Stage Door News

Toronto: Theatre Passe Muraille presents the world premiere of “Toka” by Indrit Kasapi April 28

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

With the cast of six and a robust creative team, Toka is the largest production in Theatre Passe Muraille’s 20.21 season. The Dora-award winning lemonTree creations have been Theatre Passe Muraille’s company-in-residence since 2017. It is our pleasure to see the culmination of this collaboration with the World Premiere of the much-anticipated Toka by Indrit Kasapi as a digital production.

Written & choreographed by TPM’s Associate Artistic Director Indrit Kasapi (he/him), this startling work of physical theatre is about the modern-day blood feuds in post-Communist Albania. Led by lemonTree’s Artistic Producers, Indrit Kasapi brings his Albanian heritage and unique multidisciplinary approach into the work, and Cole Alvis (she/her) brings her perspective as 2 Spirit Michif (Métis) grounding the work as director and dramaturge. The cast, consisting of Christopher Manousos, Kat Khan, Michael Caldwell, Nicole Joy-Fraser, Pulga Muchochoma and William Yong — comes from prolific acting and dance credits.

“lemonTree creations is one of the most exciting companies in Canada. They consistently investigate in and are unafraid of working within uncomfortable conversations with high artistic standards. What is startling to me about the story of Toka, is that I have to remind myself that it is a modern-day tale of revenge. Humanity would like to believe ourselves evolved past feuds, but the truth is that all around the world we still suffer from the damaging consequences of colonial constructs such as ‘land-ownership’. Toka, in an interdisciplinary way, adroitly explores this human cost and path to healing.”

~ Marjorie Chan | TPM Artistic Director

Toka tells the story of siblings who wrestle with a long-standing land dispute that has resulted in generational death after death and is threatening to come to a brutal climax. This heart wrenching and evocative story is deeply rooted in the theme of land. The creative team, under the direction of Cole Alvis, tells this story with the awareness that the production is being staged here in Tkarón:to (Mohawk word for Toronto) on stolen land.

“In Toka, two families living in the mountains of Northern Albania are governed by an ancient code — referred to as the Kanun — that affect them both in turn. To me, this story is also about treaty. About promise, and what can happen when sacred agreements are not upheld by those in power."

~ Cole Alvis | Director & Dramaturge, Toka

The support and development for this work at TPM began under former Artistic Director Andy McKim:

“Works from Baltic [sic] heritage are unique in our national theatrical landscape, the specificity of Albanian heritage even more so. And yet Toronto is estimated to be home to 51% of all Albanians living in Canada. Though Toka speaks through cultural specificity, having seen its development to date I believe its themes of forgiveness, duty, and reconciliation are very applicable to many communities today.”

~Andy McKim | Former Artistic Director, TPM

Toka will have four digital performances, and all shows will be Digital Relaxed Performances. Albanian subtitles will be available on April 30th and Non-traditional Audio Descriptions will be offered by Cole Alvis on May 1st.

For full credits, and show information, please visit the TPM website here.

Indrit Kasapi 

Born in Albania, Indrit Kasapi and his family have been privileged to make Tkarón:to their home since 2000. He is the Founding and current Artistic Producer for lemonTree creations and Associate Artistic Director for Theatre Passe Muraille. Indrit has been a company member of the award winning dance theatre company CORPUS since 2008. Through Corpus he has helped develop and premiere two new works (Machina Nuptialis, House Guests) and continued touring other repertoire to North America, Europe and Asia. He’s a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, a 2018 Harold Award Recipient and a 2020 Dora Nominated performer. Indrit believes his art must provide necessary discourse to fight against white supremacy, colonialism, heteronormativity and misogyny.