance will be cancelled and you will receive a voucher to redeem on-site for complimentary admission to another performance (subject to availability).
Lawn ChairsLawn chairs are not allowed in the regular seating area of the hill. A limited number of spots at the rear of the hill are available exclusively for lawn chairs. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.
Accessible SeatingLimited accessible seating is available. Please see the Hill Supervisor upon arrival for more information.
PetsPets are not allowed in the High Park Amphitheatre, with the exception of service animals.
ASSISTANT LIGHTING DESIGNER
ASSISTANT SOUND DESIGNER
PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER
APPRENTICE STAGE MANAGER
The Comedy of Errors
ANTIPHOLUS OF EPHESUS
DROMIO OF EPHESUS
ANTIPHOLUS OF SYRACUSE
DROMIO OF SYRACUSE
Neil Silcox *
PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER
APPRENTICE STAGE MANAGER
* The services of Neil Silcox were made possible through Theatre Ontario's Professional Theatre Training Program, funded by the Ontario Arts Council
Director's NotesJulius Caesar is an instrument by which to examine ideas of citizenship and government, and artists have been using this play to interrogate their relationship to politics for centuries. This summer, as we head into the homestretch of a Federal election, the play provides us with an opportunity to question, in Foucault’s words: “how to be ruled, by whom, and to what ends”.
Before politics, comes community. And what have traditionally knit communities together are moments of assembly where face can see face, and shoulder can rub shoulder. This production seeks to celebrate the power and potential of Public Assembly by placing the dramatic action (and therefore the philosophical and moral dilemmas) in the audience.
This is a play with no villain and no hero, only a perpetual dilemma. By peering past the partisanship of Republican Rome, into its sacred heart, and by erasing the boundary between spectator and spectacle, we hope to ponder not “what do you do with a tyrant?” but “what do we do with us?”
- Estelle Shook
The StoryJulius Caesar returns to Rome victorious over his rival Pompey and is celebrated as a hero. However, a group of conspirators see Caesar’s ambition to become king as a threat and convince his trusted friend Brutus that he should be killed in order to protect Rome from the possible consequences of this ambition.
Ignoring warnings from both his wife Calphurnia and a Soothsayer, Caesar is coaxed to the Senate where he is brutally murdered. Brutus justifies the assassination by claiming it to be a necessary act of love to end Caesar’s threatening aspirations. In a stirring speech, Mark Antony is able to convince the citizens of Rome otherwise, with reminders of Caesar’s good doings, his repeated refusal of the crown, and his generous property bequest to the people of Rome. The mob is roused to seek revenge on the conspirators, who flee the city.
The exiles form their own army to defend themselves against the army Antony has assembled with his coalition of Lepidus and Octavius. The opposing sides meet on the battlefield, resulting in murder and suicide. Antony’s triumvirate is victorious, but to what end truly has Rome bled?
Costume Design by Michelle Tracey
Director's NotesShakespeare knows and forgives the errors that are the comedy of our lives. A trusty villain he is: if we’re dull with care and melancholy, we can trust him to lighten our mood with his merry jests. But he also knows what it is to be human. The search for who we are and with whom we belong is as old as history. And whether we’re anxious about money, love, deadlines, or status, Shakespeare illustrates on an extravagant scale what happens when neurotic tunnel vision prevents us from properly seeing the world around us. The Comedy of Errors also shows that on the other side of madness and calamity we may find love, redemption, and even ourselves. Shakespeare reminds us that our point of view is one of many, and that by sharing ours with one another we can all achieve a richer and fuller perspective on life.
- Matjash Mrozewski
The StoryThe play opens with the trial of a poor merchant from Syracuse, whose family was separated years ago by shipwreck. This merchant, Egeon, had undertaken a quest to search for his surviving twin son, Antipholus, who had two years earlier set off with his bondsman Dromio (also a twin) to search for their respective missing brothers. Egeon is unsuccessful in his search, and on his journey homeward trespasses into Ephesus, a city-state in conflict with Syracuse. Unable to pay the necessary ransom, Egeon is condemned to death by the laws of Ephesus.
That same night, his son Antipholus arrives in Ephesus with Dromio, unaware that Egeon has recently landed, and that his long-lost twin lives in the city as well. The local twin, Antipholus of Ephesus, also has a bondsman named Dromio (the Syracusans having adopted their lost brothers’ names).
A roller coaster of errors begins as the visiting Antipholus is thrust unwittingly into his brother’s domestic life, which involves an alienated wife, Adriana, and an enchanting sister-in-law, Luciana. Sharing names and appearances, the four twins — and eventually the members of their community — are all tied up in an absurd knot of confusion that builds to a frenzied climax.