Theatre Ouest End in collaboration with Tantalus presents
Centaur Theatre’s Brave New Looks Selection for 2023

What Rough Beast

written by Alice Abracen
Directed by Jessica Abdallah

A controversial professor. A campus divided. A family torn apart.

After the runaway success of Alice Abracen’s award-winning The Covenant at the Segal Centre in 2022, the next production from Theatre Ouest End is here, in collaboration with Tantalus. Returning with a roar to the theatre where it was featured as part of Centaur Theatre’s 50th Anniversary Legacy Series in 2019, What Rough Beast is Centaur Theatre’s Brave New Looks selection for 2023.

“Look at us. Screaming across the void. Don’t you wanna try to close that gap?”—Thomas

What Rough Beast begins as a controversial professor is invited to speak at a progressive college, kicking off a political firestorm and tearing the campus apart. As the factions form and the rhetoric flares, on the other side of the city a young man slouches down the rabbit hole of radicalization with devastating consequences.

Timely, Provocative and Torn from the Headlines

What Rough Beast - Alice Abracen, playwright

Alice Abracen, playwright

Through the story of seven young adults, What Rough Beast engages with topical questions such as: how do we engage with those whose ideas we find hateful? What do we risk in having empathy for the other side, and how, or should we, try to reach across the chasm? This thought-provoking, contemporary play presents a brave new look at some of the most heated questions facing our city, our country, and our world, exploring the danger of dehumanization and the limits of empathy and tolerance. The play contains mature themes and deals with challenging topics such as extremism, bigotry, and gun violence.

“I highly recommend you make sure to come and see this exceptional young playwright; there is a great conversation there waiting to happen!” — Eda Holmes, Artistic Director, Centaur Theatre

“How can we stop shying away from uncomfortable conversations and instead embrace them in order to encourage deeper change? I want to explore—along with this incredible team of artists—both our public and private spheres to see where the true change might live.”— director Jessica Abdallah

The show features Adam Capriolo, Aidan Cottreau, Rahul Gandhi, Charlotte Dennis, Simon Pelletier, Jennifer Roberts and Keren Roberts.

There will be post-show talkbacks March 5 and 8 matinees and March 9 in the evening.
To purchase your tickets visit: or call 514-288-3161

Centaur Theatre
453 St François-Xavier

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