Sunday, October 20, 2013

AfriCan Theatre Ensemble Presents: COMA October 30 to November 3 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

AfriCan Theatre Ensemble Presents:
October 30 to November 3, 2013

• Tickets for the Gala are available only online here, and at the door

AfriCan Theatre Ensemble is pleased to announce the addition of two remarkable performers to the cast of Jude Idada's new play, COMA: Bridget Ogundipe and Wale Ojo  will join 2013 Juno Award Winner (World Music Album of the Year) Lorraine Klaasen in this moving, hard-hitting drama. COMA runs at the Al Green Theatre Oct. 30-Nov 3, 2013.

British Nigerian film and stage actor Wale Ojo (pictured below) is best known for his series Meet the Adebanjos, an award-winning British TV sitcom about a British Nigerian family living in London, UK. The show follows a larger-than-life Dad (Ojo) struggling to instill his old-fashioned African values in his black British household.  Ojo won a Nigeria Entertainments Award for best actor for Phone Swap. Other film credits include Johnny English Reborn  and The Guard alongside Oscar winner Brendan Gleeson. TV credits include guest appearances in the Emmy-Nominated No 1 Ladies Detective Agency and NBC's The Philanthropist.

Nigerian born Torontonian Bridget Ogundipe has recently appeared as 'Mayme' in Neptune Theatre's Intimate Apparel. Toronto stage credits include Language of the Heart  at Factory Theatre and  For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf  at Theatre Passe Muraille. AfriCan Theatre Ensemble patrons will remember her from The Marriage of Anansewa. Ogundipe's television work includes guest appearances on CBC's Heartland  and voice work for the Gemini Award winning series Life’s a (Teletoon, CTF).

Juno Award winning artist Lorraine Klaasen, daughter of legendary South African singer Thandi Klaasen, has electrified audiences worldwide with her dynamic stage presence. Lorraine makes her Toronto theatrical stage debut in COMA. Lorraine’s previous credits include Inheriting Trouble: The Estate of Etta James, (Documentary, CMJ Productions).

For 15 months, Nana (Lorraine Klaasen - pictured below) has been lost in a coma in an upscale Lagos hospital room. Her doctors say she will never awaken. At the end of her rope and crushed by medical bills, Nana's daughter Ifueko (Bridget Ogundipe) makes the painful decision to end her mother’s life…but everything changes when she informs her exiled brother in Canada.  Osasu (Wale Ojo) rushes back to stop his sister.  Highlighting the power of love over hate and the healing that comes with forgiveness, COMA is an odyssey into a mother’s prolonged nightmare, a son's desire to make amends for a lifetime of neglect, and a daughter’s need to be loved.

COMA is written and directed by award-winning screen writer, playwright, and director Jude Idada (Coma – feature film, 1 Take Media; The Calling, AfriCan Theatre Ensemble; Flood! / Brixton Stories / Lost, AfriCan Theatre Ensemble - pictured below).  Set and Costume Design by Guthrie Award and Tom Patterson Award winner Sean Mulcahy (Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, Rainbow Stage; Suds!, Thousand Islands Playhouse), and Lighting Design by three-time Dora-nominee Arun Srinivasan (Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre; Canadian Stage Company; The Globe Theatre; Buddies In Bad Times). 

Gala: COMA’s Friday November 1 performance includes a pre-show Cocktail Gala Reception beginning at 6:00 pm, during which Juno winner Lorraine Klaasen will perform two songs for the attendees. Tickets for the Gala are available only via, and at the door.

AfriCan Theatre Ensemble (ATE) recognizes the power of live art to inspire and renew the human spirit and to forge human relationships across cultures, creeds, ethnicities, ideologies, genders, and social classes. Our work presents the theatrical idioms, traditions and experiences of Africa and creates an avenue for cultural exchange between Africa and Canada. More information is available at

COMA has been generously sponsored by Radio Regent.

Show information for COMA:
Al Green Theatre ~ 750 Spadina Avenue, Toronto (Spadina and Bloor)

Oct 30 – Nov 3, 2013

(Preview Oct 30 at 4pm, Opening Oct 30 at 8pm, Cocktail Gala Nov 1 at 6pm)
Wed-Sat at 8pm. Sun matinee at 4pm
Gala Reception Nov 1 at 6pm (performance begins at 8pm)

Preview: PWYC ($10 suggested minimum) at the door
Regular: $32 Early Bird (before Oct 25), or $35 at the door / Students $27
Gala Reception with Performance $55 in advance or $60 at the door. VIP Gala Tix: $100

Regular tickets available via or, or at the door
Gala tickets available only via, or at the door.
Group ticket rates are available via

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