Stage Door News
Toronto: Theatre Passe Muraille presents “Okay, you can stop now” February 4-11
Thursday, January 12, 2023
Kicking off Winter 2023 programming at Theatre Passe Muraille is Okay, you can stop now, from creator and choreographer Shakeil Rollock. On the Mainstage from February 4 to 11. Okay, you can stop now is a Theatre Passe Muraille and Shakeil Rollock co-production presented in association with b current performing arts.
“Shakeil is a fascinating artist who places movement at the heart of storytelling,” says Theatre Passe MurailleArtistic Producer Indrit Kasapi. “His choreography is sharp, direct, and does not shy away from digging deep into emotional truths that are often stored within our bodies. This work attempts to unravel those truths, resulting in a visceral experience that will leave us questioning our understanding of information (and misinformation) in a world saturated with it.”
“TPM has been committed to the development of this work for many years, and we are absolutely thrilled to reconnect with b current performing arts for the World Premiere of this urgently touching production.”
A physical theatre experience that explores how we deal with, manipulate, and come to terms with information, in Okay, you can stop now four performers are invited into a landscape full of newspapers: a tangible form of history. Over time, knowing that history is continual, the weight of the news gets the better of each individual.
Through personal accounts and collective experience, each performer navigates their relationship to privilege and power: how do we move forward once history has indelibly been changed?
"Seeing the workshop of Okay, you can stop now will forever be etched in my mind as the moment I knew live theatre would not only survive, but thrive through and after the pandemic. The stage littered with newspapers of the past, dancers rhythmically rustling their tattered edges in the present, telling a powerful story about the perilous times we might continue to live in the future, re-invigorated all the things I missed most about live performance - passion, sensation, community and art - and NO, I did NOT want it to 'stop now' or ever," comments Jamie Robinson, Board member | TPM.
Shakeil Rollock is a dancer, choreographer, and instructor of Caribbean descent, living in Toronto. Starting dance late at the age of seventeen, he graduated from the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. His experience in dance genres expands from ballet to the afro diaspora (and even includes some gems like classical Chinese and mime). Shakeil has developed his experience through working with artists such as Draico (Step Up & Zombies 3), Hollywood Jade (Canada’s Drag Race), Julie Pérron and Debra Brown (Cirque du Soleil), Esie Mensah and Lua Sheyenne. Most recently Shakeil has worked with Emilio Dosal (In the Heights) and Ebony Williams (Beyoncé). Currently, Shakeil is one of three Legacy Fellows through Prime Movement Theatre’s Fellowship initiative, a creative partnership to help emerging creatives further expand their growth in their own field of expertise.
Okay, you can stop now has been a Theatre Passe Muraille Buzz in-development work for three years, culminating in this world premiere presentation. The Buzz In-Development Series focuses on creating an artistic process that places the art and artist at the center. This is done in various ways including: workshops, dramaturgy, and public presentations, as well as in ways which cannot yet be anticipated or defined.
Okay, you can stop now features Tama Martin, Alten Wilmot, Cheryl Chan, and Cody Berry-Ottertail. While developing the piece Shakheil Rollock was mentored by Esie Mensah. Lighting design is by Jacob Lin, projection design by Julia Kim, costume and set design by Melanie McNeil, and sound design is by Miquelon Rodriguez. Indrit Kasapi is the digital producer.
Performances of Okay, you can stop now will be followed by a special presentation of 2022 Fringe Festival Patron’s Pick selection X and Da Spirit created by Donovan Hayden.
Performances of Okay, you can stop now run February 4 – 11 at 7:30pm with a 2:00pm matinee on February 11. The February 10th 7:30pm and February 11 2:00pm performances will offer ASL interpretation. Black Out Night for Okay, you can stop now followed by X and Da Spirit will take place February 9 at 7:30pm Tickets are Pay-What-You-Can-Afford at three price points, $10, $30, and $60 and are available now online at www.passemuraille.ca.
About Okay, you can stop now
A Theatre Passe Muraille and Shakeil Rollock co-production,
in association with b current performing arts
February 4 to 11 in the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace
Created, choreographed, and directed by Shakeil Rollock
Mentorship by Esie Mensah
Lighting designer Jacob Lin
Digital producer Indrit Kasapi
Projection designer Julia Kim
Costume and set designer Melanie McNeil
Sound designer Miquelon Rodriguez
Assistant director/dramaturge Justin Eddy
About X and Da Spirit
X is an unassuming Black man. That is until he encounters a mural beneath a bridge, where ‘da Spirit of the Struggle’ transmits the knowledge of Black resistance to him in an instant. Now he must find his place in the Struggle, guided by an artist, MC, who challenges X’s understanding of the movement and the personal consequences of activism.
This show is inspired by artist Donovan Hayden’s experiences during the massive Black Lives Matter protests that stretched around the globe since 2020, and his continued involvement in the movement. A Patron’s Pick production at the 2022 Toronto Fringe Festival, X and Da Spirit is a celebration of Toronto Blackness, resistance, and community through rap, dance, graffiti, music and spoken word.
Photo: Shakeil Rollock.