Page 1






Xtra focuses on the community

Pick us up or find us online at

2 AGOKWE Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Design: Jonathan Kitchen, Photo: Tanja-Tiziana



Each year, thousands of lives are changed by the acceptance and inspiration found here at Buddies.

Your support is our strength. Your gift ensures that Buddies remains a potent artistic and political entity for future generations who dream of exceeding their limits. Join Buddies and make your tax deductible donation today!

Tyson James

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre AGOKWE 3

Proud to support Agokwe. We’re working together with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre to make a difference in our communities.

M04198 (0610)

4 AGOKWE Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

WELCOME It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to Agokwe’s homecoming. It has been quite a year for this show – so far, it has toured to Vancouver and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa where it played to sold-out houses and critical acclaim. We, at Buddies, are particularly proud of Agokwe’s journey. Its 2008 premiere marked the first time that one of our mainstage presentations had been developed entirely through all the stages of our Queer Youth Arts Program. Now in its eleventh year, our youth program provides a unique, artistic meeting space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth to build connections with established LGBT artists, like-minded peers, and the broader LGBT and arts communities. Agokwe’s creator, Waawaate Fobister, came to us in 2006 via this program. We first met him at our monthly youth open-mic night, QueerCab, where he ranted a true story from his years growing up on a reserve in Northern Ontario. With the encouragement of one of our Youth Program Directors, Evalyn Parry, he transformed this story into a monologue for PrideCab, a youth-driven cabaret performed every year at Pride. This monologue was further developed as part of the Young Creators Unit where he was paired with director Ed Roy. Based on the success of this process, Agokwe was invited to open the 2008 mainstage season and the show became a hit. It was nominated for eight Dora awards and took home six of them. And the rest, as they say, is history. The Buddies in Bad Times Theatre Youth Program Mission Statement is to “to help the next generation of queer artists find their artistic voices and provide them with opportunities to share them.” Agokwe is but one example of this incredible initiative. I invite you to come to this year’s PrideCab on Wednesday, June 22nd to see the next generation of young queers fearlessly take the stage. I can guarantee that it will be an inspiring glimpse into the future. Enjoy the show!

Brendan Healy, Artistic Director

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre AGOKWE 5

ignite your passion.

The 21st annual Inside Out

toronto lgbt film and video Festival may 19-29, 2011 6 AGOKWE Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

presenTIng spOnsOr

AGOKWE a Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (Toronto) production in association with the National Arts Centre (Ottawa) Written and Performed by Waawaate Fobister Director and Dramaturg Ed Roy Set and Projection Designer Andy Moro Lighting Designer Kimberly Purtell Original Music by Marc Merilainen ¨ Sound Designer Lyon Smith Costume Designer Erika Iserhoff Stage Manager Tracy Lynne Cann Touring Production Manager Shanna Miller Wings and Mask Design and Construction Gabriella Caruso with Lisa Marie Big Throat and Cherish Blood Costume Production Lena Recollet, Cherish Blood, Diana Caruso Costume Design Associate Isidra Cruz Chamber Technician Katherine Smith Crew Pip Bradford, Will Hofstetter, Jazz Kamal, Kelly Peck, Nick Rose, Katherine Smith, Alex Tigchelaar, Adrien Whan, Charissa Wilcox, Lindy Zucker Graphic Design Jonathan Kitchen, Photo of Waawaate Fobister by Tanja-Tiziana, Acknowledgements: Special Thanks: David Oiye, Jim LeFrancois, Native Earth Performing Arts, Evalyn Parry and Chy Ryan Spain. The Agokwe tour was made possible in part through a grant from the Ontario Arts Council’s National and International Touring program as well as through the Canada Council for the Arts.

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre AGOKWE 7

Dinner menu features organic locally-raised meats and vegetables Accommodating gluten-free and special dietary needs Gourmet pizzas Delivery available 7 days a week 4:30 - 11pm Sunday Brunch from 11am – 3pm Caroline Murphy is proud to support Buddies’ 2010/2011 season. 554 Parliament Street (just South of Wellesley) 416-927-1593 restaurant 416-927-7777 delivery



We appreciate your business! Bring in this coupon and receive 10% off your next meal!

This coupon cannot be combined with any other offers and has no cash value. The discount applies to the food portion of the bill only and is not applicable to liquor, taxes or gratuity.

8 AGOKWE Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

PLAYWRIGHT’S NOTES Boozhoo, Oki, Welcome. First of all, thank you for coming. I am honoured you have come to listen to this story. I have had the privilege to remount Agokwe and travel to Vancouver, Ottawa and now back where it all started Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. The ride of Agokwe has been a tremendous one for sure. I had no idea what it would become when I rambled out the story at an open-mic at QueerCab in the next room. I have to Thank Evalyn Parry for encouraging me to turn this ramble into a monologue and picking me to be apart of the inaugural Young Creators’ Unit. The Anishinaabe people were always storytellers. It’s been a huge part of our culture and Theatre to me is the modern way of storytelling. Agokwe is set up in a way that keeps the sense of storytelling intact. I try to keep our language, culture and traditions alive through my art. This is what I am most passionate about. Notice Andy Moro’s beautifully designed set. I call it my fabulous wigwam (domed dwelling). Actually, I call it my fabulous wigwam cut in half. It’s cut in half because one side is for me and the other side is for you. I welcome you to my wigwam. I am going to tell you a story. Just turn off your cell phone. I don’t like cell phones in my wigwam. It’s not the traditional way. ;) Waawaate Fobister, Playwright and Performer, Agokwe

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre AGOKWE 9




By Jean Genet Translated by Martin Crimp Directed by Brendan Healy September 17 – October 9, 2011 Buddies in Bad Times Theatre proudly welcomes a Studio 180 Theatre production

THE NORMAL HEART By Larry Kramer Directed by Joel Greenberg

October 14 – November 6, 2011 Buddies in Bad Times Theatre proudly welcomes a Modern Times Stage Company production


By Peter Farbridge and Soheil Parsa November 18 – December 4, 2011 10 AGOKWE Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre proudly welcomes a Nightwood Theatre production

THE PENELOPIAD By Margaret Atwood Directed by Kelly Thornton January 10 – 29, 2012

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents


Toronto’s 33rd annual convergence of contemporary performance Festival Director Laura Nanni February 8 – 19, 2012 Buddies in Bad Times Theatre proudly welcomes a Native Earth Performing Arts production


By Tara Beagan Directed by Ruth Madoc-Jones February 28 – March 18, 2012 Candles are for Burning in association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents


By Olivier Choinere Translated by Caryl Churchill Directed by Steven McCarthy March 27 – April 8, 2012 Buddies in Bad Times Theatre proudly welcomes A Cabaret Company production


Written and Directed by Sky Gilbert Choreographed by Keith Cole April 18 – 29, 2012 Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents


By Split Britches (Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver, NYC) May 3 – 5, 2012 Buddies in Bad Times Theatre AGOKWE 11

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES Tracy Lynne Cann, Stage Manager

Tracy is thrilled to be back with Buddies in Bad Times, working on Agokwe, as part of their 2010/11 season. A graduate of the theatre program at Brock University, Tracy has worked internationally in a variety of theatrical disciplines. Selected theatre companies include: Canadian Opera Company, Canadian Children’s Opera Company, GFour Productions, Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, Workman Arts, Al Green Theatre, Stirling Festival Theatre, Victoria Playhouse Petrolia, Sudbury Theatre Centre, Carousel Playhouse, ZillA Productions, and the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Waawaate Fobister, Playwright/Performer

Waawaate Fobister is a multi-award-winning actor and playwright. In 2009, Agokwe won six Dora Mavor Moore Awards. In 2008 Waawaate topped the list of Xtra Magazine’s “Best of the Arts”, a Top-10 list of arts achievements by Canadian queers. He recently toured Agokwe to Vancouver at the Cultch and Ottawa at the National Arts Centre. He is also a choreographer, dancer and producer. A proud Anishnaabe from Grassy Narrows First Nation, he is a graduate from Humber College’s Theatre Performance Program. Waawaate has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, and several from the Ontario Arts Council. Credits include: Toronto at Dreamers Rock (Magnus Theatre); A Very Polite Genocide (Native Earth Performing Arts); Agokwe (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre); Pawaajigun (Nish); Death of a Chief (Native Earth/National Arts Centre); The Rez Sisters (Theatre North West); Schoolhouse (Blyth Festival); The Passage (Pu-Kawiss Productions); National Artist Program (Canada Winter Games 2007 – Whitehorse). Recently, choreographed Jerry Sereda’s music video ‘Ain’t Learned Nothing Yet’ directed by Laura Miliken with Big Soul Productions. I want to thank Ed Roy, Jim LeFrancois, Erika Hennebury, David Oiye, and everyone at Buddies for taking me in and making me feel welcome. I want to acknowledge my 2-spirited sisters and brothers Art Zoccole, Scott Sunday, Shane Potts, Rod Michano, Muriel Miguel, and Ron Mandamin.

Erika A. Iserhoff, Costume Designer

Erika A. Iserhoff is a Cree visual artist and costume designer from Constance Lake First Nations in Ontario. She has been working with the Native Theatre Community and has had the privilege of working on productions for The Scrubbing Project and The Only Good Indian by The Turtle Gals Performance. As well as for the Centre For Indigenous Theatre on productions such as Stolen, Wiora, From Darkness the Light is Heard, All My Relations, and Dead White Writer on the Floor. She also worked with Earth In Motion World Indigenous Dance Company on their production Agua. She recently won a Dora Mavor Moore award for Best Costume Design for Agokwe. Erika is currently completing a degree in Material Arts at the Ontario College of Art & Design. She is also apart of The Chocolate Woman Collective and the ‘Omushkego Artists Collective as a costume and set designer. 12 AGOKWE Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

¨ Marc Merilainen, Composer

The man behind the music is Marc Meriläinen (formerly Nadjiwan). Born in northern Manitoba and raised in the untamed beauty of Northwestern Ontario, Marc knew from an early age he would perform music. Marc went on to achieve much success in both Canada and the United States with the NADJIWAN project. Releasing 4 records from 1995 to 2008 Marc quickly generated great reviews and found his way onto many radio play lists on both sides of the border including various nominations for Canadian Aboriginal Music and Native American Music Awards. Marc’s releases have also made their way to the number one spot on various Aboriginal music charts. In addition to releasing his own original music Marc has composed scores for theatre and television. His work on the production Agokwe earned him a Dora Award Nomination in 2009 for Best Original Composition. Some of the other theatre productions Marc has worked on include; The Great Mountain by Red Sky Performance, New World Brave, Coyote City and Artifacts. Marc has also provided music and scores for CBC, CTV and APTN. Marc is getting ready to release a new project exploring his Finnish side utilizing traditional Finnish folk instruments and modern beats. The record is called ‘The Wolves Of Tuonela’ and will be released this June 2011. For more information please visit -

Andy Moro, Set and Projection Designer

Andy is a founding Artistic Co-director with Gabriella Caruso of Red Pepper Spectacle Arts, a creative home for emerging and established Indigenous artists. Red Pepper designs and facilitates arts access, community development, youth mentorship and employment opportunities and is well known for its Kensington Market Winter Solstice, now in its 22nd year. Andy and Gabi co-founded and teach the Production Design / Mentorship program at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre. Recent set, lighting and /or projection designs include Videocabaret’s History of the Village of the Small Huts at the Cameron House, Growndwater’s Montparnasse at Theatre Passe Muraille, Third Eye Looming with Workman Arts, Topological Theatre’s Lost Voices and Cabaret Theatre’s The Situationists. Upcoming: Santee Smith’s Medicine Bear at the Woodland Cultural Centre and Native Earth Performing Arts’ Free as Injuns.

Kimberly Purtell, Lighting Designer

Kimberly is a Toronto-based lighting designer for theatre, opera and dance. Kimberly’s designs have been critically acclaimed both on the national and international stage having been seen across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Prague, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Russia. She has received 11 Dora Award nominations winning once and is a recipient of the Pauline McGibbon Award. Most recent design credits include Forests and After Akhmatova (Tarragon Theatre), Our Class (Studio 180), The Drowsy Chaperone (MTC & Theatre Calgary), 20/20 Vision (Kaeja d’Dance), The Middle Place (Canadian Stage/Project Humanity/Theatre Passe Muraille), The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Hamilton), The List (Nightwood), Blasted (Buddies in Bad Times). Upcoming designs include This is What Happens Next (GCTC); Svadba (Queen of Puddings); Lu Xun Blossoms (Luminato/Theatre SmithGilmour); and The Little Years (Stratford Festival). Buddies in Bad Times Theatre AGOKWE 13

Edward Roy, Director/Dramaturg

Ed’s various activities as a theatre practitioner include directing, writing, dramaturgy, acting, teaching, and producing. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and nominations including, The Pauline McGibbon Award for Directing, Dora Award Outstanding Direction: Agokwe, Dora Award Outstanding Production, Chalmers Award Nomination: Canadian National Tour/U.S.Tour, New Conservatory Theatre: The Other Side of the Closet, Dora Nomination Outstanding Production: Canadian National Tour, England, Whales, Showcase Paris France: Bang! Boy Bang!, Sterling Award Nomination Outstanding Production/Japan/Canada Coproduction, National Tours: Japan and Canada: Luli the Iceberg, Dora Nominations Outstanding Direction and Production: The Orphan Muses, Chalmers Play Writing Award, Dora Nominations, Outstanding Direction, Production, New Play: A Secret Life, Dora Nomination Outstanding New Play: Seeds (An Apocalyptic Comedy), Dora Award Outstanding Production, Dora Nominations Outstanding direction and New Play, Chalmers Award Nomination: White Trash Blue Eyes. As an actor Ed was nominated for a Dora Award for Outstanding Performance in Video Cabarets’ The Life and Times of Mackenzie King. His is also the proud recipient of Toronto’s Harold Alternative Theatre Award. Most recently Ed premiered Third Eye Looming at the International Madness in the Arts Festival in Harrlem (Holland). Upcoming: Two U.S. productions of The Other Side of the Closet, a revised reimagining of Bang! Boy Bang! (Quebec Tour), and the premiere of his new play Lost Voices. Ed also continues his on-going role as Artistic Director of Topological Theatre and Instructor of the Graduate’s Directing Program at Guelph University.

Lyon Smith, Sound Designer

Select credits include Fernando Krapp Wrote Me This Letter for CanStage, Window on Toronto for Soulpepper, Third Eye Looming for Workman Arts, The Toronto Suite performance with the Via Salzburg Chamber Orchestra @ Glenn Gould Studio, Night for Human Cargo, Saving Lonesome George for Carousel Players and Agokwe for Buddies in Bad Times. Lyon has received multiple Dora nominations and one award for his sound work. Wills, Trusts & Estates Family Law Real Estate

14 AGOKWE Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre AGOKWE 15


Established in 1979, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is a not-for-profit, professional theatre company dedicated to the promotion of Queer Canadian Culture. Buddies is committed to work that challenges the boundaries of theatrical and social convention. As a company, we celebrate difference and question assumptions. Over the past 30-something years, we have evolved from a small production company into the largest facility-based queer theatre company in the world.

THE COMPANY Artistic Director Brendan Healy General Manager Shawn Daudlin Head of Production Charissa Wilcox Producer Erika Hennebury Director of Fundraising Jayne Schneider Young Creators’ Unit Director Evalyn Parry Youth Programme Coordinator Chy Ryan Spain Technical Director Adrien Whan Chamber Technician Katherine Smith Cabaret Technician Jazz Kamal Production Assistant Andrya Duff Finance Manager Cynthia Murdy Administrative Assistant Mark Aikman Box Office/FOH Manager & Volunteer Coordinator Chrystal Donbrath-Zinga Asst. Box Office Manager & Volunteer Coordinator Jenna Harris Bar Manager Paul Hill Assistant Bar Manager Patricia Wilson Box Office Personnel Thom Bryce, Christopher Mitchell, Wilson Ho, Evelyn Shaller-Auslander, Aaron Rothermund, Katherine Belyea Bar Personnel Victoria Gargarella, Michael Mackid, Glenn Dwyer BOARD OF DIRECTORS J. Paul Halferty (president) Russell Mathew (treasurer) Derek Billsman, Ellen Ray Hennessy, Joe Siegfried THE ALEXANDER STREET THEATRE PROJECT BOARD OF DIRECTORS Cathy Gordon (president) Russell Mathew (treasurer) J. Paul Halferty (secretary) Kristyn Wong-Tam

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is a member of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT), the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), is a participating member of the Creative Trust, and engages under the terms of the Canadian Theatre Agreement (CTA), professional artists who are members of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association (CAEA).

16 AGOKWE Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

MISSION STATEMENT – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre strives to fulfill the role of the leading alternative facility-based theatre in Toronto. We are committed to work that challenges the boundaries of theatrical and social convention. As a company we celebrate difference and question assumptions. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is committed to theatrical excellence which it strives for through its play development programs, strong volunteer base, youth-mentorship initiatives and ever increasing wealth of Canadian Queer Talent. MANDATE – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is a not-for-profit, professional theatre company dedicated to the promotion of Queer Canadian Culture. We are dedicated to producing, developing, and supporting queer theatrical works that speak to one, or both, of the following criteria: 1. QUEER, referring to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered identity, encapsulates the core of our organization. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is a queer-run organization committed to representing the LGBT community by supporting its artists, and by telling its stories. 2. QUEER, referring to anything different or outside of the norm, represents the nature of artistic work presented at 12 Alexander Street. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is dedicated to work that is different, outside the mainstream, challenging in both content and form. (This second definition of Queer is not LGBT-specific)

Supporting Each other. Protecting Each Other.

Our community is stronger Together. AIDS Committee of Toronto 399 Church Street, 4th floor, Toronto, Ontario M5B 2J6 T 416-340-2437 F 416-340-8224 W


Buddies in Bad Times Theatre AGOKWE 17


$5000+ Jim Lawrence & David Salak Robert Wylie & William Hodge


$1000-$4999 Adrian Ishak Dean Odorico & Woody’s Derek Billsman Jason Churchill Jim Tennyson Ken Moffatt Paul Hains Russell Mathew & Scott Ferguson Singing Strong


Ed Cabell & Roy Forrester Russell Mathew & Scott Ferguson

In Memory of Nigel Gough Donations made in Nigel’s honour will provide support for Buddies Queer Youth Art Program Anonymous Bobbie Smith Esme Fuller-Thomson Lynn Glazer Regal Road P.S. Social Committee Trevor Mangion Mr. & Mrs. Wood 18 AGOKWE Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

CHAMPIONS $500-$999 Brendan Healy Brian Terry Joe Siegfried Ken Popert Lucinda Wallace Mark German Mark Peacock Michael Boyuk Michael Golych Richard Bingham PARTNERS $250-$499 Beverly Harris Jerry Doiron Ken Aucoin & Gerald Crowell Paul Halferty Shameless For A Cause Tyler Curtis FRIENDS $100-$249 Alnoor Karmali & Doug Arcand Brian McBurney Clare Smyth Cobie Crawford

In memory of Ed Fielding Eileen Sommerman Ellen Ray Hennessy George Grant Jaya Karsemeyer Joff Evans Jon Kaplan Kathleen Harquail Kishwar Iqbal Mario Vecchi Matthew Jocelyn Michel Beauvais Mitsuko Sada Naomi Campbell Noah Aychental Paul Bishara Paul Hartwick Pauline Pelletier Richard & Pamela Earle Richard McLellan Robert Wallace Steve Lico Winnie Luk

Thank you to all the SUPPORTERS and VOLUNTEERS who give so generously to Buddies each season. We couldn’t do it without you. To find out about becoming a member of our family of donors, please go to:

Buddies in Bad Times gratefully acknowledges the following supporters for their commitment to the development of contemporary Canadian queer culture at Buddies LEAD CORPORATE DONOR





The Lawrence Family Foundation The John McKellar Foundation Nancy’s Very Own Foundation Buddies in Bad Times Theatre AGOKWE 19

Agokwe House Programme  
Agokwe House Programme  

Play Bill for Buddies in Bad Times production of Agokwe. May 5-15, 2011. In association with the National Arts Centre