History

Situated among the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal, the original home of Canada's first stock exchange and now inside this glorious edifice resides Montreal's leading English-language theatre company. Founded in 1969 by Maurice Podbrey Executive and Artistic Director, and Herb Auerbach Chairman of the Board, Centaur Theatre Company initially rented the partially renovated Old Stock Exchange Building. In 1974 Centaur purchased the building and undertook renovations to include a second larger theatre. A number of new works evolved in the early years but it was Montreal playwright David Fennario's play, On the Job, which is considered the breakthrough production for the company. Other new works sprung from direct commissions over the years including Centaur's 1979 production of David Fennario's play, Balconville, which brought national and international acclaim to Centaur. The production toured to parts of Canada, as well as England and Ireland. In 1985 Centaur purchased and renovated a second building in Griffintown for use (and rental), as a rehearsal hall, fully equipped scene and paint shop, and storage facility.

 

Maurice Podbrey’s 28-year tenure was noted for supporting and producing new works by some of Montreal’s finest playwrights: Vittorio Rossi, David Gow, Linda Griffith, David Freeman, Bowser and Blue as well as David Fennario, and working with important international directors and playwrights from Russia, Ireland, France and, most notably, South Africa’s Athol Fugard.  In 1997 Maurice Podbrey retired and Gordon McCall was appointed the new Artistic and Executive Director of Centaur Theatre Company.

 

In 1998, Gordon McCall directed Centaur's English-language world premiere of Michel Tremblay's For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, translated by Linda Gaboriau. It then went on to a successful tour of Canada in partnership with Toronto's Canadian Stage Co. The conclusion of the year-long tour had its American premiere as part of Washington, D.C.'s Arena Stage's 50th Anniversary in the fall of 2000. Further international collaboration included exchanges with The Abbey Theatre in Ireland as well as the Melbourne Theatre Company in Australia. In 2003 Centaur’s of Mambo Italiano by Montreal playwright Steve Galluccio and directed by Gordon McCall played a sold-out engagement in the Mirvish Productions’ season in Toronto following its record breaking English-language world-premiere run at Centaur in 2002. In December 2006, Centaur won the Grand Prix Theatre nomination from the Conseil des arts de Montréal for its remarkable contribution to Montreal Theatre life, highlighting the 2005/06 “Montreal Stories” season, which comprised six new works by Montreal playwrights, including David Fennario and Vittorio Rossi.

 

In September 2007, Gordon McCall stepped down as Artistic and Executive Director and following an extensive international search, the Centaur Board of Directors appointed Roy Surette as the next Artistic and Executive Director of Centaur Theatre Company.

 

Under Roy Surette, Centaur expanded its focus to include productions from other parts of the country by presenting shows from Toronto – Scorched, Trudeau Stories, and Venus in Fur, and from Vancouver – Skydive Beautiful View, and The Number 14. To further include some of Canada’s best performers Centaur has co-produced productions with National Arts Centre, Canadian Stage, and Arts Club Theatre. In 2011, Roy Surette directed God of Carnage and commissioned and directed the hit Schwartz’s the Musical by George Bowser and Rick Blue. Schwartz’s: The Musical was selected by The Montreal Gazette as the ‘hit of the year’ and God of Carnage as the Best English-language Play of 2011. Schwartz’s the Musical played an extended run and was brought back and for three weeks in July/August, the first time Centaur had ever done summer programming.

 

In 2015 Centaur produced The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God written and directed by Djanet Sears, a co-production with the National Arts Centre in association with Black Theatre Workshop Montreal, with a national cast of 22 diverse Artists.

In September 2016 Roy Surette decided the 2016/17 season would be his last with Centaur Theatre Company. In June 2017 Surette returned to Vancouver to join Touchstone Theatre as Artistic Director. In his ten year tenure at Centaur, Roy directed 20 productions, most recently You Will Remember MeBakersfield MistLast Night at the GayetyButcher, and Triplex Nervosa and programmed 16 world premieres.

In the last three years, Centaur Theatre Company has won 13 Montreal English Theatre Awards (METAs), and previously, nine Les Masque Awards including Best Actress, Revelation, and Best English-Language Production. In 2008/2009 Centaur won 6 Montreal’s English Critics Awards (MECCA’s) and previously a Toronto Dora Mavor-Moore award.

 

In addition to a regular six play season, Centaur produces an annual Wildside Festival showcasing new and emerging theatre companies, The Brave New Looks program of presenting emerging Montreal theatre artists, association with Théâtre Urbi et Orbi Urban Tales as part of Centaur’s commitment to support and encourage the well being of the Montreal English theatre community. The Saturday Morning Children’s Series completes a full range of programming and community outreach that is a hallmark of Centaur’s artistic philosophy.

 

On February 10, 2017 the Board of Directors announced that Eda Holmes would be Centaur Theatre Company’s fourth Artistic and Executive Director.

 

ARCHIVES

Season 46 (2014-2015)

Venus in Fur by David Ives

Social Studies by Tricia Cooper

Terminus by Mark O’Rowe

The Goodnight Bird by Colleen Murphy

The Envelope by Vittorio Rossi

Triplex Nervosa by Marianne Ackerman

 

Season 45 (2013-2014)

The St. Léonard Chronicles By Steve Galluccio

Seeds by Annabel Soutar

The Book of Bob by Arthur Holden

Motherhouse by David Fennario

4000 Miles by Amy Herzog

2 Pianos 4 Hands by Ted Dykstra & Richard Greenblatt

 

Season 44 (2012-2013)

August, An Afternoon in the Country By Jean-Marc Dalpé, Translated by Maureen Labonté

Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire

Innocence Lost, A Play about Steven Truscott by Beverley Cooper

TRAD by Mark Doherty

Dance Me to the End On/Off Love by Granhøj Dans Company

The Number 14 by The Number 14 Creative Collective

 

Season 43 (2011-2012)

True Nature by Colleen Curran

God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza

In Absentia by Morris Panych

The Game of Love and Chance by Pierre de Marivaux, Translated & Adapted by Nicolas Billon

Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage

Haunted Hillbilly by Derek McCormack, Adapted by Graham Cuthbertson

 

Season 42 (2010-2011)

Paradise by the River by Vittorio Rossi

Don Quixote by Peter Anderson and Colin Heath

Stones in His Pockets by Marie Jones, Arrangement by Paul Elliot, Adam Kenwright & Pat Moylan

Instructions to any Future Socialist Government Wishing to Abolish Christmas by Michael Mackenzie

Schwartz’s: The Musical by Rick Blue & George Bowser

A Beautiful View by Daniel MacIvor

 

Season 41 (2009-2010)

In Piazza San Domenico by Steve Galluccio

Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman

Michel and ti-Jean by George Rideout

The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

The Madonna Painter – The Birth of a Painting by Michel Marc Bouchard, Translated by Linda Gaboriau

Trudeau Stories by Brooke Johnson

 

Season 40 (2008-2009)

Scorched by Majdi Mouawad, Translated by Linda Gaboriau

Skydive by Kevin Kerr

Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell

Doubt- A Parable by John Patrick Shanley

Age of Arousal by Linda Griffiths

With Bated Breath by Bryden Macdonald

 

Season 39 (2007-2008)

The Carpenter: Part Three of A Carpenter’s Trilogy by Vittorio Rossi

The Syringa Tree by Pamela Gien

Half Life by John Mighton

Relative Good by David Gow

The Mystery of Maddy Heisler by Daniel Lillford

Forever Yours, Marie-Lou by Michel Tremblay

 

Season 38 (2006-2007)

Carmela’s Table: Part Two of A Carpenter’s Trilogy by Vittorio Rossi

Assorted Candies by Michel Tremblay

Glorious! By Peter Quilter

Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare

The Caretaker by Harold Pinter

Trying by Joanna McClelland Glass

 

Season 37 (2005-2006)

Condoville by David Fennario

Real Estate by Allana Harkin

Hellfire Pass: Part One of A Carpenter’s Trilogy by Vittorio Rossi

Cheech by François Létourneau

Have A Heart by David Sherman

Bye Bye Baby by Elyse Gasco

 

Season 36 (2004 - 2005)

Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz

Burnt Piano by Justin Fleming

The Goat or Who is Sylvia? by Edward Albee

Tales From Ovid by Ted Hughes

Wade In The Water by George Boyd

Long Day's Journey Into Night by Eugene O'Neill

 

Season 35 (2003 - 2004)

Life After George by Hannie Rayson

Blue/Orange by Joe Penhall

Past Perfect by Michel Tremblay, translated by Linda Gaboriau

The Drawer Boy by Michael Healey

The Shape of Things by Neil Labute

Tiger's Heart by Kit Brennan

 

Season 34 (2002 - 2003)

Vinci by Maureen Hunter

Impromptu on Nuns' Island by Michel Tremblay, translated by Linda Gaboriau

Strawberries in January by Evelyne de la Chéneliere

Proof by David Auburn

The Paris of America by Bowser & Blue

Copenhagen by Michael Frayn

Toronto: Mambo Italiano

 

Season 33 (2001 - 2002)

Mambo Italiano by Steve Gallucio

Freeze by Stephen Orlov

Art by Yasmina Reza

A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O'Neill

Dinner With Friends by Donald Margulies

The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh

 

Season 32 (2000 -2001)

Glenn by David Young

Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry

Wit by Margaret Edson

The Weir by Conor McPherson

Oliver! by Lionel Bart

Trick or Treat by Jean Marc Dalpé, translated by Robert Dickson

Washington: For The Pleasure of Seeing Her Again by Michel Tremblay, translated by Linda Gaboriau

 

Season 31 (1999 - 2000)

Still the Night by Theresa Tova

The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

The Gin Game by D I Coburn

Venus of Dublin by Marianne Ackerman

Victoria by Charles Fariala

Tour: For The Pleasure of Seeing Her Again by Michel Tremblay, translated by Linda Gaboriau

 

Season 30 (1998 -1999)

For The Pleasure of Seeing Her Again by Michel Tremblay, translated by Linda Gaboriau

How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Jay Presson Allen (adaptation)

Having by Kit Brennan

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Very Heaven by Anne Lambert

 

Season 29 (1997 - 1998)

Picasso at the Lapin Agile by Steve Martin

The Orphan Muses by Michel Marc Bouchard

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Taking Sides by Ronald Harwood

High Life by Lee MacDougall

Angels in America Part II: Perestroika by Tony Kushner

 

Season 28 (1996 - 1997)

The Glace Bay by Sheldon Currie/Wendy Lill

Miner's Museum Vigil by Morris Panych

Mainly Montreal by Rossi/Fennario/Bowser & Blue

The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare

2 Pianos, 4 Hands by Ted Dykstra & Richard Greenblatt

Angels in America Part 1: Millenium Approaches by Tony Kushner

 

Season 27 (1995-1996)

The Stone Angel by James W Nichol (adapted)

Take the Floor by D J Grant & Sue Pam-Grant

Anthony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

The Visitor by Eric Emmanuel Schmitt

If We Are Women by Joanna McClelland Glass

Troubadours Through Time by Bowser & Blue

The Friedman Family Fortune by David Gow

 

Season 26 (1994 - 1995)

The Master & Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

Someday by Drew Hayden Taylor

My Fair Lady by Lerner & Loewe

Tall Tales of a Generation - Collective Work

Love & Other Games by Vittorio Rossi

The Substance of Fire by Jon Robin Baitz

The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe by Jane Wagner

 

Season 25 (1993 - 1994)

Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel

Come Good Rain by George Seremba

The Last Adam by Vittorio Rossi

Someone Who'll Watch Over Me by Frank McGuiness

La Bete by David Hirson

Blokes II by Bowser & Blue

Cabaret by Joe Masteroff

 

Season 24 (1992 - 1993)

The Guid Sisters by Michel Tremblay

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

Playboy of the West Indies by Mustapha Matura

Look Back in Anger by John Osborne

Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw

Aurelie, ma soeur by Marie Laberge

Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekov

 

Season 23 (1991 - 1992)

A Shayna Maidel by Barbara Lebow

Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Balconville by David Fennario

Karla & Grif by Vivienne Laxdal

Rough Crossing by Tom Stoppard

Blokes by Bowser & Blue

A Damsel for a Gorilla by Fernando Arrabal

 

Season 22 (1990-1991)

Our Country's Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker

My Children! My Africa! by Athol Fugard

The Woman in Black

adapted by Stephen Mallatratt

The Death of Rene Levesque by David Fennario

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams

The Affections of Mae by Norm Foster

Broadway Bound by Neil Simo

 

Season 21 (1989-1990)

Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave by Maynard Collins

Footprints on the Moon by Maureen Hunter

Woman in Mind by Alan Ayckbourn

Fire-Sale by James Nadler

Scarpone by Vittorio Rossi

Mother of all the Behans, adapted by Peter Sheridan

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) by the Reduced Shakespeare Company

 

Season 20 (1988-1989)

The Chain by Vittorio Rossi

The Gigli Concert by Thomas Murphy

Little Shop of Horrors, Music by Alan Menken Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman

The Murder of Susan Parr by David Fennario

The Rez Sisters by Tomson Highway

From the Main to Mainstreet, A Collective Creation

Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey

 

Season 19 (1987-1988)

Guys & Dolls

Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser

La Sagouine by Anonine Maillet

Vassa by Maxim Gorky

The Road to Mecca by Athol Fugard

Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Toward the Somme by Frank McGuinness

Bordertown Café by Kelly Rebar

Biloxi Blues by Neil Simon

 

Season 18 (1986-1987)

Asinamali by Mbongenl Ngema

The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht

Fire by Paul Ledoux & David Young

Sombody Sombody's Returning by Frederick Ward

The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard

The Faith Healer by Brian Friel

Brighton Beach Memoirs by Neil Simon

 

Season 17 (1985-1986)

Albertine in Five Times by Michel Tremblay

The Zen of an Intelligent Machine by William Kuhns

Prague by John Krizanc

Gone with Hardy by David Allen

Master Class by David Pownall

Stuff as Dreams are Made of by Fred Curchak

Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet

 

Season 16 (1984-1985)

What is to be done? by Mavis Gallant

Salt-Water Moon by David French

Love is Strange by Paul Ledoux & David Young

Master Harold and the Boys by Athol Fugard

Successful Strategies by Marivaux

Night Mother by Marsha Norman

Gone the Burning Sun by Ken Mitchell

 

Season 15 (1983-1984)

Rock and Roll by John Gray

K2 by Patrick Meyers

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

A Majority of Two by Alun Hibbert

The Seagull by Anton Chekhov

Not About Heroes by Stephen McDonald

Glorious Mud: A Flanders & Swan Show by Bartley Bard

 

Season 14 (1982-1983)

Brew (Broue) by Michel Coté, Marc Messier, Marcel Gauthier

Duet for One by Tom Kempinski

Translations by Brian Friel

Moving by David Fennario

Quiet in the Land by Anne Chislett

Empress Eugenie by Jason Lindsey

Playing the Fool by Alun Hibbert

 

Season 13 (1981-1982)

Happy End by Bertolt Brecht & Kurt Weill

Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

Blood Relations by Sharon Pollock

The Crackwalker by Judith Thompson

Lady From the Sea by Henrik Ibsen

Sweet Like Suga by Paul Herzberg

The Riddle of the World by David French

 

Season 12 (1980-1981)

Maggie and Pierre by Linda Griffiths & Paul Thompson

Wings by Arthur Kopit

The Tomorrow Box by Anne Chislett

Passionate Ladies by Barbara Perry

Night and Day by Tom Stoppard

Everloving by Margaret Hollingsworth

Talley's Folly by Lanford Wilson

 

Season 11 (1979-1980)

Billy Bishop goes to War by John Gray

Spokesong by Stewart Parker

A Lesson From Aloes by Athol Fugard

Waiting For The Parade by John Murell

Jitters by David French

Circus Gothic by Jan Kudelka

The Leonard Cohen Show by B. Wexler & C. Latraverse

 

Season 10 (1978-1979)

Paper Wheat

A Collective Creation by the 25th Street House Theatre

Travesties by Tom Stoppard

Balconville by David Fennario

Ashes by David Rudkin

Winter Dancers by David Lan

Weeds by Beverly Lockwood

Piaf by Pauline Lebel and Daniel Roussel

 

Season 9 (1977-1978)

Cruel Tears by Ken Mitchell & Humphrey and the Dumptrucks

Eve by Larry Fineberg

The Sea by Edward Bond

Toronto by David Fennario

Back to Beulah by W.O. Mitchell

The Island by Athol Fugard, John Kani, Winston Ntshona

The Dream Play by August Strinberg

 

Season 8 (1976-1977)

Nothing to Lose by David Fennario

Les Canadiens by Rick Salutin

Quiller & Therese's Creed by Michael Cook

The Playboy of Western World by J.M. Synge

Anatol by Arthur Schnitzler

Artichoke by Joanna M. Glass

Sizwe Bansi is Dead by Athol Fugard

Comedians by Trevor Griffiths

 

Season 7 (1975-1976)

Ten Lost Years by Jack Winter & Cederic Smith

Canadian Gothic and American Modern by Joanna M. Glass

On the Job by David Fennario

I.W.A.- The Newfoundland Logger's Strike by The Mummers

One Crack Out by David French

The Barber of Seville by Beaumarchais

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Kennedy's Children by Robert Patrick

The Divine Sarah by Jocques Beyderwellen

 

Season 6 (1974-1975)

On the Job by David Fennario

Woyzeck by George Buchner

Lenz by Mike Stott

Riverlisp by Frederick Ward

Summer by Hugh Leonard

The Daughter-in-law by D.H. Lawrence

Bethune by Rod Langley

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Frankenstein by Alden Nolan & Walter Learning

People are Living There by Athol Fugard

 

Season 5 (1973-1974)

That Championship Season by Jason Miller

Of the Fields, Lately by David French

The Promise by Aleksei Arbuzov

Tooth of Crime by Sam Sheppard

Mr. Joyce is Leaving Paris by Tom Gallacher

You're Gonna Be Alright Jaimie Boy by David Freeman

 

Season 4 (1972-1973)

Leaving Home by David French

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Creeps by David Freeman

The Real Inspector Hound & After Margritte by Tom Stoppard

Autumn at Altenburg by Ronald Garrett

Mandragola by Niccolo Machiavelli

Old Times by Harold Pinter

 

Season 3 (1971-1972)

Total Eclipse by Christopher Hampton

The Maids by Jean Genet

The Exception and the Rule by Bertolt Brecht

At the Hawk's Well, A Full Moon in March &The Cat and the Moon by W.B.Yeats

Summer Days by Romain Weingartner

The Entertainer by John Osbourne

Electra by Euripides

Blood Knot by Athol Fugard

 

Season 2 (1970-1971)

A Touch of the Poet by Eugene O'Neil

Othello by William Shakespeare

The Architect and the Emperor of Assyria by Arrabal

Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekov

The Death of Bessie Smith by Edward Albee

The Electronic Nigger by Ed Bullins

The Homecoming by Harold Pinter

Revenge by Howard Brenton

 

Season 1 (1969-1970)

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Joe Egg by Peter Nichols

Androcles and the Lion by Aurand Harris

The Odd Couple by Neil Simon

The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter

A Lily in Little India by David Horwath

Luther by John Osbourne

The Great White Computer by Peter Desbarats

The Montreal Stock Exchange Building

Architect - George Browne Post (December 15, 1837 - November 28, 1913) was a U.S. architect trained in the Beaux-Arts tradition. Post was a student of Richard Morris Hunt, but unlike many architects of his generation, he had previously received a degree in civil engineering (New York University, 1858).

Many of his most characteristic projects were for commercial buildings, where new requirements pushed the traditional boundaries of design. Many of them have also been demolished, since their central locations made them vulnerable to rebuilding in the 20th century. Some of his lost buildings were landmarks of their era, nevertheless. His eight-story Equitable Life Assurance Society (1868–70), was the first office building to use elevators. His Western Union Telegraph Building (1872–75) at Dey Street in Lower Manhattan, was the first office building to rise as high as ten stories, a forerunner of skyscrapers to come. When it was erected in "Newspaper Row" facing City Hall Park, Post's 20-story World Building (1889–90) was the tallest building in New York City.

 

His vast New York Produce Exchange (1881–84) at Number Two Broadway faced Bowling Green. Its grand skylighted hall, based on French retail structures, cast daylight into the lower floors.

 

At the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893, Post produced the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building.

 

He also designed more staid public and semi-public structures: the New York Stock Exchange Building and the Wisconsin State Capitol. Among the prominent private houses by Post were the French chateau for Cornelius Vanderbilt II (1879–82) that once stood at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, and the palazzo that faced it across the street, for Collis P. Huntington (1889–94). In Newport, Rhode Island he built for the president of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, C.C. Baldwin, "Chateau-Nooga" or the Baldwin Cottage (1879–80), a polychromatic exercise in the "Quaint Style" withbargeboards and half-timbering; John La Farge provided stained glass panels.

 

A true member of the American Renaissance, Post employed noted artists and artisans to produce decorative sculpture and murals. Among those who worked with him were the sculptor Karl Bitter and the painter Elihu Vedder. he was a founding member of the National Arts Club and served as its president from 1898 to 1905.

 

Post's extensive archives are at the New-York Historical Society. Sarah Bradford Landau, George B. Post, Architect: Picturesque Designer and Determined Realist (1998) inspired the retrospective exhibition at the Society, 1998–99 that reassessed Post's work.

 

Surviving works by George B. Post include: The New York Stock Exchange (1901–03); The New York Cotton Exchange; The original Williamsburgh Savings Bank (1870–75), Brooklyn, New York; The Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn, New York (1878–80); The College of the City of New York Campus (1903–07), in Gothic Revival style; The Cleveland Trust Company (1908), Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio; and The Montreal Stock Exchange (1904), Montreal, Canada.

 

Reference: Rémillard, François, Old Montreal - A Walking Tour, Ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec, 1992

Photography of Centaur Theatre from The McCord Collection

 

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Centaur Theatre is a proud participant in the Not In OUR space! collaborative pilot project between the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres and Canadian Actor's Equity Association. The project supports our company's mandate regarding zero tolerance of workspace harassment and violence in our theatres.