Amaka Umeh, Deborah Hay

Fall On Your Knees Part Two: The Diary

A National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Neptune Theatre, Grand Theatre production

Co-created and Written by Hannah Moscovitch
Co-created and Directed by Alisa Palmer 
Production Dramaturgy by Mel Hague
Based on the Novel by Ann-Marie MacDonald 

Five theatre companies partner to bring this production based on Ann-Marie MacDonald’s internationally acclaimed novel to four cities

In 1996, Fall On Your Knees, written by the internationally acclaimed Canadian writer Ann-Marie MacDonald, was released – a sweeping novel that chronicles three generations of Cape Breton Island’s Piper family. The story moves from the battlefields of the First World War to the emerging jazz scene in Harlem, NY, and into the lives of four unforgettable sisters.

Hosted by Roland Gulliver, Director, Toronto International Festival of Authors
Monday January 23 at 7PM
Berkeley Street Theatre
26 Berkeley Street, Toronto
Tickets: $15.00


Toronto International Festival of Authors, Director
Roland Gulliver
Margaret Atwood
Ann-Marie MacDonald


In celebration of the world premiere of Fall On Your Knees, trailblazing Canadian authors Ann-Marie MacDonald and Margaret Atwood join Toronto International Festival of Authors Director Roland Gulliver for a captivating discussion about adaptation, and how their landmark books have been envisioned for the stage.

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Join us for a VIP evening on Tuesday, January 24 with Women’s College Hospital (WCH) and Canadian Stage featuring expert panellists on trauma-informed mental health: Dr. Cindy Maxwell (Vice President, WCH), Dr. Dana Ross (Psychiatrist, WCH), and Ann-Marie MacDonald (Author of Fall On Your Knees).  
7pm - Pre-show Reception and Panel 
          Standing reception featuring light refreshments; cash bar available 
8pm – Fall On Your Knees: Part 1 Performance 

Vice-President, WCH
Dr. Cindy Maxwell
Psychiatrist, WCH
Dr. Dana Ross
Ann-Marie MacDonald

Panel Tickets: $10.00* 

*Fall On Your Knees: Part 1 performance ticket price varies. $10 from each panel ticket purchased will be donated to WCH.

Please note: Patrons must have a ticket to Fall On Your Knees on January 24 to attend the pre-show panel. This event is limited to Fall On Your Knees ticketholders.   

A limited quantity of tickets available. 

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“Seeing Fall On Your Knees brought to fruition as a piece of theatre is the fulfillment of a process that began long ago when I first started writing what would become the novel.  Fall On Your Knees began, in my mind, as a play.  This makes sense because I was, and am, a playwright. I ended up bringing the story to light as a novel, but I’ve always cherished the vision of it as a three-dimensional experience for a live audience.  I am so grateful to all the incredibly talented artists, especially Hannah Moscovitch and Alisa Palmer, for boldly and beautifully bringing it to life.

– Ann-Marie MacDonald, Author, Fall On Your Knees


Now in 2022, the National Arts Centre English Theatre, Vita Brevis Arts and Canadian Stage, Grand Theatre, and Neptune Theatre have announced an unprecedented partnership that will bring the world premiere stage adaptation of the Canadian classic to four cities – Toronto, London, Ottawa and Halifax – beginning in 2023.

Fall On Your Knees will be presented in two parts, allowing audiences to savour the experience over two extraordinary evenings:

Fall On Your Knees Part One: Family Tree
Fall On Your Knees Part Two: The Diary

Please note that this performance contains:

Partial nudity

Mature themes

Graphic violence

Sexual content

Sexual violence

Strong language

Smoke machine


Domestic Violence

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Directed, Adapted, and Co-Created by

  • Alisa Palmer

Written, Adapted, and Co-Created by

  • Hannah Moscovitch

Associate Director

  • Cherissa Richards

Production Dramaturgy by

  • Mel Hague

Based on the Novel by

  • Ann-Marie MacDonald


  • Natasha Powell

Associate Choreographer

  • Hollywood Jade

Associate Choreographer

  • Tereka Tyler-Davis

Music Supervisor & Composer

  • Sean Mayes

Set Designer

  • Camellia Koo

Costume Designer

  • Judith Bowden

Associate Costume Designer

  • Joyce Padua

Lighting Designer

  • Leigh Ann Vardy

Sound Designer

  • Brian Kenny

Associate Music Supervisor

  • Douglas Price

Fight & Sexual Choreography

  • Anita Nittoly

Stage Manager

  • Michael Hart

Assistant Stage Manager

  • Sarah Miller


  • Tim Campbell
  • Janelle Cooper
  • Diane Flacks
  • Eva Foote
  • Deborah Hay
  • Samantha Hill
  • Drew Moore
  • Tony Ofori
  • Cara Rebecca
  • Dakota Jamal Wellman
  • Maryem Tollar
  • Amaka Umeh
  • Jenny L Wright
  • Antoine Yared
  • Kira Chisholm
  • Naomi Ngebulana

Dialect Coach

  • Jane Gooderham

Dialect & Disability Consultant

  • Yousef Kadoura


  • Douglas Price
  • Anna Atkinson
  • Spencer Murray
  • Maryem Tollar

Developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund

Margaret Fountain, C.M., DFA(hc), DHL,(hc) and David Fountain, C.M. 

National Arts Centre
Vita Brevis

We acknowledge the support of The Canada Council for the Arts

Canada Council for the Arts

Produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

Toronto Arts Council

Fall On Your Knees at Canadian Stage is generously underwritten by:

The William & Nona Heaslip Foundation – lead production underwriter

Gail & Mark Appel, Alexandra Baillie, Katy Graham Debost, Kiki Delaney, Catherine Graham, and Michelle Koerner – supporting production underwriters

Sara Angel and Julie Sutherland – performance underwriters

Currently Playing at Canadian Stage

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