Imago Theatre Presents The World Premiere Of THE FLOOD At Centaur Theatre

This powerful production examines Canadian history, the criminal justice system, human rights, racism, sexism, “hysteria,” mental illness, disability, and pregnancy.

By: Jan. 29, 2024
Imago Theatre Presents The World Premiere Of THE FLOOD At Centaur Theatre
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Imago Theatre presents the World Premiere of The Flood, written by Leah Simone-Bowen and directed by Yvette Nolan.

This powerful production examines Canadian history, the criminal justice system, human rights, racism, sexism, “hysteria,” mental illness, disability, and pregnancy. It is an intercultural conversation with characters that are Black, First Nation, Ukrainian, Irish, and English. The Flood is onstage at Centaur Theatre from February 15 to 25.


The Flood is based on true and hidden Canadian histories of women in the prison system, and the injustices that they face. In the basement prison below Toronto's St. Lawrence Market at the end of the 19th century, two women named Mary, one a shunned, pregnant Irish immigrant, the other a vilified Mississauga woman, become an unlikely pair as they form a friendship. Their bond threatens fellow inmate Sophia who calls herself the first Black woman in Canada and the leader of the prisoners' plots to use the women to gain better treatment for herself. Beautiful and brutal, The Flood gives voice to the little-known stories of women prisoners in Canada, while examining our systemically racist justice system. 


This is the first production from Imago Theatre since their unprecedented sweep at the 2023 Montreal English Theatre Awards. Their productions of Foxfinder and Redbone Coonhound were nominated for 18 awards and took home seven, including Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Text, and Outstanding Direction. Redbone Coonhound was named one of the “Ten Best Theatre Shows of 2023” by the Toronto Star and is currently on the Stratford Festival's streaming channel. 


Leah Simone-Bowen, the co-founder and co-host of the CBC Podcast The Secret Life of Canada, is a first-generation Canadian whose family is from Barbados. She is a past artistic producer at Obsidian Theatre and has been the playwright-in-residence for the Blyth Festival, Stratford Festival, Cahoots Theatre, Playwright's Workshop Montreal, and Obsidian Theatre.  She is a Dora Mavor Moore Award–nominated director and has had her work published by Playwrights Canada Press, NeWest Press, and the Canadian Theatre Review.


Yvette Nolan is an Algonquin playwright, director, and dramaturg who works across Turtle Island. She was the playwright-in-residence at the National Arts Centre. Her works include the play The Unplugging (produced at the Belfry Theatre and the Great Canadian Theatre Company, recipient of the Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Script). In the past year, she directed The First Stone at New Harlem (Toronto) and The Great Canadian Theatre Company (Ottawa), Women of the Fur Trade at Stratford Festival. From 2003-2011, she served as Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts, Canada's oldest professional Indigenous theatre company. Her book, Medicine Shows, about Indigenous performance in Canada was published by Playwrights Canada Press. This is Nolan's second time directing in Montreal this season, after Mizushōbai (The Water Trade) by Julie Tamiko Manning. She's also writing a new play for  Geordie Theatre about Jordan River Anderson & Jordan's  Principle.


The Flood features a cast of Jimmy Blais (Mohawk Girls on APTN, playwright of Feather Gardens, Artistic Director of Geordie Theatre), Quinn Dooley (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at Segal Centre, and June Carter in Ring of Fire with Theatre Aquarius and Citadel Theatre), Krystle Pederson (Zarqa on CBC Gem, Gabriel Dumont Wild West Show at the National Arts Centre, Lynx Lamour Goes to Nashville, a Cree musical written and composed by Thomson Highway, and a recipient of the CBC Future 40 award),  Jennifer Roberts (What Rough Beast at Theatre Ouest End and Tantalus Theatre - recipient of the Montreal English Theatre Award for Outstanding Supporting Performance), Keren Roberts (Serving Elizabeth at Theatre Aquarius, How Black Mothers Say I Love You at Black Theatre Workshop, Reaching for Starlight at Geordie Theatre), and Anana Rydvald (Three Montreal English Theatre Awards wins for her one-woman shows, Artistic Director of Level 4 theatre).

The creative team of The Flood is Leah-Simone Bowen (playwright), Moe Clark (sound design and composer - co-founder of Weather Being, performed at the Lincoln Centre in New York City), Kate Hagemeyer (stage manager), Yvette Nolan (director), Elaine Normandeau (translation and surtitles - surtitles for Festival TransAmériques, Centaur Theatre and Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui, Les Écuries, and co-founder of Regroupement des Assistant.e.s metteur.e en scène et Régisseur.e.s), Vera Oleynikova (lighting design mentee), Gabriela Petrov (movement director - co-founder of The Habitat Practice Group), Cara Rebecca (fight director - Bone Cage at the Assembly Theatre, and as an actor, Fall On Your Knees at the National Arts Centre), Tim Rodrigues (lighting design - Serving Elizabeth at Theatre Aquarius, English at Soulpepper and Segal Centre, recipient of the 2023 Montreal English Theatre Award for Outstanding Lighting Design), Abi Sanie (apprentice stage manager), Shopdogs Inc. (Technical direction and set build), Troy Slocum (head of sound), Diana Uribe (set and costume design), Katey Wattam (Associate Director & Trauma-Informed Theatre Consultant).


Thursday, February 15 - 7:30 PM
Friday, February 16 - 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 17 - 2 PM & 7:30 PM
Sunday, February 18 - 2 PM
Wednesday, February 21 - 7:30 PM
Thursday, February 22 - 7:30 PM
Friday, February 23 - 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 24 - 2 PM & 7:30 PM
Sunday, February 25 - 2 PM


February 17 at 2PM is a Mask-Mandatory performance. February 24 at 2 PM is a Relaxed Performance.

Imago Theatre values individuality, diversity, accessibility, and safety. Mask-mandatory and relaxed performances ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all attending. 

All performances are presented in English with French surtitles, a practice Imago started in 2022. The French translation of the script is projected visibly on the set and is performed live by a technician, keeping pace with the action on stage for a seamless translation experience. Imago Theatre was founded in 1987 as a bilingual company and we are proud to be honouring that history and artistic practice.

All performances will be followed by a talkback with academics, activists, and podcasters. The talkback guests bring their expertise and perspectives to the conversation while galvanizing a meaningful exchange with the audience. Imago's guests are instrumental in continuing the conversation around the important themes our work addresses. A full list of talkback guests, along with their biographies, is available on Imago's website here.

Imago Theatre is committed to knowledge sharing. On Imago's website you can find a selection of resources about The Flood including: a Study Zine, an episode of Inside Imago with Yvette Nolan, and a digital roundtable about Indigenous Theatre Practices with artists Keith Barker (playwright, former Artistic Director of Native Earth), Falen Johnson (playwright, co-founder and host of A Secret Life of Canada) and Yvette Nolan. More resources are frequently added, so make sure to keep checking it!


Regular: $38. For groups of 10 or more: $29/person (discount available at check out). Tickets can be purchased at


Pay-What-You-Decide tickets are available for every performance of The Flood and can be purchased right now at the Centaur Theatre Box Office either in person or over the phone at 514-288-3161.


Imago Theatre operates on a Pay-What-You-Decide philosophy that is aligned with their belief that theatre should be accessible to all. You can choose to pay any amount that you decide. No amount is too small.


Imago Theatre was founded in 1987 in Montreal and is a professional feminist theatre company. They are a catalyst for conversation, and an advocate for gender-inclusive storytelling. Their work is committed to pushing boundaries, expanding form, and engaging in essential dialogue about vital social issues. They centre feminist values, perspectives, and artistic practices within diverse stories, voices, and experiences. Beyond their stage productions, they have a robust series of mentorship and creation programs for Artists-in-Residence and value their partnerships with community organizations.


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