Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools

“a bracing, beautiful, thought-provoking, unsettling, challenging show”

— Intermission Magazine

Following a sold-out run in 2017, Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools will head out on a multi-city tour in 2019. This will be the sixth time in the past decade that we’ve brought one of our shows – and our unique queer mandate – to audiences across Canada.

A concert and a conversation, Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools is the meeting place of two people, and the North and South of our country. Inuk artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and queer theatre-maker Evalyn Parry met on an Arctic expedition from Iqaluit to Greenland. Now sharing a stage, these two powerful storytellers map new territory together in a work that gives voice and body to the histories, culture, and climate we’ve inherited, and asks how we reckon with these sharp tools.

In the Inuktitut language, when a knife is dull, it is said to “have no face”. The word “kiinalik” translates to mean the knife is sharp – or, “it has a face”. Embodying the stories of their heritage, Evalyn and Laakkuluk put a face to the colonial histories, power structures and the changing climate that lie between them.

Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools was originally developed and co-produced with Theatre Passe Muraille.

photo of Evalyn Parry + Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory by Jeremy Mimnagh

A Buddies in Bad Times Theatre production


directed by ERIN BRUBACHER
live video by ELYSHA POIRIER
original composition + live music by CRIS DERKSEN + EVALYN PARRY
sound by ALEDA ROCHE
lighting design by REBECCA PICHERACK
set design by KAITLIN HICKEY

“Powerfully connects audience to peoples and culture of the North”

-Toronto Star (Read Article)

“Astounding… another example of how working together rather than in conflict can lead to the best theatre”

-Globe & Mail (Read Article)

“a bracing, beautiful, thought-provoking, unsettling, challenging show”

-Intermission Magazine (Read Article)

“Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools deserves to run forever, to be heaped with laurels, for the performers to be born aloft in the streets as an example of how to do the thing brilliantly. Go.”

-Mooney on Theatre (Read Article)

“astonishing and almost frightening in its transgressive power”

-Now Magazine (Read Article)

Top 10 Shows of 2017

-The Globe & Mail
-The Toronto Star

Outstanding New Play

-Dora Mavor Moore Awards

Best Director of a Play – Erin Brubacher

-Toronto Theatre Critics Association

Best Actress in a Play – Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory

-Toronto Theatre Critics Association

Outstanding Sound Design / Composition

-Dora Mavor Moore Awards

Photos of Evalyn Parry, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, and Cris Derksen. Set by Kaitlin Hickey; Projections by Elysha Poirier, Lighting by Rebecca Picherack. Photos by Jeremy Mimnagh.

Black Boys

by Saga Collectif – Stephen Jackman-Torkoff, Tawiah Ben M’Carthy, Thomas Olajide with Virgilia Griffth and Jonathan Seinen

A raw, intimate, and timely exploration of queer male Blackness. Black Boys is created from the lives of three people seeking a deeper understanding of themselves, of each other, and of how they encounter the world. As they explore their unique identities on stage, they subvert the ways in which gender, sexuality, and race are performed. Theatrical and intimate, Black Boys weaves together the ensemble’s own personal stories in search of an integrated self and a radical imagination.

The Cultch (Vancouver), High Performance Rodeo (Calgary) + Espace Libre, with Black Theatre Workshop (Montréal) 2017-18 

The Gay Heritage Project

by Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn, and Andrew Kushnir

Three of our country’s most gifted creator/performers set out to answer one question: is there such a thing as a gay heritage? In their search, they uncover a rich history not often shared and shine new light on contemporary gay culture. The result is a hilarious and moving homage to the people who came before us and the events that continue to shape our lives.

The Citadel (Edmonton), The Cultch (Vancouver) + The Belfry (Victoria) 2015-16


by Tawiah Ben M’carthy

Imprisoned in Canada for committing a violent crime, a young man from Ghana tells his cellmates a story on the eve of his release. Although there is great risk in sharing his tale, he must tell it to be truly free. Through storytelling, dance, and live music, Obaaberima chronicles a young African-Canadian’s journey across continents, genders, races, and sexualities.

The National Arts Centre (Ottawa) + The Cultch (Vancouver) 2014-15

The Silicone Diaries

by Nina Arsenault

The Silicone Diaries is Nina Arsenault’s tour de force account of her transition into a jaw-dropping silicone bombshell, a process that spanned eight years, sixty surgical procedures, and a lifetime of preparation. Blurring the lines between fake and real and playing with the tension between society’s presumed desire for authenticity and its demonstrated preference for the artificial, The Silicone Diaries provides us with a peek into the personal obsessions of those who are driven to transform their bodies. At the same time, it is a frank exploration of the contradictions associated with the quest for beauty.

Theatre La Chapelle (Montréal) + The Cultch (Vancouver) 2011-12


by Waawaate Fobister

Agokwe is a tragic story of unrequited love between two teenage boys from neighbouring reserves. Brave and revealing, this spectacular one-man show speaks to homophobia, social isolation and the lost traditions of the Anishinaabe.

The National Arts Centre (Ottawa) + The Cultch (Vancouver) 2010-11

Tour Dates

Qaggiavuut (Iqaluit)

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, presented with Touchstone Theatre (Vancouver)

MARCH 2019
Espace Libre (Montréal)

JUNE 2019
Luminato (Toronto)