Toronto Events

Taking Liberties

Dave Carley’s work stands out for its questing intelligence, warm humanity and engaging storytelling. (Variety)

Nowhere are these qualities more evident than in Carley’s drama Taking Liberties. Now set for its fifth Toronto production, Taking Liberties is being presented in the ballroom of Campbell House Museum in February 2020.

Taking Liberties examines five critical moments in the life of a city, when ordinary citizens are forced to make extraordinary choices. The play moves back in time through five decades, showing how the moral dilemmas of one era can impact the events of another.

The uncomfortable questions the play raises revolve around the limits of free speech in our society. Although the play was written three decades ago, the issues it raises have never been more relevant than they are today.

Taking Liberties is being produced by the Taking Liberties Collective and runs from February 5 to 23. It is directed by Cecily Smith and stars Alison Beckwith, Tristan Claxton, Hayden Finkelshtain, John Jarvis and Cecily Smith.

In conjunction with the play, there are six special talkbacks focusing on issues raised in the play. In all cases, the talkbacks directly follow the performances.

Selected reviews from past productions:

“Beautifully written. Taking Liberties creates identifiable human figures who face agonizingly real problems. It is rare for theatre audiences to be so intellectually and emotionally challenged.” (Plays International)

Performance Schedule:

Wed February 5 – 7:30 Preview $20
Thurs February 6 – 7:30 Preview $20 Talkback 1:Beyond the Bedrooms of the Nation: Policing Public Sex in the 1970s and 1980s – Tom Hooper
Fri February 7 – 7:30 Opening Night Econo Gala $40
Sat February 8 – 4:00 Matinee $30 Talkback 2: The Book Defenders with Katy Swailes
Sat February 8 – 7:30 Gala Gala $50
Sun February 9 – 2:00 Matinee $30 Talkback 3: Journalism Ethics – Janice Neil
Wed February 12 – 7:30 $30 Talkback 4: If Truth Be Told! Margaret Laurence Reading with Beverley Cooper
Thurs February 13 – 7:30 $30
Fri February 14 – 7:30 $30
Sat February 15 – 4:00 Matinee $30 Talkback 5: Esther Arbeid. Holocaust Denial – Now.
Sat February 15 – 7:30 $30
Sun February 16 – 2:00 Matinee $30 Talkback 6: Michael Bryant- Civil Liberties

Wed February 19 – 7:30 $30
Thurs February 20 – 7:30 $30
Fri February 21 – 7:30 $30
Sat February 22 – 4:00 Matinee $30
Sat February 22 – 7:30 $30
Sun February 23 – 2:00 Matinee $30

Thursday, February 6. Our guest is Professor Tom Hooper of York University, who will talk about the history and criminalization of sex in Toronto. Preview ticket price of $20 includes show and refreshments.

Friday, February 7. Opening Night! Ticket price $40 includes the show and the return of the legendary post-show “Econo Gala”, held in the Robinette and Pioneer Kitchen rooms of Campbell House. Cash bar and free food from the Orange Food Group.

Saturday, February 8. The 4 pm matinee will be followed by a unique book club. CBC Producer Katy Swailes (Writers and Company) will interview young women about what books they would defend (as Margaret Laurence’s novel The Diviners is defended in the play.) Ticket price $30 includes show and refreshments.

Saturday, February 8. Gala Gala! Ticket price $50 includes the show and a return of the “lavish” gala with food and fun in the Robinette and Pioneer Kitchen Rooms of Campbell House.

Sunday, February 9. The 2 pm matinee is followed by a talk by Janice Neil, Chair of Ryerson’s School of Journalism, on journalistic ethics and the naming of names. Ticket price of $30 includes show and refreshments.

Thursday, February 13. Ticket price of $30 includes both the performance and a special session with playwright Beverley Cooper. Beverley and actors will read from and talk about her play If Truth Be Told, a Blyth hit which was based on attempts to censor works by Margaret Laurence and Alice Munro. Post-show refreshments included.

Saturday, Feb 15. Esther Arbeid, Director of Arts and Culture, Miles Nadal JCC, hosts a post-matinee conversation on Holocaust Denial – with an emphasis on what we can do to combat it, going forward. The ticket price of $30 includes refreshments.

For more information on special events:

Buy Tickets Here:

Run Time: 65 minutes


Because of the historic nature of the Campbell House Museum, this production is, unfortunately, not accessible for persons in wheelchairs or similar mobility devices. Please contact us for any other questions or concerns regarding accessibility.

Late Admittance Policy:

Because of the intimate nature of the performance space, latecomers cannot be admitted. We thank you for your understanding.

Refund Policy:

All tickets are non-refundable but can be exchanged up to 12 hours before the event starts for another date/time, space permitting, through Brown Paper Tickets call centre only.

Sunday, February 23

The Campbell House Museum 160 Queen Street West at University Avenue.

Event Type

Museums, Galleries & Exhibitions, Festivals & Special Events


Recent Activity