Arab-Canadian experience explored in two neXt Company Theatre productions

Posted Feb 7th, 2013 in In the News

St. Catharines, ON - February 7, 2013

Khalida, a neXt Company Theatre production dealing with the experience of an Arab man living in Canada, will run at the Sullivan-Mahoney Theatre in St. Catharines, ON, from Tuesday Feb 26th and run to Saturday March 2nd.

The play was written and is directed by neXt Co-Artistic Director David Fancy for a friend of Fancy’s who was once Saddam Hussein’s favourite actor. Even though the actor was famous at home, when the Iraqi man fled war to come to Canada he had a difficult time finding work in the Canadian theatre and film industry. “I wanted my friend to have the opportunity to play role that expressed some of the realities of living as a ‘hyphenated’ Arab-Canadian citizen,” says Fancy.

Featuring a dynamic performance by Toronto’s Jason Jazrawy described as “intense” and “passionate” by CBC’s Lynn Slotkin, Khalida involves a stunning design by Serbian-Canadian director and designer Vojin Vasovic. The play has been described by Toronto Factory Theatre’s Iris Turcott as “a compact, dynamic, poignant, and politically relevant piece of writing that deftly steers its way through war, torture, isolation, love, confession, revelation and peace. And it is not without humour.” Khalida won the Alberta playWRITES emerging playwright award and was featured at the Lincoln Centre in New York City.

neXt Company Theatre will also be presenting a community-engaged performance project entitled The Arab Spring Monologues at Robertson Hall on Saturday March 2nd at 5pm.

One of the neXt Company’s documentary theatre projects, The Arab Spring Monologues involves 10 Niagarans peforming their own monologues in response to how the Arab Spring has affected their lives. The show features stage direction by NeXt Company’s Co-Artistic Director, Daniel Abadie, who suggests that, “This raw and beautiful series of texts will offer the audience a rich vision of multicultural reality in Niagara.”

neXt Company Theatre President Lisa Matheson is enthusiastic about the level of support the projects have received to date. “We’re very grateful to the Ontario Arts Council, the St. Catharines Performing Arts Centre, Brock Centre for the Arts, and the City of St. Catharines for the confidence they have shown us with their investment,” says Matheson. “We’re very happy to be able to make this cultural contribution to St Catharines and to the wider Niagara Community.”

Both productions involve content for mature audiences.

For more information contact or call 905-688-5550, x 3584

Khalida Tuesday February 26-March 2, 8pm, with an additional 2pm matinée on Sat March 2. Sullivan-Mahoney Theatre, 101 King Street, 2nd Floor, St. Catharines, ON General Admission - $18* Seniors & Students - $12* *Plus HST and applicable ticketing fees. Purchase tickets through Brock Centre for the Arts Box Office: 905-688-5550, x3257

Arab Spring Monologues Saturday, March 2, 5-7pm Robertson Hall, 85 Church Street, St. Catharines, ON, Admission by donation.


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  • "Khalida was an exhilarating, challenging and informative night at the theatre. Jason Jazrawy is an extraordinary performer. He takes you right to the emotional edge and then ever so gently releases his grip on your heart strings. David Fancy never flinches from the truths he is telling. He insists that we walk his walk with him. He insists that we care."
    - Kate Trotter, Canadian film, television and theatre phenomenon

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