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Passion, politics and power. Harbourfront Centre takes Strindberg’s psycho-sexual potboiler to post-apartheid South Africa with Mies Julie, May 6-10 – #artlive

TORONTO, ON (Apr. 7, 2014) – From stately Sweden to modern-day South Africa, Yael Farber comes to Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage with a dark twist on a Strindberg classic. Where the original bravely exposed the power dynamics and inequalities of gender and class in nineteenth century Europe, Farber adds potency and visceral relevance to her re-imagined Mies Julie, setting the story in post-apartheid South Africa. Ripe with cross-class sexual tension and self-destructive power games, Mies Julie provides relevant socio-political commentary on what it means to be ‘free’ in an unforgettable, unbound performance. Mies Julie runs May 6-10 at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre.

Over the last decade, theatre director and playwright Yael Farber has earned a global reputation for her devastating portraits of human nature in contemporary performance. As one of the major voices of South Africa today, she has spent the last 10 years touring the world extensively with her hard-hitting, controversial works. Mies Julie is not a radical departure for Farber, who is both the playwright and the director of the production. She is well known for her socio-political commentary and high artistic standard and had secured critical praise and many awards for portfolio of creative work.

Mies Julie takes places in a steamy kitchen in Cape Karoo on Freedom Day, a public holiday in South Africa commemorating the first post-apartheid election. Passion and sexual tension quickly fill the air as the complexities of an interracial relationship begin to take shape on stage, eighteen years after the end of apartheid. The daughter of a Boer landowner meets the black son of her father’s servant and the couple wage love and war in a desolated farmstead kitchen. In this compelling piece of theatre, Yael Farber bravely addresses the tensions and traumas of contemporary South Africa through each of her re-imagined Strindberg characters who oscillate between utter weakness and utter power throughout the duration of the show.

“Good theatre is unmistakable and unforgettable,” shares Tina Rasmussen, artistic director for Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage. “Mies Julie is both ambitious and politically relevant. Yael Farber asks hard-hitting political questions with her brave Strindberg re-write, without losing the love, intimacy and pure honesty of the original. This piece was the find of the Fringe in Edinburgh, and we’re hoping the show sees the same success at World Stage.”

Mies Julie is now one of the most sought-after touring productions in the world and was named one of the Top Ten Productions of 2012 by The New York Times and 5th Best Production of 2012 by The Guardian.

Tickets for Mies Julie and other World Stage 2014 productions are available via Harbourfront Centre’s Box Office. Patrons can call 416-973-4000, visit 235 Queens Quay West and/or go online for all ticket inquiries.

For full company and performance information, including photos, videos and details surrounding World Stage Extras, please visit and connect with the season on Facebook and Twitter using @WorldStageTO #artlive. Please visit for information about getting here during the Queens Quay revitalization.


Mies Julie – Talkshow
Wednesday, May, 7, Immediately following the performance – Enwave Theatre
Come talk with us. This is where the artists of World Stage meet with the audience outside their work – through conversation with curated guest hosts. Our talkshow events, which follow the performance, provide unparalleled contact and context. Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to Mies Julie.

Mies Julie – Preshow Event
Thursday, May 8, 7 p.m. – Enwave Theatre
In an effort to further understand the seemingly complex world of contemporary performance, World Stage invites ticket holders to attend an artist talk and celebration with complimentary freshly brewed tea. This pre-show conversation will be hosted by a well-informed industry practitioner, who will facilitate a friendly, informal chat with patrons to help shed light on some of the ideas and approaches found within the piece. Cup, saucer and programming provided and curated by World Stage. Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to the opening performance of Mies Julie.

Since 1986, World Stage has evolved into Canada’s most diverse season-length international contemporary performance series. Every year, Harbourfront Centre brings innovative and groundbreaking performance leaders from both the international and local arts community to World Stage. Committed to bold curation and audience accessibility, World Stage programming continues to foster opportunities for cultural development and the artistic exchange of ideas. Following last year’s Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning season, World Stage 2014 features groundbreaking international contemporary performance works, welcoming artists and productions from Finland, Sweden, Germany, England, South Africa, United States and Canada.

Harbourfront Centre is a Canadian charity operating the 10 prime acres of Toronto’s central waterfront as a free and open public site. We celebrate the multiplicities of cultures that comprise Canada and enliven the city through the creative imaginations of artists from across the country and around the globe.


Chrissi Forte
Office: 416-973-4342 | Cell: 416-704-0774

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