ANTIOCH (2021)

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December 13, 14, 18, 19, 2021
On YouTube

TEAM : More...
Text : Sarah Berthiaume;
Translator : Iris Cronin;
Director : Sophie El Assaad;
Choreographer : Hoor Malas;
Stage Manager : Luciana Burcheri.

PLAYERS : More...
Antigone : Cara Rebecca;
Inas : Nora Guerch;
Lily : Mona Maarabani;
H : Ismail Zourhlal.

Sound Design and Composition : Jesse Ash;
Visual Direction and Editing : potatoCakes_digital;
Visual and Cultural Consultant : Nadine Jaafar;
Costume design : Sophie El Assaad;
Costume Technician and Head of Wardrobe: Sandrina Sparagna;
Music Consultant : Skander Cherif.

SYNOPSIS : Antioch is a tale of two women: a teenager, Lily, and her emotionally distant mother, Inas. Their pasts have put them at odds: Inas, unable to face her own anger, numbs herself with alcohol and television; Lily, utterly dissatisfied by Western ideology, refuses to join the "system". Yet both began by craving greater purpose and meaning--like Lily's 2500-year-old friend, Antigone. These women are stuck in their tragedies, each buried alive by their own rage. Can they find a way out?

Antigone, Inas and Lily eventually meet beyond the boundary of time, along the border of Syria, where the East meets the West--in Antioch. Lily and Inas face off in an ideological battle with their futures at stake. Antigone confronts her Olympian Gods. Finally, with their past and future laid before them, they see things from the other's perspective and accept the beauty in their fates.

This adaptation of Antioch brings to light the dangers of intergenerational trauma, the importance of sharing the history of your ancestors, and the value of communication, connection, and acceptance. The power of vulnerability can stop the wheel of fate and change its course.

The Concordian : "Presented on YouTube, the work is also an exploration of new digital possibilities for live art creations. The result is a powerful immersive theatre reading that invites viewers to engage with the performance while being comfortably seated and wearing a pair of headphones."--Véronique Morin, 20 Dec 2021. More / Plus...

ARP Media : "The actresses know how to adapt their acting to make the emotion shine through a screen. The various animations also add rhythm and hold the viewer's attention. ...It's a success for this first digital experience signed Talisman Theatre."--Nancie Boulay, 14 Dec 2021. More / Plus...

LE CULTUREL 2.0 : "Talisman Theatre innovates by producing its latest creation ANTIOCH (Sarah Berthiaume) on YouTube in striking images and binaural sound. The director Sophie El Assaad tells me..."--Winston McQuade, 12 Dec 2021. More / Plus...

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Sarah Berthiaume, Author

Originally trained as an actress at Option-Théâtre Lionel-Groulx, Sarah Berthiaume is also an author and screenwriter. In 2013, her play Yukonstyle was staged simultaneously at the Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui in Montreal and the Théâtre national de la Colline in Paris before being produced in Brussels, Innsbruck, Heidelberg, Toronto, Rome and Beirut. Yukonstyle also earned Sarah the Sony Labou Tansi Award 2015. She is currently working on her film adaptation. Sarah was also part of the team for the iShow, a social media performance show that won Best Show at the 2012-2013 Critics' Choice Awards in Montreal. Sarah is the author of the plays Le Déluge après, Disappearances, Villes Mortes, Nous habiterons Detroit, Antioche and Nyotaimori. Yukonstyle and Nyotaimori were featured at the Centre du Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui. She is also a contributor to the program Plus on est de fous, plus on lit sur les ondes d'Ici Première. Talisman produced Yukonstyle and Le Déluge après (The Flood Thereafter) in English at Théâtre Lachapelle.

Iris Cronin, Translator

Iris Cronin is an author and translator. She is a graduate of Brown University, where she earned degrees in playwriting and literary translation. She has written Aux (2020), GirlDark (2019), House Arrest (2018), Zach and Zo Turn 23 (2017), Songs I Stole from Anya (2017), Beep (2016), and Annie in a Cave (2015). She specializes in the translation of theatrical works.

Sophie El Assaad, Director

Sophie is an award winning theatre and visual artist based in Montreal. Since receiving her BFA in Design for the Theatre from Concordia University, Sophie has been working professionally as a costume and set designer while maintaining a personal practice as a visual artist, writer and director. Her designs have been seen on the stages of companies like the Segal Centre, Centaur Theatre, Talisman Theatre, Tableau d’Hôte, Repercussion, Cabal and others, gaining acclaim through 4 Montreal English Theatre Awards and most recently, as a finalist in the prestigious 2021 Jovette Marchessault prize. Sophie is an alumni of Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program and the MAI’s Alliance program, both of which have influenced the development of her personal practice. Sophie’s desire to remain connected with her heritage has led her to the creation and development of politically engaging work on Middle Eastern representation, girlhood and the environment, created using striking visuals and interdisciplinary approaches such as dance, poetry, film and sculpture.

Hoor Malas, Choreographer

Hoor is a Syrian dance and movement artist newly settled in Montreal, Quebec. In her work, she dives into social matters influenced by personal experiences. A big share of her inspiration comes from music. Some of her choreographic work is Regression (2016, Germany), Three Seconds (2018, Damascus), Hanging (2019, Tunis). She is currently working on a new project Dust (2020-21). She is fascinated by the body, by its capacity and divergence. How we move and why we move, through our realities and thus through our dreams and the questions revolving from them. All of which has been in the core of her practice for the past few years.

Luciana Burcheri, Stage Manager

Luciana has been a freelance writer at the Theater for 23 years. She works mainly as assistant director and stage manager, but she also does directing and translation and was for almost three years assistant to the general management of the Segal Center for the Performing Arts. Her children's play The Little Prince, an adaptation of Le Petit Prince by Antoine de St-Éxupéry, has been produced by several theater companies across Canada, including Geordie Productions in Montreal and The Grand Theater in London, Ontario. She has also translated other plays as well as film scripts for subtitles. Her translation of the Broadway hit, The 39 Steps, was produced by Denise Robert and Associates in 2012 and has toured across Quebec.


Cara Rebecca : Antigone

Cara is an actor, fight coordinator, and creator based in Toronto and Montreal. She loves every chance she gets to produce, direct and teach. Cara is the co-founder of Collective Outlook, a company dedicated to the creation of hybridized art, infusing the essence of live theatre into interactive digital forums. Cara was awarded Broadway World’s Best Leading Actress, and received two META nominations for her performance as Chana in Indecent (Segal Centre) in 2019. Select Performance Credits: Romeo & Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing (Repercussion Theatre); The Ward Cabaret (Harbourfront Centre); Don’t Read the Comments (Segal Centre, Centaur Theatre, Montreal Fringe & Touring). Selected Film/TV Credits: Pandora (Youtheatre); We F*ck (Independent); Forbidden: Dying for Love (Discovery); Word (TVO Kids); Elle (Fokus Film Festival). She is a graduate of McGill University, the National Theatre School, and later trained with the Academy of Dramatic Combat.

Nora Guerch : Inas

With a background in comparative literature and cinema studies from the University of Montreal, Nora graduated in 2013 from the École supérieure de Théâtre de l'UQAM, acting program. This young performer, of Moroccan origin, began her career with a leading role at Théâtre Prospero in The ontological proof of my existence by Joyce Carol Oates, followed by rich collaborations with Porte Parole, Theater INK, Volte 21 and Théâtre de l'Instant. She can also be seen in Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan (2018), L'Assemblée for Télé Québec's Collection (2021) and in season 2 of Transplant (2022).

Mona Maarabani : Lily

Mona is a graduate of the Arts, Literature and Communications program at John Abbott College, having also studied in theatre at McGill University. She took part in the 2021 iteration of Imago Theatre’s ARTISTA mentorship program. Her experiences include musical theatre, voice-over work, and production assistance for the National Film Board. Mona will be making her official acting debut as Lily in Antioch.

Ismail Zourhlal : H

Ismaïl is currently in his last year at the National Theatre School of Canada in the acting program. Originally from Casablanca, Morocco, theater was a great gateway to his adaptation in Quebec. Through NTS, Ismail works closely with collaborators on various projects aimed to bring the North African and Middle-Eastern communities closer to a theater that represents them. His recent credits include: Je suis perdu, moi aussi (2021), Les Paravents (2020), Tu es Nora (2019).


Jesse Ash : Sound Design and Composition

Jesse has been working with Sound for 20 years—designing, composing and mixing for theatre, film, and installations and pursuing personal sound and music based projects. Having been involved in over 100 productions & projects his work has been heard by ears across Canada and around the world. Standout experiences include contributions to Mob (Centaur), Mutable Tongues (PDA), The God That Comes with Hawksley Workman (2B), Waiting for Godot (Stratford), En Attendant Godot (TNM), Robert Wilson’s Mind Gap Exhibition (Norsk Teknisk Museum), his own piece Aural Histories: Monument (Third Space) as well as touring with Needles and Opium (Deus Ex Machina). In addition to Sound work, Jesse spent several years creating multimedia installations as a Technical Director with Montreal’s Moment Factory. Jesse is a Production graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and Audio Engineering Technology from O.I.A.R.T and teaches Sound Design at John Abbott College.

potatoCakes_digital : Visual Direction and Editing

potatoCakes_digital is an award winning production design, digital arts, and technical services company of Emily Soussana and Andrew Scriver. They provide an all-encompassing artistic and technical team offering digital dramaturgical support, production management, and technical direction, as well as designing video, lighting, sound, set, and costumes for live performance, installation, and digital art, with productions and companies in Tiotia:ke and across Canada. As digital dramaturgs, Emily and Andrew have helped push the boundaries of the Canadian performance digital landscape.

Nadine Jaafar : Visual and Cultural Consultant

A graduate in architecture, Nadine joined the scenography program of the National Theater School out of love for theater, opera and the revolution. She specializes in set design and spends her summers running a socially engaged theater project in the slum streets of her hometown of Beirut. Born in Montreal to an Egyptian mother and a Lebanese father, she grew up in Kuwait, studied in Lebanon, then returned to Montreal to follow the exceptional training of the ENT. Its multicultural heritage is reflected in her unconventional designs.

Sandrina Sparagna : Costume Technician and Head of Wardrobe

Sandrina is a costume and set designer from Montreal, with a BFA from Concordia University in design for the theatres. She has worked in theatre, performance and opera assisting the designer Eloise Kazan. Recently she has collaborated with Tableau d’Hôte Theatre, Talisman Theatre as well as with Le Collectif Théâtral Potomitan.

Skander Cherif : Music Consultant

Skander Cherif is a Tunisian artist, composer and sound designer based in Montreal since 2012. His work takes the form of experimental pieces with electroacoustic influences and noise. His creative work is colored by his research on Amazigh (Berber) culture. He is interested in the spirituality, music and crafts of these communities from which he draws a part of its origins. He has mixed and mastered several soundtracks, and has received music commissions for the cinema. We can notably hear his pieces in Act of Grace, the film by Sylvain Brosset (2021) and Promenade Montréal by Bashar Shbib (2021).