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Bethune Imagined Premieres at Factory Theatre Toronto Nov 13

From a media release:

Toronto, ON – Friday, October 8, 2010…  Playwright Ken Gass (Slip Knot, Claudius, The Boy Bishop and Hurray for Johnny Canuck!) has a new play premiering at Factory Theatre – Bethune Imagined, November 13 to December 12, 2010.  It looks at the charismatic and contradictory iconic figure, Norman Bethune (1890-1939 - pictured right in 1905), through a six-month period in his life in Montreal in 1936, prior to his departure for Spain and, subsequently, China where he died a hero to billions of Chinese. The play is also a reflection of the turbulent and heady times of the mid-1930s, a time of emancipation for women, and also a time of wide political debate and engagement.

“Bethune is a character that has always fascinated me,” says Gass (Artistic Director of Factory), who also directs the world premiere. “But I found myself equally intrigued by the remarkable women in his life.” Renowned for a volatile, unconventional personality, Bethune’s own wedding vow included the promise, ‘With me, you may be unhappy, but you will never be bored.’ Norman Bethune was a Canadian physician, medical innovator, writer, artist and political activist whose service in war-time medical units during the Spanish Civil War and with the Communist Chinese 8th Army during the Sino-Japanese War, saved thousands of lives. (He's pictured on a Chinese stamp below.)

Bethune Imagined stars Ron White (Heaven, Melville Boys, Escape From Happiness /Better Living, The Line) as Norman Bethune. The women in his life are Frances Penney - Fiona Byrne (The Devil’s Disciple, A Month in the Country, Getting Married); Margaret Day - Sascha Cole (Post Eden, Theory, Rock ‘n Roll, Ten Green Bottles); and Marian Dale Scott - Irene Poole (Leisure Society, Escape From Happiness/Better Living, Taming of the Shrew)
The Set Designer is Marian Wihak with costumes designed by Victoria Wallace. The lighting design is by Rebecca Picherack, with sound design by Christopher Stanton.

In 2011 at Factory, Eternal Hydra plays January 22 to February 13, Brothel #9 runs February 26 to March 27 and Zadie’s Shoes runs April 30 to June 5. Performance Spring runs March 31 – April 24.


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