• broken image

    Theatre Out Of The Shadows


    A New Kind of Classical Festival

  • Let Us Tempt You...


    ...with a NEW kind of classical theatre festival featuring female playwrights.


    That’s right! Women were classical playwrights too!

    Documented from as early as the 10th century.


    We’ve prepared this festival

    of unknown works to share with curious patrons,

    ready to experience a new take on Classical Theatre.



  • broken image

    3 Influential Artists/Writers

    who shaped, and are shaping the world of theatre

    broken image

    3 Periods in Herstory

    from antiquity to Modern Times

    broken image

    5 Countries

    Japan, America, France, Greece

    and of course Canada

    broken image

    3rd Year of the Fest!

    From virtual to outdoors and inside unique spaces in York Region and now Toronto too!

  • The Plays

    TOOTS features all three plays and travels to two very different venues

    broken image

    Sappho Fragmented

    Written in 650 BCE

    by Sappho



    Love & Anguish 

    “Sweet mother, I cannot weave – slender Aphrodite has overcome me with longing for a girl.” ― Sappho, Sappho: A New Translation of the Complete Works


    Main characters Helen of Troy and Aphrodite from Sappho’s poetic fragments join forces to relive the essence and eminence of a romantically Sapphoric world.




    broken image

    Okuni Through The Clouds

    by Mei Miyazawa, Airi Okamoto

    based on Izumo no Okuni - 16th Century



    Loss & Renewal 

    “Among the people of old, some went to see the kabuki theatre to console their hearts.” -Texts from the Okuni Sōshi


    This Kabuki-inspired creation is based on the founder of the art form, Okuni -her arrival to Kyoto and her subsequent downfall and disappearance.


    broken image

    Three Sisters Who Are Not Sisters

    Written in 1943

    by Gertrude Stein



    Delight & Destruction 

    “I have an idea a beautiful idea, a fine idea, let us play a play and let it be a murder.”

    -Gertrude Stein, Three Sisters Who Are Not Sisters


    Three sisters who are not sisters

    and two brothers who are brothers are all related in their desire for play. Deadly play.

    Of course, murder can be fun. Can’t it?


    broken image


    This content may be disturbing to some due to allusions to death and violence, and a potentially disquieting soundscape. There are themes of sexuality that include sensuality between same sex individuals. Discretion is advised.




  • The Creators


    broken image



    c. 630 – c. 570 BC Although only a small amount of her poetry has survived, the ancient Greek poet Sappho has had a posthumous literary reputation. She has become an icon for lyric poets, and is a symbol for homosexual love between women. Sappho stands at the beginning of the lyric tradition in poetry: a tradition so named because Sappho’s compositions were originally accompanied by music, played on the lyre. Because of the homoerotic essence in her poems and because she hailed from the Greek island of Lesbos Sappho is also the reason we talk of ‘lesbian’ relationships between women. Sappho is known to have written some nine volumes of poetry, but very little of her work was preserved. Some have blamed this on the activities of the medieval Church, which sought to suppress works which were pagan and, what’s more, often probably quite sexy.
    broken image


    1572 - ? Okuni was a Japanese actress, dancer and singer who created kabuki theatre in the 14th century. Okuni created not only a longstanding Japanese tradition but also an outrageous new type of performance that gave women a space to perform. Beginning as a priestess, one who was expected to remain reserved, she instead followed the path of an artist. Her art was unconventional. Her signature dance, the Nambusu had originally had been a sacred Buddhist dance. Okuni developed it into her own style, where it took on a provocative tone, fascinating audiences. She further captured attention when she started performing scenes about scandalous topics, such as lovers and prostitutes, in which she often performed masculine roles.
    Her work provided an opportunity for the forgotten and unwanted of society to gain a new reputation, all while creating a new art style that has become a cultural landmark of Japan. Okuni continued to perform kabuki with her troupe until her retirement and disappearance sometime around 1610.


    broken image

    Gertrude Stein

    1874 – 1946 Stein, was an American modernist writer, an international celebrity, an artistic iconoclast, and a self-proclaimed genius. Stein was ahead of her time in several ways. She shared an openly lesbian marriage with Alice B. Toklas from 1910 until her death. Her experimental writings saw print a decade before James Joyce's Ulysses. Her literary experiments still puzzle structuralist, deconstructionist, and feminist critics. Her contribution to American literature is unquestionable; Scholars consider Stein an important innovator whose attention to language and questioning of narrative conventions influenced such writers as Ernest Hemingway. A legendary personality from the early 1900s, when Stein first arrived in Paris, she reigned at the centre of a flourishing Parisian salon whose guests included Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thornton Wilder.


  • We’re partnering with the Varley Art Gallery in Unionville ontario



    Shadowpath would like to acknowledge

    funding generously provided by

    The City of Markham



    broken image

    The Varley Art Gallery

    216 Main St Unionville, Unionville 

    July 14th, 8pm - 9:30pm

    July 15th, 8pm - 9:30pm

    July 16th, 2pm - 3:30pm

    broken image

    The Queen Street West Storefront Space

    1196 Queen St W, Toronto

    July 21st, 8pm - 9:30pm

    July 22nd, 8pm - 9:30pm

    July 23rd, 4pm - 5:30pm

    July 23rd, 8pm - 9:30pm




    Early Bird Tickets to TOOTS at Varley Art Gallery $28 before July 5th

    Regular Tickets to TOOTS at Varley Art Gallery $33 after July 5th

    Preview at Storefront on Friday July 21st, $28

    All Other Storefront times, $33


    broken image



    NOTE 1: Capacity for the Storefront space is restricted.

    We recommend registering early.


    NOTE 2: No latecomers permitted/No refunds 


  • Covid Message


    Shadowpath has taken the following precautions to ensure the safety of our artists and audiences as currently stated by the province and The Region of

    York’s Public Health Safety Measures

  • We would like to acknowledge the earliest story-tellers that lived on the lands we now occupy. These are the traditional lands and territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Wendat, the Haudenosaunee and the Anishinaabe peoples.


    Like many of the people who first strode this land, the plays we will be presenting throughout this festival, Theatre Out Of The Shadows, were discounted or forgotten through the ages.

    Yet they have survived,

    and now thrive with renewed appreciation and respect.


    In the words of intersectional feminist Audre Lourde,

    “We are powerful because we have survived, and that is what it is all about – survival and growth.


    For this we give our deepest gratitude

    as we grow toward a more inclusive, resilient tomorrow.


    To quote a Haudenosaunee thanksgiving address:


    We put our minds together and give thanks to our oldest Grandmother,

    the Moon, who lights the nighttime sky

    She is the leader of women all over the world,

    and she governs the movement of the ocean tides.

    By her changing face we measure time,

    and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth.


    With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.


    Now our minds are one.

  • Don't Be Shy, Reach out

    Questions or Comments?

    York Region, Ontario, Canada