theatre august 2014 toronto

The top live theatre shows in Toronto August 2014

Each month we round up the most noteworthy live theatre productions playing in Toronto.

SummerWorks Performance Festival
/ various venues / August 7-17 / $15

Festivals reign supreme during the summer theatre calendar in Toronto, and there is none more anticipated than the annual SummerWorks Performance Festival. The juried performance series features dozens of exciting shows and is accompanied by music and live art series, as well as a host of additional programming and partnerships to keep arts lovers buzzing. The talked-about shows usually book up quickly so it's best to stay ahead of the pack. Keep your eyes peeled for a full SummerWorks preview next week.

Dusk Dances / Withrow Park / August 4-10 / PWYC
One of the performance adventures of the summer comes courtesy of Dusk Dances, who celebrate their 20th season this year. Over the course of a leisurely stroll through Withrow Park, audiences are treated to six unique dance pieces. As the crowd swells with onlookers and neighbours alike, the night sky provides a fitting backdrop. This year's pieces include La vie, Through the Mask, Inner City Sirens Part II, Doun Doun Dance, Incandescent, and Run, the Process. The event features live music from Justin Rutledge.

Tartuffe / Soulpepper - Young Centre / August 11-September 20 / $29-$89
If you've seen Diego Matamoros own the stage at Soulpepper then you'll know that he's one of the city's finest performers. What an opportunity, then, to see him as the title character Tartuffe in the classic comedy from French master Moliere, one of the most clever plays ever written. When Orgon accepts Tartuffe into his home, his steadfast belief in the man's religious devotion is tested when his family falls prey to the hypocrite's advances.

Shakespeare in High Park: Titus Andronicus / High Park / July 4-August 31 / PWYC
Canadian Stage has bucked the outdoor Shakespeare theatre trend by presenting a challenging tragedy alongside the family-friendly comedies. Titus Andronicus, one of the more violent and brutal plays in the canon, follows the title character, a general in the Roman army, on his unending quest for revenge. If something lighter is what you crave, the company is also presenting As You Like It the gender-bending comedy which follows Rosalind and her cousin Celia into the Forest of Arden, under the stars.

The Bicycle Opera Project
/ Heliconian Hall / August 7-8 / PWYC

The young troupe of opera singers seeks to introduce communities across the province to contemporary Canadian opera through the Bicycle Opera Project. The innovative ensemble delivers their performances by bicycle, completing a route that stretches from Kingston to London. At their final stop in Toronto, they'll perfom seven different pieces, featuring librettos from Liza Balkan, Anton Piatigorsky, and David Yee.

BuskerFest / Yonge St. / August 21-24 / PWYC
Prepare for Yonge St. to be taken over with spontaneous performance when hundreds of street artists flood the city for the annual BuskerFest. What you may know about the festival is that the acts range from charming roamers to big time aerial and fire performers. What you may not know is that the festival is organized by Epilepsy Toronto, with proceeds going towards their yearlong efforts to assist all people with epilepsy and their families.

Photo of Titus Andronicus.

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