Past Productions

Seventh Stage Theatre Productions in association with Nightwood Theatre presents the North American Premiere of:

STOCKHOLM by Bryony Lavery

Directed by Kelly Straughan

Choreography by Susie Burpee

Starring Melissa-Jane Shaw and Jonathon Young

Lighting Design by Kimberly Purtell
Sound Design and Original Music by Verne Good
Stage Manager Sandi Becker

May 11 – June 3, 2012
Tarragon Theatre Extra Space, 30 Bridgman Ave.


REHEARSAL VIDEO: Jonathon Young and Melissa-Jane Shaw talk about the show. Check it out!

“A lively voyage into relationship hell.” J. Kelly Nestruck, Globe and Mail *** (out of 4)

“Changes moods in a heartbeat, seducing us one second and horrifying us the next.” Martin Garrow, The Grid 8/10

“Shaw and Young are masterful… Stockholm is both disturbing and exhilerating piece of theatre. It’s a don’t miss.” – Paula Citron

“Highly recommend Stockholm. Taut script, immaginative direction, nuanced performances. This one will haunt you.” – Glenn Sumi

“This is a gripping, beautifully directed production by Straughan with two terrific performances by Shaw and Young.” – Lynn Slotkin

“Tension builds throughout the piece through the superlative performances of Young and Shaw… a superb productions.” – Christopher Hoile, **** (out of 5)


“The Red Queen Effect” workshop presentation

Canadian Stage Festival of Ideas and Creation

WEDNESDAY MAY 11TH 2011 at 8pm
26 Berkeley Street Theatre
Directed by Kelly Straughan
Choreographed by Melissa-Jane Shaw & Monica Dottor
Sound Designed by Verne Good
Featuring: Aurora Browne, Ted Hallett, Melissa-Jane Shaw and Ensemble
Project contributors: Monica Dottor and Dylan Smith
Rehearsal photos by Robert Harding



By Liz Duffy Adams

2010 SummerWorks Theatre Festival

Directed by: Kelly Straughan

Cast: Damien Atkins, Sophie Goulet and Melissa-Jane Shaw

Canadian Premiere Production of NYC’s Hit Show. A witty and whimsical theatrical threesome between legendary stage figures: Aphra Behn, Charles II and Nell Gwynn. Sexy, funny, fast and fabulous, this 60 minute farce will keep you on your toes and laughing out loud!

Or Promo Video – Love Me Do Version

“The show contains plenty of slamming-door farce, lascivious behaviour, and perfectly imitated Restoration-era lyricism.” Torontoist Top 10 SummerWorks Picks

“Both a delightful and bawdy comedy of errors and a surprisingly open and insightful examination of  issues of gender, sexual politics, and equality.” PLANK Magazine

“Goulet gives her a warm presence that’s both amused and amusing and Atkins executes   an awesome series of sartorial and psychological quick-changes.” National Post


The Workshop Production of


By Rachel Blair

2010 Toronto Fringe Festival

Directed by Kelly Straughan

Starring: Kimwun Perehinec, Jennifer Villeverde and Naomi Wright

This is About the Push is a collection of one-acts about the power dynamics of women and war, and the feminine identity projected upon them. Played out in varied styles of theatricality, each piece takes three nameless women ready to serve their audience, their men and their country and moves them closer to the final push.  Comic, quick and clever, each piece reflects on the next.

NOW Magazine’s Fringe List for Best Production, Best Ensemble Performance and Best Direction



by Heather Raffo

The Theatre Centre, May 19-23 2010

Directed by Kelly Straughan, Assistant Directed by Rosa Laborde

Featuring: Aviva Armour-Ostroff, Christine Aubin-Khalifah, Toni Ellwand, Deborah Grover, Maryem Hassan Tollar, Lili Francks, Brittany Kay, Anusree Roy and Melissa-Jane Shaw.

Music Composition & Live Musician: Maryem Hassan Tollar

A portrait of the extraordinary (and ordinary) lives of a whole cross-section of Iraqi women: a sexy painter, a radical communist, doctors, exiles, wives and lovers. This work delves into what it means to be a woman in the age-old war zone that is Iraq. An unusually timely meditation on the ancient, the modern and the feminine in a country overshadowed by war.

“Remarkable combination of poetry and visceral storytelling.” **** (4 stars) Now Magazine

“Stories that must be told” **** (4 stars) Toronto Star

“Powerful Production” **** (4 stars) Toronto Sun

2010 Dora Award Nomination for Outstanding Ensemble!

View the promotional video here.



Original Canadian Collective Creation
Next Stage Festival, January 7-17 2010

2010 Dora award nomination for Outstanding Costume Design for Michelle Bailey

Directed by Kelly Straughan / Co-Choreographed by Monica Dotter and Melissa-Jane Shaw

Featuring: Monica Dotter, Ted Hallet, Aurora Brown, Dylan Smith, Melissa-Jane Shaw and Nicholas Campbell/ Ensemble: Joel Benson, Jason Chellew, Ben Graham, David Lopez, Christopher Wilson, Ryan Wilson

On one side of the looking glass: Crown Assets Corporate Fund. On the other: an absurd and grotesque game, where it takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place. Alice wants to get ahead, but what is she willing to do to get there?

Using ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ as inspiration, The Red Queen Effect was collectively created through theatre interviews, improvisation, physical theatre and dance. The Red Queen Effect offers an opportunity to peer through the corporate looking glass at the gender power dynamics that exist in a world ruled by the bottom line.

“This one is guaranteed to blow your mind on a variety of levels… breezy pace and smart, sassy cast.” –  The Toronto Star

“Excellent, stylistic direction from Kelly Straughan.” – Globe and Mail

“Straughan and ensemble have struck gold with an idea for a modern take on Lewis Caroll’s classic.” – Toronto Sun

“NNNN – This ensemble-crafted comic critique of corporate life… cleverly points out social contradictions.” – NOW Magazine

“Four stars! Seventh Stage’s highly inventive, large cast piece combines verbal and physical theatre to stunning effect.” – eye weekly

“Talented performers, stark visuals, fun dance elements, and clever, obfuscating dialogue.” –



by Anthony Minghella

Canadian Professional Premiere
Tarragon Extra Space, April 26th – May 20th 2007

Directed by Rosemary Dunsmore

Featuring: Mika Collins, Melissa-Jane Shaw, Rosa Laborde, Katherine East, Sascha Cole and Jane Moffat

Whale Music is a portrayal of the lives of a group of young women who come together for the duration of an unplanned pregnancy amongst them. What emerges is a touching and funny portrait of female bonding that transcends boundaries of age, class and education. Whale Music is a wonderful narrative-based exploration of the strength between and amongst women.

“What a beautiful sound six women opening their hearts can make!” (3.5 out of 4) – Toronto Star

“Directed with sensitivity and intelligence. The cast of six actresses is very fine.” – CBC Radio One

“Candid girl talk, gleeful chatter and heartfelt exchanges pervade.” – NOW Magazine

“Seventh Stage, run by young female artists, should take pride in the quality of its work.” – eye weekly

‘whale riders’

original multi-disciplinary new-works

A series of opening 5-15 minute pieces by emerging female artists, curated by Artistic Director Kelly Straughan, opened each performance of Whale Music.

Caitlin Brubacher, Sam Collard, Samantha Connolly, Lizz Witzke , Shannon Currie, Diana Groenendijk, Suzanne Liska, Chala Hunter, Lina Nykwist, Marie France Forcier,  Nicole Rush, Danielle O’Reilley, Susanna Fournier, Julia Lederer, Tammy Moreau, Jean Parker, Cara Spooner , Julie Skype, Andrea Ramolo, Martha Zimmerman, Alyssa Wright, Lindsay Kochen, Andrea Baker.



2008 LabCab – “The Burlesque Noir”: A multi-media dance piece, with voyeur video coverage exploring the notion of burlesque and the image of woman. Choreographed by Melissa-Jane Shaw. Performed by Monica Dotter, Jamie Holmes, Caron Lowerson and Melissa-Jane Shaw.

2009 4×4 Festival – “Alice”: Invited to share an excerpt from their upcoming production The Red Queen Effect as part of Nightwood Theatre’s New Blood Cabaret. Directed by Kelly Straughan. Performed by Monica Dotter, Dylan Smith and Melissa-Jane Shaw.