Coal Mine Theatre presents the Toronto premiere of the edgy and electric INSTRUCTIONS (TO ANY FUTURE SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT WISHING TO ABOLISH CHRISTMAS) from May 29 – June 19. Written by Canadian playwright Michael Mackenzie, directed by David Storch and starring Coal Mine’s Artistic Curator Ted Dykstra and Artistic Producer Diana Bentley, this modern-day two-hander examines the shifting and suspect forces that drive the global financial system.
Set in 2008 against the panic-stricken backdrop of the U.S. financial collapse, a ruthless hedge fund manager in the midst of market chaos, gets a surprise visit from his brilliant yet troubled assistant who has just returned from an enforced sabbatical. Their intense interactions swing between humorous and tender to crude and cunning as they examine the financial mess and interrogate each other about their work and motives.
Equal parts thriller and Greek tragedy, emotions, numbers and words collide in a frantic yet controlled rhythm made all the more dramatic by Mackenzie’s breathtaking use of language and his perceptive take on the global economy.
Michael Mackenzie is a Canadian film and theatre director, screenwriter, playwright and dramaturge best known for his play Geometry in Venice; his feature film The Baroness and the Pig, an adaptation of his play; and his Genie Award-winning screenplay Le Polygraphe, co-written with Robert Lepage and Marie Brassard.
Director David Storch has performed or directed at most major theatre companies in Canada. He recently helmed The Road to Mecca (Soulpepper) and has appeared in Cake and Dirt (Tarragon Theatre) and Arigato, Tokyo (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre).
INSTRUCTIONS was originally commissioned by Crow’s Theatre and premiered at Montreal’s Centaur Theatre in 2011, directed by Chris Abraham with Dykstra originating the role of Jason.
Actor, writer and director Ted Dykstra is known internationally for 2 Pianos 4 Hands, his wildly successful collaboration with Richard Greenblatt. For Coal Mine Theatre, Dykstra appeared in the inaugural production of The Motherf**ker With The Hat and directed the second season premiere, The River.
Actor and producer Diana Bentley, a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Actors Conservatory and the London Academy of Musical and Dramatic Art, has produced the first two seasons of the Coal Mine Theatre as well as appeared in BULL, directed by David Ferry. Bentley recently completed filming a new Canadian television series, Frontier, to be broadcast on Discovery Canada and Netflix.
Robert Cushman, Review, June 18, 2016
“In Toronto, and hugely recommended: the Coal Mine, currently the most exciting house in town, concludes its second season with “Instructions to Any Future Socialist Government Wishing to Abolish Christmas.” It’s even better than its title.”
Beach Mirror/Inside Toronto, June 10, 2016
Slotkin Letter, Review, June 9, 2016
My Entertainment World, Review, June 8, 2016
http://www.myentertainmentworld.ca/2016/06/lemon-instructions/ NOW Toronto, Review, June 7, 2016 https://nowtoronto.com/stage/theatre/review-this-incident-sparks-an-important-discussion_1/
Mooney on Theatre, Review, June 7, 2016
Sprockets & Greasepaint, Review, June 7, 2016
The Theatre Reader, Saturday, June 4, 2016
The FLIPSTER, June 1, 2016
Post City Toronto, May 27, 2016
http://www.postcity.com/Eat-Shop-Do/Do/May-2016/The-Pitch-Why-you-should-go-see-Instructions/ Post City Toronto, May 8, 2016 http://www.postcity.com/Eat-Shop-Do/Do/May-2016/Eight-great-dates-with-Mom/