09 10 Season
By J.T. Rogers
Directed by Joel Greenberg
In association with Canadian Stage
March 8 – April 3, 2010
Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs
American academic Jack Exley travels to Rwanda to interview old friend Joseph Gasana about his struggle for good against daunting odds. But when Jack arrives in Kigali, he is unable to find the Tutsi doctor – or anyone who will even admit to having known him. Befriended by both locals and diplomats with veiled motives, Jack and his family become enmeshed in the tension, terror, professional risks and personal betrayals that they ultimately realize mark the start of a genocidal war.
Named a 2007 Top Ten Play of the Year by Time Magazine and Time Out New York, The Overwhelming, by award-winning playwright J.T. Rogers, is a riveting examination of the mounting tensions in 1994 Rwanda and a war that cannot be comprehended or controlled. The Overwhelming was originally produced in 2006 at London’s National Theatre in association with Out of Joint. The play had its US premiere at the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York, in 2007.
Written by J. T. Rogers
Directed by Joel Greenberg
Assistant Directed by Shari Hollett
Featuring Dorothy A. Atabong, Audrey Dwyer, Paul Essiembre, Mariah Inger, Sterling Jarvis, Hardee T. Lineham, Brendan McMurtry-Howlett, Karim Morgan, André Sills, David Storch, and Nigel Shawn Williams
Stage Managed by Emma Laird
Assistant Stage Managed by Liz Campbell
Apprentice Stage Managed by Natalie Gisele
Costume Designed by Erika Connor
Set Designed by Michael Gianfrancesco
Sound Designed by Michael Laird
Lighting Designed by Kimberly Purtell
Fight Choreographed by Dylan Roberts
Production Managed by Nathaniel Kennedy
Beyond the Stage events
The Men Who Killed Me
March 8 – April 3, 2010
The sort of smart, complacency-rattling topical drama we should produce on a regular basis to deserve the name of citizens.Time Out New York
J. T. Rogers
J.T. Rogers’s plays include Blood and Gifts (National Theater, London; Lincoln Center Theater), The Overwhelming (National Theatre, followed by UK tour with Out of Joint and BBC Radio; Roundabout Theatre); Madagascar (Theatre 503, London; Melbourne Theatre Company), and White People (Off Broadway with Starry Night Productions). As one of the original playwrights for the Tricycle Theatre of London’s Great Game: Afghanistan, he was nominated for 2009 Olivier Award. His works have been staged throughout the United States and in Germany, Canada, and Israel, and are published by Faber and Faber and Dramatists Play Service. Recent awards include NEA/TCG and NYFA fellowships, the Pinter Review Prize for Drama, the American Theatre Critics Association’s Osborne Award, and the William Inge Center for the Arts’ New Voices Award. Rogers’s essays have appeared in American Theatre and in London’s Independent and The New Statesman. He is a member of New Dramatists and the Dramatists Guild and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. www.jtrogerswriter.com
For Studio 180: The Overwhelming, Stuff Happens, Blackbird, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, The Passion of the Chris & The Laramie Project. A co-founder of Studio 180, Joel is a Chalmers and Dora award–winning playwright and director who has directed productions across Canada. Elsewhere: Ain’t Misbevain‘, What the Butler Saw, Taking Sides, Vanities, Bells Are Ringing, Second City (Toronto and Chicago), Dames at Sea (too many times), Tonight at 8:00…8:30 in Newfoundland (all three editions), The Foreigner, Alice, Drink the Mercury and The Nuclear Power Play. Joel taught at Humber College Theatre School from 1984 to 1989 and the Drama Department at the University of Waterloo from 1991 to 2014, also serving as the Chair of each department.
For Studio 180: debut. Shari is thrilled to be part of this incredibly talented company and gives special thanks to Joel for bringing her on this journey. Shari is an actor/writer/director who co-founded the night kitchen theatre with Chris Earle in 1992 and has collaborated on all the company’s productions. This season she will direct Daniel MacIvor’s You are Here for Rep 21 at Canadore College where she previously directed Earle’s Ancaster Park, Ben Elton’s Popcorn and Nicky Silver’s The Altruists. Selected dramaturge/directing credits include Earle’s award-winning Democrats Abroad and Radio: 30 in both Toronto and New York, Sean Reycraft’s One Good Marriage for Theatre Passe Muraille, Filler Up for the Wildside Festival in Montreal, Sleepless – The Musical at the Toronto Fringe, and That Gay Guy, Posterchild and The Hurricane Project all for SummerWorks. She is an alumnus of The Second City and she has directed two mainstage revues in Detroit. As a writer-performer, credits include Expectation, Big Head Goes to Bed, The Martha Stewart Projects, I’d Never Give an Acrylic Scarf to the Man I Love and numerous shows with The Second City.
Dorothy A. Atabong
Elise Kayitesi, Rwandan Doctor
For Studio 180: debut. Dorothy is an award-winning actress, screenwriter and published novelist. Born in Cameroon, she obtained an A.A and BSc. in Biochemistry from Michigan before moving on to graduate from the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in NYC. Theatre credits include August Wilson Plays, and the US premiere of Lorena Gale’s Angelique and The Wedding Band. Film & TV credits include Mayday (Discovery Channel), Coping (Theatrical release), The Line (TMN & Movie Central) and NYPD Blue. Dorothy was featured in the BBC World Cup Magazine and was invited to Banff to participate in the Women in the Director’s Chair workshop in 2008. In 2009 she received rave reviews from the Toronto Star, was featured as an “Artist to Watch” by NOW Magazine, and won the SummerWorks Emerging Artist Award for her work in In Darfur. She co-wrote, produced, was 1st AD and played a supporting role in the short film Dreamt. Her novel, The Princess of Kaya, is now a screenplay, and she just completed the second draft of her screenplay, Daisy’s Heart. She was also in Volcano Theatre’s Africa Trilogy in collaboration with Luminato and the Stratford Festival, and produced and co-directed a short film she wrote, Sound of Tears – A case of honor killing.
Emiritha, Waitress, Market Woman
For Studio 180: debut. Other credits include thirsty (NAC), The Penelopiad (Nightwood Theatre), The Tempest (Canadian Stage), Medea (Mirvish/MTC) and Black Medea (Obsidian Theatre). Film and TV credits include Da Kink in My Hair, The Ron James Show, The State Within, Man of the Year and Where the Truth Lies. Audrey has been a member of the Second City Touring Company, was the Associate Artistic Director of Nightwood Theatre (2008-2009), is a Dora-Nominated director for The Apology, was recently Assistant Director for Nightwood’s The Penelopiad (by Margaret Atwood), starred in the Dora Award–winning Patty’s Cake and is a graduate of The National Theatre School of Canada. She is also writing Calpurnia, her first full-length play, with the Obsidian Development series.
Jean-Claude Buisson, Jan Verbeek, British Doctor, Fight Captain
For Studio 180: Stuff Happens. Other theatre credits include To Kill a Mockingbird, The Odyssey, The Duchess of Malfi, Don Juan, Macbeth (Stratford Festival); Don Juan (Théâtre du Nouveau Monde); Le Dîner de Cons, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Art (Théâtre Français de Toronto); Tillsonburg (Canadian Stage); Zadie’s Shoes, Oui (Factory Theatre); Sleuth (Saidye Bronfman); Othello (Atlantic Theatre Festival); Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Centaur Theatre); Taming of the Shrew (World Stage Festival); and Goodnight Desdemona/Good Morning Juliet (Great Canadian Theatre Company). Some film and TV: Good Dog (HBO Canada); Covert Affairs (USA Network); Warehouse 13 (SyFy); ReGenesis, Blue Murder (Global); Flashpoint, Degrassi TNG, Plague City, Sue Thomas F.B. Eye (CTV); At the Hotel, The Newsroom, Freedom of the Air, A People’s History of Canada (CBC); Kevin Hill (UPN); Queer as Folk, Coast to Coast (Showtime). Extensive work as a voice artist includes documentary narration, notably on Journey to the Edge of the Universe and Earth: The Making of a Planet for Discovery Canada; animated series, including Silver Surfer (FOX), My Dad the Rock Star (Nelvana) and Rescue Heroes (WB); and countless commercial voice-overs. Upcoming: L’Emmerdeur (Théâtre Français de Toronto).
For Studio 180: debut. Originally from Montreal, Mariah is now based in Toronto. She has been a working actor from a very young age and has had the joy of working in both film and theatre. Film & TV credits include Murdoch Mysteries, C’est beau la ville la nuit, Housesitter, Blindness and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Theatre credits include Under the Influence (Hudson Theatre) and Playboy of the Western World (Centaur Theatre). In 2008 Mariah had the pleasure of presenting Black Medea (Obsidian Theatre/Berkeley Street), her true Toronto theatrical debut.
For Studio 180: debut. Selected credits include The Lion King, We Will Rock You, Ruined (2011 Dora Award Nomination), Caroline, or Change (2012 Dora Award for Best Actor in a Principle Role) and The Whipping Man (2013 Dora Award Nomination). Some of his television and film appearances include The West Wing, Felicity, The Sentinel, Life With Boys, Lost Girls, Nikita, Rookie Blue, Suits and most recently Aaliyah: Princess of R&B. Sterling is a two-time Juno Award nominee and has sung anthems for the Blue Jays, the Raptors and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He can also be heard singing the themes for the popular kid’s shows Zaboomafoo, Donkey Kong Country and Wild Kratts. Sterling appeared on stage most recently in Driving Miss Daisy, The Wild Party and Helen Lawrence, which will be touring again to Europe and New York this fall.
Hardee T. Lineham
For Studio 180: Stuff Happens, Blackbird. Hardee’s recent stage credits include Dying To Be Sick (Pleiades Theatre); Crave (Nightwood Theatre); Omnium Gatherum, Proof, Richard III (Dora Winner), Henry VI, Edward VI, Tempest, Spring Awakening, Summerfolk, Plenty (Canadian Stage); Streetcar Named Desire, Macbeth, School for Wives (Playhouse Theatre, Vancouver); Scary Stories, Madboy Chronicles, Six Degrees (Alberta Theatre Projects); Love and Anger, White Biting Dog, As You Like It (Stratford Festival). He also received Dora Nominations for Crackwalker, Lie of the Mind and Science Fiction. Hardee’s film & TV credits include Cary in The Jane Show, Loving Loretta, Santa Baby, Shoemaker (Genie Nomination), Top of the Food Chain, The Big Hit, The Italian Machine, Dead Zone, Puppets Who Kill, Traders, P.S.I. Factor, Twice in a Lifetime, Little Mosque on the Prairie and Murdoch Mysteries.
For Studio 180: debut. Born and raised in Toronto, Brendan has performed as an actor throughout the East Coast, Quebec, Ontario and New York. Theatre credits include the one-man show …and stockings for the ladies (Gesumtkunstwerk Project), Romeo in Romeo and Juliet (Classical Theatre Project), Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Rose Theatre), Wayne Gretzky in John: Sudden Death (National Theatre School) and Josh in Guns & Roses (The Original Norwegian). Brendan directed and co-wrote the play Honey in the Lion’s Head, which premiered at the Edmonton Fringe Festival. Film & TV credits include Degrassi: The Next Generation (CTV), Valemont (MTV) and Peripheral (Talon). Brendan is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.
For Studio 180: debut. Karim takes great pleasure in bringing new work to the stage. Including numerous development readings and workshops, favourite productions include the world premiere of In the Freedom of Dreams: The Story of Nelson Mandela (LKTYP), Brindley Town (Theatre North West), Little Shop of Horrors (The Grand Theatre), Macbeth (Modern Times Stage Co.) and Merrily We Roll Along (Shaw Festival). He was featured in the English premiere of The Sheep and the Whale (Cahoots/Modern Times/Theatre Passe Muraille), The 60s Prime Time Variety Show (Stirling Festival), Anne Of Green Gables (The Grand Theatre) and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (LKTYP). Karim’s voice-over credits include Resident Evil Zero (Adventure Games), Wonderfalls (Fox TV), Puppets Who Kill (Comedy Network) and Sunday Showcase (CBC Radio). Karim is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School.
Man at French Embassy Party, UN Major, Market Man, Policeman, Man at Nightclub
For Studio 180: debut. André has spent the past four seasons working at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival acting in the following shows: Macbeth, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Caesar & Cleopatra, Henry IV, Part 1, The Duchess of Malfi and Pentecost. (Caesar & Cleopatra was also filmed for the Bravo Network.) André is a graduate of the 05/06 Birmingham Conservatory under David Latham. He made his American theatre debut recently playing the title role in Othello, and the lead Harmond Wilks in Radio Golf at the St. Louis Black Rep. Other theatre credits include Much Ado About Nothing (Canadian Stage), As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theatre By The Bay) and Titus Andronicus (Canopy Theatre). André is a graduate of George Brown Theatre School.
For Studio 180: debut. Directing credits include: Instructions to Any Future Socialist Government Wishing to Abolish Christmas (The Coal Mine Theatre); The Road to Mecca, Speed-the-Plow and Glengarry Glen Ross (Soulpepper Theatre); Bunsch-o-Munsch, Munsch-o-Mania, I’m So Munsch (George Brown Theatre); Robin Hood and Metamorphoses (Globe); The Hours That Remain (New Harlem Productions and Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company); Misery, A Number, Take Me Out (co-directed with Morris Panych), Omnium Gatherum, Twelfth Night, Beard of Avon, Sunday Father and Palace of the End (Canadian Stage); The Goat, Blue/Orange, Einstein’s Gift, The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Citadel); Art (Arts Club). Recent acting credits include: Picture This, Noises Off (Soulpepper); The Boy in the Moon (Crow’s Theatre); Cake/Dirt, In the Next Room, The Misanthrope (Tarragon); Arigato, Tokyo (Buddies); Mr. Marmalade (Outside the March).
Nigel Shawn Williams
Joseph Gasana, Orderly, Waiter, Servant
For Studio 180: Stuff Happens. Nigel’s selected theatre credits as an actor include Palmer Park, Fuente Ovejuna, Odyssey, Harlem Duet, Our Town, Twelfth Night, Treasure Island (Stratford Festival); The Ventriloquist (Factory Theatre); Salieri in Amadeus (Alberta Theatre Projects – Betty Mitchell Award Nomination); Hedda Gabler, Varieté (Dora Nomination), Two Words For Snow (Dora Award for Best Actor) (Volcano); Wade in the Water (Centaur Theatre); Love’s Labour’s Lost (National Arts Centre); Girl in the Goldfish Bowl (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Consecrated Ground (Obsidian Theatre); Belle (Factory Theatre); Six Characters in Search of an Author, The Millionairess, Rashomon, Simpleton of the Unexpected Isle, Petrified Forest (Shaw Festival); Harlem Duet (world premiere – Nightwood/Canadian Stage); Angels in America (Canadian premiere – Manitoba Theatre Centre); Othello (Ford Centre for the Performing Arts); Six Degrees of Separation (Canadian premiere – Alberta Theatre Projects/Canadian Stage – Dora Award for Best Actor); Omnium Gatherum, Henry VI, Edward IV, Richard III (Canadian Stage). Directing credits include Shakespeare’s Dog (Alberta Theatre Projects), The Bewitched (York University), Home (playRites Festival ATP), Laius: City of Wine (Nightswimming/York University), Falling in Time (CrossCurrents Festival/Factory Theatre), Blacks Don’t Bowl (Black Theatre Workshop – Mecca and Masque Nominations), The Monument (Obsidian Theatre – Dora Award for Best Director) and Simple, Celibate, Sober (Toronto Fringe). Film & TV credits include XIII, Phantom Punch, Odyssey V, John Q, Vendetta, Down in the Delta, series regular for The Jane Show (Global), The City (CTV) and The Famous Jett Jackson (Disney Channel).
For Studio 180: (Assistant Stage Manager) Stuff Happens (2009). Most recently Emma completed her fourth season with The Stratford Shakespeare Festival (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cabaret, COMPANY in Concert and Pentecost). Previous credits include Another Home Invasion (Tarragon Theatre/Alberta Theatre Projects), bedbound (MacKenzieRo), Upstaging Cancer (Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation), A Dickens of a Christmas (Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus), COMPANY in Concert (PAL Fundraiser), Everyone Jump (Children’s Hour Productions, National tour), Queen of Hearts (Les Saints Productions) and The Unfortunate Misadventures of Masha Galinski (Groundwater Productions). Emma is a graduate of York University and is the recipient of two Tyrone Guthrie Awards, the Kenneth Ford Award and the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award.
Assistant Stage Manager
For Studio 180: Stuff Happens. Other credits include Wife Begins at Forty, Hotbed Hotel, Not Now Darling, The Sensuous Senator, The Odd Couple and The Long Weekend (Upper Canada Playhouse). As Apprentice Stage Manager, The 39 Steps (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Another Home Invasion, The Black Rider, Alias Godot (Tarragon Theatre); Cash on Delivery, Wrong for Each Other, Perfect Wedding, Out of Order, The Affections of May, Wally’s Café, A Gift to Last (Upper Canada Playhouse); Suessical (SilverMist Productions); and Mambo Italiano (Bellweather Productions at The Sudbury Theatre Centre). As Company Manager, High School Musical 2 (SilverMist Productions at The Niagara Centre for the Arts).
Apprentice Stage Manager
For Studio 180: debut. Natalie has been working as a stage manager since her studies at Algonquin College (Ottawa) six years ago. She has recently made the move to Toronto. In Ottawa, she has stage managed productions of My Name Is Rachel Corrie (Vision Theatre), Everyman and Henry V (Third Wall), and The Rideau Project (Catapulte). She has also apprenticed at the Great Canadian Theatre Company and Factory Theatre, which is where she will be happily returning in April for a fourth production. Natalie was nominated “Most Outstanding Stage Manager” at the 2008 Rideau Awards.
For Studio 180: debut. Erika is originally from Kerrobert, Saskatchewan, and is a graduate of the University of Regina. Selected costume design credits in Toronto include Assassins (Birdland/Talk Is Free Theatre); Robin Hood, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Snow White, Aladdin (Ross Petty Productions); The Odd Couple, Fool for Love, The Zoo Story, The Dumb Waiter (Soulpepper Theatre); The Rocky Horror Show, Little Shop of Horrors (Canadian Stage); The Drowsy Chaperone (Thousand Islands Playhouse); and, one of her all time favourites, Tequila Vampire Matinée (Theatre Passe Muraille).
For Studio 180: Sets, The Overwhelming, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, The Laramie Project (Dora Nomination), Sets & Costumes, Stuff Happens & Blackbird . Michael’s set & costume design credits for theatre, opera and dance include A Few Good Men (Citadel/MTC); Trouble in Tahiti, In Good King Charles’s Golden Days (costumes), One Touch of Venus (costumes) (Shaw Festival); Caroline or Change (set, Acting Up Stage/Obsidian); Jack and the Giant Beanstalk, The Wizard of Oz, Seussical (set) (YPT); Romeo and Juliet, The 39 Steps, White Christmas (set), Fiddler on the Roof (costumes) (MTC); The Drowsy Chaperone (set, MTC/Theatre Calgary); Rodin/Claudel, Kaleidoscope (set) (Les Grands Ballets Canadiens); Svadba, Beauty Dissolves in a Brief Hour, The Midnight Court – presented at the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House at Covent Garden (Queen of Puddings Music Theatre); In Colour (National Ballet of Canada); A View from the Bridge (set, Segal Theatre); Rock ‘n’ Roll, It’s a Wonderful Life, Little Shop of Horrors (set) (Canadian Stage). Michael has spent nine seasons at the Stratford Festival and most recently designed the scenery for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He was the 2008 recipient of the Virginia and Myrtle Cooper Award in Costume Design from the Ontario Arts Foundation, and received the Brian Jackson Award from the Stratford Festival.
For Studio 180: Stuff Happens, Blackbird & Offensive Shadows . Selected Sound Design credits: Annie, Cinderella, A Year with Frog and Toad, The Princess and the Handmaiden, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, The Wizard of Oz (YPT); Seussical (YPT/Citadel Theatre); Spamalot!, Sound of Music, Little Women (Citadel Theatre); Great Expectations, Barber of Seville (Soulpepper); 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Legally Blonde (Neptune Theatre); Speaking in Tongues, Through the Leaves, Festen, Marion Bridge (Company Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage); A Synonym for Love (Volcano Theatre); Evil Dead: The Musical (Off B’way); and A Beautiful View (da da kamera).
For Studio 180: Stuff Happens & Blackbird . Kimberly is a Toronto based lighting designer for theatre, opera and dance and is thrilled to be working with Studio 180 once again. Her designs have been critically acclaimed across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Prague, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Moscow and Mongolia. She has designed for the Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, Canadian Stage Company, Soulpepper Theatre, Mirvish Productions, National Arts Centre and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Philadelphia, Arena Stage in Washington DC, Tapestry Opera, Hamilton Opera, Edmonton Opera, Theatre Calgary, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Citadel Theatre, Place des Arts among many others. She has also designed productions for the Pan Am Games and the Vancouver and Beijing Cultural Olympiads. Kimberly has been nominated for numerous awards and has received three Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the Pauline McGibbon Award, a`Sterling Award, and a Montreal English Theatre Award.
For Studio 180: Fight Choreographer, Blackbird, Actor, The Laramie Project. Dylan’s recent credits include: Caliban in Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Resurgence Theatre); Srgt. Pissani in Accidental Death of an Anarchist (The Globe Theatre); and Teddy in Science Fiction (Factory Studio Theatre). Dylan is very excited to be joining the ranks of Video Caberet for their next production. Thanks as always to wife Shari, who makes him laugh so.
For Studio 180: Stuff Happens, Blackbird & Offensive Shadows. Nathaniel has worked in theatre production across Canada and internationally. Most recently he has worked with Tarragon Theatre, Necessary Angel and Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People. Nathaniel is currently a Special Events Supervisor for the City of Toronto.
Greenberg skillfully orchestrates the journey to the story’s chilling final scene. It’s here that we understand what people will do to save themselves as well as maintain their illusions of what is right, and maybe in the process we learn something about ourselves.NOW Magazine
A riveting take on Rwanda’s genocide The Overwhelming swells to life, picking up a heart-pounding momentum that carries the play to a brutal conclusion… As the play progresses… the realities outside the guarded walls here close in like a tightening noose.Globe and Mail
The action is swift and the atmosphere tense, especially under Joel Greenberg’s taut direction… The world ignored the Rwandan genocide because the country was deemed insignificant. Rogers’ greatest achievement is to make us aware that genocide is never insignificant, no matter where it happens.Eye Weekly
The contemplation of man’s inhumanity to man may indeed be overwhelming, but the only way it will ever be stopped is if we shine a light in its darkest corners – and The Overwhelming does just that.Toronto Sun
The Overwhelming is an important play done by an important theatre company and it’s worth our attention.CBC Radio