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Timon of Athens

Timon of Athens

Bard to get gender twists in Ruins’ new season

By: Randall King

Posted: Winnipeg Free Press 01/23/2018

In a year that kicked off with massive protests against institutional sexism, the Winnipeg theatre company Shakespeare in the Ruins (SIR) announces a season that uses the works of William Shakespeare to target the gender divide from a fresh perspective.

The company performs Timon of Athens at the Trappist Monastery venue from May 31 to June 23 with an all-female cast. The second play of its season, typically a touring production that plays high schools and rural municipalities, sees SIR return to its 2017 tragedy Romeo and Juliet, this time performed by four male actors, which hearkens to the early Elizabethan tradition banning female actors from the stage (as portrayed in Shakespeare in Love).

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“I thought I would balance the choice of an all-female show with an all-male show,” SIR artistic director Michelle Boulet says. “But choosing to do an all-female show as our mainstage production is kind of a big statement.

Their Romeo and Juliet “will not be the same at all” to the two-hour Ruins production of 2017, Boulet says. “It will be a one-hour show and it will give the students the idea of how, in Shakespeare’s time, women weren’t even allowed to act.

“So we put it in a historical setting and that frees them up to watch the show as an educational thing,” she says. “As they watch it, they’ll get drawn in and forget that they’re watching four guys.

“In the same way, I’m hoping the audience will forget that in Timon, they’re watching all women and go along with the story, no matter what the gender is.”

Given that Shakespeare wrote a couple of plays that explicitly address a battle of the sexes — The Taming of the Shrew and Much Ado About Nothing — Timon of Athens registers as one of the Bard’s more obscure plays, about a gentleman of Athens who is undone by his foolish generosity to undeserving friends.

“I was looking for a show that didn’t necessarily have gender politics in it, so that when you transfer it over, it’s unencumbered by that,” Boulet says.

“Basically, it’s such a simple story, it’s like a parable. It’s just Timon’s very simple journey.”

randall.king@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @FreepKing

Read more by Randall King.

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25th Anniversary Raffle

6460 SIR Stratford graphics

In support of Shakespeare in the Ruins 25th Year

Prize: Trip for two to The Stratford Festival 2018 in Stratford, ON!
prize includes:

  • Round trip airfare for two round-trip ground transportation between 
the airport and Stratford
  • Three nights accommodation
  • Six ticket vouchers for your choice of productions for 
The Stratford Festival 2018 season (subject to availability)
  • $500 spending money

Stratford FestivalWestJet Logo

Draw to take place Saturday, June 23, 2018 
during intermission at SIR’s final performance 
of Timon of Athens at the Trappist Monastery 
Provincial Heritage Park. Winner does not have 
to be present at the draw to win. Trip must be booked before September 30, 2018.

Raffle Tickets $25 • Contact SIR for tickets: 
admin@sirmb.ca  or call 204.957.1753


When are your box office hours?


Our Box Office operates out of Prairie Theatre Exchange (PTE, 3rd floor, Portage Place) and has variable hours.

From April 23 to May 18, the box office is open 10:00am-6:00pm, Monday-Friday.

From May 22-June 22, the box office is open 1:00pm-5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

Sorry, our box office is closed on weekends.

Advance tickets are available to purchase online 24 hours a day.

Unfortunately our online box office is unable to process same day purchases on weekends.

SAME DAY TICKETS – In order to purchase through our box office, tickets must be purchased before 4:00pm on the day of the show. SAME WEEKEND tickets must be purchased from the box office prior to 4:00pm on Friday.  If there are still tickets available for that day’s performance, or Saturday and Sunday performances that weekend, they will be sold at the door out at the Ruins 45 minutes before show time.

Please call our office 204-957-1753 to find out if there are still tickets available for this weekend’s performances.

I’ve got tickets for tomorrow’s performance, but there is rain in the forecast. Do you cancel due to rain?

No, Shakespeare in the Ruins does not cancel a performance due to rain in the forecast. We have a large tent at the park which we perform under in case of rain. We ONLY cancel a performance if there is thunder and lightning overhead at the park right before or during a performance. Please dress appropriately for the weather, as the show must go on!

Where are the Ruins?

The ‘Ruins’, as we lovingly call them, or The Trappist Monastery Heritage Provincial Park is located in St. Norbert, Manitoba at 100 Ruines du Monastere St.

Drive south on Pembina Hwy past the St. Norbert Farmer’s Market. Turn right at the lights before the bridge onto Rue des Trappistes. Turn left on Ruines du Monastere St. You can’t miss us!

I’ve purchased tickets, where do I pick them up?

Tickets are available for pick up at the Ruins box office table 45 minutes before the performance begins.

Do I need to bring a chair?

No, we provide a complimentary chair for the performance. Just dress for the weather and bring your fabulous self!

Is the park/show wheelchair accessible?

Yes! Our performances have been staged to accommodate patrons in a wheelchair.

The show I was at was rained out and cancelled. What do I do?

In the event that there are thunder storms or weather so extreme that a show has to be cancelled, we will exchange your tickets for another showing. Please call the box office during their business hours (outlined above) to exchange your tickets 204-942-5483 OR email the box office at boxoffice@pte.mb.ca. Exchanges are subject to availability and we will do our very best to accommodate the exchange.

Is there public access to the park during the performances?

During performances, Shakespeare in the Ruins has an agreement with the Province of Manitoba for exclusive use of the park. During performances, access to the park is restricted to SIR ticket holders ONLY. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. For a full schedule of when access to the park will be restricted to the public, please click here.


If you have any other questions, please call Lisa at the office 204-957-1753 or email gm@sirmb.ca

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