Announcing the world premiere of Toka

You should be angry. We should all be angry. My son is dead. 

And for what? For a piece of land.

An intense shot of Toka in action, three dancers Indrit Riley and William have their arms wide open mid- dance motion. They all stare at Christopher, who is spotlit, nervously holding a traditional tea cup and saucer.

(From l to r) Riley Sims, Christopher Manousos, Indrit Kasapi, William Yong, and Nicole Joy-Fraser |  Photo by Brian Medina

lemonTree creations and Theatre Passe Muraille present the world premiere of Toka, a digital production.

Written and Choreographed by Indrit Kasapi | Directed by Cole Alvis | Featuring Nicole Joy-Fraser, Indrit Kasapi, Kat Khan, Christopher Manousos, Riley Sims, and William Yong

Toronto – Continuing the 21.22 season, Theatre Passe Muraille in collaboration with lemonTree creations is thrilled to present the World Premiere of TOKA, written, performed, and choreographed by Indrit Kasapi and directed by Cole Alvis. This digital co-production culminates the lemonTree creations’ multi-year residency with Theatre Passe Muraille and will stream online from April 20th to 23rd.

TOKA follows the story of siblings who wrestle with the consequences of a long standing land dispute which results in generational death and violence. This startling work of physical theatre about modern-day blood feuds in post-Communist Albania, is delicate, evocative and heart-breaking. The ensemble cast brings together an accomplished group of multidisciplinary performers featuring Christopher Manousos, Kat Khan, Indrit Kasapi, Nicole Joy-Fraser, Riley Sims and William Yong.

TPM’s Interim Managing Director and the playwright/choreographer/performer of the show, Indrit Kasapi (he/him) draws on his Albanian heritage, and explores within this production themes of forgiveness, reconciliation and familial duty. TOKA (“land” in Albanian) is a reminder of the ongoing land disputes and the never ending cycles of violence we live with today. 

“The gjakmarrja (pronounced Jyak-MARR-Ya) is an Albanian custom of seeking vengeance through blood that has attracted the attention of the World. I was deeply interested in exploring how forgiveness is possible when much of the world engages in punitive forms of justice. In creating this show I asked myself, “How are we going to forgive each other and move towards healing?” This production is a start to the conversation.” Kasapi explains. 

In that vein, under the direction of 2 Spirit Michif (Métis) artist Alvis (she/her), the production is grounded in an awareness of the colonial history of Turtle Island (North America). 

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

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.” Says Artistic Director Marjorie Chan, “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, skillfully explores this human cost and path to healing.

Gjakmarrja, blood feud in Albanian, is rooted in the Kanun and dates as far back as 5th century B.C., obliging that murder be repaid with murder. Male family members are expected to seek revenge in the name of familial honour or else be stigmatized by their community.

Christopher playing Ermal, holds Kat's arm, playing Arjola. They look like they are discussing something in a hurry. Lights are dim and the energy is tense.

Kat Khan and Christopher Manousos |  Photo by Brian Medina

Under the Communist Dictatorship of Enver Hoxha blood feuds were outlawed, though the practice saw a resurgence in the 1990s during the country’s turbulent transition to democracy. Since 1991, over 12,000 revenge murders have reportedly been committed in Albania. Safe only in their own homes, many affected by these feuds live in isolation, for fear of death if they were to venture outside still today.

Tickets are priced at $5, $25 or $50 under a Pay-What-You-Can-Afford model. Those purchasing at the $50 level are helping to subsidize the $5 ticket price, and in doing so, making theatre more accessible for others. The company continues to offer accessibility initiatives for the digital presentation such as Audio Described performances, Relaxed performances and Captioned performances in English and Albanian. Tickets for TOKA are now available on the TPM website.

Media Contact:

Suzanne Cheriton, RedEye Media,, 416-805-6744 | Laura Darby, RedEye Media,, 416-428-5626

 Instagram & Twitter @beyondwallsTPM | Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @LTcreations


TOKA will offer audio described performances, Albanian and English captioned performances. All performances during this run will be digital relaxed performances. This provides 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 link during and after the performance for a set period of time, A Digital Front of House Manager to provide answers to any questions via phone, email, chat function and a virtual active listening room  (a zoom meeting) that anyone can go to during and after the performance.

April 20, 7:30PM: English captioning, digital relaxed performance

April 21, 7:30PM

Stream 1: English captioning/digital relaxed performance

Stream 2: Audio description/digital relaxed performance

April 22, 7:30PM: English captioning, digital relaxed performance

April 23, 2:00PM: Albanian captioning, digital relaxed performance

April 23, 7:30PM:

Stream 1: English captioning/digital relaxed performance

Stream 2: Audio description/digital relaxed performance

About lemonTree creations

lemonTree creations is an equity-seeking theatre company that brings rarely told stories to the stage. We centre artists making work informed by their lived experience and present them through a queer performance lens. Our creative process includes decolonial and anti-racist strategies in the pursuit of equity for Indigenous 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.

Our 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 part of our arts practice and we invite you to engage with us about how to be good guests on these Indigenous territories.

About Theatre Passe Muraille

theatre passe muraille

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.


We’d like to thank our sponsor TD Bank Group and all of our donors & supporters.

TPM's 21.22 year is sponsored by TD, TD Ready Commitment, BMO and supported by the government of Canada, Canada Council for the arts, Ontario arts council, Toronto arts council, Ontario trillium foundation and the Martin Atkinson foundation at Toronto foundation.