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 performing arts collective based out of T’karon:to (Toronto). We are 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.
Another world is possible.
What've We Done?
Since our inception in 2009, we have produced dozens of productions, including sixteen world premieres. Like a true Pandemic, the work continues to spread. So far we have toured throughout Canada, including: Alberta (Calgary), British Columbia (Surrey, Vancouver, & Victoria), Nova Scotia (Halifax), and Ontario (Kingston & Ottawa-Gatineau). We have also toured our work internationally, including: Romania (Sibiu), Scotland (Edinburgh), and the United States of America (Los Angeles, New York City, & San Francisco).
Our work has received numerous awards & honours, including:
- a nomination for the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama
- 9 Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations (with 1 win)
- an honourable mention for the SummerWorks Prize for Production
- 2 nominations for the SummerWorks Spotlight Award for Performance (with 1 win)
- Best of Fringe & Patron's Pick from the Toronto Fringe
- the Encore Series & Overall Excellence in Solo Performance from the New York Fringe
- 3 mentions as Outstanding Production from NOW Magazine in their festival wrap-up
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”).
Where Are We From?
We would like to recognize that the land we live and work on, the land of Tkarón:to (otherwise known as "Toronto" in the settler-tongue), has and continues to be the territory of the Haudenosaunee, Wendat, and Anishinaabek peoples, most recently the Mississaugas of the New Credit first nation.
Tkarón:to is Dish with One Spoon territory, meaning that it is engaged under a treaty held between these first nations binding them to protect and care for the land. It refers to the Great Lakes regions as the dish, and since we all eat out of this dish there is only one spoon, which we must share to ensure that the dish never empties. The city of Toronto and all other settlers to the region have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship, and respect.
To all the peoples of Turtle Island, who share this spoon with us everyday: Thank you! Chi-Miigwetch!
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 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 the founding Artistic Director of Pandemic Theatre, a theatre collective with a mandate for socio-political work. As an artist, Tom is interested in elevating marginalized voices through facilitating the creation of new work. Originally from the unceded territories of the Algonquin nation (Ottawa), Tom now works primarily in Tkarón:to (Toronto), with many of his works touring across Turtle Island (North America) and overseas. Works for the stage include: Mahmoud, Take d Milk, Nah?, The Only Good Indian, Daughter, Birth, and Situational Anarchy.
Outside of Pandemic, Tom works with the Toronto Fringe as the director of TENT, a program designed to provide emerging theatre artists the tools to produce their own work. He is also a core member of The Wrecking Ball, a co-founder of Collective Studio & Events Space, the former Outreach Coordinator & Emerging Producer (also for the Fringe), and an avid supporter of the Oxford Comma.
Who've We Worked With?
Pandemic has worked with some of the most prominent artists, companies, and festivals throughout Canada and internationally.
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (2016-19),Theatre Passe Muraille (2017/18), Canadian Stage (2014/15), The Drama Centre at the University of Toronto (2010).
Aluna Theatre, b current performing arts, Cahoots Theatre Company, the Campbell House Museum, CanadaHub, the DitchWitch Brigade, Golden Thread Productions (San Francisco, USA), Happy Trails Production Co., Intrepid Theatre (Victoria, BC), Mermaid Parade, the National Arts Centre (Ottawa-Gatineau, ON), Neworld Theatre (Vancouver, BC), Ngozika Productions, Pressgang Theatre, QuipTake, Selfconscious Productions, TEDx (Ottawa-Gatineau, ON), The Theatre Centre, Theatre Lab, Theatre Passe Muraille, Upintheair Theatre (Vancouver, BC), Whitefire Theatre (Los Angeles, USA), and Why Not Theatre.
Caminos, Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Edinburgh, Scotland), FOOT - Festival of Original Theatre, High Performance Rodeo (Calgary, AB), Kick & Push Festival (Kingston, ON), Mad Pride, the Monsoon Festival of Performing Arts (Surrey, BC), the New York International Fringe Festival & Encore Series (New York City, USA), the PuSh Festival (Vancouver, BC), rEvolver Festival (Vancouver, BC), the Rhubarb Festival, the RISER Project, the rock.paper.sistahz Festival, the Sibiu International Theatre Festival (Sibiu, Romania), SummerWorks Performance Festival, the Toronto Fringe Festival & Best of Fringe Uptown Series, Toronto Pride, Queer Pride, undercurrents (Ottawa-Gatineau, ON), and UNO Fest (Victoria, BC).
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, Daniel Carter, Jasmine Chen, Joel Chico, Valerie Cina, Michael Clarke, Matt Cohen, Mike Conley, Ryan Cooley, Debbie Courchene, Melissa D'Agostino, Aidan Dahlun-Nolan, Liz Daicos, Cameron Davis, Anahita Dehbonehie, Emily Derr, Alison Dowling, Marcel Dragonieri, Sunny Drake, André Du Toit, Daniel Ellis, Ashlee Erron, Izad Etemadi, Linn Øyen Farley, Richard Feren, Catherine Foster, Brad Fraser, Rong Fu, Tycoda Gilecki, Nina Gilmour, Tara Grammy, Zach Gray, Virgilia Griffith, Fiona Griffiths, Ryan-James Hatanaka, Darryl Haas, Omar Hady, Doug Hamilton, Sabah Haque, 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, Tsholo Khalema, Jazz Khamal, Sarah Kitz, Jenna Koenig, Myrto Koumarianos, Janina Kowalski, Samya Kullab, L'Oqeunz, Robert LaRonde, Adam Lazarus, Kat Letwin, Sonia Lindner, Kearston Lyons, François Macdonald, Michael MacKinnon, En Lai Mah, Muneer Malik Noor, Chris Malkowski, Alexi Marchel, Marika Marosszeky, Sebastian Marziali, Mariana Medellin-Meinke, Jon Michaelson, Justin Miller, Raymond Miller, Gia Milne-Allan, Tijiki Morris, Jesse Nerenberg, Emily Nixon, Adele Noronha, Rylan O'Reilly, Obskyura, Kwaku Okyere, Michael Orlando, Colleen Osborn, Adam Paolozza, 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, Heath Salazar, Alejandro Santiago, Una Ruud Saxvik, Midori Schroeder, Shadi Shahkhalili, G. Kyle Shields, Justine Shore, Pamela Mala Sinha, Brian Solomon, Kelsey Speakman, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Christopher Stanton, Mahogany Storm, Jacquey Taucar, Briana Templeton, Sasha Theodora, David Benjamin Tomlinson, Michelle Urbano, Astrid Van Wieren, Steve Vargo, Johnnie Walker, Laura Warren, Michaela Washburn, Annie Wilkin, Beth Wong, Eve Wylden.