VUKA: Program

Welcome to the digital show program for VUKA

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Facilitated and Directed by Tsholo Khalema | Part of Theatre Passe Muraille’s Buzz In-Development Series

Collage and poster design by Emily Jung
Pictured L-R: Dario Dvon, Sebastian Urmom, Courage Bacchus, and Selecta Sarah

Facilitated and Directed by

Tsholo Khalema

Coordinator/Stage Manager

Tanvi Vyas

Lighting Designer



Sebastian Urmom
Selecta Sarah
Courage Bacchus
Dario Dvon

ASL Interpreters

Vanessa Bailey
Kimberley Johnson

Theatre Passe Muraille Team:

Artistic DirectorMarjorie Chan

Artistic Producer | Indrit Kasapi

Managing Director, Revenue & StrategyMichelle Knight

Producer | Jenn Sartor

Artistic Associate | April Leung

Associate Producer | Emma Westray

Financial Manager | Petra Chevrier

Marketing and Communications Manager | Shanae Sodhi

Patron Services Manager | Ceridwen Kingstone

Community Engagement Coordinator | Angela Sun

Fundraising & Development Coordinator | Faizah Syeda

Production & Facilities Manager | Aidan Hammond

Production Coordinator | Olivia Zotti

Mainspace Technician | David Fisher

Visual Story

To access the visual story for Theatre Passe Muraille, please click the button below. A Visual Story is a package that aims to support people with communication difficulties, learning disabilities, English as a second language and Autistic People. 


Note from Theatre Passe Muraille

Welcome to VUKA! This creation unit is special to TPM, as it was born organically out of conversations with our artists, particularly as there was an industry and global reckoning during the pandemic after the murder of George Floyd. TPM has welcomed many Black artists and work in the past, but one of our organizational goals includes being more intentional. To implement a Black creation unit at TPM, would affirm our values and begin, as a small step to alleviate the systemic marginalization of Black stories on the stage by creating a permanent space for works to develop.

We were so pleased to be able to have Tsholo Khalema direct 11:11 by Samson Bonkeabantu Brown as one of our digital offerings in the pandemic. Discussions about leadership naturally evolved and it seemed a natural fit for Tsholo to take the helm of a then-unnamed creation unit. Since then, Tsholo has made VUKA all his own, creating a culturally-specific and inclusive process with a clear and collaborative vision in order to support the artists you will see today. You will see two works in progress, so please come back another time to check out the other two pieces! Many congrats to our VUKA cohort, Courage Bacchus, Dario Dvon, Selecta Sarah, and Sebastian Urmom!

The truth is in 2022, we really didn’t have a budget for VUKA as a new unfunded program. But – we believed so strongly in the project, we carved out funds from other programs and productions to make it happen that first year. We hold so much gratitude to the Metcalf Foundation for recognizing the work, and supporting the project in its second year, in order to further develop these works. Thank you for making time for VUKA and enjoy.

Marjorie Chan

Note from the Director

It is with immense joy and gratitude that in partnership with Theatre Passe Muraille, I’ve embarked on a journey that fills my heart with an indescribable sense of fulfillment – VUKA! This collaboration, this beacon of hope and creativity, is a testament to the passion that has fueled my own artistic journey since my first role playing Cinderella in Into The Woods back in 1994.

The path to this moment has not been without its trials. The theatre industry, while enchanting and liberating, can often be a labyrinth where visibility is a distant treasure. Despite the challenges, I held fast to my dreams. And today, here we stand, ready to ignite the same flame in the hearts of black artists through VUKA.

VUKA is more than an initiative; it is a sanctuary for black artists to seize their narratives and wield their creativity in whichever form resonates with their souls. We embrace a methodology rooted in devising, allowing creators the freedom to sculpt their visions while provided with an unwavering support system.

The significance of “VUKA” reaches far beyond mere words. In one of my mother tongues, Zulu, it embodies the essence of rising. As a South African, I witnessed the transformative power of performance during the darkest days of apartheid. It was a tool used to dismantle barriers, a beacon of empowerment amidst adversity. This experience planted the seed for VUKA – a space where black artists need not confine themselves within the boundaries of colonization, but instead, reclaim the narrative lens and embrace storytelling as creators. VUKA stands as a tribute to resilience, a celebration of culture, and a pledge to elevate voices that have too long been marginalized.

As we embark on this voyage together, I invite you to witness the magic that unfolds when passion meets opportunity, when stories are told from the depths of one’s truth and when art becomes the catalyst for change. Thank you for being a part of this transformative journey. Welcome to VUKA, where we rise, where stories reign supreme, and where the spirit of creativity knows no bounds.

Tsholo Khalema | Director and Facilitator

Show Descriptions

The Voice that Colors the Silence by Dario Dvon

The Voice that Colors the Silence,” a deeply personal and socially impactful musical by Dario Dvon, eloquently amplifies the narratives of voiceless Black and LGBTQ+ individuals. Rooted in Dvon‘s journey as a queer artist of color, the musical explores themes of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and the intersection of homophobia and racism. Collaborating with a diverse team, Dvon draws on various musical styles to address these important social issues. This project is not just artistically compelling but also socially transformative, providing a platform for difficult conversations and offering a beacon of hope to any individual striving for acceptance and self-expression.’

Musical Composers for The Voice that Colors the Silence: 

Samer Ajaj (Leap, Black and White), Warren Joseph (I need a change), Simon Pequeqnat (I’ve gotta be me, More, I’ve gotta be me (Reprise)), Daksh Joshi (I’ve gotta be me, More, I’ve gotta be me (Reprise)), and Daniel Jay (Livin, Leap)


Rebirth of Courage by Courage Bacchus

A mix of body movement and visual vernacular with sound.


Darkroom by Selecta Sarah

Darkroom is a solitary act of radical self-love and actualization. 30-year-old Stephanie has been hired to be a part of an exhibit that showcases artists’ work throughout major stages of their life. However, to complete her collection, she must confront parts of herself she’s closed off too. Trapped in her darkroom with no reception and upcoming deadline, she brazenly faces her fears to redevelop the connection she once had. Will the dark room reveal her lost parts, or will it continue to hide them forever?


at the dinner table by Sebastian Urmom

What did you learn about the world just from eating with your family. What you’re allowed or not allowed to do? Who had to set it? Who got the biggest portion? Sebastian is fed up and tries to unpack this for us.

All performances
– Some flashing lights (short lengths of time and only light to medium intensity)

– Sudden noise (door slam) and flash of light within the first 5-10min of the performance

The Birth of Courage
– Explicit/course language
– Implied violence
– A video depicting the physical assault of Rodney King by the police.
– Implied police brutality
– Visual use of slurs
Darkroom (Selecta Sarah) 
– Explicit/course language
– Mentions of sex
– Discussion of sexual health
– Substance abuse
– Implied references to sexual violence
The Voice that Colours the Silence
– Allusions to homphobia and racism
at the dinner table
– Gender based trauma

Performance Schedule:

Friday, December 1st, 7 pm: Courage Bacchus and Dario Dvon

Saturday, December 2nd, 2 pm: Courage Bacchus and Dario Dvon

Saturday, December 2nd, 7 pm: Selecta Sarah and Sebastian Urmom

Sunday, December 3rd, 2 pm: Selecta Sarah and Sebastian Urmom


I am Natasha “Courage” Bacchus. I’m a multidisciplinary visual artist, former 3 times Deaf Olympian Sprinter. I began working as an actress in 2019 – and since then I’ve performed in: ‘The Black Drum’, ‘The Two Natasha’s’, ‘21 Black Futures’, and season four of ‘The Coroner’ on Netflix. I have participated as an art collaborator with numerous theater and film productions in Canada. I had multiple positions including an interdisciplinary visual artist, art accessibility consultant, Deaf theater interpretation, and activist for IBPOC Deaf art community in terms of expanding Indigenous and Black Deaf artists representation.

Dario Dvon, a Barbadian artist now based in Toronto, weaves music with captivating melodies, profound lyrics, and an impressive vocal range, creating a unique atmosphere. His motto, “Music is my Sport,” fuels his passion and underscores his notable achievements. Dario refined his skills as part of the Cohort for Musical Stage Company’s Noteworthy, collaborating with emerging artists. He’s thrilled to be involved with Theatre Passe Marualle’s  Vuka, showcasing his musical, “The Voice that Colors the Silence,” that amplifies the voices of marginalized individuals in a tale of self-discovery and love.

Selecta Sarah (she/her) is a creative from Brampton Ontario. From a young age, she was passionate about performing and connecting with people and immersing them in art. She began creatively writing for Christ and then for therapeutic reasons. As her writing developed, her poetry became monologic; using the time to deeply reflect on universal ideologies through the characters she creates. As a recent graduate from Brock University, Sarah uses her major in Speech Sciences and minor in Dramatic Arts to look at language from a semiotic viewpoint on stage. As she develops as a performer, she hopes to train other actors and people who want to use their voices to connect with others. Along with performing, she is a music curator and podcaster. Selecta loves music and its power to move and resonate with people. She volunteers as a board member at Waveland, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for BIPOC RnB artists in Toronto. She hopes by taking up space in her creative disciplines, she will inspire others to do the same and unapologetically share their voice.

Sebastian Urmom not only uses all the pronouns that your mama gave they/she/him last night, but is from the borough where all of the cuties come from… Scarborough! Self produced accomplishments include Heat in My Clutch (2022) and Seb’s PLAYPEN (2023.) Sebastian first started doing drag September 2022  and they hope to use drag to reclaim and foster a healthy/safe relationship with masculinity, and amplify that for others. If you want to find Sebastian follow them @sebforthemoms. Now sit back relax and grab a flask as they charmingly sleep their way into your hearts and Quench your thirst for Cute!

Creative Team

Tsholo Khalema is a versatile artist. Born in the rich culture of South Africa and nurtured amidst the sprawling prairies of Alberta, Tsholo’s artistic journey is a testament to his vibrant upbringing and deeply ingrained ancestral connections. His artistic prowess extends beyond the stage. As the facilitator of the VUKA creation program at TPM and marketing manager at Pleiades theatre.

For updated information on his artistic journey checkout

Christopher-Elizabeth is a Queer Afro-Indigenous interdisciplinary artist. They have a passion for live, reactive and experimental performance and design. The most important thing to them when crafting a story, is to remind audiences that inside them is a childlike playfulness and wonder that can never be outgrown. Select credits include: Sound and Lighting Designer for Insert Clown Here (Parlous/Pickles); House Technician for No Save Points (Outside the March/Starvox); Sound Designer for Maanomaa, My Brother (Canadian Stage/Bluebird); Artistic Director and Composer for VELVETHEAD (Pickles); and Researcher for Nightswimming’s Pure Research Program.

Tanvi Vyas is a writer, stage and production manager. Currently based out of Toronto, her South-Asian heritage informs her identity and appreciation for all expressions of art. A recent graduate of the Toronto Metropolitan University, she continues to explore the various forms of live performance and challenge and dismantle systems of oppression by supporting thoughtful and inclusive art/spaces. 

Past credits include: Assistant Stage Manager for Otîhêw, directed by Lisa Nasson (2023), Production Stage Manager for the Carnival of the Arts (2023), Stage Manager for Cacao a Venezuelan Lament, directed by Victoria Mata (2022) and Production Manager for The Division, directed by Andrew Kushnir (2022).

Thank Yous

Ariel Khalema
Caroline Khalema
Alicia Jennings
Thank you to the Metcalf Foundation for their support of VUKA!


TPM Season Sponsor:

TPM Thank you!

You make it possible! Thank you so much for coming out to watch VUKA as part of our 23.24 season.

We are so grateful for all of our sponsors, funders, and donors for believing in Theatre Passe Muraille’s mission and supporting our artistic programs— allowing our team to plan ahead with confidence.

You can also support us by following us on social media & giving us a shoutout! Follow the social media icons below to find us online.

Thank you again for visiting our theatre, digitally or in-person! For more information about our theatre/company, stay a bit and check out our website, or our blog.