Stage Door News

Toronto: Thriller “White Muscle Daddy” has its world premiere at Buddies in Bad Times March 20-31

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Pencil Kit Production and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre team up to present the world premiere of a gritty new play by Raf Antonio (Rope Running Out, Salvador: A Latin-Canadian Fantasia). A horror/thriller piece blending theatre and film–using projection art, live camera feed and shadow play–WHITE MUSCLE DADDY explores the pervasive effects of white supremacy on the politics of desire in queer communities. A QTBIPOC-led team deftly weaves a chilling yet campy tale of lust, power, and predators. Developed through the Buddies Residency Program, the psycho-sexual thriller WHITE MUSCLE DADDY is the final mainstage production in the company’s historic 45th anniversary season.

“Horror can be a really malleable genre and also feels rarely performed in live theatre,” says playwright and co-director Raf Antonio. “We’ve taken its tropes and mashed them into a hybrid of cinema and theatre. Our goal is to subvert expectations of the genre itself, of what theatre can be, and of what film can be, creating an experience that will leave audiences chuckling, a little spooked, a little provoked, and maybe even a little bit horny.”

Co-directed by Antonio and Tricia Hagoriles (Lola’s Wake [film], Boiband the Boyband), WHITE MUSCLE DADDY is brought to life by an ensemble cast featuring Ray Jacildo, Jaime Lujan, Frankie Bayley, Chel Carmichael, and Shaquille Pottinger.

This cinematic-theatre piece features a blend of live and pre-recorded footage, working with director of photography Khanh Tudo (Insomniac Film Festival) and projection designer Nicole Eun-Ju Bell (Ga Ting 家庭). The design team also features set designer Echo Zhou (Between a Wok and a Hot Pot, The Chinese Lady, The Year of the Cello), costume designer Cat Calica (stylist for Buddies’ 2022-23 season promo), lighting design Alia Stephen, and frequent Pearle Harbour-collaborator Stella Conway on Sound Design (Agit-Pop!)

A Pencil Kit Productions + Buddies in Bad Times Theatre production


by Raf Antonio

Soon after Jeremy Río clocks in for his first graveyard shift at an exclusive LA gym, he meets Eugene, a fitness influencer who seems to have the life of Jeremy’s dreams—one that’s double stuffed with money, muscles, and parties galore. What begins as an envious crush quickly morphs into an insatiable hunger that threatens to tear Jeremy’s life apart.

A cinematic theatre piece, WHITE MUSCLE DADDY uses projection art, live camera feed and shadow play to spin a chilling yarn about the politics of queer desire.

Tricia Hagoriles + Raf Antonio // directors

Raf Antonio // playwright + associate producer

Featuring Ray Jacildo, Jaime Lujan, Frankie Bayley, Chel Carmichael, Shaquille Pottinger and Augusto Bitter

Claren Grosz // producer

Nicole Eun-Ju Bell // projection design

Connie Oreamuno // projection design assistant

Alia Stephen // lighting designer

Stella Conway // composer/sound designer

Echo Zhou // set designer

Cat Calica // costume designer

Keshia Palm // dramaturgy

Performance information:

March 20 - 31, 2024

Preview: March 20; Opening Night: March 21

Runs: Wed-Sun 7:30pm

Tickets: Sliding scale ($10 / $25 / $40 / $70)