The Coal Mine is a new independent theatre in Toronto's east end, founded by Chief Engineers Diana Bentley and Ted Dykstra. As our first two 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. This season we are thrilled to bring you three Toronto premieres of critically acclaimed international plays, and our first ever Christmas show. All brought to you by artists you already love, and artists you're going to discover.
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's next big project is his musical "Evangeline," being co-produced this season by The Charlottetown Festival and Edmonton's Citadel Theatre. 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 holds a degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto and is a graduate of the classical acting program at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. In the few short years since moving to Toronto she has acted for Soulpepper Theatre and in numerous Indie productions, including her terrifying turn in "Bull" for The Coal Mine last season. She also, in that span, attended and graduated from The Canadian Film Centre’s acting program. She has acted in numerous TV series and films, and is currently co-writing / producing / acting in the web series Tactical Girls. Diana has produced a string of 10 indie shows in Toronto including "The Motherf**ker With The Hat," "Bull," and "Creditors" for The Coal Mine last year. All ten of these shows had two things in common: not one of them received public funding, and not one of them lost money. All of the above rightly prompted NOW Magazine to name her one of the Ten Artists To Watch in Toronto in 2015.