In 2019.2020 Theatre Passe Muraille enters its 52nd year as a company. It is the last season programed by outgoing Artistic Director Andy McKim, before the reins of Passe Muraille are handed over to incoming AD Marjorie Chan. During his time with Passe Muraille McKim has championed the values of the company, putting an emphasis on access and diversity. Those words have meant a lot of different things over his tenure. Access in terms of physical space, community engagement, and overall ideas. Diversity of production models, content, and form. McKim has been a champion of the underdog for his entire career, offering opportunities to new artists whenever he can, while at the same time fostering established creators and pushing them to new heights. This season sees a return of some Passe Muraille favourites, collaboration with companies from across the country, and the presentation of new emerging artists. Below is the announcement of the upcoming shows at Passe Muraille.
The Election | October 2019
Theatre Passe Muraille presents a Common Boots Theatre Production in association with Nightwood Theatre and Theatre Direct
Written by Natasha Greenblatt and Yolanda Bonnell with the company Jennifer Brewin, Qasim Khan, Anand Rajaram, and Courtenay Stevens
Directed by Jennifer Brewin
Dramaturgy by Yvette Nolan
Music Composition and Direction by Alex Samaras
Performed by Augusto Bitter, Rachel Cairns, Joelle Peters, Anand Rajaram, Rose Stella and Courtenay Stevens
Following the wildly successful run of The Public Servant, Common Boots Theatre delivers a provocative and hilarious investigation of how Canadians engage in democracy.
In 2015, a group of theatre makers infiltrated the Canadian Federal Election as volunteers for three major political parties and documented their interactions. Exploring the intersection of Indigenous, Settler and Newcomer experiences with the political process, The Election sparks urgent dialogue just as Canadians are about to take another swing at the ballot box. With a live vocal score, this play asks: Do we have a voice and does that voice count?
Poly Queer Love Ballad | November 2019
Presented by Theatre Passe Muraille
Directed by Julie McIsaac
Dramaturgy by Joanna Garfinkel
Created and performed by Anais West and Sara Vickruck
First co-produced by the Queer Arts Festival, and co-presented by The Frank Theatre and Zee Zee Theatre.
Nina is a polyamorous bisexual poet. Gabbie is a monogamous lesbian songwriter. When the two meet at an open mic night, they must reconcile their mutual attraction with their opposing perspectives on love. Using a loop pedal and an array of instruments, Poly Queer Love Ballad is a non-traditional musical that blends slam poetry with catchy pop-folk tunes. The show challenges conceptions of queer romance and shows that intimacy isn’t confined by genre, medium, or societal obligations.
SUITCASE/ADRENALINE | January 2020
Theatre Mada Production presented by Theatre Passe Muraille
Written by Ahmad Meree
Performed by Ahmad Meree & Nada Abusaleh
Directed by Majdi Bou-Matar
How much of your life can you take with you? What are the most important things to carry on?
Suitcase, written by Ahmad Meree, is a year-long response to real life experiences as an artist immigrating from Syria. In this play we are asked to consider the lives of refugees and the series of liminal spaces they inhabit. It’s about belonging and possession and all the things that we leave behind.
Theatre Mada Production Presented by Theatre Passe Muraille
Written and Performed by Ahmad Meree
Directed by Majdi Bou-Matar
Adrenaline tells the story of Jaber, a Syrian man spending his first New Year’s Eve in Canada. Amongst fireworks and loud cheers Jaber recalls how a short year before he was spending the holiday under very different kinds of explosions. The show asks audiences to consider what is more difficult: to stay in danger with your loved ones or to live alone in safety?
bug | February 2020
manidoons collective co-presented by Theatre Passe Muraille and Native Earth Performing Arts
Created and Performed by Yolanda Bonnell (Ojibwe-South Asian)
Directed by Cole Alvis (Métis)
Dramaturgy by Yvette Nolan (Algonquin)
Scenography by Jay Havens (Haudenosaunee / Mohawk)
Lighting Design by Michel Charbonneau (Anishnaabe/Mohawk/euro)
Original Music by DJ Classic Roots (Ojibway/Blackfoot) & Jennifer Kreisberg (Tuscarora)
Sound Design by Maddie Bautista (Filipino)
Movement Facilitation by Aria Evans (Mi’kmaq/Black/settler)
Knowledge Keeper Pauline Shirt (Plains Cree)
bug follows The Girl as she navigates her way through her intergenerational trauma while being followed by Manidoons, the physical manifestation of her addictions. Performed and created by Yolanda Bonnell (NOW Magazine’s Artists to Watch 2016), the 2019 Dora-nominated physical performance weaves stories of Indigenous women grappling with their painful past and making tough choices to survive in this country.
The Negroes are Congregating | February/March 2020
PIECE OF MINE Arts Production with the support of Theatre Passe Muraille
Written and Co-Directed by Natasha Adiyana Morris
Produced and Production Managed by Troy De Four
Dramaturgy by Donna Michelle St Bernard and Lincoln Anthony Blades
The Negroes Are Congregating poses an unapologetic and impolite perspective about the ongoing effects of racism in Canada and around the world. Delivered through a fusion of spoken word, satire, and soulful dialect, audiences are invited to experience raw truths up close and personal – leaving them with an understanding of what it means to be Black, proud, and ready.
Take d Milk, Nah? | March 2020
Presented by Theatre Passe Muraille in association with Pandemic Theatre and with support from b current
Written and Performed by Jivesh Parasram
Direction/Dramaturgy by Tom Arthur Davis
Created by Jivesh Parasram, Tom Arthur Davis and Graham Isador
Lighting by Rebecca Vandevelde
Set and Costumes by Anahita Dehbonehie
Jiv is Canadian. Jiv is Indian. And Hindu. And West Indian. He’s Trinidadian too. Or maybe Jiv is just colonized. In Take d Milk, Nah? Jiv Parasram (Dora nomination for Outstanding New Play) blends personal storytelling and ritual to walk audiences through the intersections of these cultures. A refreshingly candid and delightfully funny look at race, religion and nationalism(s), Take d Milk, Nah? examines what divides us – and what we’re willing to accept in the desire to belong. The show returns to Passe Muraille after a sold out run in 2018. Oh, and there’s a cow.
Omaagomaan | March 2020
Co-presented by Native Earth Performing Arts and Theatre Passe Muraille
Choreography/Performance by Waawaate Fobister
Dramaturgy/Outside Eye by Troy Emery Twigg
Omaagomaan explores the resilience of the Anishinaabe people of Grassy Narrows. Using movement, sound, and storytelling the piece enlivens Omaagomaan – a two-spirit being, and a manifestation of the earth and man-made poisons that have seeped into the environment – forcing audiences to reckon with the ways the manaadizi (ugly) and the onizhishi (beautiful) collide. Performed by Dora-award winning performer Waawaate Fobister the show is a multi-genre exploration of ways to stitch a fractured landscape back together.
*This production will be offsite
Ephemeral Artifacts | April 2020
Anandam Dancetheatre Productions with the support of Theatre Passe Muraille
Created by Brandy Leary and Travis Knights
Directed and Dramaturged by Brandy Leary
Choreography by Travis Knights and Brandy Leary
Performed by Travis Knights
Lighting Designed by Siobhán Sleath
Ephemeral Artifacts uses tap dancing and storytelling to explore the history of tap and jazz, and the connection of these intertwined genres to black bodies. In the performance Travis Knights draws us in with his signature style, both intimate and intricate, encouraging audiences to listen to the stories, and the bodies, that have been kept alive, through dance and oral traditions. The lineage of tap is both a meditation and a metaphor; on rhythm, adaptability, improvisation and resistance through racialized bodies.