By STEVEN HOWELL
---- — MONTREAL — The fall Montreal theater season stage is set with unique Shakespearean takes, a surreal trip to a Kentucky revival, and a few singing and dancing guys and dolls.
With a new theater season comes a new production company. Making its debut, Metachroma Theatre takes up residence at the Studio space at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts with its production of “Richard III.”
Taking inspiration from the Greek translation to mean “beyond color,” Metachroma Theatre ranks as Montreal’s only independent theater company of professional actors of color, according to a press release. The goal is to “address the under-representation of visible minority actors in Canadian theatre, challenging current perceptions by telling stories with a diverse cast in order to normalize the presence of these artists on stage.”
The cast of seasoned actors represents Africa, the First Nations, the Caribbean, China, India, Japan and the U.K.
“Richard III” runs Sept. 19 through 30 at the Studio of the Segal Centre. Tickets start at $18. The Sept. 19 preview is pay-what-you-can. A two-for-one special is offered Sept. 24.
The Segal Centre for Performing Arts also presents a new season of main-stage productions beginning with the classic “Guys and Dolls.”
The Tony Award-winning musical tells the tale of a band of high-stakes gamblers in the city that never sleeps. “Guys and Dolls” is presented Sept. 30 through Oct. 28. Tickets start at $29.
The Studio stage then presents the Black Theatre Workshop production of “Harlem Duet,” which offers a preface to Shakespeare’s “Othello” through the eyes of Billie, Othello’s first wife “who is left behind as Othello moves closer to a white identity,” according to the press release. It’s all set at the corners of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X boulevards in upper Manhattan.
“Harlem Duet” runs Oct. 24 through Nov. 11. Tickets start at $25 and are available at www.blacktheatreworkshop.ca or by calling (514) 932-1104.
Next on the Segal main stage is “Red,” a six-time Tony Award-winning drama about two years in the life of New York abstract-expressionist artist Mark Rothko.
“Red” runs Nov. 25 through Dec. 16. Tickets start at $24.
The Segal Centre is at 5170 Chemin Cote St. Catherine. Call (514) 739-7944 or visit www.segalcentre.org for more info.
Centaur Theatre opens its fall season with “August, An Afternoon in the Country.” During a heat wave, “August” begins with celebratory good intentions as Monique and her fiancé commemorate their engagement on the family farm. Things really heat up when four generations of Monique’s relatives have a few things to say during the course of this family reunion.
“August” is presented Oct. 2 through 28.
Next is a trip to Southie, the hard-working Boston Irish neighborhood as the Centaur presents “Good People” by Pulitzer prizewinner David Lindsey-Abaire. When Southie resident Margie loses her job at the dollar store, she visits an old flame who has moved on up to the more affluent Chestnut Hill.
“Good People” runs Nov. 6 through Dec. 9. Adult tickets cost $47.50.
The Centaur’s Brave New Looks series returns this fall with the Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre production of “The Bacchae,” Euripides’s last play, which was first performed in 405 B.C.
With a new translation by Andreas Apergis, who also directs, and Joseph Shragge, “The Bacchae” is a classic Greek tragedy set during the Second Great Awakening, a religious revival that took place in Cane Ridge, Ky., in 1801, according to a press release.
“For six days, awe-struck locals witnessed over 25,000 converts falling over, barking, singing and making love. The revival’s legacy was the formation of many North American Christian denominations (Mormons, Baptists, Shakers and Pentecostals) prevalent in Canada and the U.S,” the release continues.
“The Bacchae” is presented Oct. 11 through 20. Adult tickets cost $25. Visit www.scapegoatcarnivaletheatre.com for details.
The Centaur Theatre is at 453 St. Francois Xavier St. in Old Montreal. Call (514) 288-3161 or visit www.centaurtheatre.com for more info.
Talisman Theatre presents “The Medea Effect,” which explores childhoods lost between Ada and Hugo, an actress and director, respectively, during the audition of the play “Medea.”
“The Medea Effect” is presented Oct. 11 through 20 at Theatre La Chapelle, 3700 St. Dominique St. For more information, visit www.talisman-theatre.com.
Finally, Infinitheatre offers “Trench Patterns,” which opens Oct. 24 at Bain St. Michel, 5300 St. Dominique St. Call (514) 987-1774 or visit www.infinitheatre.com for details.
Steven Howell is the author of Montreal Essential Guide, a Sutro Media iPhone travel app available at iTunes.com.