Theatre of Upheaval: 

healing and action through live performance

Check back soon for more details on the future of Theatre of Upheaval

The inaugural Theatre of Upheaval was held from March 31st to April 5th, 2017. 

Two mind-blowing workshops led by: 

Kiki Katese from Rwanda

Founding director of Rwanda Professional Dreamers and Ingoma Nshya (“New Era”) – Women Initiatives.

Winner of many international honours, including the Carnegie Common Ground Award for outstanding accomplishments in conflict resolution, negotiation, community building, and peacebuilding around the world.

Rachael Maza from Australia

Artistic Director of Ilbijerri Theatre Company (Australia) 

Multiple award winner in Australia for her outstanding contribution to Indigenous Performing Arts

Theatre of Upheaval is jointly presented by: 

Thank you to the generous support of Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts and the TRIP Program

Theatre for the Living/Theatre of Dreams 

Led by: Kiki Katese
Dates: March 31st - April 5th
Location: Canadian Stage Berkeley Street Theatre Rehearsal Hall

In this project, international award-winner Odile Gakire Katese, a giant of Rwandan performance, will take participants through a process of self-examination, imagination, letter writing and performance. This project is designed not only to give participants a sense of how Ms. Katese constructs art from both memory and pain, but also to become part of a global artwork that she is creating in 100 countries worldwide.The Book of Life is a multi-component initiative designed by Ms. Katese as a way of helping her country heal from the 1994 genocide. Expanding into realms of publishing, film, radio, theatre and dance, the project has at its core a collection of letters written to the dead. Ms. Katese has spent several years soliciting letters from both survivors and perpetrators of the genocide, and, increasingly, from people around the world – the idea being that memories of trauma need to be actively brought into an affirmative realm through an act of imagination. The act of writing a letter creates a space of creation in the wake of death, trauma or tragedy. This act can then expand into other forms – turning isolated grief into collaborative life.

“The one thing that seemed to hurt Rwandans the most was the fact that the victims were dead and nothing else,” Ms. Katese has said. “What if we could create a very symbolic way of keeping in touch and, in this way, somehow bring peace… This is about memories that reconcile you with yourself, it’s a kind of memory that appeases your pain, and brings to life the victims… because I think that, over time, if we only tell the story of how they died, we kill them again and again.”

Participants will work for five evenings with Ms. Katese on imagining, finding and crafting words to those who are gone. These letters will then be the building blocks for a performance on the 6th day as part of the Book of Life.

RE-RIGHTING the Narrative 

LED BY: Rachael Maza
DATES: April 3rd - APRIL 5TH
Location: Canadian Stage Berkeley Street Theatre Rehearsal Hall

In this project, the internationally acclaimed, Rachael Maza, Artistic Director of Australia’s ILBIJERRI will guide participants through the notion of helping to rewrite and re-right the dominant narrative through theatre. This class will also delve into the role and significance of Black Theatre as a political tool and the significant role that international discourse between Indigenous and black American peoples played in spring boarding the Black theatre movement in Australia.

Participants will work for three mornings with Ms. Maza on exploring what makes work worth making and arts responsibility to be honest, bold, unapologetically politic and ultimately here to make change. Specifically participants will explore:

1.     Context: Understanding that we don’t make work in a utopian vacuum, your non-Aboriginal audience comes in already thinking they know about you. The artist must know who their audience is and what tinted glasses they wear.

2.     “Jack Charles V the Crown” Sample Case: In this session Ms. Maza will talk about the making of this work. The works journey from inception to International touring, and the profound path of healing for both Uncle Jack himself and the audiences with whom he touches.  This session will also focus on the art of cross cultural collaboration and its dangers.

3.     Truth V. Art: Participants will investigate the intersection between truth and fiction; where art meets documentary; Verbatim theatre Vs. Drama... and when does truth get in the way of good Art. Case study: “Beautiful One Day”.



Theatre for the Living/Theatre of Dreams (6 classes): $350.00 HST Included

Re-Righting the Narrative (3 classes): $175.00 HST Included

Upheaval Package (both classes): $475.00 HST Included 

Workshop fees for either class also include 1 ticket to Canadian Stage’s production of Jack Charles V. the Crown on Friday March 31st at 8:00pm

For inquires please contact Michele Charlton at or call 416-538-4436.


Theatre of Upheaval is presented as part of Canadian Stage’s Spotlight Australia Forum Series, presented by TD with support through Toronto Arts Council Strategic Funding and the Ontario Arts Council through the Strategic Collaborations Fund.

Canadian Stage presents Spotlight Australia from March 29 – May 7, 2017.