Toronto, ON (Dec.10, 2019) – How much of your life can you take with you? What are the most important things to carry on? Theatre Passe Muraille, in collaboration with Theatre Mada, presents the Toronto premiere of SUITCASE / ADRENALINE, two one-act shows that bridge together the multidimensional experiences of Syrian refugees. Directed by Majdi Bou-Matar, and starring playwright Ahmad Meree and actress Nada Abusaleh, these intricate pieces encapsulate the struggles of leaving home and searching for belonging in a new world. Suitcase/Adrenaline is playing January 16 to February 1, 2020 at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace Theatre.
SUITCASE, written by Ahmad Meree, follows the year-long response to the playwright’s real life experiences as an artist immigrating from Syria. SUITCASE considers the lives of refugees and the spaces they inhabit. With a minimalist set design and subtle lighting, this work urges the audience to reassess the significance of their possessions, the relationships they value, and all of the things they have left behind.
ADRENALINE, written by Ahmad Meree, tells the story of Jaber, a Syrian man spending his first New Year’s Eve in Canada. The fireworks and loud cheers cause Jaber to recall his experiences the year prior, when he spent the holiday surrounded by war-torn explosions and commotion. This solo performance powerfully invokes two opposing struggles: staying in danger surrounded by the comfort of your loved ones, or living alone in safety.
SUITCASE/ADRENALINE is performed in Arabic with English subtitles. These narratives initially premiered as their own separate productions; they each toured the Ryga Festival in Summerland, BC, Summerworks Performance Festival in Toronto and UNO Fest in Victoria, BC.
AHMAD MEREE (playwright/performer) is an actor and playwright, born in Aleppo, Syria. Winner of an emerging artist award at Arts Awards Waterloo Region (2019) and the Best Actor Award at the Central Theatre Festival in Syria (2008), he directed Ionesco’s The Lesson in Egypt and won Best Director Award for directing Chekhov’s The Bear at Cairo’s Festival of International Theatre (2013). Ahmad has written three plays: Suitcase (2019), Adrenaline (2017) and Underground (2014) (Winner of Best Original Script in the University competition).
NADA ABUSALEH (performer) is a multidisciplinary artist and performer. She is a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo with a B.A. major in Psychology and minor in Theatre and Performance.This is her third time performing as the character Razan in Suitcase/Adrenaline. She was a co-creator and performer in Cosmic Fishing Theatre’s production of The B Party (2018/2019), and performed in Tottering Biped’s production of Twelfth Night (2019).
MAJDI BOU-MATAR (director) is a theatre creative who immigrated from Lebanon to Canada in 2003. He is the founder and artistic director of The Multicultural Theatre (MT) Space, a theatre company in Kitchener, Ontario and IMPACT International Theatre Festival in Waterloo. An active theatre director in both Canada and internationally, his directorial works include The Last 15 seconds, Body 13, Paradise, The Raft, Amal (MT Space) and Besbouss: Autopsy of a Revolt (Pleiades Theatre).
ABOUT THEATRE PASSE MURAILLE
Founded in 1968, Theatre Passe Muraille (TPM) believes there should be a more diverse representation of artists, audience members, and stories in our theatre. TPM aspires to be a leader locally, nationally, and internationally in establishing, promoting, and embracing collaborative and inclusive theatre practices. We do this so that we can support and ignite the voices of unique artists, communities, and audiences.
Written by Ahmad Meree
Directed by Majdi Bou-Matar
Performed by Nada Abusaleh & Ahmad Meree
Lighting Design by Chris Malkowski
Set & Costume Design by Julia Kim
Sound Design by Janice Jo Lee
Stage Manager by Alyssa Almeida
Script Translation by Priscilla Jama
Written & Performed by Ahmad Meree
Directed by Majdi Bou-Matar
Lighting Design by Laura Johnson-Sherratt
Sound Design by Colin Labadie
Set Design by Majdi Bou-Matar
Song of Halab: Samih Shkeir
Other music: Traditional Music from Aleppo city
Approximate running time: 120 minutes (15 minute intermission)
When: Performances run from January 16 to February 1 at 7:30pm, with Saturday matinees at 2:00pm. Relaxed Performance on January 25 at 2:00pm.
The Prelude (pre-show chat) – Wednesday January 22 at 7:00pm
Post show Q&A – Saturday Feb. 1 at 2:00pm
In-Ear English Translation Performances – Saturday January 25, at 7:30pm and Saturday February 1 at 2:00pm
Opening Night: Tuesday, January 21 at 7:30pm
Previews: Thursday, January 16 to Saturday, January 18 at 7:30pm, and a matinee on Saturday at 2:00pm
Where: Theatre Passe Muraille (Mainspace Theatre), 16 Ryerson Ave, Toronto, ON
Price: Tickets range from $17 – $38, with “pay what you can” option for matinee shows