Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre was founded in 1998 by 13 actors with the assistance of a grant from the Stratford Festival. Considered the best year-round repertory company in Canada, it has presented such acclaimed productions as Anton Chekov’s Uncle Vanya (2001, 2002, 2008) and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (2013). Since relocating to Toronto’s Distillery District in 2006, Soulpepper has presented such Canadian plays as Sharon Pollock’s Doc (2010), John Murrell’s Waiting for the Parade (2010), and Ins Choi’s Kim’s Convenience (2012). In January 2018, the company was rocked by allegations of sexual harassment against founding artistic director Albert Schultz and accompanying lawsuits against Schultz and Soulpepper.
The term "festival theatre" emerged in England in the nineteenth century to refer to special theatrical performances mounted to celebrate exceptional authors or dates. The festival held in 1864 at Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, to mark the tercentenary of Shakespeare's birth is an early example.
Major's tenure as artistic director (1963-68) was characterized by seasons that featured the classics interspersed with contemporary plays - such as the first North American production of A Man for All Seasons (1968) and Canadian plays such as Arthur Murphy's The Sleeping Bag (1967).
Festival Lennoxville opened in 1972 at BISHOP'S UNIVERSITY in the Eastern Townships of Québec. Drama department chairman David Rittenhouse and director William Davis founded it to present new productions of outstanding Canadian plays staged earlier by other theatres across the country.
Theatre Passe Muraille (meaning “theatre beyond walls”) was the first alternative theatre in Toronto. It focused on breaking down barriers and exploring new ideas and methods of storytelling. Despite financial crises over the years, it has maintained its alternative roots as a producer of provocative and groundbreaking Canadian theatre, as well as a launching pad for emerging companies and artists.