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. As our first four seasons demonstrated we are determined to present superbly written, richly thoughtful, and fearlessly challenging plays produced, directed and acted at the highest possible level. With only 80 seats a night, The Coal Mine is inspired by the intimacy and excitement of the Off-Off-Broadway experience. The Coal Mine returns with another explosive season of plays that continue to prioritize excellence while offering a highly entertaining experience in their intimate eighty-seat theatre. #SeasonFive, the Coal Mine’s most ambitious yet, includes three important Toronto premieres of plays usually snapped up by the larger houses, a co-production with Studio 180 Theatre, a special holiday improv show, and…the devil.

We’ve been doing some thinking, and have resolved that every single year should be our best one ever. To that end, we believe this season - drum roll - is our strongest yet, (hilarious, moving, gripping and dramatic, all plays that Toronto has never seen!) and we are so excited to share it with you!
— Diana Bentley & Ted Dykstra (Co-Engineers)


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