GCTC and Shaw Festival bring Michael Healey’s latest political comedy 1979 to Ottawa | www.gctc.ca

GCTC and Shaw Festival bring Michael Healey’s latest political comedy 1979 to Ottawa


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEE - OTTAWA March 28, 2017 – One week after its world premiere in Calgary, GCTC and the Shaw Festival are premiering their co-production of Michael Healey’s hotly anticipated 1979:  a razor-sharp new comedy about Joe Clark and his final night in office. 1979 will run on the GCTC stage from April 11 – 30 to close out the 2016-17 season, and then play in and around Niagara for the Shaw Festival’s 2017 season.


With both organizations having politically engaged audiences, neither shies away from producing challenging work; and 1979 is just that. A politically charged satire from one of Canada’s most celebrated playwrights that takes on one of its least celebrated leaders.


“One of Canada’s most distinguished and political playwrights.”Toronto Star


On the eve of his minority government’s defeat in a non-confidence motion, Prime Minister Joe Clark seeks a moment of peace in the privacy of his office ... or at least he tries. Enter every political powerhouse of the era – from Pierre Elliot Trudeau to John Crosbie to Flora Macdonald – to set plans off-course in a fast-paced satire about a fascinating time in Canadian politics.


Eric Coates, Artistic Director of GCTC, says, “Everyone is fair game in a Healey satire, but you may be surprised by where he aims the arrows and where he offers praise. Ultimately, this script is a tribute to Joe Clark’s ideals.”


Michael Healey has a rich history of penning biting satires based on Canadian politics and society. He is one of Canada’s most prolific playwrights and his plays (Proud, Generous, Courageous, and Plan B among others) have received multiple productions across the country, and have lampooned Canadian values in the process.  1979 will be Michael’s third play to be produced at GCTC in 4 years.


Michael Healey’s 1979 is co-produced by GCTC and the Shaw Festival.


Opening night for reviewers: Thursday, April 13, 2017. Curtain is at 8:00 p.m.


Performances Times

Performances begin at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday –Friday. Saturday performances begin at 4:00 p.m. & 8:30 p.m. Sunday matinee performances begin at 2:00 p.m. Pay-what-you-can performance on Sunday, April 16 at 2:00 p.m. and a post-performance talkback will take place on the main stage on Thursday, April 20.



This season we're offering a unique opportunity for you to gain greater insight and access to our creative process: the GCTC Prologue Series is a new, engaging pre-show event that is free to the public and hosted by CBC Ottawa journalist Sandra Abma.

So, what is it?
The Prologue Series offers a closer look at each GCTC production, giving our audience more behind-the-scenes access and insight on how our productions actually come together. Each show will feature a unique panel of guests including artists, designers and experts who specialize in themes relating to the show.  There will be an opportunity for questions from the audience, too.

When is the Prologue Series?
The Prologue Series is free to the public and will take place before the second preview of each production at 6:45 pm in the GCTC lobby. The event takes place on April 12 and the guests include:

·         Eric Coates (GCTC Artistic Director and 1979 Director)

·         Jennifer Goodman (1979 Costume Designer)

·         AL Connors (Comedian and Theatre Artist)


Chefs & Shows

For each of GCTC’s mainstage productions in the 2016-17 season, a pop-up restaurant will form in GCTC’s lobby for one night only during the run. Each pop-up restaurant will be led by one of Ottawa’s most renowned executive chefs and feature a prix fixe menu created and inspired by the play on our stage. The final course includes tickets to the performance that evening.


On April 18, Marc Lepine from the award-winning Ottawa restaurant Atelier will be taking over the GCTC lobby to provide a deliciously creative feast inspired by 1979.  Tickets are limited and available on GCTC.ca one week before the pop-up.



Tickets are on sale now at GCTC’s Box Office at 1233 Wellington West at Holland, 613-236-5196 or GCTC.ca. Regular ticket price range: $38 to $54. Rush Tickets $15 for students; $33 for adults.

Tickets can be purchased in person from the GCTC Box Office after noon on the day of performance. Valid student ID required for Student Rush.



Subscriptions are now available for GCTC’s 2017-18 season. Early bird prices for a 6-Play subscription start at $180 and are in effect until April 18. For more information on the 2017-18 season, visit GCTC.ca or call the GCTC Box Office at 613-236-5196.


The Fritzi Gallery

From April 11 – May 13, the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC) and The Ottawa School of Art (OSA) will present Levity and Gravity, a solo exhibit featuring the work of diploma student Max K. Black at the Lorraine “Fritzi” Yale Gallery.  A vernissage, with an opportunity to meet the artists, will take place Tuesday, April 11th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. GCTC’s partnership with the Ottawa School of Art is supported by Cube Gallery.


About GCTC

GCTC celebrates its 42nd season in 2016–17. We continue to foster, produce and promote excellent

theatre that provokes examination of Canadian life and our place in the world. Now at the beginning of a 3-year strategic plan, GCTC aims to increase the diversity on it stages, diversify its audiences and deepen their experience. GCTC also continues to embrace artistic risk and to ensure a wide range of theatrical experiences.




For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:

Andrew Soobrian

Marketing and Communications Manager

Great Canadian Theatre Company


613-236-5192 ext. 229