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“Groundswell Festival” featuring Diane Flacks, Shelley M. Hobbs, Jani Lauzon, Natalie Liconti, Rachel Mutombo, Yvette Nolan and Donna-Michelle St. Bernard

November 10 @ 12:00 am - November 20 @ 12:00 am EST

ONLINE – November 10th – 20th, 2020

This November, Nightwood Theatre’s “Groundswell Festival” goes digital, offering an invitation inside the creative process with readings of brand new works from our “Write From The Hip” playwright’s unit, led by Program Director Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, as well as opportunities to gather for provocative conversations and workshops. This season’s festival, designed for Zoom by Michelle Tracey, will share new plays and conversations from Bilal Baig, Shelley M. Hobbs, Erum Khan, Rachel Mutombo, Pesch Nepoose and Phoebe Tsang, public conversations with Deaf-led collective SPiLL.PROpagation and national arts advocacy collective AD HOC Assembly, as well as free professional development opportunities for playwrights and artists.

The following is a list of events featuring PGC Members:

Tuesday, November 10

6pm ET – Refusal by Shelley M. Hobbs

Directed by: Andrea Donaldson

Cast: Dalal Badr, Diane Flacks, Armon Ghaeinizadeh, Carlos Gonzalez-Vio, Nancy Palk, Bahareh Yaraghi and Jenny Young

A war correspondent has become overwhelmed by a career that she both loves and detests. She struggles to reconcile the unequal risks of who is telling what may or may not be the truth. Her survival depends on it. Refusal seeks to address white and class privilege in reporting, its impact on those depicted in the reports, and the emotional costs of suppressed anger and grief in the tellers of “truth”.

Wednesday, November 11

6pm ET – Better by Rachel Mutombo

Directed by Maiko Yamamoto

Cast: Christine Horne, Melissa Langdon, Bria Mclaughlin and Emerjade Simms

In this not too distant future, men have tightened the reins on their control of society. Sent to a sanctuary for misguided souls by their husbands, brothers or fathers when they’ve stepped out of line, five women navigate the harsh reality of a world that is no longer safe for them. When the constraints of oppression push hard these women are vulnerable to break, but they may also find the power to push back.

Thursday, November 12

6 pm ET – in conversation with Erum Khan and excerpts from All my forgotten dreams

Directed by Maiko Yamamoto

Cast: Jani Lauzon, Joelle Peters, Beatriz Pizano, Heath V. Salazar and Arlen Aguayo Stewart

Marooned in the “after” with no idea when they’ll return to “before”, All my forgotten dreams shifts between characters wrestling with isolation, silence and restlessness in the wake of a new world. At once lush and sparse, this live theatrical hybrid film dwelling in a digital dystopia is a speculative future that mirrors our present moment with searing truth.

Monday, November 16

Know What You Don’t Know
AHA & Nightwood Theatre
1 – 2:30pm (EST) with Cole Alvis and Yvette Nolan

Ad Hoc Assembly (AHA) in association with Nightwood Theatre will lead a workshop to engage participants in their pursuit of equity within their arts practice and/or organizations. The focus will be on how to know what you don’t know in supporting Indigenous, Black and culturally diverse artists, audiences and communities.

Thursday, November 19

3pm ET – Demystifying the Art of Grant Writing

Join Naz Afsahi and Natalie Liconti as they facilitate an online workshop on Demystifying the Art of Grant Writing. The session aims to create an anti-racist, queer/trans inclusive, virtual space of exchange and education for participants to develop their confidence with writing arts grants. Together we will target the foundational skills of grant writing, providing practical guidance for emerging artists. Click here to register.

Friday, November 20

6pm ET – A Conversation with Theatre’s Feminist Foremothers

Pioneering voices in the feminist theatre community come together to discuss the past and future of Anti-Oppression in the Canadian theatre ecology. Voices at the table include Margo Kane, Jani Lauzon and Diane Roberts.

Write from the Hip Program Director: Donna-Michelle St. Bernard

Find out more here:


November 10 @ 12:00 am EST
November 20 @ 12:00 am EST
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Nightwood Theatre
(416) 944-1740
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