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MAR 31 - APR 5, 2017

Healing and action through live performance

Jointly presented by Canadian Stage, Native Earth Performing Arts and Volcano Theatre as part of Canadian Stage’s Spotlight Australia Forum Series.
Theatre of Upheaval is a rare opportunity to work outside your comfort zone in a risk-friendly environment with two world-renowned creative powerhouses. These workshops invite participation from all kinds of artists who are looking to expand their horizons and delve into the political undertones of making art.

Two mind-blowing workshops led by:

Kiki Katese

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

Rachael Maza

Artistic Director of Ilbijerri Theatre Company (Australia)


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

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


Canadian Stage Berkeley Street Theatre Rehearsal Hall

Odile Gakire Katese (Kiki)

Former deputy director of the University Centre for Arts and Drama of the National University of Rwanda (2003 – 2010), Odile Gakire Katese (or “Kiki”), as she herself describes it, is a professional dreamer and a woman of firsts. She is a Rwandan actor, playwright, director and cultural entrepreneur whose work has been honored around the world. She has a vision that is a long one, of how art will heal and inspire her country. Currently, she is the founding director of two companies, Rwanda Professional Dreamers, and Ingoma Nshya (“New Era”) – Women Initiatives.

She studied theatre in Paris at École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, Le Samovar, and at the Sundance Theatre Lab in Utah (USA). In Rwanda, she has both directed for and acted in theatre (her work has toured Rwanda and across Europe). She created the first professional contemporary dance company in the country – Amizero Dance – which has toured across Rwanda and to Paris. She is the founding director of the first women’s drum ensemble in Rwanda, which has toured to DRC, Senegal, Netherlands, USA, Zimbabwe, South Africa, UK and Ethiopia. She has written and co-directed two short films - Isugi and Ubuzima bw’umugore – one of which, Isugi, was awarded the Prix Images de Femmes at Le Festival Vues d’Afrique, Montréal. She is the founder of 2 major festivals in Rwanda: the International Performance Festival Arts Azimuts and the Rwanda Drum Festival. For the 15th commemoration of the genocide in Rwanda, she initiated 5 projects on the theme of Conflicts and Culture. Among these are the play Ngwino Ubeho or “Rain and Tears” and The Book of Life. NgwinoU beho toured to France in 2011. The Book of Life is a collection of letters written by the living to the dead. This project was selected by Sundance East Africa for their Theatre Lab and a reading of some letters created for this project took place at the United Nations in New York for the 18th commemoration of the 1994 genocide.

She is the first recipient of the League of Professional Theatre Women’s Rosamond Gilder/Martha Coigney International Award. She is a fellow of Salzburg Global Seminar, and for her work with Ingoma Nshya is also one of the recipients of the 2012 Carnegie Common Ground Awards, which honour outstanding accomplishments in conflict resolution, negotiation, community building, and peace building around the world.

Rachael Maza

Rachael brings with her a wealth of acting, directing, dramaturgical experience and profile as well as a strong commitment and passions to further create an Indigenous brand of theatre that resonates with local, national and international audiences.

Rachael is well known throughout both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities as a presenter on ABCs Messagestick, for her performance in the film Radiance and as an acting coach for the film Rabbit Proof Fence. She performed in the highly acclaimed production of The Sapphires, and has played numerous roles from Narrator to Board Member for the Black Arm Band.

Rachael has a long history with Ilbijerri Theatre Company. Her first role was directing several seasons of STOLEN, working as a dramaturge and director on the Victorian Indigenous Playwrights Conference and has worked extensively in the industry as a Director, Dramaturge and Actor. Rachael received the 2003 Uncle Bob Maza Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to Victorian Indigenous Theatre at the Victorian Indigenous Performing Arts (VIPA) Awards.

Since coming on board as Artistic Director in 2008, her Ilbijerri directing credits include Chopped Liver, Jack Charles v The Crown, Foley and a co-devisor and performer in Beautiful One Day.

Theatre for the Living /
Theatre of Dreams

March 31st – April 5

Director: Kiki Katese

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 six afternoons 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.

the Narrative

April 3 – April 5

Instructor: Rachael Maza

In this project the Artistic Director of Australia’s ILBIJERRI, the internationally acclaimed Rachael Maza, will guide participants through the notion of helping to rewrite and re-right the dominant narrative through theatre. This class will 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 theatre worth making and its responsibility to be honest, bold, unapologetically political and ultimately here to provoke change. Specifically, participants will explore:

1. Context: Understanding that we don’t make work in a utopian vacuum, a 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 work’s journey from inception to international touring, and the profound path of healing for both Uncle Jack and the audience. 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.

Friday March 31st:

2:00 – 6:00: Theatre for the Living/Theatre of Dreams

Saturday April 1st:

2:00 – 6:00: Theatre for the Living/Theatre of Dreams

Sunday April 2nd:

2:00 – 6:00: Theatre for the Living/Theatre of Dreams

Monday April 3rd:

10:00 – 1:00: Re-Righting the Narrative
1:00 – 2:00: LUNCH
2:00 – 6:00: Theatre for the Living/Theatre of Dreams

Tuesday April 4th:

10:00 – 1:00: Re-Righting the Narrative
1:00 – 2:00: LUNCH
2:00 – 6:00: Theatre for the Living/Theatre of Dreams

Wednesday April 5th:

10:00 – 1:00: Re-Righting the Narrative
1:00 – 2:00: LUNCH
2:00 – 6:00: Theatre for the Living/Theatre of Dreams
6:00 – 7:00: Performance
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.