About Us

The critically acclaimed and award-winning Coal Mine Theatre, Toronto’s Off-Off Broadview Theatre, is founded by Chief Engineers Diana Bentley and Ted Dykstra. Five seasons of sold out shows (all Toronto premieres of highly challenging award winning scripts from around the world)  have made The Coal Mine one of the most talked about and successful independent Toronto theatres ever. With only 80 seats a night, The Coal Mine is inspired by the intimacy and excitement of the Off-Off-Broadway experience: well known names routinely share the stage with up-and-comers in what has been a thrilling mix, garnering numerous Dora and Toronto Critics’ awards every season. And the intoxicating  melange doesn’t stop with the actors: a slew of design and directorial award wins and nominations mean that Coal Mine Audiences are experiencing, year in, year out, the highest caliber productions the city has to offer, a veritable theatre jewel in The East End. 

The 2019/2020 Coal Mine playbill promises to be another season of sold-out-in-your-face theatre that  Coal Mine audiences have come to expect. Four more Toronto premieres: four more plays that this city’s theatre affectionados  will be clamoring to see. The Canadian legend Martha Henry will star in Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison. Shaw Festival star Jim Mezon, Jonathon Young (star and co-creator the worldwide hit  Betroffenheit) and The Coal Mine’s own Diana Bentley will star in David Harrower’s acclaimed Knives In Hens,  Stratford stage star and director Nigel Shawn Williams will star in Stephen Adly Guirgis’, Between Riverside and Crazy, and the season will conclude with the Pulitzer Prize winning  The Cost Of Living, by Martyna Majoc, directed by Ted Dykstra.

 It is, without doubt, a season not to be missed.


Ted has acted, directed, written and/or composed for every major theatre in Canada and around the world, including such great cities as New York, London and Tokyo. He is a proud graduate of The National Theatre School Of Canada, and a founding member of Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre. Arguably best known for co-creating one of the most successful plays in Canada's history, "2 Pianos, 4 Hands," Ted also wrote the hit musical Evangeline (Citadel Theatre, Charlottetown Festival). Recent film and TV appearances include Orphan Black, Reign, Carter and Farenheit 451 for HBO. Over the course of his career he has been the recipient of numerous awards including five Doras, a Gemini, a Sterling, a Merritt and a Chalmers.


Diana Bentley is a Toronto based actor and producer. She is the Co-Chief Engineer of the Coal Mine Theatre, where she also takes to the stage regularly (OrphansInstructions..., and Bull). Her most recent television and film appearances include: FrontierChannel ZeroThe ExpanseHemlock Grove and 12 Monkeys. She is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Actors Conservatory, and the London Academy of Musical and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Upon graduation from LAMDA she joined the Soulpepper Theatre Company for appearances in A Month in the Country and Our Town. 


Every show at The Coal Mine has its own team of producers, designers, actors and stage management. This means more opportunities for more people. But the Chief Engineers are grateful to have the team of people listed below to consult with on a regular basis.

Coal Mine Artistic Associates:

Sean Baker
Rae Ellen Bodie
Steve Lucas
Kostis Petridis
Charissa Wilcox