on love PosterWritten, Directed, and Dramaturged by Naila Keleta-Mae

Performances: February 6-9, 2013

Matinee: February 8-9, 2013

Venue: Hagey Hall 180, Humanities Building

on love is a poem
a song
an incantation

The play was set in St-Armand, Québec near Nigger Rock – an enormous dark-coloured boulder that presently sits on private property, though the history of the region indicates that the black slaves and free black tradesmen who lived here in the 17th and 18th centuries used Nigger Rock as the headstone for all of their dead. Many have worked hard to have Nigger Rock recognized as an official cemetery, but that effort has been met with much resistance. I suspect for many it is difficult to acknowledge that slavery existed in this land we now call Canada, that centuries ago black people lived and died in what we now call Québec and that, given the name of the rock, black people were likely called niggers at that time.

on love was a story about black people in Canada, performed by a cast that is mostly non-black. In theatre, this is often called colour-blind casting, but I find the term problematic. I suspect that most of you reading this will see the colour of each actor’s skin, just as most of us see the colour of each other’s skin in our everyday lives. But what to do with that information? To what extent does it impact our interactions with one another? These are the kinds of questions I’m interested in as an artist, scholar and educator whose primary areas of research are race, gender and performance. on love was an example of how art, scholarship and teaching can meet to tell an under-told story about black people in Canada, and about Celeste, a woman who loves a man and a woman and finds herself frustrated by social pressures that insist she choose one person to love.

on love was a story about hope, despair and love in a place where past and present collide. - Naila Keleta-Mae (director)


Celeste - Leanna Caligagan 

 Mathieu - Alan Shonfield

Marie - Chantaine Green-Leach

Chorus: Carly Derderian, Zach Gungl, Marielle Lyon, Robert Motum, Bob Stan

Creative Team

Director/Dramaturg/Lead Playwright - Naila Keleta-Mae

Set/Props Designer - William Chesney

Costume Designer - Sharon E. Secord

Lighting Designer - Kirsten Watt

Sound Designer - Pohanna Pyne Feinberg

Choreographer - Marielle Lyon

Production Team

Head of Production - Scott Spidell

Production Manager - Janelle Rainville

Technical Director - Gill Lesperance

Assistant Technical Director - Megan Hill

Stage Manager - Selin Erkaya

Assistant Stage Manager - Michael Webb

Head of Paint/Props/Carps - Jo Daly

Head of Lighting - Josh Campbell

Head of Sound/Video - Elizabeth Munz

Head of Wardrobe - Martina Commisso

Head of Publicity - William Innes

Crew - Cody Burns, Martina Commisso, Cam Dickey, Jackie Mahoney, Stefan Radic, Katie Smith

Special Thank-yous

Canada Council For The Arts

Ontario Arts Council

Peter Carette

Johanne Chagnon

Rebecca Foon

Leah Hinnigan

Katie Honek

Chimwemwe Miller

Meena Murugesan

Devora Neumark

Alva Noto

Earl Pierson (CKCOTV)

Ryuichi Sakamoto

Dwight Schmidt (ITMS)

Margreet de Rooij-Mohle

Andres Vial