Media: Theatre Passe Muraille Co-Produces Toka

Video by | Hoffworks

Video visual descriptions CW: Fake blood. Video begins with a slow motion of a dancer, wearing a white knitted sweater with a red collar, turning. The scene cuts to hands, being washed in a bucket. A distressed man in a black jersey jacket is trying to wash something off his hands. Video intercuts between the dancer and the man. The man holds his hands up, it is dripping in blood. As drums disappear, the dancer stops and gazes at the camera. Her hair is messy from the movement and she is breathing. Video ends with brand logo and show information, available on our website here.

Toka by Indrit Kasapi 

A Theatre Passe Muraille and lemonTree creations Digital Co-Production

April 28 – May 1, 2021

TORONTO, ON –  With the cast of six and a robust creative team, Toka is the largest production in Theatre Passe Muraille’s 20.21 season. The Dora-award winning lemonTree creations have been Theatre Passe Muraille’s company-in-residence since 2017. It is our pleasure to see the culmination of this collaboration with the World Premiere of the much-anticipated Toka by Indrit Kasapi as a digital production.

Written & choreographed by TPM’s Associate Artistic Director Indrit Kasapi (he/him), this startling work of physical theatre is about the modern-day blood feuds in post-Communist Albania. Led by lemonTree’s Artistic Producers, Indrit Kasapi brings his Albanian heritage and unique multidisciplinary approach into the work, and Cole Alvis (she/her) brings her perspective as 2 Spirit Michif (Métis) grounding the work as director and dramaturge. The cast, consisting of Christopher Manousos, Kat Khan, Michael Caldwell, Nicole Joy-Fraser, Pulga Muchochoma and William Yong — comes from prolific acting and dance credits.

Dancers embrace eachother with head down closely in a circle, grabbing onto eachother as if to promise something.

“lemonTree creations is one of the most exciting companies in Canada. They consistently investigate in and are unafraid of working within uncomfortable conversations with high artistic standards. What is startling to me about the story of Toka, is that I have to remind myself that it is a modern-day tale of revenge. Humanity would like to believe ourselves evolved past feuds, but the truth is that all around the world we still suffer from the damaging consequences of colonial constructs such as ‘land-ownership’. Toka, in an interdisciplinary way, adroitly explores this human cost and path to healing.”

~Marjorie Chan | TPM Artistic Director

Toka tells the story of siblings who wrestle with a long-standing land dispute that has resulted in generational death after death and is threatening to come to a brutal climax. This heart wrenching and evocative story is deeply rooted in the theme of land. The creative team, under the direction of Cole Alvis, tells this story with the awareness that the production is being staged here in Tkarón:to (Mohawk word for Toronto) on stolen land.

“In Toka, two families living in the mountains of Northern Albania are governed by an ancient code — referred to as the Kanun — that affect them both in turn. To me, this story is also about treaty. About promise, and what can happen when sacred agreements are not upheld by those in power.

~Cole Alvis | Director & Dramaturge, Toka

The support and development for this work at TPM began under former Artistic Director Andy McKim:

“Works from Balkan heritage are unique in our national theatrical landscape, the specificity of Albanian heritage even more so. And yet Toronto is estimated to be home to 51% of all Albanians living in Canada. Though Toka speaks through cultural specificity, having seen its development to date I believe its themes of forgiveness, duty, and reconciliation are very applicable to many communities today.”

~Andy McKim | Former Artistic Director, TPM

a dancer has her elbow up into the sky. Her white sweater and form makes her look like a snowy mountain

Toka will have four digital performances, and all shows will be Digital Relaxed Performances. Albanian subtitles will be available on April 30th and Non-traditional Audio Descriptions will be offered by Cole Alvis on May 1st.

For full credits, and show information, please visit the TPM website here.

Tickets

Tickets are on sale now at passemuraille.ca. TPM’s Pay-What-You-Can-Afford (PWYCA) model offers single tickets at different price points. The ticket prices this season are: $5, $25, and $50. All tickets are the same.

In order to remove barriers in our pricing, we are offering three price points so that a wide range of audiences are able to attend our 20.21 Season. We encourage audiences to make their own choices about what they can afford in order to experience theatre. Those purchasing at the $50 price point will do so with the understanding that their ticket price is helping to subsidize the $5 ticket price, and in doing so, making theatre more accessible for others. 

COVID-19 Protocols

We are operating with the utmost caution and with the best health and safety knowledge we currently have in order to bring theatre to our audiences.  We have a set of safety protocols based on Public Health guidelines, which are informing our capacity and ability to have artists safely in our space to bring you digital work in your homes. Safety measures and health protocols, including masks, social distancing, and sanitation measures, are fully in effect and updated as precautions for COVID-19 evolve and change.

Toka was filmed under ACTRA jurisdiction and subsequent safety guidelines.

 Please see our website or contact us for details.

Accessibility

All performances in the run will be Digital Relaxed Performances and Audio Description by Cole Alvis will be provided on May 1st. 

Relaxed Performances are designed to welcome audience members and their families who could benefit from a more relaxed environment, including those who are neurodiverse and Autistic patrons. The digital set-up includes: access to a visual story for the play which includes clear instructions on accessing the performance link, a pre-show introduction to the play, the ability to access the performance for 48 hours after the performance, a digital Front of House Manager to provide answers to any questions via phone, email, or in the chat. A zoom meeting after the show where you can talk with an Active Listener. 

Audio Described Performances offer Low Vision and Blind patrons a companion piece to the shows outlining the events happening onstage – including relevant sets, costumes and non-verbal actions. Toka will have non-traditional audio-descriptions by Director & Dramaturge Cole Alvis. Blind Consultant TBA.

Our Access Initiatives are made possible with the support of TD Bank Group.

About TPM

Founded in 1968, TPM is Canada’s original alternative theatre company, currently developing and producing new Canadian plays. TPM is striving to articulate a distinct Canadian voice that reflects the complexity of our intercultural society. TPM believes there should be a more diverse representation of artists, audience members, and stories in our theatre. TPM aspires to be a leader locally, nationally and internationally in establishing, promoting, and embracing collaborative and inclusive theatre practices. We do this so that we can support and ignite the voices of unique artists, communities and audiences.

About lemonTree creations

lemonTree creations is an equity-seeking theatre company that brings rarely told stories to the stage. lemonTree centres artists making work informed by their lived experience and present them through a queer performance lens. Creative processes include decolonial and anti-racist strategies in the pursuit of equity for Indigenous, Black and culturally diverse communities. The leadership team includes Artistic Producers Indrit Kasapi (Albanian-Canadian) and Cole Alvis (Métis) and Artistic Associates Donna-Michelle St. Bernard and Ryan G. Hinds. lemonTree’s work is based in Dish With One Spoon Treaty Territory where the original caretakers are the Mississaugas of Credit First Nation, as well as Anishinaabe, Onkwehon:we, and Wendat peoples. Grappling with colonialism is essential to their arts practice and the company invites you to reflect on how to be a good guest on Indigenous territories.

Media Contact

Emily Jung | Interim Marketing & Communications Manager | e: emilyj@passemuraille.on.ca | p: 416-504-8988 ext. 2172

www.passemuraille.ca|Instagram & Twitter @beyondwallsTPM | Facebook

www.lemonTreecreations.ca|Instagram @lemontree__creations & Twitter @LTcreations | Facebook

Season Sponsor:

TD Bank Group

Get your tickets

A Theatre Passe Muraille and lemonTree creations Digital Co-Production

April 28 – May 1, 7:30pm

Toka tells the story of siblings who wrestle with a long-standing land dispute that has resulted in generational death after death, and is threatening to come to a brutal climax. This startling work of physical theatre about modern-day blood feuds in post-Communist Albania, is delicate, evocative and heart-breaking.

theatre passe muraille logo is a friendly red text with the Ls elongated. Lemontree logo has a pink circle with a cutout lemon in the middle
TPM’s 20.21 Season is sponsored by TD Ready Commitment. The season is also supported by Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Hal Jackman Foundation, The Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Martin Atkinson Foundation at Toronto Foundation and Metcalfe Foundation