Obsidian Theatre going through change

Theatre Shorts By: Stephen Weir

Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu

The Obsidian Theatre, Canada’s leading culturally diverse theatre company is now going through a major change.  After twenty years, the theatre’s founder and CEO has retired. He has been replaced by a young African Canadian director who will take over the running of the company in August.

Philip Akin has been acting and directing for over 40 years. In 2000, he was a founding member of Obsidian Theatre, Canada’s leading black theatre company, and has served as its Artistic Director since 2006.

Earlier this week Obsidian announced that Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu is the new Artistic Director of the Obsidian Theatre.  In a press release issued by Obsidian Ms. Otu “was raised in Kenya and Victoria, BC. She is a critically acclaimed Toronto-based stage director with over a decade of professional experience and is the Founder/Artistic Director of the Dora Nominated experimental theatre company IFT (It’s A Freedom Thing) Theatre.”

Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu will join the company after directing a string of successful productions, including: Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape, Obsidian Theatre/Soulpepper; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Trout Stanley, Factory Theatre. All of these plays have been reviewed by The Caribbean Camera and can be found on our website.  

 “I am deeply honoured to be the next leader of this incredible company!” she said. “Over the course of my career I have been passionate about creating work that explores the depth and breadth of the Black voice in its many artistic dialects, and having an opportunity to continue to do this within the context of Obsidian is such a gift.”

She is the recipient of the Artistic Director’s Award (Soulpepper), the Pauline McGibbon Award, the Mallory Gilbert Protege Award, a Harold Award, and has been twice nominated for the John Hirsch Directing Award. She is a graduate of Soulpepper Academy, York University and the University of Toronto, and an alumnus of Obsidian Theatre’s Mentor/Apprenticeship Program.

Stephen is recommending Hannah Moscovitch’s new play at the Tarragon.


If the Caribbean Camera wrote about the plot line that makes Sexual Misconduct of The Middle Classes, the brand new Canadian play of this very young century, the fans of the Tarragon would send over a pie-in-the face squad.

Honestly, knowing anything of the ending of the play will lessen the drama, humour and message of the 80 minute one-act play which had a standing-room-only World Premier last week in Toronto.

Award winning playwright Hannah Moscovitch has penned a play that has more than a whiff of the real life UBC professor Steven Galloway sex scandal.

Tears, jeers and big cCheers for actor Matthew Edison who plays a university professor and famous author who can’t stop himself from having a fling with a student who sits in the front row of his class and lives across the street.

Edison emotes for 90% of the play. He never leaves the stage, jumping from lust, to guilt, to longing. Last week he owned the media filled audience right from his first F**k F**k “scream” of consciousness.

Alice Snaden is the quiet, 19-year old star struck student. The teenager in the red coat maybe, just maybe, in control of this whole tawdry “love” story.

What a play! Only thing missing is Sting just off stage singing Don’t Stand So Close to Me. Four Stars. See it!