Entertainment

Soulpepper Theatre to relaunch training residency

The Soulpepper Theatre Company says it hopes to accept a new class of actors, designers, directors, and playwrights when it relaunches its training program, on hold since last year in the wake of sexual-harassment allegations.

Company aims to admit new class of actors, designers, directors, and playwrights next fall

Weyni Mengesha is an award-winning theatre director and the artistic director of the Soulpepper Theatre Company. (Daniel Malavasi/Soulpepper)

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

The academy was put on hiatus while Soulpepper conducted a review of the program and looked for new leadership. Company 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 academy is expected to resume under the leadership of Soulpepper's new artistic director, Weyni Mengesha.

The Toronto troupe 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.