Stage Door News

Toronto: Fatuma Adar’s “She’s Not Special” is on stage at the Tarragon May 24-28

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Tarragon Theatre and Nightwood Theatre are excited to present the live stage premiere of Fatuma Adar’s unforgettable show She’s Not Special at Tarragon Theatre’s Mainspace, May 24-28, 2023. Co-directed by Adar (Playback’s Artist to Watch) and Graham Isador (The Beaverton, VICE), She’s Not Special combines musical theatre and comedic storytelling to explore the pressures of Black Excellence. As a Black Muslim Woman (a triple threat!) Fatuma is on a mission to free you from the clutches of exceptionalism and teach you how to relish in the joys of mediocrity. After a critically acclaimed digital run at the Next Stage Theatre Festival, She’s Not Special returns to the stage LIVE! (Still, Adar hopes that you come with only moderate expectations… thanks.)

Praise for She’s Not Special:

"Satire at its best..give this multi-talented artist a Netflix special already." – NOW Magazine

"...enormously refreshing. Adar is a major talent." – Stage Door

"She’s Not Special is playful and sharp. It’s so much fun, you even enjoy the sting." – Istvan Reviews

Fatuma Adar is a Somali-Canadian writer based in Toronto. She was long-listed in CBC's Creative Nonfiction Prize and profiled in Up Close: Young Black Women Making Canada Better. In 2017, she joined the third cohort of The Bars Workshop at the Public Theater in New York City. Her work has been featured in the Toronto Star, The Globe & Mail, Maclean's and an anthology entitled Black Writers Matter published by the University of Regina Press. Her musical Dixon Road took home the 2022 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Musical.

Co-directors Fatuma and Graham share, “Leave expectations at the door. We are not putting on a play, we are throwing a party. This is a concert, comedy show, and confessional all in one. Come celebrate your mediocrity with us!"

Tarragon’s Artistic Director, Mike Payette says, “I fell in love with She's Not Special from the very first frame of the filmed experience. Fatuma's journey is immediately identifiable and took me on an emotional roller coaster that had me laughing out loud to digging deep into my own intersectionality. I'm so honoured to share her work and story with Nightwood in its first live offering (finally!) that promises to be an unforgettable moment for all who are fortunate to experience it.”

Nightwood Theatre’s Artistic Director, Andrea Donaldson shares, "She's Not Special was an instant yes in our season - and we're thrilled to be collaborating as co-presenters with Tarragon. Fatuma and Graham are an incredible duo who know what they want and bring huge love and talent to all they do. This show is about to explode."


Wednesday, May 24 at 8 pm [Opening night]

Thursday, May 25 at 8 pm

Friday, May 26 at 9 pm [Black Out Night]

Saturday, May 27 at 9 pm

Sunday, May 28 at 2:30 pm

Show runtime: approximately 70 minutes


Tickets range from $15-30 with Arts worker, Students and limited Rush discounts available. 

Plus $20 tickets for the Black Out performance. Tarragon subscription holders can purchase a ticket as an “Add On” to their current subscription. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the Tarragon Theatre’s box office at 416-531-1827.

Photo: Fatuma Adar.