Theatre Passe Muraille is committed to telling diverse Canadian stories. The term diverse, for us, has taken on a lot of different meanings. Diverse voices. Diverse forms. Diverse audiences. As a company we aim to accommodate. Our goal is always to promote the art and the conversations that art facilitates.
As the company celebrates its fiftieth year we’ve been thinking about that facilitation. Some questions we’ve been asking: what are the best ways to put art/artists in direct conversation with our city? How can we make the most out of the resources we have? What role do we want to have in our community?
The simple answer: more collaboration. We’re going to champion more creators. We want to support from the foundation up, offering resources (financial, administrative, artistic, developmental, physical, etc.) appropriate to each presentation. We want to help artists tell their stories. As best we can.
Last season we co-produced with sister company Buddies in Bad Times on two plays while providing support to indie companies on another four shows. Joining forces was rewarding on a variety of levels. We were able to engage audiences from inside and outside the theatre community. We sold out runs and added extensions. We started conversations and we listened.
For 2018/2019 we’ve decided to take collaboration a step further, working with companies from across the country and beyond to bring you a variety of shows that speak to the values of Passe Muraille. This season we’ll be covering issues of identity, reconciliation, migration, togetherness, and our relationship to the natural world. We’ll host shows examining the shifting relationships between performer and audience. And – of course – we’ll continue our effort to make sure these stories are as accessible as possible through our commitment to access programs (including Relaxed Performances, Audio Description, and ASL Interpretation).
Below is a list of projects and our involvement with those projects:
Sound of the Beast
September 28 & 29, 2018
A Theatre Passe Muraille Presentation
Writer/Performer: DM St. Bernard
Directors & Dramaturges: Andy McKim and Jiv Parasram
Composition & Sound Design: David Mesiha
Lighting Design: Rebecca Vandevelde
Stage Manager: Heather Bellingham
In Sound of the Beast emcee Donna-Michelle St. Bernard (AKA Belladonna the Blest) speaks truth to power with hip-hop, spoken word, and storytelling. Returning for a limited engagement at Theatre Passe Muraille before touring across the country, the show blends the personal and the political, with a bold and brutally honest take about policing in black communities.
Pearle Harbour’s Chautauqua
October 11 – 27, 2018
Theatre Passe Muraille presents Pearle Harbour’s Chautauqua
Creator/Performer: Justin Miller
Director: Byron Laviolette
Accompaniment: Steven Conway
Dramaturgy: Sandra Balcovske
Production Design: Joseph Pagnan
Lighting Design: Jareth Li
Sound Design: Deanna Choi
Tent: Haley Reap
Stage Manager: Giuseppe Condello
Producers: Rebecca Ballarin and Justin Miller
TPM’s prodigal drag daughter – Pearle Harbour – returns to her home base with her smash hit, Pearle Harbour’s Chautauqua (Audience Choice Award, SummerWorks 2017). Come gather together, under the milky folds of Pearle’s beautiful Tent, to catch your breath, speak your truth, and feel the people power, you betcha! The world may be falling apart, but Pearle will remind you there’s more that unites us than divides us.
Will You Be My Friend
October 25- November 11, 2018
A Green Light Arts [Kitchener] Production with the support of Theatre Passe Muraille
Creator/Performer: Janice Jo Lee
Director/Dramaturg: Matt White
Dr. West, Pluto’s leading Friendiologist, presents a program just for People of Colour (POC) to make friends and find happiness. His secret: become White! Janice, a lonely artist, enthusiastically enrolls and gets paired up with Mike. He’s a super well-meaning guy. Observe as she navigates love, friendship and the fun times pretending not to be “ethnic.”
Originally titled: Janice Lee and the White Supremacy Smackdown, Will You Be My Friend is a sharply funny and brutally honest musical comedy about the everyday challenges when loving white people. Through stories and fifteen original songs the audience is challenged to examine their privileges and reconsider the different ways we act in day-to-day life.
November 25 – December 9, 2018
A Human Cargo Production with the support of Theatre Passe Muraille
Playwright: Christopher Morris
Director: Daniel Brooks
Starring: Gord Rand as Jacob
ZAKA is an Orthodox Jewish volunteer force in Israel. They collect the remains of Jews killed in accidents. This one-person play follows Jacob – a ZAKA volunteer – as he grapples with the political and moral fall out of saving a woman’s life.
January 29 – February 9, 2019
A Tapestry Opera Production in partnership with Theatre Passe Muraille
Composer: Chris Thornborrow
Librettist: Julie Tepperman
Director/Dramaturg: Richard Greenblatt
Performers: Nathan Carroll, Jeff Lillico, Alicia Ault
Music Director: Marketa Ornova
Set and Costume Designer: Kelly Wolf
Video Designer: Monty Martin
Three friends hit university – no parents, new friends, new rules, and a new normal. Hook Up raises questions of consent, shame, and power in the lives of young adults navigating uncharted waters, on their own for the first time. Freedom is complicated.
February 16 – March 3, 2019
A Bad New Days Production with the support of Theatre Passe Muraille
Playwright/Director/Performer: Adam Paolozza
In Paolozzapedia Adam Paolozza blends his signature potent theatricality, contemporary carnivalesque commedia dell’arte aesthetic, storytelling, and family anecdotes, to create a funny and deeply personal show about the creative nature of memory through the fragmenting act of immigration.
March 7 – 24, 2019
A Presentation by Pencil Kit Productions and Theatre Passe Muraille with Support from Aluna Theatre
Playwright/Performer: Augusto Bitter
Director: Claren Grosz
Chicho, an ashamed-queer-Catholic-man-boy from Venezuela, hilariously attempts to feel beautiful despite his warring identity politics. In this wildly entertaining exploration of a diasporic experience, CHICHO meticulously presents the disparity between his own Queer-ibbean coming-of-age journey in Canada and the worsening socio economic crisis in Venezuela.
Crying Hands: Deaf People in Hitler’s Germany
March 20-24, 2019
A Theatre Passe Muraille Presentation of Theatre Manu [Norway]
Crying Hands tells the tale of Hans, who was born deaf and grew up in Berlin before the war broke out in 1939. The production follows Hans’s fate as a deaf political prisoner in Sachsenhausen, and later we witness his struggle to survive the Auschwitz concentration camp. Created by Theatre Manu (Norway) this docu-drama is performed through a series of interconnected scenes accompanied by storytelling and projections.
The Chemical Valley Project
April 4 – 20, 2019
A Theatre Passe Muraille and Broadleaf Theatre Presentation
Playwright/Performer/Creator/Concept: Kevin Matthew Wong
Production Design/Creator: Julia Howman
Dramaturgy and Advisement: Vanessa Gray and Lindsay Beze Gray
Through an innovative blend of projection design, object puppetry, and solo-performance, Kevin Matthew Wong (Honourable Mention for Theatre Centre’s Emerging Artist Award, SummerWorks 2017), performs this documentary theatre work on environmental racism and reconciliation amidst the backdrop of Canada’s petrochemical industry and the vital activism of Aamjiwnaang Water Protectors and siblings Vanessa Gray and Lindsay Beze Gray. The Chemical Valley Project seeks to spark conversations on Canadian environmental policy, treaty rights and Indigenous relations, as well as the current nature of Canadian identity/values.
April 23-28, 2019
A Theatre Passe Muraille Presentation of Battery Opera Performance [Vancouver]
Created/Performed by Lee Su-Feh
Developed as a part of the Migrant Bodies Project – an E.U. sponsored choreographic program aimed at opening civic and artistic reflections on migration – The Things I Carry is a performance/storytelling hybrid about what happens as people spread across our planet, both voluntarily and involuntarily. Part ceremony. Part conference. Part confessional.