• 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.


    Theatre Out Of The Shadows is a festival designed like a four-course meal.

    (week 1 is course 1, week 2 is course 2, etc)


    We’ve freshly prepared this festival, or rather feastival 

    of unknown theatre delicacies to share with hungry patrons,

    ready to gobble up a new take on Classical Theatre.


    The theme: SURVIVAL


    Survival for one’s convictions


    Survival of societal expectation


    Survival for outcasts


    Survival for a new world

    We Are Survivors

  • Let these works inspire and sustain you as we resiliently move towards recovery

    Your four-course feastival includes:

    4 Influential Playwrights

    who shaped, and are shaping the world of theatre

    4 Periods in herstory

    from antiquity to the apocalypse

    4 Countries

    Germany, England, The United States and of course, Canada

    4 Workshops

    Virtual Theatre-Making, Get In Bed With Sound/Audio Design, Playwrighting - A Play On Words, and Open Dramaturgy sessions

  • The Plays

    Plays will have at least one virtual performance


    Written in the 10th century

    AD 970 by Roswitha,

    the first known female playwright

    Sapientia and her three daughters are newly arrived in Rome to spread the word about god. But words are weapons. The emperor Hadrian decrees they must be stopped. After cajoling and entreating fail, the most brutal tortures and humiliations ever devised are brought to bear on the children. Can the martyr’s palm prevail against the might of Rome? Where does true power lie – with the armies of an empire or in the belief in the hearts of young children?


    Read ONLINE

    The Wedding Day

    Written in 1794 by Elizabeth Inchbald


    A comedy in 2-acts that features Sir Adam Contest and his young, new bride whom he constantly compares to his much beloved and missed first wife, who was lost at sea. After a falling out with his son, Sir Contest finally agrees to allow him to return and make amends as well as introduce his new love interest.

    Read ONLINE

    Exit: An Illusion

    Written in 1929 by

    Marita Bonner


    Meet Buddy and Dot. They are neither related or married, just very good friends for a very long time. Dot wakes up one day and tells Buddy she has a date. The tension between the two rise to a point of no return as Exit Mann appears.

    The play involves three characters, who are used as symbols to represent beliefs of the early 20th century, including colorism and sexism in America.

    Read ONLINE

    The Unplugging

    Written in 2013 by

    Yvette Nolan


    Forced to rely upon traditional wisdom for their survival, Elena and Bern retreat from the remains of civilization to a desolate landscape where they attempt to continue their lives after the end of the world. When a charismatic stranger from the village arrives seeking their aid, the women must decide whether they will use their knowledge of the past to give the society that rejected them the chance at a future.

    Order ONLINE


    935 - 1002

    Hrotsvitha, also known as Roswitha was an historian, dramatist and poet from the Ottonian Dynasty. She is the first known female playwright.

    Working in Latin, she wrote legends, comedies and plays. She kept her writings secret until the Abbess encouraged her to present her works publicly. After their initial presentations, Hrotsvitha's plays were mostly forgotten until 1500 when they were rediscovered by German scholar Corradus Celtis.

    Hrotsvitha's works presented a Christian alternative to the pagan writings of Roman playwright Terence. Where Terence told stories about women who were weak and morally corrupt, Hrothsvitha’s focused on virtuous women with strong faith and who persevered through adversity.

    Deeply influenced by Latin and Greek legends of the early church, Hrotsvitha’s plays explore themes of sacrifice and martyrdom.

    As one of few women to have written about her life during the Middle Ages, Hrotsvitha’s work provides one of the only first-hand perspectives of women from that time.


    Elizabeth Inchbald

    1753 - 1821

    As a successful actress, playwright, editor, novelist and drama critic, Elizabeth Inchbald was one of the leading literary figures of the late eighteen century.

    Inchbald followed her brother George to London to pursue an acting career when she was eighteen years old. Because of a speech impediment, she had trouble establishing her career, but after marrying Joseph Inchbald (who was twice her age) her career picked up momentum.

    After her husband’s death she focused more on writing than acting.

    As well as writing original works, Inchbald also worked on translations and adaptations, including several pieces by the German dramatist August von Kotzebue. Those translations were especially popular because of Inchbald’s flair for bringing characters come to life.

    In 1791 she published a novel A Simple Story. The first volume sold out in under a month and went on to become the most popular book written by a woman in over a decade.


    Marita Bonner

    1898 - 1971

    Born on June 16, 1898 in Boston, Massachusetts, Bonner was a talented pianist and excelled in music and German. In college, she majored in English while continuing to study German and music. She was also accepted to a competitive writing class that was open to 16 students, where her professor, encouraged her not to be "bitter" when writing, a descriptor often used for authors of color.

    She went into teaching in Massachusetts, West Virginia, Washington DC and then finally in Chicago where Bonner's writing career took off.

    She became an accomplished writer, essayist and playwright who is commonly associated with the Harlem Renaissance.

    Bonner regularly discussed poverty, urban living, colorism, feminism, and racism in her works. She also was one of few who wrote about multi-ethnic communities.

    Her greatest achievement was emphasizing a strong racial and gender identity, as well she was the first to explore intersectionality, specifically the black female experience in the early 20th century.


    Yvette Nolan

    1961 -

    Born in Saskatchewan to an Algonquin mother and an Irish immigrant father, Yvette Nolan graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1997. She is an accomplished playwright: her plays include BLADE, Job’s Wife, Annie Mae’s Movement, The Birds (a modern adaptation of Aristophanes’ comedy), and The Unplugging. As a director, she has staged many productions for Gwaandak Theatre, Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre, Signal Theatre, Globe Theatre and Western Canada Theatre, and served as the artistic director of Native Earth Performing Arts from 2003 to 2011. She is the author of Medicine Shows: Indigenous Performance Culture (Playwrights Canada Press, 2015).

    Most recently winning the Gascon-Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Gina Wilkinson Prize recognizing her successful career, Yvette is one of Canada's most influential theatre-artists working in various capacities, as a playwright, director, dramaturg and educator, to name a few.

  • The Workshops

    All workshops are virtual

    Virtual Theatre Making

    May 4th, 7pm


    Chantal Forde

    Explore the challenges, possibilities, and ways to adapt to the ever-changing landscape that is Virtual Theatre. In this workshop we will look at the various methods to create virtual theatre, how to re-imagine a story to suit the platform, and what you will need to successfully execute your show.

    Getting In Bed With Sound

    May 13th, 7pm


    Maissa Bessada

    A sound bed is the underlying music, effects and texture that bring an audio drama to life. You’ll learn how to use sound to create location and mood. The sound bed is a character unto itself. We'll explore how to create that character by creating a sound bed for Marita Bonner’s Exit: An Illusion. You will receive a link prior to the workshop so you can familiarize yourself with the work.

    Playwrighting -

    A Play On Words

    May 18th, 7pm


    Marjorie Chan

    Jumpstart your playwrighting process and/or eliminate creative blocks that are preventing you from being the best playwright you can be! Everyone has stories and unique perspectives to share - what’s yours?

    Open Dramaturgy


    May 27th, 7pm

    Yvette Nolan

    Demystify the dramaturgy process by observing open sessions between a dramaturge and an emerging playwright with a new script, a produced playwright with a mid-way script and an establish playwright with a script ready for production. Learn how dramaturgy can support the playwrighting process from idea to production.

  • We’re partnering with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to present

    Three plays as responsible outdoor, in-person performances for minimal audiences. This allows patrons to chart their own course and consume a feastival experience suited to their interests and comfort levels.


    Shadowpath would like to acknowledge

    the Ontario Trillium Foundation

    for supporting this initiative.

  • How Do YOU Want To Devour Your Feastival?

    Are YOU an à la carte person? (Option 1)

    One play has various experiences.  

    $14 goes towards one, two or all available options


    Second workshop is $7,

    Third is $3.5,

    and the forth is FREE






    If price is a barrier please reach out to


  • OR are YOU an all-you-can-eat Buffet person? (Option 2)

    A feastival pass is $44

    with a $30 charitable receipt 

    and allows you to access





    Note 1: Capacity for our open-air performances is restricted.

    Waiting lists will be in effect.

    We recommend registering early.


    Note 2: Virtual experiences will be recorded and available post-fest

    via Pay-Per-View

  • Deep Dive Into the details of the Plays

    All plays will have at least one virtual performance

    Sapientia may be wolfed down as...

    May 1st VIRTUAL & May 31st*


    A radio play with two time slots:


    A 30 min R-Rated radio performance at midnight (12:01 am) This material has be lightly modified for the 12:01am experience and will be available from Midnight to Noon. Ages 18+


    A 30 min PG radio performance at noon. This material has be modified for the 12:01pm experience and be available from Noon to Midnight. Ages 14+


    Note 1: Links will be sent to registrants in which to access the play.


    Note 2: During the first presentation, at midnight on May 1st the torture and brutality of the work will be fully explored. The second performance at noon will feature a gentler version of the work with the violence implied.


    *Note 3: Last Chance Sapientia on May 31st from 8pm - MIDNIGHT both versions will be available to ticket holders for a last chance experience!


    Director: Maissa Bessada

    Featuring Mandy Roveda, McKenna Ramsay, Tahlia Zaloski, Demi-Lee Bainbridge, John Echano, Gordon Harper and Blair Woodward



    This content was created as early as the 10th century and may be disturbing to some due to the brutality of the subject matter and language used. Enactments of abuse, violence and torture in the name of religion are included in the form of loud and/or disquieting sounds. Discretion is advised.



    Sapientia is a bold, spicy, young play. We recommend pairing this with a red or white Zinfandel.

    The Wedding Day may be relished as...

    May 6th VIRTUAL

    Outdoor Performance



    *Note: Location is in Thornhill.

    Details will be sent to registrants



    Director: Alex Karolyi

    Featuring: Sofia Vacca, Chandra Pepper, Jillian Welsh,

    Tim Cadeny, Letréal Farquharson, Cam Parkes,



    This content was created in the 18th century and may be disturbing to some due to the material and involves gender stereotypes. Discretion is advised.

    This material has be modified. Ages 14+



    The Wedding Day is a smooth, sweet, classic play. We recommend pairing this with a Pinot Grigio.

    Exit: An Illusion may be enjoyed as...

    JULY 17th


    Outdoor performances at 3pm/5pm


    Note: Outdoor location is in Vaughan.

    Details will be sent to registrants



    Director Erin Jones

    Featuring Chantal Forde, Sam Osei, Cam Parkes



    This content may be disturbing to some due to the sensitive material and language used. Topics involving shadism, race, threats, abuse, violence, guns, and the paranormal are included. Discretion is advised.

    This material has be slightly modified. Ages 14+



    Exit: An Illusion is a multilayered, intense, complex play. We recommend pairing this with a Syrah Rosé.

    The Unplugging may be savoured as...

    August 21st


    70 min outdoor performance

    in the woods at 3pm/5pm


    Note: Location is in Woodbridge.

    Details will be sent to registrants



    Director Rhonda Lucy

    Featuring Trina Moyan, Brady Madsen, Faith Howe



    This content may be disturbing to some due to the material and language used. Discretion is advised.

    This material is unmodified. Ages 14+



    The Unplugging is a toasty, expansive, bright play. We recommend pairing this with a sparkling wine.







  • Covid Message


    Shadowpath has taken the following precautions to ensure the safety of our artists and audiences as currently stated by the World Health Organization 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 Cravings?

    York Region, Ontario, Canada