BY PATTI FLATHER
DIRECTED BY MAJDI BOU-MATAR

May 3:  8PM MainStage (Opening with Artist Talkback)
May 4:  9PM MainStage
May 5:  8 PM MainStage (Closing with Post-show VIP event for Festival Pass Holders)

“A captivating new piece of Canadian theatre…Paradise is an exciting collaboration between two very different Canadian theatre artists – director Majdi Bou-Matar and Yukon playwright Patti Flather. Together they have created a physically and aurally impressive piece of storytelling about important issues, both perceived and not, that threaten our very existence – from the war on terror to the effects of mental illness and homelessness on our everyday lives, with the help of a talented group of actors and designers.” – Brenda Leadlay, Artistic Executive Director, Magnetic North Theatre Festival

“Paradise: what you get when you cross a skilled, veteran playwright with a vibrant, movement-based theatre company. Patti Flather and the MT Space have come together to produce a show that is as beautiful as it is unsettling, linking stories of peaches, snakes, dogs, limericks, and ordinary people under stress.” – Ric Knowles, Professor of Theatre Studies, University of Guelph

An unemployed logger, a young man accused of terrorism, a family doctor and his daughter, are all searching for their humanity inside the systems that cage us all. This play explores human rights, mental illness and addictions, and our own personal complicity in such urgent issues that surround us on daily basis. A poetic, complex and challenging work, Paradise is a beautiful marriage of the text and imagery of Patti Flather with the distinct physical style of MT Space.

Paradise premiered at the Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon in  2015 and was showcased at IMPACT 15 in Kitchener, Ontario.

Performers

Aldrin Bundoc  (Khalil) Aldrin is a theatre and television actor, originally from The Philippines. He is a graduate of the George Brown Theatre Conservatory and continuously endeavours to support and strengthen the presence of Filipino artists in the media. Aldrin had leading roles in the Dora-nominated productions “Body Politic” (Buddies In Bad Times co-produced by LemonTreeCreations), and “Meet Cute” (Roseneath Theatre). Other credits include: Twelfth Night, All’s Well that Ends Well (St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival); American Buffalo, Julius Caesar (Unit102 Theatre); Lord Sword (Inter-Arts-Matrix); Flashpoint (CTV); The Firm (NBC); Private Eyes (Global). Aldrin is a member of Canadian Actors Equity Association.

Nicholas Cumming (Wally) NICHOLAS CUMMING (BA Drama & English, U. of Waterloo) is a theatre artist and graphic designer. He is a founding company member and artistic associate of MT Space (Multicultural Theatre Space) 2004-present.

As actor [selected – upcoming & in development]: King Lear: The Puppet (Cosmic Fishing Theatre Co.), Wrong Way / Alley Project (Pins & Needles Fabric Co.); [selected]: Occupy Spring, Paradise, Exit Strategy, Yes or No!, Seasons of Immigration, and Three Legged Horse (MT Space); Psy Co.’s Cross, Copy Protection (playwright / performer, W!T Prod.).

Nicholas was nominated for a Waterloo Region Arts Award for Performing Arts in 2010.

Pam Patel (Rachel) As an actor and artistic associate of MT Space, Pam Patel has toured nationally to cities including Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Victoria, and overseas to perform in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Selected credits include ParadiseThe Last 15 Seconds and Body 13. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University’s music program, Pam has acquired a special focus in improvisation, both music and physical theatre. She has attended the Vancouver Creative Music Institute and was part of the Stratford Summer Music Festival. Pam played the lead role in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and directed the play with Kitchener-Waterloo Youth Theatre. Pam is currently Artistic Director of MT Space.

Michael Peng (George) Michael is an Edmonton based actor, director, producer and university instructor who works in theatres at the Regional and Independent level in Alberta, BC and Ontario. He has an MFA in Directing from the University of Alberta and is the founder and Co-Artistic Director of the acclaimed indie company, wishbone theatre. Michael has also toured internationally and trained with Ghost River Theatre, Soulpepper, and the National Voice Intensive, among others. For over 20 years he has taught classes and workshops for many theatre organizations, and directs and teaches in Drama at Concordia University in Edmonton. He has been good friends with the creative souls at MT Space for nearly 20 years, and is happy to be working with the company again on Paradise. Enjoy! Michael is a member of Canadian Actors Equity Association.

Creative and Production Team

Patti Flather (Playwright) Patti Flather is an Anglo-settler theatre artist from the West Coast who now calls Whitehorse home. Her plays include Sixty Below (with Leonard Linklater), West Edmonton Mall, Where the River Meets the Sea, Street Signs, Paradise and devised creations Go Angel Girlfriends, Tell Me More… and Map of the Land, Map of the Stars. Paradise was published with Playwrights Canada Press in 2017. Patti co-founded Gwaandak Theatre, where she’s Artistic Director, to develop and share Indigenous and Northern stories. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of B.C.  She’s a recipient of the Yukon Arts Builder Award and past winner of Theatre B.C.’s national playwriting competition.

Majdi Bou-Matar (Director) Majdi Bou-Matar is a theatre maker who immigrated to Canada from Lebanon in 2003. He holds an MA degree in Drama from the University of Guelph with research focus on Canadian intercultural theatre. Majdi directed several productions in his native Beirut before he founded MT Space in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario in 2004. MT Space is a professional theatre company dedicated to cultural diversity. His most recent directing credits include The Last 15 seconds and Body 13. Majdi is also the Artistic Director of IMPACT, a biennial international theatre festival in the Waterloo Region. Majdi was recognized with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, and a Waterloo Region Arts Award in the Performing Arts category in 2013.

Zac Gungl (Stage Manager) Zac is a graduate of the Theatre & Performance and Speech Communication Program at the University of Waterloo. Past credits with MT Space include: Occupy 2017, Adrenaline, Seasons of Immigration, and IMPACT 17 (Assistant Production Manager).  Zac is looking to continue their studies in Theatre and Communication with emphasis on intercultural queer discourse.

David Skelton (Set & Properties Design) David Skelton received his Masters of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Design from the University of Alberta in 1987. Since then he has designed, directed and written theatre, throughout western and central Canada, including The Citadel Theatre, Workshop West, Northern Light Theatre, Theatre Network, Theatre of the New Heart, Catalyst Theatre, Persephone, Modern Times Theatre, The Theatre Centre 4th Line Theatre, Independent Aunties.

David recently finished 10 years as Nakai Theatre’s Artistic Director in Whitehorse.

Jordy Walker (Sound Design and Composition) Jordy Walker is a musician,
composer, sound designer, recording engineer and sound mixer. With a passion for experimental music and sound design, the ability to play and compose on several instruments as well as proficiency and experience in the recording studio, he has maintained a career with much flexibility and variety. He has produced/engineered over 50 records and worked on an equal number of films, theatre and contemporary dance pieces.

Jennifer Jimenez (Lighting Design) Jennifer Jimenez’s lighting design credits include: The President (Shaw Festival), Judith Thompson’s Body and Soul (VANOC 2010), Seasons of Immigration (MT Space), My Name is Rachel Corrie, To The Ends of the Earth, and resident lighting designer (Tottering Biped Theatre. Selected UK lighting design/devised credits include: Virus Circus (Circus Space), Infusion (Fiasco tv), and Headstone (Arcola Theatre). Jennifer is a co-founder of Aiding Dramatic Change in Development (www.adcid.org). She has a BFA in Theatre Production and Design, a BEd from York University, an MA in Devised Theatre from the Central School of Speech and Drama, UK, and is the recipient of a Chalmers Award.

Melaina Sheldon (Costume Design) Melaina Sheldon is an Inland Tlingit costume designer and performer from Teslin, Yukon.  She achieved her first acting and design debut in 2010 with Patti Flather’s, Me and the Girls and went on to costume design for Leonard Linklater’s play Justice (2012). Melaina is very passionate about First Nation culture, heritage, governance and art and she looks forward to a lifetime of working for and on behalf of Indigenous peoples nationally & internationally. She is currently Manager of the Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship Program. Gunałchèesh!

Gwaandak Theatre

Gwaandak Theatre’s vision is to illuminate Indigenous and Northern stories around the world.

Our stories question, honour, and celebrate. They explore themes around decolonization, cultural identity, social justice, underrepresented voices and human rights. We tour to both tiny communities and major centres, and provide comprehensive study guides for secondary schools and colleges.

Gwaandak Theatre develops, produces and tours plays for both youth and adults. Our programming also includes new play workshops, readings and training for theatre artists.

Gwaandak Theatre, the Yukon’s only Indigenous-centered theatre company, was founded in Whitehorse in 1999 by theatre artists Leonard Linklater and Patti Flather.

MT Space

Waterloo Region’s first and only multicultural theatre company continues to fulfill its mandate by creating, producing and presenting high quality artistic performances and cultural events reflective of the people who live in the area. The MT Space strives to develop forms and practices that speak to, draw upon, reflect, and constitute Canadian contemporary community. The MT Space was founded in 2004 by Artistic Director Majdi Bou-Matar. The company has toured to Hamilton, London, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal QC, Saint John and Fredericton NB, Victoria and Vancouver BC, within Canada and to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon internationally. The company has garnered several awards and rave reviews. The MT Space also offers educational programs and professional development workshops, and provides mentoring and assistance to local artists. The MT Space continues to promote the cultural richness of our community by providing a space for meaningful interaction.

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