Stage Door News

Toronto: Blue Bird Theatre Collective and Canadian Stage present “Maanomaa, My Brother” April 11-30

Saturday, March 11, 2023

In April, Canadian Stage is thrilled to partner with Blue Bird Theatre Collective to present the World Premiere of a new creation by Tawiah M'Carthy and Brad Cook with Anne-Marie Donovan, MAANOMA, MY BROTHER, on stage at the Berkeley Street Upstairs Theatre April 11 - 30, 2023. (Media night: April 14)

Written and performed by Tawiah M'Carthy and Brad Cook and directed by Phil Akin, in MAANOMAA, MY BROTHER, childhood friends Kwame and Will reunite in Ghana for the funeral of a loved one and come to realize just how much has changed since the events that separated them 25 years earlier.

As they struggle with the urge to keep stories from the past buried and the desire to connect, resurfaced memories set them on a journey to discover a truth that neither of them expected. Blending together styles of West African and Canadian theatre, MAANOMAA mixes myth with reality, and the past with the present.

“It is a pleasure to welcome back Tawiah M’Carthy to Canadian Stage, where he has previously contributed in a range of roles, from an Artistic Director internship to staff member on the programming and artistic team. Hot of the heels of Tawiah’s directorial debut at Canadian Stage (Fairview), we are delighted to co-produce this new devised creation by Tawiah and his collaborators,” says Canadian Stage Artistic Director Brendan Healy. “With MAANOMAA, Blue Bird Theatre Collective are bringing African theatrical style and tradition into a western theatre context, in essence offering a kind of hybrid storytelling form that is quite poetic. Within that they explore questions of interculturalism, cultural appropriation, and the bonds across culture and race, inside a very intimate story which promises to be a powerful evening of theatre.”

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Canadian Stage on this exciting production," says co-creator Brad Cook. "MAANOMAA is a decade in the works and is a prime example of BBTC's mission to introduce narratives of diverse cultures and histories through compelling theatre. Canadian Stage's support as we reconceptualize the familiar approach to theatre making has been invaluable, and we are grateful to have them as co-producers of our work."

“For me, MAANOMAA is a combination of my practice as an artist, and what myself and Brad envision the possibility of theatre to be,” shares co-creator Tawiah M’Carthy. “The show combines movements and texts, employs different languages, and is set in Ghana. And in one aspect it’s kind of a conversation around my relationship with Ghana, my family, friends, and about growing from a young boy into a man, especially here in Canada, and what that means.”

Originally titled Blue Bird, the piece was in residency with lemonTree creations in 2014, had a public workshop presentation at the IMPACT International Theatre Festival in 2015 and a second public workshop presentation at The Registry Theatre in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada in 2016 which was co-produced by Blue Bird Theatre Collective and Inter Arts Matrix.

Tickets for MAANOMAA, MY BROTHER start at $29.00. Single tickets are now available at This production runs from April 11th – April 30th with performances at 8:00pm Tuesday – Saturday, 2:00pm matinees Saturdays and Sundays and a 1:00PM matinees on April 19th and 26th.

Photo: Tawiah M'Carthy and Brad Cook.