Joff Schmidt

CBC theatre reviewer

Joff Schmidt is a copy editor for CBC Manitoba. Since 2005, he's also been CBC Manitoba's theatre critic on radio and online. He majored in theatre at the U of M, and performed in many university and Fringe festival productions along the way (ranging from terrible to pretty good, according to the reviews). Find him on Twitter @JoffSchmidt.

Latest from Joff Schmidt


No need for musical theatre fans to riot: Strike! is a crowd-pleasing, if not subtle, look at 1919 strike

The latest production of Strike! The Musical at Rainbow Stage provides an engaging and satisfying take on a seminal moment in Winnipeg’s history.

Taking risks with Shakespeare's most famous play pays off in SIR's Hamlet … mostly

While not all of the risks Shakespeare in the Ruins takes in their "gender occupied" Hamlet, it’s a fresh and engaging look at Shakespeare’s most famous play.

Kiss of the Spider Woman musical is dark, disturbingly timely

Torture, oppression, homophobia and revolution are not typically the makings of musical theatre. But John Kander and Fred Ebb found success with that dark material in Kiss of the Spider Woman, which gets a solid production from Winnipeg's Dry Cold.

Graphic novel comes to life onstage in visually spectacular new sci-fi play Red Earth

One Trunk Theatre's production of Red Earth is presented by Theatre Projects Manitoba in partnership with Prairie Theatre Exchange. It runs until May 18 at PTE.

Royal MTC's crowd-pleasing cottage conflict comedy is well worth a visit

While maintaining, and sharing, the family cottage may be a challenge at times, Jake MacDonald’s new play The Cottage is anything but — it’s light, breezy entertainment that goes down as easy as a cold beer on the dock on a hot summer day.

A provocative journey to the end: New play How It Ends explores end-of-life issues

How It Ends experiments — sometimes boldly, sometimes playfully, though not always entirely satisfyingly — with a blend of approaches to telling its story and raising difficult questions about life, disability and end-of-life issues.

Communication breakdown: Shaky script sinks bilingual production from 2 Winnipeg theatres

What To Do With Albert? is an ambitious bilingual co-production between Prairie Theatre Exchange and Théâtre Cercle Molière, but it seems unlikely it's a script that works in any language.

Odd couple offers good laughs in Winnipeg Jewish Theatre romcom After Jerusalem

Winnipeg Jewish Theatre's production of After Jerusalem runs at the Berney Theatre at the Asper Jewish Community Campus until April 14.

Haunting theatre: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright's John is moody, weirdly funny and captivating

Annie Baker's John is a carefully crafted play that takes a deep — but also sometimes shockingly funny — look at love, the ghosts of the past, and how the unseen (and unspoken) world affects us.

Spectacular design, inventive staging buoys 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea adaptation

A visually spectacular multimedia adaptation of the Jules Verne science fiction classic successfully blends the old with the new — mostly.

Graceful and resonant dance-theatre piece Finding Wolastoq Voice speaks volumes

Finding Wolastoq Voice is not always easy viewing, but this moving and elegant dance piece from New Brunswick's Natalie Sappier carries a resonant message of hope, and of the power of finding a voice — and of listening for the voices that we need to hear.

Stylish and ambitious, but Boom X misses its mark in effort to dive deep into generation X

The latest from master impressionist Rick Miller makes a game effort to dive deep into the slacker generation, but feels like it’s stymied by the challenge of defining a generation that has neither the world-changing power of the boomers nor the sheer force of will that seems to define millennials.

Telling her story with grace and beauty: Lara Rae's play Dragonfly tackles 'gender odyssey'

Comedian and writer Lara Rae's new play tells, with poetic grace, the story of her journey from a boyhood in Glasgow to her current life as a transgender woman in Winnipeg — and the many stages along the way.

It's a pip: Fresh take on Broadway hit Pippin finds wit, depth in unusual musical

It’s a rare show that makes an existential search for meaning and dark subject matter like war, murder and suicide into an entertaining musical. Pippin is such a rare beast, and this production winningly embraces its oddness.

In with the new: Prairie Theatre Exchange's new season features 6 world premieres

Prairie Theatre Exchange has unveiled an all-Canadian 2019-20 season with a focus on world premieres of new work — including a long-awaited new play from a Governor General's Award-winning Winnipeg playwright and a new adaptation of a Robert Munsch favourite.