Theatre Passe Muraille Announces Their Eclectic, Stirring 2022-23 Season

Theatre Passe Muraille has just announced their first full season since 2019, and the offerings for 2022-23 are eclectic, soul-stirring, and extremely exciting.

The new season starts with a bang, in the autumn presentation of Aluna Theatre’s RUTAS Festival, presented in partnership with Theatre Passe Muraille and Factory Theatre. After a four-year hiatus, the 5th RUTAS Festival will continue to connect the Americas through the arts, featuring local, national, and international artists. Featuring performances and conversations designed to inspire a more inclusive world, RUTAS will take place in the Mainspace and Backspace from September 22nd to October 9th.

Following the festival is a robust line-up of seven productions, including five world premieres. Long known for their commitment to developing Canadian theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille is continuing their tradition with shows that reflect the multifaceted city it calls home.

“Over the past few years, we re-examined our relationship with the world and each other,” says Artistic Director Marjorie Chan.

“Even as we return to in-person performances, the landscape has changed. One thing remains to be true: Theatre and art continue to fill our hearts and answer our need to connect, be seen and collectively witness. Sharing the stories of our communities, we continue to affirm the humanity of those not often represented on our stages and do so in the most innovative and accessible ways possible. By doing so, we create space for dialogue, bridges for connection and hope for a kinder, inclusive society.”

On top of their incredible line-up of shows, Theatre Passe Muraille has also expanded on their BUZZ in-development program. In 2022, they’re introducing a new creation unit called VUKA, led by Tsholo Khalema, an initiative aimed at further supporting Black artists. Two of their February Mainstage productions, Okay, You Can Stop Now and Rubble were developed through the company’s BUZZ in-development program by choreographer Shakeil Rollock and Suvendrini Lena respectively. VUKA will support three Black new-career theatremakers in a devised process that places the art and the artists at the centre.

Tickets for the RUTAS Festival are available now, and tickets for the rest of the 2022-23 season will become available on September 1st. To purchase tickets for RUTAS or to find out more about Theatre Passe Muraille, visit their website.


RUTAS Festival
Presented by Aluna Theatre, in partnership with Theatre Passe Muraille and Factory Theatre
Playing in the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace and Backspace

September 22 – October 9, 2022

An International Festival of Performances, RUTAS festival comes back after four years with its 5th edition festival. Artists across the Americas are invited to re-think the routes of a world that includes us all.

The Year of the Cello (World Premiere)
A Theatre Passe Muraille and Music Picnic co-production
Co-created by Marjorie Chan and Njo Kong Kie
Playing at the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace and in Digital format

October 15 – October 19, 2022

“The Cello, relentless, eternal, infinite in its beauty. I want to drown in its sound.”

Wen and her friend Li-An are forever changed by their encounter with the Cellist, whose music unlocks all that was left unspoken. Co-created by Marjorie Chan and Njo Kong Kie, The Year of the Cello is told poetically, culminating in a lament for loves lost, and a Hong Kong that once was.

Content warnings: Inferences of abuse and suicide, Descriptions of disease

our place (World Premiere)
A Cahoots Theatre and Theatre Passe Muraille co-production
by Kanika Ambrose
Playing at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace – presented with captions and AD

November 16 – December 3, 2022

our place takes us to Jerk Pork Castle in Scarborough — “if you don’t know about it, you better be about it and ask about it!”— where newcomers Andrea and Niesha work in exchange for cash under the table. As the two scrape out a life in Canada, they must also navigate their status as undocumented workers.

This funny, keenly observant script unveils the lives of these undocumented Caribbean workers who go to desperate lengths to get Canadaian citizenship — a moving, timely story of those rendered invisible in a “welcoming” Canada.

Miriam’s World (World Premiere)
by Naomi Jaye, based on a novel by Martha Baillie
Playing at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace

December 9 – 18, 2022

Through stacks of books, Theatre Passe Muraille becomes an immersive multimedia experience, Miriam’s World. Based on Martha Baillie’s Giller long-listed novel, The Incident Report, patrons are invited to move from screen to screen inside the library room. This voyage into librarian Miriam Gordon’s life, is laid out like a journal, and exposes the dark, and often humorous side of urban life and issues.

“We, the public libraries of Toronto, lend books to any person living, studying, or working in the city of Toronto. We discourage all our patrons from urinating indiscriminately, singing loudly, snoring, drying socks on the heating vents, verbally or physically assaulting each other, cutting out the colourful pictures from our cookbooks, writing in library materials, licking or kissing the lingerie advertisements in the magazines we lend, and stealing library property.”

Content warnings: Underhoused experiences, mental illness, suicide

Okay, You Can Stop Now (World Premiere)
A Theatre Passe Muraille BUZZ in-development production (19/20, 20/21, and 21/22 seasons)
by Shakeil Rollock
Playing at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace and in Digital format

February 5 – 12, 2023

Okay, You Can Stop Now is a physical theatre experience that explores how we deal with, manipulate, and come to terms with information. Four performers are invited into a landscape full of newspapers: a tangible form of journalism. Over time, the weight of the news gets the better of each individual.

Through personal accounts and collective experience, each performer navigates their relationship to privilege and power: how do we move forward once history has indelibly been changed forever? When does it become our own lived history?

Rubble (World Premiere)
A Theatre Passe Muraille BUZZ in-development production (20/21 and 21/22 seasons)
by Suvendrini Lena
Playing at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace and in Digital format – presented in Arabic and English, with captions

February 25 – March 19, 2023

Gaza. A mother and her family receive a courtesy call: “You have 58 seconds to leave your home before an explosion. Run.”*

From this point on, we travel backwards through time, through a siege spanning 2000 years. In a theatre, broken but not abandoned, hear the voice of late Palestinian National Poet Mahmoud Darwish*, and examine the urgent question: what is the meaning of poetry in the midst of war? What is our responsibility as we read, write, hear, and witness the survival of the human spirit in poetry?

*quote from Lena Khalife Tuffaha’s poem “Running Orders” | *as translated by poet palestinian poet Fady Joudah | Rubble is made with the poetry of Lena Khalife Tuffaha, Fady Joudah and Mahmoud Darwish, used with permission.

Never The Last (Toronto Premiere)
A Theatre Passe Muraille presentation of a Delinquent Theatre production
by Molly MacKinnon and Christine Quintana
Playing at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace

April 8 – 16, 2023

This is a story of the fascinating composer from the last century, Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Grammatté, whose work was almost lost in the male-dominated classical music field, until she immigrated to Canada.

Never The Last follows Sophie and her passionate relationship with the expressionist painter Walter Grammatté. The couple’s 10 years of marriage is marked by adventure, poverty, artistic strife and tragedy. Woven with violin solo and original text, we are invited to witness the two artists in love, and the increasing space between them.

Nominated for five Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, and winner for Significant Artistic Achievement:
Outstanding Interdisciplinary Collaboration.

trace
A Theatre Passe Muraille and ReDefine Arts co-production
by Tristan R. Whiston and Moynan King
Playing at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace

April 20 – 30, 2023

trace, created by Tristan R. Whiston and Moynan King, is a sound-based, interdisciplinary performance piece that focuses on the ongoing nature of queer being and becoming.

Beginning with the literal and metaphorical exploration of Whiston’s singing voice during gender transition, trace integrates sound art, music, video, and live performance. Original compositions made from archival recordings of Whiston’s singing and speaking voice at different stages of his gender transition are mixed live into a multi-track soundscape to create an immersive and interactive experience.

The piece explores representation and identity as embodied processes, paying particular attention to queer vocality and the voice in gender transition. trace asks how we reconcile all of who we have been, with who we are now, and who we are yet to become.


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Written By

Jessica is an Associate Editor at Intermission, as well as a writer, classically-trained actor, and plant enthusiast. Since graduating from LAMDA in the UK with her MA in acting, you can often find her writing screenplays and short plays in the park, writing extensive lists of plant care tips, or working on stage and screen (though she uses a stage name). Jessica freelances with various companies across Canada, but her passion lies in working with theatre artists and enthusiasts.