WHO WE ARE
Open Heart Surgery Theatre was founded in 2014 and is an international theatre ensemble based in Toronto and London, UK. We comprise of a mixture of performers including Butoh and Lecoq-trained theatre makers whose interests lie in intercultural work that engages audiences in a visceral experience, often experimenting with multiple languages on stage and form. We take an interdisciplinary approach to theatre making: merging live music, media and dance to create original theatre that opens the heart and speaks about relevant material that reflects who we are today.
Led by Parsi-Irish Canadian theatre maker, Coleen Shirin MacPherson, we create work that stretches across borders and boundaries, often merging diverse cultures to create new work. We like to dangle across the hyphenated space in our work, through experimentation with language and form.
Recently the company performed In Silence From Dawn 'Till Dusk, a 12-hour silent protest at 2nd Floor Rear, an art festival in Chicago (Mana Contemporary) when their Iranian-Canadian musicians couldn't make it to Chicago due to Donald Trump’s EO Muslim Ban. OHS has developed work in France, Spain, USA, UK and Canada. In 2014 the company produced MacPherson’s play, First Draft to a sold out audience at Camden People’s Theatre and was later programmed at The Mimetic Festival in London (The Vaults, Waterloo Station). This show then was re-imagined and co-produced with StudioZAT at Falaki Theatre in Cairo, Egypt in November 2016. Open Heart Surgery Theatre were hosted in at Théâtre de L’Enfurmaraie in Le Mans, France; Plateau 31 in Paris, France and Old Vic New Voices in the UK for the development of This Is Why We Live. The play held a short run at The Theatre Centre in the Fall of 2016 and will soon be touring to Krakow at Nowy Theatre with the support of the Miłosz Festival and the Szymborksa Foundation. The company is currently developing a new work with Shahin Sayadi (Onelight Theatre, Halifax) and Meena Natarajan (Pangea Theatre, Minneapolis) with three Iranian and Afghani-Iranian women in Tehran called Osh'han/اُشهن (first light). A new devised play called Surrealist Women, based on the paintings of Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo is also in its early stages of development in Toronto with seven women on stage.
Associate Artists who we have worked with ... Louise Callaghan, Charlotte Fox, Kirsty Gillmore, Tatiana Judycka, Maria Klockare, Nick Storring, Rachel Ellison, Arif Mirbaghi, Dobrochna Zubek, Shady Khalaf, Wizzo Ahmed Samy, Ahmed Achrafi, Noha Alkoly, Salma Maher, Passant Bassem.