speaking of sneaking
September 19 - October 1, 2023

“ellis is a joy to watch as he fiercely inhabits the space”

— Mooney on Theatre

a groundwork redux and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre production in association with Obsidian Theatre

Ginnal is sure like never before: he must make it to Foreign. When he meets a Spider who sets him on the journey, Ginnal faces the cost of freedom. 

Inspired by experiences of growing up queer in Jamaica and finding home in Canada, speaking of sneaking is a multidisciplinary mash-up of dance, poetry, and pantomime, where the archetypal Jamaican Ginnal and the mythical African Anansi meet.

First created in Buddies’ Young Creators Unit, and further developed with the Anitafrika Method for Why Not Theatre’s RISER (where it garnered five Dora nominations, including for outstanding production and outstanding new play), speaking of sneaking returns to the Buddies stage for a full production this fall.

Read the digital programme.

illustration by mitch duncan
graphic design by Awake Studio

See more, spend less.

Earn Buddies Rewards when you buy tickets to this show through our Buddies Rewards program.

Tuesday, September 19 // 7:30PM (preview)
Wednesday, September 20// 7:30PM (preview)

Thursday, September 21 // 7:30PM (opening night)
Friday, September 22 // 7:30PM
Saturday, September 23 // 2PM
Saturday, September 23 // 7:30PM*
Sunday, September 24 // 2PM**

Tuesday, September 26 // 7:30PM
Wednesday, September 27 // 7:30PM
Thursday, September 28 // 7:30PM
Friday, September 29 // 7:30PM
Saturday, September 30 // 2PM***
Saturday, September 30 // 7:30PM
Sunday, October 1 // 2PM

*Black Out Night performance
**Relaxed performance
***Deaf-interpreted performance

daniel jelani ellis // creator,  performer + producer
d’bi.young anitafrika // dramaturg + director
Fairy J // choreographer
Lexi Sproule // stage manager

Rachel Forbes // set + costume designer
André du Toit // lighting designer
Stephon Smith // sound designer
Chanti Laliberte // head of wardrobe
Micha Edwards // artistic associate



groundwork redux is an ever-evolving gathering of artists and projects – creating original art, performance, and community activations. Afrocentrism. Mentorship. Reciprocity. Joy.

Visit their website.

Obsidian is Canada’s leading culturally specific theatre company. Our threefold mission is to produce plays, to develop playwrights and to train emerging theatre professionals. Obsidian is passionately dedicated to the exploration, development, and production of the Black voice. Obsidian produces plays from a world-wide canon focusing primarily, but not exclusively, on the works of highly acclaimed Black playwrights. Obsidian provides  artistic support, promoting the development of work by Black theatre makers and offering training opportunities through mentoring and apprenticeship programs for emerging Black artists.

Obsidian Theatre Company was born out of a passionate sense of artistic responsibility – a responsibility to bring the Black voice, in its many artistic dialects, to Canada’s cultural forefront. Obsidian encourages Black artists to expand their vision of what they perceive, create and present to a national audience. Obsidian continues to play a prominent role in Canada’s theatrical mosaic by showcasing the work of both emerging and established Black artists.

Since its inception, our development programs have led many artists to expand their professional development and create new Canadian works. Through our training programs, we produce plays, develop playwrights and train  emerging theatre professionals.

Visit their website.

Black Out Night – Saturday, September 23 at 7:30pm: Black Out Nights are designed to create an affinity space for Black community members to come together and engage with works by Black artists. The performance on September 23 is an invitation to Black community members to experience speaking of sneaking together, followed by a talkback with daniel jelani ellis, d’bi.young anitafrika, and Micha Edwards.

Advance tickets can be booked online, with PWYC tickets available at the door.

Show Guide: Our show guide is for anyone to use, but was specifically designed with our neurodivergent and autistic patrons in mind, so folks can know what to expect when attending speaking of sneaking at Buddies. You can read the show guide here.

Relaxed performance – Sunday September 24 at 2:00pm: Relaxed Performances are designed to welcome audience members who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including house lights being left on at a low level, more freedom to come and go from the space, and an alternate space to take a break from the show if needed.

Deaf-interpreted performance – Saturday September 30 at 2:00pm: This performance will feature ASL interpretation by Deaf interpreters Natasha “Courage” Bacchus and Juan Jaramillo.



Monday, September 25

Groundwork Redux is centering Black queer masculinity through poetry, praxis, and healing. Join their free workshop series as we reconnect with our individual divine masculinities towards collective healing utilizing Afro-Caribbean based art-making and healing resources.

Workshops led by Omi Rodney, Ryan Imagines, and d’bi.young anitafrika.

Information and registration

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Dates & Times

September 19 + 20

Show Run
September 21 – October 1
Tue-Sat 7:30PM
Sat + Sun 2PM



For each of our mainstage shows this season, we’re offering tickets at a range of price points, though seating is general admission, and every seat is just as good as the next. If cost is a barrier, this is your chance to get an affordable ticket. If you are able to pay more, this is your change to increase your support for the work onstage and ensure it stays affordable for those who need it.

covid safety

Audience members are asked to remain masked for the duration of the performance.

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