Stage Door News

Toronto: Young People’s Theatre presents “The Mush Hole” October 16-25

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Young People’s Theatre (YPT) is pleased to present the Toronto premiere of The Mush Hole – a groundbreaking theatre and dance performance exploring the devastating intergenerational impact of Canada’s Residential School system. From award-winning choreographer, director and producer Santee Smith and the internationally acclaimed Kaha:wi Dance Theatre comes a story of truth, acknowledgement and resilience. The Mush Hole will be presented on the Mainstage from October 16 to 25.

The Mush Hole is a story about hope and finding light in dark places,” said Santee Smith. “As much as it speaks to intergenerational trauma it screams resilience. Every single element represented on stage comes from Survivors sharing their experiences with us.” 

This compelling dance work explores the impact on children sent to the Hamilton-area Mohawk Technical School. Known as “the mush hole” owing to the watery gruel served at every meal, the Mohawk Institute is Canada’s oldest Residential School. 

My ancestors attended the Mohawk Institute and like most people, I grew up not knowing about the atrocities that occurred inside the Canadian government and Anglican Church-run Residential School,” said Smith. “After years of silence, Mohawk Institute Survivors are courageously moving past shame and sharing their story. The Mush Hole is their truth on stage.” 

Each production in YPT’s 2019.20 Season explores one of the Seven Ancestral Teachings of the Anishinaabe (Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility and Truth), with The Mush Hole focused primarily on Truth. “I wanted to open the season with this powerful, beautiful work knowing it reflects on difficult things to see and hear,” said Allen MacInnis, YPT Artistic Director. “Facing the Truth is uncomfortable, but the Truth really does set us free to be and do better.”

THE MUSH HOLE | Toronto Premiere

MAINSTAGE • Oct. 16-25, 2019 • Recommended for Ages 11 & up • Runs approx. 65 min.
Created, Directed and Produced by Santee Smith 
Remount produced by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre


Wed. Oct. 16, Thurs. Oct. 17 & Fri. Oct. 18 at 10:15AM & 1PM | Sat. Oct. 19 and Sun. Oct. 20 at 2:30PM | Tues. Oct. 22, Wed. Oct. 23 & Thurs. Oct. 24 at 10:15AM & 1PM | Fri. Oct. 25 at 10:15AM 

Relaxed Performances:

Sun. Oct. 20 at 2:30PM and Tues. Oct. 22 at 10:15AM

Tickets: $10-$39 (plus HST & service charges) | Online:

Box Office: 416.862.2222 x2

Photo: Premiere cast: Semiah Smith and Montana Summers. © 2018 Ian R. Maracle.