Stage Door News

Toronto: ARC announces the Canadian premiere of “Martyr” by Marius von Mayenburg

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

ARC theatre company today announced its first show of 2023: the Canadian premiere of MARTYR by Marius von Mayenburg (translated by Maja Zade), directed by Co-Artistic Producer Rob Kempson. This provocative play by one of Germany’s most prominent playwrights questions the nature of community, and weighs the human systems of family and education against the pull and promise of faith. MARTYR will run at the Aki Studio Theatre, Daniel’s Spectrum, from January 13 to 29, 2023. Opening night is January 14. Tickets are available here and all tickets are only $20 if purchased by October 31, 2022.

Benjamin won't swim at school. His mum thinks he's on drugs or has body issues. But Benjamin has found God, and mixed-gender swimming lessons offend him. But that’s not where his newfound fervour ends. His conflicts only grow as his devotion deepens, causing issues at school, and at home with his family. MARTYR asks questions about the boundaries of faith in a secular society.

The MARTYR cast features ARC Co-Artistic Producer and Resident Artist Deborah Drakeford and ARC Resident Artists Aviva Armour-Ostroff, Ryan Hollyman, André Sills, and Nabil Traboulsi, with Charlotte Dennis, Richard Lee, and Adriano Reis in their ARC debuts.

ARC Resident Artists Jackie Chau and Tamara Vuckovic will lead Set and Costume Design and Stage Management, respectively, with Makambe K Simamba as Assistant Director. The rest of the creative team includes Michelle Ramsay (Lighting Design), James Dallas Smith (Sound Design), and Hannah MacMillan (Assistant Stage Manager). Julia Dickson will be the Producer, with Patrick Lynn as Production Manager.

MARTYR first premiered at the Schaubühne in Berlin in 2012 and was then produced in Russia and France. The English translation premiered at the Unicorn (2015), the UK’s leading theatre for young audiences, despite the fact that the play featured both nudity and significant bloodshed. It was produced in Chicago at Steep Theatre Company for the U.S. Premiere in 2015.

The development of ARC’s production of MARTYR includes a signature Open Room initiative, a week-long process of investigation featuring company members alongside Community Collaborators who help place unique and challenging plays in a Canadian context before rehearsals begin. For ARC, Open Room has become a signature part of the development process, supporting its organizational commitment to deep community connection, authentic cultural consultation, and theatre-making that responds directly to the world in which we live.

ARC is an ensemble-based company that produces contemporary international theatre in a multinational city. We take a rigorous, bold, socially active, and highly collaborative approach to producing thought-provoking international works in their Canadian premiere. By collaborating with community stakeholders, non-governmental organizations, and our audience, we create this work as a means of engaging with relevant global conversations. Community engagement and social justice are at the core of who we are as theatre-makers.

The Canadian Premiere of MARTYR, an ARC Production

Dates & Times:

January 13 to 29, 2023. Opening night is January 14.

8:00 p.m. (Tuesday-Saturday) & 2:00 p.m. (Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday)


Aki Studio Theatre

585 Dundas St E,

Toronto, ON M5A 2B7

Ticket Prices:

Tickets from $20 (early bird) to $35; discounted tickets available for seniors,

students, groups, arts workers, and on Tuesdays, see show page for details.

Ticket Link: