sixth act series

The Villain’s Theatre believes that the playful nature of Renaissance drama provides the perfect opportunity to explore and create. Our Sixth Act Series puts this theory to work by using existing early-modern plays as the building block for exciting new work.

Knight of the Burning Pestle
Knight 3
Knight 20
Knight 12
Knight 27
Knight 7
Knight 29
Knight 16
Knight 31

the pubstart crows present… The Knight of the Burning Pestle

To kick off our 2017/2018 season, our Pubstart Crow Series made a brief but bawdy return at the Dalhousie University Club on July 31 with The Knight of the Burning Pestle.

When an uncouth family sits down to watch another boring Renaissance play, they decide to make some changes on their own, resulting in a sweeping, irreverent comedy, complete with giants, enchanted forests, and star-crossed lovers. New and longtime Villains got together to rehearse and perform the play all in the course of a single day.



the pubstart crows present… The Alchemist  “I fart at thee!” A pop-up drama, a play-in-a-day! A raucous, high-energy production of Ben Jonson’s notorious comedy, adapted by Dan Bray for the Villain’s summer 2016 Pubstart Crow reaading.



reading series

In April 2013, we launched the Upstart Crow reading series – the precursor of the shorter and sillier Pubstart Crow pop-up plays – to provide Halifax actors and audiences with the opportunity to hear the beautiful, challenging, and neglected texts of Shakespeare’s peers read aloud in a relaxed environment. Throughout the summer months, the Villains gathered together a group of readers and listeners to experience the full texts of early modern plays.

Hosted in the past by the Bus Stop Theatre and the Craig Gallery at Alderney Landing, this series allowed members of the community to recommend plays they’d like to see produced by the company, as well as enabling our artistic team to hear (and potentially workshop) texts for future productions. Past Upstart Crow readings have included The Changeling, The Tyrant (or, The Second Maiden’s Tragedy), Endymion (or, The Man in the Moon), A Fair Quarrel, Doctor Faustus, The Old Wives Tale, The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Arden of Faversham, Volpone, The Tamer Tamed, Women Beware Women, The Spanish Tragedy, and The Shoemaker’s Holiday.


 in the telling In 2014,The Villain’s Theatre re-imagined George Peele’s play, The Old Wives Tale, as a comedy fit for all ages. Using song, storytelling, and a bit of magic, In the Telling follows two silly brothers’ attempts to save their sister from an evil wizard. As the first play to ever tour all three maritime fringes, VPT was able to share their family-friendly interpretation with Charlottetown, PEI; Saint John, NB; and Halifax, NS. Written by Dan Bray, Dorian Lang, and Colleen MacIsaac. Based on The Old Wives Tale by George Peele. Directed by Dorian Lang. Stage Managed by Chelsea Dickie. Starring Kristi Anderson, Jozel Bennett, Danielle Doiron, and Colleen MacIsaac. Original score by Jenny Trites. More info


kill shakespeare In 2012,The Villain’s Theatre was given the exciting opportunity to collaborate with HalCon ⎯ Atlantic Canada’s Science Fiction Convention – and Lions Den Theatre on the official world premiere of Kill Shakespeare. Based on the popular graphic novel, Kill Shakespeare tells the story of the Bard’s most memorable characters waging war against their creator. This staged reading was ranked “the Best Show of 2012″ by The Coast Newsweekly and has since gone on to appear in other theatres across Canada. More info


vindice’s folly

Vindice’s Folly occurred on a dark October evening as part of Nocturne, 2010. Inspired by commedia dell’arte, Vindice’s Folly is a humorous retelling of Thomas Middleton’s drama, The Revenger’s Tragedy. This short play was staged in several different venues over the course of an evening in anticipation of our season devoted to Middleton.

More info


the duchess of malfi (workshop production) The Villain’s Theatre was founded in 2009 and this was its first full production, as well as the only show to be staged by the company in Toronto. The tragic story of John Webster’s doomed duchess was told at the Walmer Centre Theatre in August, 2009. From this wonderful experience, we were able to create our unique mandate. More info