Pandemic Theatre doesn't play by the rules.
- The Grid TO
To state the obvious, they’re a company to watch.
Like finding that indie band playing a small gig before they blow up and take over the world.
What's Our Deal?
Founded in 2009, Pandemic Theatre is a Toronto-based theatre company mandated to create, develop, and produce work from critical and underrepresented perspectives that engage social and political themes.
We strive to create spaces where political discourse is not only possible, but also encouraged.
Our work is to challenge audiences, artists, and communities to engage and question the role of aesthetics in ideology. To do so ethically, critically, and in the spirit of solidarity.
We strive to build and foster relationships with like-minded organizations working in the field of social-justice and political engagement.
Another world is possible.
What've We Done?
Since 2009, Pandemic Theatre has produced dozens of productions, including sixteen world premieres.
We have worked throughout Canada and internationally, including: New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Nova Scotia, Vancouver, Calgary, Kingston, Ottawa-Gatineau, and Sibiu (Romania).
Our work has received numerous awards & nominations, including: the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama, the SummerWorks Prize for Production, Best of Fringe & Patron's Pick (Toronto Fringe), the Encore Series & Overall Excellence in Solo Performance (FringeNYC), three Dora Mavor Moore nominations (with one win), the Spotlight Award for Performance (SummerWorks), and three Outstanding Production nods (NOW Magazine).
The name Pandemic was adopted to speak to the aim of the company to create work that is simultaneously dangerous – from the contemporary widespread bio-hazard connotations of the name – and also, in essence, work that responds to issues that effect and affect the larger common public.
“Pandemic” is derived from the Greek “pandemos” meaning all (“pan”) people (“demos”).
Who Are We?
Pandemic Theatre runs under the joint leadership of
Jivesh Parasram (Artistic Producer) & Tom Arthur Davis (Artistic Director).
Jivesh Parasram (Artistic Producer)
An award winning multi-disciplinary artist, and a fine maker of dhal, Jivesh's work has been performed internationally including Canada, Italy, and the West Indies. In 2009, he co-founded Pandemic Theatre, where he continues to serve as Artistic Producer. In addition to his work directly in theatre and performance, Jiv works as a facilitator and community activator. He is currently completing a fellowship as part of the 2016 cohort of Cultural Leaders Lab with the Toronto Arts Council and the Banff Centre. Further professional service engagements include the Ad Hoc Assembly, the Theatre Committee for the Toronto Arts Council, and Theatre Ontario.
Jiv is also core member of the Wrecking Ball, a Co-Founder of Collective Studio & Events Space, and currently serves as the Associate Artistic Producer for Theatre Passe Muraille.
He attended the University of Toronto, obtaining the first ever combined H.B.A in Drama & International Relations, and went on to study Communications & Cultural Studies at a graduate level at both Ryerson and York Universities focussing on the aesthetics of resistance. Also, he is also an award winning public speaker and debater- and as such, despite many run-ins with law enforcement (Pandemic related and otherwise - funny story!) he's yet to be arrested.
For Pandemic Theatre: The Only Good Indian (Co-Creator/Performer), Situational Anarchy (Co-Director/Dramaturge), Daughter (Co-Creator), Take d Milk, Nah? (Creator/Performer), They Say He Fell (Director/Dramaturge), Birth (Co-Director), Autogeddon (Performer), The Lost Sagas of Tjorvi the Flaccid (Co-Director/Playwright/Producer), Miss Toronto Acts Back (Producer), Murder on Ossington (Performer), Mahmoud (Producer), My Gaza, 'tis of Thee (Director/Co-Playwright), Guantanamo Hotels & Resorts (Director/Co-Creator)
Other Select highlights include: Weesageechak Festival 15 (Associate Producer | Native Earth Performing Arts), The Selkie of Kincardine (Actor | Sundown Theatre), Teen Dream (Dramaturge/Director | FuGEN), The Department of Home cooked Security (Director/Facilitator | Volcano), Femme Fatale (Director/Playwright | New Harlem), Ali & Ali: The Deportation Hearings (Assistant Director | NeWorld/Cahoots/Factory), I Heart Future (Collaborator | Teatro Piccolo di Milana), Methusalem (Actor | red light district), The Double (Stage Manager | Bad New Days - Tour), The Keith Richards One Woman Show (Stage Manager | Suitcase in Point - Tour), Tale of a T-Shirt (Stage Manager | Fixtpoint).
For Jiv's rarely used blog, check out : jivparasram.wordpress.com
Tom Arthur Davis (Artistic Director)
Tom Arthur Davis is a two-time cracker eating contest champion. He is also a Toronto-based theatre worker and graduate of the University of Toronto where he received an H.B.A. specializing in theatre.
Outside of Pandemic, Tom is a Core Member of The Wrecking Ball, a Co-Founder of Collective Studio & Events Space, the TENT Program Director for the Toronto Fringe Festival, the former Youth Outreach Coordinator and Emerging Producer (also for the Fringe), a regular contributor to Pressgang Theatre‘s storytelling series, and an avid supporter of the Oxford Comma.
His honours include: a nomination for the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama, Best of Fringe & Patron's Pick (Toronto Fringe), Encore Series & Overall Excellence in Solo Performance (FringeNYC), Outstanding Production x3 & Outstanding Direction x2 (NOW Magazine), and an honourable mention for the SummerWorks Prize for Production. His work has also been performed for royalty.
For Pandemic Theatre: Shove It Down My Throat (Director), The Only Good Indian (Co-Creator/Performer), Situational Anarchy (Co-Director/Dramaturge/Producer), Daughter (Producer), Take d Milk, Nah? (Director/Dramaturge), They Say He Fell (Producer/Performer), Birth (Playwright/Performer/Producer/Co-Director), Mahmoud (C0-Playwright/Director/Producer), Autogeddon (Producer/Performer), The Lost Sagas of Tjorvi the Flaccid (Performer), Murder on Ossington (Co-Creator/Co-Director/Performer/Producer), Imbalance (Director/Dramaturge), My Gaza, 'tis of Thee (Performer), and Guantanamo Hotels & Resorts (Performer/Co-Creator).
Other Select Credits: Served (Director – Pressgang), Amusement (Director – Nobody’s Business Theatre), Elizabeth – Darcy (Director – Burt & Werneburg), Five Fingers (Director/Producer – WeWillMeet Productions), The House of Yes (Performer – Last Priority Productions), and God of Carnage (Assistant Director – Third Wall Theatre).
Who've We Worked With?
Pandemic has worked with some of the most prominent artists, companies, and festivals throughout Canada and internationally.
Theatre Passe Muraille (2017/18), Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (2016/17), Canadian Stage (2014/15), The Drama Centre at the University of Toronto (2010).
b current, Cahoots Theatre Company, the Campbell House Museum, the DitchWitch Brigade, Golden Thread Productions (San Francisco), Happy Trails Production Co., Mermaid Parade, the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), Ngozika Productions, Pressgang Theatre, QuipTake, TEDx, The Theatre Centre, Theatre Lab, Theatre Passe Muraille, and Why Not Theatre.
FOOT - Festival of Original Theatre, the Monsoon Festival of Performing Arts (Surrey, BC), the New York International Fringe Festival, the PuSh Festival (Vancouver), the Rhubarb Festival, the RISER Project, the rock.paper.sistahz Festival, the Sibiu International Theatre Festival (Romania), SummerWorks Performance Festival, the Toronto Fringe Festival, Toronto Pride, and Queer Pride.
Waleed Abdulhamid, Kate Alton, d'bi.young anitafrika, Waleed Ansari, Art Babayants, Alex Baczynskyj, Nir Bareket, Heather Bellingham, Krista Benjamin, Elizabeth Berry, Katie Binnersley, Lindsay Anne Black, Glyn Bowerman, Brendan Brady, Joshua Browne, Carla Bohorquez, Dasha Bosaya, Antje Budde, Danya Buonastella, Claire Burns, Steven Bush, Stephanie Carpanini, Joel Chico, Valerie Cina, Michael Clarke, Matt Cohen, Mike Conley, Ryan Cooley, Debbie Courchene, Melissa D'Agostino, Aidan Dahlun-Nolan, Liz Daicos, Cameron Davis, Emily Derr, Alison Dowling, Marcel Dragonieri, André Du Toit, Daniel Ellis, Ashlee Erron, Linn Øyen Farley, Richard Feren, Catherine Foster, Rong Fu, Tycoda Gilecki, Nina Gilmour, Tara Grammy, Zach Gray, Virgilia Griffith, Fiona Griffiths, Ryan-James Hatanaka, Darryl Haas, Omar Hady, Doug Hamilton, Colin Harris, Brett Haynes, Chantelle Hedden, Meredith Henry, Maxine Heppner, Jeff Ho, Eva Hoekstra, Will Hofstetter, Julia Howman, Chala Hunter, Graham Isador, Roger C. Jeffrey, Ron Kelly, Ann-Marie Kerr, Jazz Khamal, Sarah Kitz, Jenna Koenig, Myrto Koumarianos, Janina Kowalski, Samya Kullab, L'Oqeunz, Robert LaRonde, Adam Lazarus, Kat Letwin, Sonia Lindner, Kearston Lyons, Michael MacKinnon, En Lai Mah, Emily Nixon, Muneer Malik Noor, Chris Malkowski, Alexi Marchel, Marika Marosszeky, Sebastian Marziali, Mariana Medellin-Meinke, Jon Michaelson, Justin Miller, Gia Milne-Allan, Tijiki Morris, Jesse Nerenberg, Rylan O'Reilly, Obskyura, Michael Orlando, Colleen Osborn, Ngozi Paul, Soheil Parsa, Maarika Pinkney, Alexander Plouffe, Michelle Ramsay, Tennille Read, Rob Renda, Tanya Rigley, Hannah Rose, Jessica Rose, Chris Ross, Alex Rubin, Tom Rylett, Alejandro Santiago, Una Ruud Saxvik, Midori Schroeder, Shadi Shahkhalili, G. Kyle Shields, Pamela Mala Sinha, Brian Solomon, Kelsey Speakman, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Christopher Stanton, Mahogany Storm, Jacquey Taucar, Briana Templeton, Sasha Theodora, Michelle Urbano, Astrid Van Wieren, Steve Vargo, Johnnie Walker, Laura Warren, Annie Wilkin, Beth Wong, Eve Wylden.