Toronto World Premiere: Cahoots Theatre's SIA March 24 to April 15

From a media release:

March 24 – April 15, 2012
Factory Theatre
125 Bathurst Street

- Cahoots Theatre Company, founded on February 11, 1986, celebrates its 25th Anniversary Season with the world premiere of SIA, by recent National Theatre School of Canada graduate Matthew MacKenzie, playing March 24 to April 15, 2012 in the Factory Studio Theatre. The opening night is Tuesday, March 27.

Company Artistic Director Nina Lee Aquino directs the young cast of TV and stage performing artists: Jajube Mandiela (Chantay Black in CTV/Muchmusic’s Degrassi:The Next Generation; Yolande in Disney’s Jump In!; Theatre Direct’s Binti’s Journey; Canadian Stage’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as the title character,“Sia Wonleh;” Thomas Olajide (National Arts Centre’s Oliver!and Belfry Theatre/NAC’s And Slowly Beauty; Theatre Direct’s Binti’s Journey; Obsidian Theatre’s Ruined; Canadian Stage’s The Winter’s Tale) as “Saa Abraham Wonleh;” and, Brendan McMurtry-Howlett (Gesumtkunstwerk/NYC’s …and stockings for the ladies; Canadian Stage’s The Winter’s Tale and Canadian Stage/Studio 180’s The Overwhelming; NextStage’s Dora Mavor Moore Award-nominated The Apology; CTV/Muchmusic’sDegrassi:The Next Generation; Fox’s Nikita) as “Nicholas Summers.”            

"SIA is a Canadian story about our First World views of Africa - the beauty and kindness of our sensibility but also the cruelty and ugliness of our illusions," says Aquino, "Matthew's stark, honest take - that we want to save the world, but don't really know how - is that we are hostages of our own entitlement." The day Canadian volunteer Nick Summers is scheduled to fly home from Ghana, he wakes up hung over and tied to a chair. His new friend, Abraham, a former child soldier from Liberia, has taken him hostage in a desperate bid to stop a war crimes trial at the International Criminal Court. If Abraham does not succeed, Nick will not survive. This is the story of how personal choices can have global consequences.

This fast-paced show runs 90 minutes, with no intermission.

at Factory Theatre
125 Bathurst Street
Directed by Nina Lee Aquino
Featuring Jajube Mandiela, Brendan McMurtry-Howlett and Thomas Olajide
Set & Costume Design by Lindsay Anne Black
Lighting Design by Michelle Ramsay
Sound Design by Reza Jacobs
Stage Managed by Kai-Yueh Chen
Production Manager and Technical Director: Douglas J. Morum

• For tickets call 416.504.9971 or visit TIXHUB

Previews: March 24 @ 8pm, March 25 @ 2:30pm
The opening night, on Tuesday, March 27, is also a fundraiser for Cahoots with tickets at $60 per person ($30 tax deductable receipt).  These tickets are available by emailing
Evenings: Tuesday – Saturday @ 8pm
Matinees: Saturday – Sunday @ 2:30 pm (Sunday PWYC)
Tickets: $11.50 – $30.00

Cahoots Theatre Company is dedicated to the creation, development and production of new works that investigate the complexities of Canada’s cultural diversity, and examine the intersections of these cultures. Diversity is more than race, nation of origin and ethnicity. It also encompasses gender, sexuality, ability, language and class.

SIA playwright Matthew MacKenzie and producer Sandra Lefrancois travelled to Liberia in November-December 2011 with the generous support of the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts' TRIP, the Canada Council for the Arts' Theatre International Program and the National Theatre School's Cultural and Artistic Leadership Program (CALP). To find out more about this initiative, read Matt's blog posts. A very successful workshop of SIA was held with Liberian artists in partnership with the Liberian Dance Troupe. This partnership laid the groundwork for taking Cahoots' production of SIA to Liberia.