The Season of Immigration to the West

Set on a bare stage using simple props and costumes, the story is told through physical movement, light-hearted text with live painting and soundscape. The characters explore issues of adaptation, language barriers, racism, loss of parental control, and the need to maintain cultural integrity while struggling with a redefinition of self in a foreign land.

Developed in a workshop process, the Season of Immigration to the West is a collaborative work combining six performers, a director, a text developer, a dramaturge, a musician, a vocalist, a writer, a painter and almost thirty generous story-tellers who opened their hearts.

MT Space, Kitchener
Directed by Majdi Bou-Matar

MT Space

MT Space

The Raven

2009 / Actor
Presented during the Luminato Festival as part of the Young Centre’s New Waves Festival.

Why Not Theatre were one of 8 independent theatre companies commissioned to create a site-specific piece as part of the artistic explosion that was the New Waves Festival. Our adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, was an imagistic “chamber mime piece” bringing new life to this timeless classic.

Performed at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts Created in collaboration with Theatre RUN, Performed by Ravi Jain , Coleen MacPherson and Adam Paolozza


“The Raven is story telling at its finest. Why Not Theatre have interpreted Edgar Allen Poe’s classic tale with masterful elegance. Their style is inventive, physical and compellingly fun – and not for one second do they lose that specific edge of Gothic horror. Keep watching out for these exceptional theatre artists” – Martha Ross (Theatre Columbus)

Ravi Jain and Adam Paolozza, Why Not Theatre, Luminato

Ravi Jain and Adam Paolozza, Why Not Theatre, Luminato

Artaud: Un Portrait en Décomposition

2012 / Actor

Cruelty, madness and beauty.
Through his poems and letters and through memories of his closest friends Artaud: un portrait en décomposition presents an unflinching theatrical “portrait” of Antonin Artaud.

Artaud: un portrait en décomposition incarnates the incandescent poetry and sublime violence of Artaud’s life and work.

Originally produced in association with Théâtre Français de Toronto   Written by Adam Paolozza & Michele Smith
based on texts by Antonin Artaud
Directed by Michele Smith
Performed by Adam Paolozza & Coleen MacPherson
Lighting Design by Kim Purtell
Photos by Marc Lemyre and Erin MacPherson
Artaud toured to the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre and was remounted at the Summerworks Festival in Toronto.

Adam Paolozza and Coleen MacPherson

Adam Paolozza and Coleen MacPherson

Time for Tea

Actor / Wet Picnic, UK

Modern daily life is full of hectic stresses and strains. Everybody needs to take some time out, have a rest, share a moment and celebrate the simple things in life. Wet Picnic’s Tea Ladies sweep through the streets to supply an explosive and surreal teatime for everyone to enjoy! Your taste buds will be tingling at the sight of this eccentric ensemble who are as fabulous and fruity as the cake they eat. With tantalising tricks, trolley dancing, Austrian Milkmaids and a big fat cow, teatime is now the gateway to adventure, joy and release! So remember... No matter how tough things get, let’s be British, drink Tea and push through it together.

Questioning the norm of British theatre, and playing with their audiences at every turn, Time For Tea was made in as a commission from The British Council for the World Exposition in Shanghai, China

Time for Tea Coleen.jpg


2012 / Assistant Director

Michael has adapted his award winning novel Divisadero – a violent and passionate story exploring themes of memory, identity, love and the grip of the past on the present. An examination of the intimate relationship between the speaker and the listener, and of language’s ability to weave a magical spell.

For our remount, Michael, Daniel and the cast have been exploring new ideas, playing with design elements, rewriting and rearranging… even adding new songs.

Text by Michael Ondaatje Directed by Daniel Brooks Set & Costume Design by John Thompson Lighting Design by Andrea Lundy Music & Sound Design by Alexander MacSween Stage Managed by Robert Harding Assistant Directed by Stefan Dzeparoski & Coleen MacPherson

Featuring: Liane Balaban, Maggie Huculak, Tom McCamus,
Amy Rutherford, Justin Rutledge
Songs written and performed by Justin Rutledge


2012 / Assistant Director

With an agenda to fall in love with Toronto, Necessary Angel explores civic engagement.  The presentation will bring you personalities from Toronto City Council, speeches from budget deputations and stories about people who inhabit this city.  We may dance, we may sing, we may jeer…

Directed by Daniel Brooks Assistant Directed by Coleen MacPherson Stage Management by Sandra Henderson Performed by Maev Beaty, Ravi Jain, Joe Cobden and Christopher Morris Set Design by Julie Fox Sound Design by Richard Feren

Necessary Notes with writing by Coleen