Selected Press & Awards
NOW Magazine: NNNNs – “Excellent and Memorable… I recommend this production highly.”
The Toronto Star: “Excellently acted” “Persichini’s performance alone is enough to recommend this show.” “Christine Horne brings her characteristic intensity and luminosity to the role [of Alex Vershinin], and the growing passion between her and Toal’s Masha is gripping.”
The Globe and Mail: “Masha, the most intriguing middle child in dramatic literature, is played by Caroline Toal – an independent actress of impressive range… Toal gives as good a performance as you’ll see from this character”
Our Theatre Voice: “Fresh, invigorating, poignant and sad, ‘Three Sisters’ remains another must-see this fall for Toronto theatre lovers… Santalucia has assembled a primo cast [and] the actors deliver engrossing performances”
A View from the Box: “Three Sisters gives Chekhov’s classic new life on the Hart House stage. Tackling issues of life, love, and loss in a true Chekhovian mix of comedy and philosophy, Three Sisters is a poignant and superb piece of theatre… The cast of Three Sisters is a brilliant ensemble lead by the incredible Shauna Thompson, Caroline Toal and Hallie Seline as the titular sisters.”
My Entertainment World: “A beautifully acted play…The acting ensemble is incredibly strong and seeing this play for their performances is a must.”
Intermission Magazine: “The show shines in its passionate performances and moving, melancholic speeches… [Robert] Persichini is stellar.”
Lights Up Toronto: “The Howland Company has consistently been one of the most grounded and present ensembles of actors in the city, and they continue that work here” “It’s great just watching the 13-person cast occupy space in that beautiful theatre. Especially since it’s so intergenerational”
NOW Magazine Preview: “The Howland Company – one of the most exciting indie theatres in the city – is co-presenting a version of Chekhov’s masterpiece with Hart House Theatre this week. Best known for their intelligent, sharp takes on recent plays like The Wolves and Punk Rock, the company boasts a new contemporary adaptation by Paolo Santalucia, who also directs.” Read more here.
The Globe and Mail Theatre Preview: “The Howland Company, a Toronto indie theatre company that was rising in prominence prepandemic, is taking on Chekhov’s Three Sisters in co-production with Hart House Theatre (through Nov. 12). Paolo Santalucia, who made a major impression with Casimir and Caroline right before COVID-19 hit, directs.”
The Varsity: The Howland Company brings Chekhov to Campus – Interview with Maher Sinno and Hallie Seline “There’s no hiding in Chekhov… This play requires so much honesty, openness, and humanity in every moment.” Read more here.
Hart House UofT Blog: U of T Alumni, Now Professionals, Return to Mentor Students at Hart House Theatre – Interview with Paolo Santalucia, Cameron Laurie and Hallie Seline “Artists Paolo Santalucia, Cameron Laurie and Hallie Seline discuss the resurgence of the performing arts in Canada, the role of Hart House Theatre in this illustrious history and what it means to be guiding students on this iconic stage.” Read more here.
Our Theatre Voice: Interview with Paolo Santalucia “In reading ‘Three Sisters’, Santalucia was struck by the plight of this group of young people trying hard to reacclimate their understanding of how their world has changed and question whether returning to the world they knew from their childhood was possible. This is a story of the inheritors of the world asking big questions.” Read more here.
SesayArts in conversation with Hallie Seline about Howland Company’s new adaptation of THREE SISTERS. “A new production by the Howland Company is always welcome news. Last year’s THE HOME PROJECT, produced in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts and presented by Soulpepper, was a triple meditation of “home” that went on to earn five Dora Mavor Moore nominations. Their 2018 production of THE WOLVES resonates still. Each time the company announces a new production, the news brings excitement and curiosity: what skilled ensemble have they assembled, and how will their bold interpretation mainline the zeitgeist?” Read more here.
The Home Project
The Globe and Mail “[These] characters are versions of themselves in varying degrees, linked by a shared longing for a sense of home. The result is a winning, thoughtful exercise in storytelling… The American writer James Baldwin said, “perhaps home is not a place, but simply an irrevocable condition.” Deeply human and creatively presented, The Home Project suggests the same predicament.”
NOW Magazine “Multidisciplinary collaboration between the Howland Company and Native Earth Performing Arts hits home in a powerful way… The idea of home has taken on greater significance during the pandemic, when so many of us have either been stuck at home or away from the loved ones who represent home. And for those of us who consider live theatre another kind of home, this fascinating collaboration between the Howland Company and Native Earth Performing Arts represents a pleasant homecoming…. [Akosua] Amo-Adem is astonishing. Her story, and sections of the other two artists’, will find a permanent home in my imagination.”
OnStage Blog “The Home Project is a welcome return home to live theatre in Toronto’s Distillery District especially considering all the social changes and movements of the last eighteen months.”
Istvan Reviews “[The Home Project] really does hit home… “What is home?” A deceptively simple question, one that opens the floodgates for a tidal wave of entangled notions of self, family, and place. […] Three artists give us intimate, compelling examinations of this fraught concept in The Home Project.”
The Toronto Star, Preview Interview with Akosua Amo-Adem & Paolo Santalucia: “What does the word “home” mean to you? Would you have had a different answer 18 months ago, before the pandemic kept us there? “Standup is very scary at the best of times”, Amo-Adem said, and facing a mask-wearing audience brings particular challenges. “The facial cues that you would get from people to know that they’re having the time of their lives are not there.” She added some material at the beginning of her set “to just encourage people to engage in full-body laughter because, for some folks, this is their first theatre or live event in a year and a half, almost two years.” Read here.
Sesay Arts, Interview and Reflection with Cheyenne Scott and Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster. Read here.
She Does The City, Fall “To-Do” List: “Go see The Home Project in The Young Centre’s Courtyard this fall… How nice would it be to bike down to Tank House Lane in The Distillery and get cozy under the stars before sinking into an incredible live performance?”
TRNTO, “A Torontonian’s guide to the incredible arts happening this fall”: “Most theatres are looking at January 2022 to open new shows. Outdoors is still the venue of choice for live performances, and there are a few. For instance, Soulpepper is bringing The Howland Company and Native Earth Performing Arts’ new show The Home Project to its outdoor stage in the Soulpepper Courtyard Sept. 21 to Oct. 3. This intimate theatrical experience combines live performance, sound and digital media to examine the idea of home.
Casimir and Caroline
The Globe and Mail “Get over to the Streetcar Crowsnest before Feb. 9 and introduce yourself to an exuberant young ensemble called The Howland Company. Their new take on CASIMIR AND CAROLINE, a 1932 romantic tragicomedy by the Austro-Hungarian playwright Odon von Horvath, is a fascinating mixture of delight and doom.
Santalucia has done a very good job of getting the actors to create stylized, entertaining performances that are nevertheless tethered to a recognizable humanity. You’re always aware of how ridiculous these characters are, but somehow they still, in millennial-speak, give you the feels…Check it out.”
Karen Fricker from The Toronto Star “It was written nearly 90 years ago but The Howland Company’s excellent new production of CASIMIR AND CAROLINE is totally relevant to today. Corporate sharks & Millennial tadpoles swim together at a summer office party: personal struggles inform and clash with professional aspirations. Perfect casting, terrific performances & great pacing drew me into their world and made me care about all of the characters, even the sharks. There is laughter, cringe, heartbreak (and dancing!), and an important take-away about the lack of humanity in society’s structures. I very much recommend this show.”
Stage Door “As North American theatre-goers we have to be extremely grateful to The Howland Company for bringing Ödön von Horváth and his CASIMIR AND CAROLINE finally to the general attention of the public […] in such a vibrant updated adaptation that reveals [his] great 1932 play as uncannily modern in its tragicomic view of mankind and its endeavours”
My Entertainment “2 hours of high energy, sharp dialogue and no holds barred performances in an almost claustrophobic and suffocating look at those caught up in a system that hoards wealth, happiness and power for the few while dangling the scraps in front of the many. Ruthless, hilarious and well executed…the party is full of engaging and complex characters that are strengthened by heightened, painfully raw and dedicated performances.”
Life with More Cowbell “Razor-sharp, edgy & timely, we’re front & centre for the parallel collapse of personal & professional relationships. It’s a one percent vs. 99 percent world of “winners” and “losers”, and no one is as they seem… Outstanding performances all around… This is going to be a hot ticket, so advance booking is strongly recommended.”
NOW Magazine “There’s lots of absurdity in the script, along with fascinating conversations about goodness and morality among the haves and have-nots.”
Global News Morning Interview with Hallie Seline and Paolo Santalucia. Watch here.
Stageworthy Podcast Interview with Alexander Crowther and Hallie Seline. Listen here.
NOW Magazine “15 Theatre Shows to See in the First Half of 2020” – “The Howland Company is one of the city’s most exciting indie companies. They’re the folks behind 2018’s Punk Rock and The Wolves, which made several year-end lists, and Fringe hits like Entrances And Exits, Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons and 52 Pick-Up. So expectations are high for the North American premiere of Ödön von Horváth’s modern classic about two star-crossed lovers negotiating things at an office party. Newly translated by actor Paolo Santalucia, U of T prof Holger Symeand the company itself, the show features a terrific ensembles that includes Alexander Crowther and Hallie Seline as the eponymous couple, as well as Kimwun Perehinec and Howland regulars Cameron Laurie and James Graham.”
Winner of the Toronto Theatre Critics Association Award for “Best Ensemble Performance” – The Ensemble of THE WOLVES
Winner of the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance – Amaka Umeh, “00” in THE WOLVES
– The Globe and Mail “The Wolves is worth cheering on, and loudly. The impressive teamwork does indeed make the dream work.”
– Toronto Star “The Wolves is a gloriously frank and intense depiction of extraordinary young women.”
NNNN – NOW Magazine “The Wolves is so riveting it will make you howl.”
Mooney On Theatre “Go see The Wolves. Please. It’s moving and howlingly funny and as full of life as the most suspenseful soccer game… This production, by The Howland Company and Crow’s Theatre, brims with vitality, humour, and heart; it’s one of the best shows I’ve seen in some time.”
My Entertainment World “Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves is one of the finest pieces of theatre I’ve had the pleasure to see. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Howland Company’s production has everything. It’s fresh, witty, heartwarming, moving and tragic. Rarely could I recommend a play so wholeheartedly.”
– My Gay Toronto. “Riveting, fresh and surprising and exhilarating. A lot of that has to do with the ensemble, all of whom are individually powerful but also so tightly interlocked that teamwork is not just a metaphor but a virtuoso demonstration.”
Broadway World Toronto “Sarah DeLappe’s first foray into playwriting is a complete knockout, and is brilliantly directed by Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster and produced by The Howland Company and Crow’s Theatre.”
The Slotkin Letter “The Wolves is a terrific play given a wonderful, compelling production… Beautiful.”
The Toronto Star – Post-Show Reflection & Interview – “I told them that this is your opportunity to retrain your ears to hear voices that we are all collectively, myself included, trained to miss,” Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster, Director.
“The Wolves, Dry Land and School Girls provide a new platform for teenage girls’ stories” by Carly Maga. Read the piece here.
CBC Radio’s Here and Now – Interview with Heath V. Salazar & Hallie Seline. Listen to the interview here.
CTV Toronto News at 6 – The Wolves Preview and Interview with Ruth Goodwin & Hallie Seline. Starts at 38min mark. Watch here.
CBC Sports – Post-Show “Women in Sports” Panel Reflection by Signa Butler
“For women in sports, you need to see yourself to believe in yourself… The Wolves’ show how vital sport can be for the empowerment of young women.” – Signa Butler, CBC Sports & Olympic Broadcaster. Read here.
The Toronto Star – What To See In Toronto
Post City – “Must See This Fall”
Toronto Life – What To See In Toronto
“NNNN – This production by the red-hot Howland Company showcases moving, realistic performances that explore power and bullying, identity and mental health, and friendship and complacency in ways that are in turn rich in subtlety and overwhelming in intensity […] If the show’s stunning climax doesn’t leave you shaken to your core, you’d better check your pulse.”
– Jordan Bimm, NOW Magazine
“Talked about The Howland Company’s brilliant production of PUNK ROCK with a friend for the last half hour… Just riveting theatre. Best ensemble I’ve seen on stage in some time. And so sharply directed. Hope it returns next season somewhere.”
– Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine
“FOUR STARS – Punk Rock is a shattering evening of theatre you will not soon forget.”
– Christopher Hoile, Stage Door
“Punk Rock is a roller coaster ride of emotion and fine acting […] A jaw-clenching, gut-twisting play about bullying in a grammar school in north England with chilling results. The production is terrific.”
– Lynn Slotkin, CIUT
“Quite literally one of the most “stunning” plays I’ve personally ever seen. The talent in this show is off the charts […] unforgettable.”
– Mooney on Theatre
PUNK ROCK – Top “Three To See” in Toronto
– Intermission Magazine
Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons
“Winner of Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Direction by Harveen Sandhu, Outstanding Performance by Ruth Goodwin & James Graham”
– NOW Magazine’s Best of Fringe 2017
“Left speechless… Superb, disturbing play, brilliantly directed and performed.”
– Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine
“NNNN & Critic’s Pick – The Howland Company delivers another emotional, insightful and super-relatable relationship two-hander… Lemons will make you think more deeply about what you say.”
– Jordan Bimm, NOW Magazine
“Exceptional performances by Ruth Goodwin and James Graham”
– The Toronto Star
“Sharp, thoughtful…intricate and rewarding.”
– Mooney on Theatre
Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons – Top 12 Shows to See at The Toronto Fringe 2017
The Howland Company’s Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons – Young Stars to See at The Toronto Fringe
– The Globe and Mail
The Howland Company’s Ruth Goodwin interview on CTV’s Your Morning with The Toronto Fringe’s Kelly Straughan. Watch it here.
“NNNNN – As amazing as people say, thrilling and involving theatre…You might want to see the show more than once, it’s that good.”
– Glenn Sumi, Now Magazine
“One of the best productions in this year’s [Toronto] Fringe”
– Jon Kaplan, Now Magazine
“A romantic comedy sure to ignite sentimental memories… A sugary-sweet romantic comedy performed by alternating cast members of the plucky, young Howland Company… No matter your current relationship status, there is something in 52 Pick-Up that will likely spark your own mosaic of romantic memories.”
– Carly Maga, The Toronto Star
“A+ Start with good people. The Howland Company has done a lot right since its inception about a year ago. They have established their place in the community through a play reading series and generated significant buzz leading into their first full production. But the thing they did the most right was start with good people. There is so much talent in this company that I wanted to see 52 Pick Up 4 times. Simply and smartly directed by Lancaster and Santalucia, 52 Pick-Up is a rare theatrical gem open to a million possibilities.”
– Kelly Bedard, My Entertainment World
“Beyond the exciting, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants spontaneity of the performance, what I loved about this show is how relatable the story is. Anybody who has ever been on an awkward first date, fallen in love, had a relationship with a significant other and fallen out of love will see themselves in this couple. I laughed, I cried and I wasn’t the only one.”
– Sam Mooney, Mooney on Theatre
“It’s a rare show that appeals to both the happy couples, the happily (or bitterly) single, and everyone in the middle.”
– Steve Fisher, Torontoist
The Glass Menagerie
“To make a masterpiece feel new, relevant and exciting without resorting to a complete overhaul is a rare thing. McKee and the cast succeed by finding resonances in the most powerful moments that amplify rather than reorient the spirit of Williams’s work for a modern audience.”
– Jordan Bimm, Now Magazine
“If you are already in love with this play like I am, you cannot afford to miss this austere, cool, vibrant production. If you’re not familiar with the text, this is a great introduction; it honours the spirits of desperation and hope that haunt this poetic classic. “
– Mooney on Theatre
“The Howland Company already has a Fringe hit with 52 Pick-Up, which received multiple remounts, recognition from Soulpepper and Canadian Stage, and a loyal following among indie theatre audiences and it makes sense that new layers of such a well-known play would be revealed by younger artists than in traditional, straight-forward productions.
– Carly Maga, The Toronto Star
“Outstanding New Play” – Dora Mavor Moore Award Nomination (The Home Project, 2021)
“Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble” – Dora Mavor Moore Award Nomination (The Home Project, 2021)
“Outstanding Production” – Dora Mavor Moore Award Nomination (The Home Project, 2021)
“Outstanding Lighting Design” – Dora Mavor Moore Award Nomination (The Home Project, 2021)
“Outstanding Sound Design / Composition” – Dora Mavor Moore Award Nomination (The Home Project, 2021)
“Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble” – Dora Mavor Moore Award Winner (Casimir and Caroline, 2020)
“Outstanding Costume Design” – Dora Mavor Moore Award Winner (Casimir and Caroline, 2020)
“Outstanding Direction” – Dora Mavor Moore Award Nomination (Casimir and Caroline, 2020)
Canadian Comedy Award Nomination (Entrances and Exits, 2019)
“Best Ensemble Performance” – Toronto Theatre Critics Association Award Winner (The Wolves, 2018)
“Outstanding Performance” – Amaka Umeh as 00 – Dora Mavor Moore Award Winner (The Wolves, 2018)
“Outstanding Production” – Critic’s Pick Award Winner (The Wolves, 2018)
“Outstanding Costume Design” – Dora Mavor Moore Award Nomination (The Wolves, 2018)
“Outstanding Ensemble” – Critic’s Pick Awards Nomination (The Wolves & Punk Rock, 2018)
“Best of Fringe” – The Toronto Fringe Festival (Entrances and Exits, 2018)
“Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble” – Dora Mavor Moore Award Nomination (Punk Rock, 2018)
“Outstanding Costume Design” – Dora Mavor Moore Award Nomination (Punk Rock, 2018)
“Patron’s Pick” – The Toronto Fringe Festival (Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, 2017)
“Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Direction by Harveen Sandhu, Outstanding Performance by Ruth Goodwin & James Graham”
– NOW Magazine’s Best of Fringe 2017 (Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, 2017)
“Best of Fringe” – The Toronto Fringe Festival (52 Pick-Up, 2014)
“Outstanding Direction & Outstanding Ensemble” – Now Magazine (52 Pick-Up, 2014)
“Outstanding Ensemble” – My Entertainment Theatre Awards (Casimir and Caroline, 2016)
“Emerging Artistic Direction” Award – The Soulpepper Theatre Company
RBC Emerging Company in Residence – Canadian Stage