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Pleiades Theatre Announces PERSPECTIVES, POWER, AND PRIVILEGE Program

Learn more about the upcoming season here!

Pleiades Theatre Announces PERSPECTIVES, POWER, AND PRIVILEGE Program

Andrey Tarasiuk, Artistic Producer of Pleiades Theatre, has announced the company's 25th anniversary season, PERSPECTIVES, POWER, and PRIVILEGE, a curated program of staged readings that that reflect on plays of past seasons, delve into new work, and allow for meaningful dialogue between Toronto's independent performing arts companies that share a mandate with Pleiades of culturally-focused play development.

The Pleiades anniversary season of readings begins with two pivotal partnerships: a revisiting of People Power in October with Carlos Bulosan Theatre (CBT), and a staged reading of Al-Malik Huwa Al-Malik in November with the Canadian Arabic Orchestra.

Never Forget: People Power Revisited

October 25 to 27, 2022
Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace. 16 Ryerson Ave, Toronto

Tickets are available at 416-504-7529 or online here.

People Power (Leon Aureus, Rose Cortez, Nicco Lorenzo Garcia, Christine Mangosing, Nadine Villasin) premiered in 2006 as a commemoration and celebration of the events of EDSA1, also known as the People Power revolution in 1986 that ended the Marcos dictatorship, martial law and saw the restoration of democratic institutions after 13 years of totalitarian rule in the Philippines. Thirty-six years later, in May 2022, the deposed dictator's son, Bong Bong Marcos was elected by an overwhelming majority as the 17th President of the Republic, despite initial strong showings from the favoured candidate, former Vice-President Leni Robredo. "There was disbelief and disappointment among many in our community," says Leon Aureus, Artistic Producer at CBT. "It felt like an alternate reality when Marcos ultimately won. We were questioning what made people forget all that history and that struggle for democracy. How does someone, whose family is still being investigated for stealing billions of pesos from the Philippines, get elected and become president?"

Al-Malik Huwa Al-Malik (The King is The King)

Written by Saadallah Wannous, Adapted by Ahmad Meree, Translated by Maher Sinno, and Directed by Rahaf Fasheh
November 4 to 6, 2022
Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Tank House Lane

Tickets are available online here.

"Give me a gown and a crown, and a king you will have." An overly pampered king, bored with life, devises a game to amuse himself. Mischievously he selects a commoner and makes him king for a day. Enter a poor subject who is brought to the palace in a drunken stupor and is put on the throne. The King's plan immediately goes awry when this man assumes the role with ease and no one notices that a switch has been made - not even the Queen!

This new Canadian adaptation of Saadallah Wannous' masterpiece Al-Malik Huwa Al-Malik reflects on the consistency of humans, throughout the ages, when it comes to power, authority, and hierarchy. This workshopped reading co-produced with the Canadian Arabic Orchestra and presented at the Festival of Arabic Music & Arts provides opportunity and exposure to Toronto's burgeoning Canadian Arabic Theatre presence in the local theatre scene.

"As Pleiades celebrates its 25th anniversary, it's clear that partnerships with colleague theatre companies have been an important ingredient in our success," said Tarasiuk. "That's why I am so pleased to confirm our second collaboration with CAO and our first presentation at the Festival of Arabic Music & Arts, with a group of young artists rising from Toronto's Arabic community of performers. We are a veteran company here, but it's important for us to share our experiences and resources with the city's newest, emerging artists and equally for us to learn and expand our horizons based on what they can teach us about their communities and art."

Additional readings to be announced throughout the season at PleiadesTheatre.org.

Ash Knight announced as Pleiades Theatre's incoming Artistic Producer

Ash Knight was named Associate Artistic Producer of Pleiades back in July, 2021. He will become the company's third-ever artistic leader, stepping into his new role in July, 2023.

"A key aim of this anniversary year is to look to the future, to be sure that we continue to build on two and a half decades of challenges and victories to achieve our mandate of reflecting other cultures through exploring their great dramatic works," said Tarasiuk. "Having a fresh vision and a new leadership for Pleiades is the right thing to do, and this milestone year is the right time to undertake a new direction. And so, with this perspective in mind, I'm delighted to announce that our current Associate Artistic Producer Ash Knight will become Pleiades' next Artistic Producer."

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Ash started working as an actor at the age of 10. He moved to London, England at the age of 20 to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and graduated with both a RADA Diploma and a Bachelor's Degree in Acting from the University of London. Ash has worked with some of the most talented artists in the U.K., the U.S., and Uganda. In Canada, he's well respected as an actor, and as a director of both new and classical plays.

His first play, Enkidu and Gilgamesh, was work-shopped in London, England (2011) and New York City (2013). He is currently working on a translation/adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac with Pleiades Theatre, called Cyrano d'Aujourd'hui.

"My colleague Directors of the Pleiades Board join me in enthusiastically welcoming Ash Knight as the incoming and third artistic leader for this company," said Geoffrey Miller, Chair of the Board, Pleiades Theatre. "In addition to Ash's personal career accomplishments, we are well aware of how Ash has committed his energies to our theatre over the past two years as he worked alongside Andrey Tarasiuk. Looking ahead to July, we eagerly anticipate his assuming the key role to lead Pleiades into its post-25th anniversary years."

"Thank you to Andrey, Geoff, and the Board for inviting me to usher in the next era for Pleiades Theatre," said Knight. "As the company celebrates its quarter century, I am very excited to explore the kinds of stories that Pleiades has, will, or can offer. I look forward to presenting the stories of all Canadians irrespective of whether they've been in Canada for a year, a generation, or over a millennia. Telling these stories authentically and boldly. I am humbled to step into this role with the company."




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