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Why Not Theatre

Independent theatre company, founded in 2007 in Toronto, with an international scope. The Artistic Director is Ravi Jain. Its mandate is "Make. Share. Provoke." The company experiments in cross-cultural collaborations with other Canadian and British companies and individuals. It produces a wide range of work from a reinterpretation of classics such as cross-gender version of Hamlet from the perspective of a deaf Horatio (The Theatre Centre 2018), to satiric portraits of capitalist greed (Spent, 2011). Other projects examine Canadaís immigration policy: No Entry: Stories from the MV Sun Sea (2011); and The Komagata Maru Incident (2011-14). In 2012, Why Not premiered Iceland by Nicolas Billon at Summerworks, remounted at Factory Theatre in 2013, and was subsequently performed at the 2014 Magnetic North Theatre Festival in Halifax.

Why Not Theatre has also produced works by Ravi Jain, including Brimful of Asha in which the playwright as protagonist contests his motherís insistence on an arranged marriage. His co-star is his real life mother, Asha, who is not an actor, but who convincingly presents her case. The play enjoyed considerable popularity in Tarragon Theatreís Extra Space in 2012, and was reprised in 2013.

Why Not Theatre explores new forms of storytelling through words and movement, and the use of multi-media spectacles. It hosts international performers and groups, including plays in Hindu and Urdu from India. In 2019, it undertook a two-part adaptation of the Indian epic poem, Mahabharata in conjunction with Shaw Festival, which was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and finally premiered in March 2023.

In 2022, as part of Luminato Festival Toronto, Why Not produced a reality theatre piece entitled What You Won't Do For Love, "with environmental activists and life partners David Suzuki and Tara Cullis on stage with a younger real-life couple, Miriam Fernandes and Sturla Alvsvaag, to discuss how to we might extend the love we have for one another to the planet." This project is directed by Ravi Jain ("Nestruck on Theatre," The Globe and Mail, 7 June 22).

The Company also engages in education and community building: Schools Without Borders in Nairobi, Kenya involves local youth in performance and creativity.

Website: www.theatrewhynot.org

Last updated 2023-03-13