The Hooves Belonged to the Deer
February 16 - March 2
“All rivers that run always return to the ocean.”
an audioplay by Makram Ayache
When Izzy’s family moves to a small rural town, the young queer Muslim boy becomes the salvation pet project to the local pastor. In an attempt to reconcile his sexuality and faith, Izzy invents his own Garden of Eden, where Adam and Hawa’s (Eve in Arabic) relationship is turned upside down by the arrival of Steve, a beautiful, blue-eyed, white-skinned man from the Northern Kingdoms.
The Hooves Belonged to the Deer is an epic audioplay straddling a turbulent present and a reimagined past.
Available for streaming February 16–March 2. Register now to be sent the link.
Part of our Queer, Far, Wherever You Are series.
image still by Mahmoud Ayache
Peter Hinton-Davis // director
Makram Ayache // playwright
Evan Medd// dramaturg
Qasim Khan, Dalal Badr, Ian Leung, Makram Ayache, Eric Wigston + Brett Dahl // performers
Chris Pereira // sound design
Peter Hinton-Davis // Director
Peter Hinton-Davis (pronouns: he/him) is a stage director, playwright and teacher. Recent credits: Sex by Mae West, An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Shaw Festival, Hadrian by Rufus Wainwright/Daniel MacIvor, Canadian Opera Company. From 2005-2012, Peter was Artistic Director of English Theatre at Canada’s National Arts Centre. In 2009, Peter was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Makram Ayache // Playwright + Performer – Izzy
Ayache is a community-engaged writer, actor, director, and producer living between Edmonton and Toronto. His playwriting explores representations of queer Arab voices and aims to bridge interlocking political struggles to the intimate experiences of the people impacted by them. Ayache is the 2020 PGC’s Tom Hendry Award recipient for his play “Harun.” He has four Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards nominations for “Harun” (2018) and “The Green Line” (2019). In 2020, he worked with several theatre companies including Factory’s Mechanical Actors’ Enhancement Training, the Citadel’s RBC Directing Mentorship Program, Punctuate’s Partizan’s Creators Unit, Prime Mover/Musical Stage Company’s NoteWorthy Program, and Generator Toronto’s Artist Producer Training Program. Most recently, he began a large-scale interdisciplinary project that examines the “mythology of Capitalism” through the Historic Joy Kogawa House Artist-in-Residence program in Vancouver. Next year, he returns to Factory Theatre to continue developing the play through the Foundry Program, with support from Edmonton Fringe Theatre Adventures. He is also a playwright in Alberta Theatre Projects 2021/22 Playwrights Unit. He is honored to share his play “The Hooves Belonged to the Deer” at Buddies in Bad Times’ Theatre’s audio-drama season. And he is thrilled that his play “The Green Line” will have its world premiere in Calgary through Downstage Theatre and Chromatic Theatre with director Jenna Rodgers.
Evan Medd // Dramaturg
Evan Medd is a Canadian theatre artist based in Mohkinstsis (Calgary) and in Vancouver on the unceded ancestral territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. His practice primarily focuses on dramaturgical strategizing of process design, community engaged art that intersects with environmental dialogues, and collaborative new play development and production with his Calgary company the Major Matt Mason Collective. A BFA graduate of Simon Fraser University’s Performance Creation program, Evan is passionate about how dramaturgical practice can intersect with communities and/or people with differing perspectives and how interdisciplinary performance can integrate dialogues from unexpected sources.
For the past few summers Evan has been working in Prince Edward Island on a piece called The River Clyde Pageant, an outdoor spectacle that celebrates community while drawing attention to the unfortunate reality of PEI’s fading waterways. RCP commits to community engaged practice that integrates rural communities in the creation of a large performance work that explores different art forms such as theatre, dance, visual art, music and puppetry.
Qasim Khan // Performer – Aadam
Qasim is an award-winning actor who is best known for his work in theatre. He is a company member at the Stratford Festival, and has worked across the country with Soulpepper, Canadian Stage, Citadel, Charlottetown Festival, Videofag, NAC, ATP, TPM, and others. He can be seen in the upcoming Disney feature Sneakerella and is currently working on several audio and podcast projects. Follow him @theqasimkhan for more updates!
Brett Dahl // Performer – Steve/Jake
Brett Dahl (he/they) is a queer director, writer, performer, and educator. Brett’s play Like Orpheus toured in 2019/2020 to OUTstages and The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. Brett’s drag persona (Sissy) hosts and curates the queer cabaret, SISSY FIT. Brett was the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award in 2018 and Calgary’s RBC Emerging Artist Cultural Leader Legacy Award in 2020.
Eric Wigston (he/him) // Performer – Will
Eric is a Calgary based actor and musician. He is thrilled to be working on The Hooves Belonged to the Deer again. Select Credits Include: The Secret Garden,Twelfth Night, One Man, Two Guvnors, A Christmas Carol (Theatre Calgary); Touch Me: Songs for a (dis)connected Age (Forte Musical Theatre), Jeremy de Bergerac (Forte); Vigilante (Catalyst); Romeo & Juliet (The Shakespeare Company).
Dalal Badr // Performer – Hawa/Becky
Born and raised in Kitimat, BC, Dalal is a first generation Lebanese-Canadian. With her heart firmly rooted in Lebanon, Dalal pops between Toronto and Los Angeles for work and adventure. She is grateful and eager for any opportunity to explore and collaborate through the work. Every day she falls more deeply in love with the ocean, the mountains, and her dear ones.
Ian Leung // performer
Ian Leung is an Edmonton based actor, director, independent producer, writer and instructor. Recent acting credits include Much Ado About Nothing (Freewill Players), The Blue Hour (SkirtsAfire), E Day (The Serial Collective), Slight of Mind (Theatre Yes), Exit the King (Studio Theatre), Pugwash (Ship’s Company), Stupid Fucking Bird (Edmonton Actors Theatre), The Fever (theatre no. 6) and Fatboy (Edmonton Actors Theatre).He has directed The Other Side of the Pole for Prime Stock Theatre, The Tempest for the University of Alberta BFA Acting program, and Proud, The Fever, and his own play U: The Comedy of Global Warming for his independent company, theatre no. 6. He regularly teaches a Shakespeare acting course at the University of Alberta.
Giuseppe Condello // stage manager
Giuseppe Condello is a Toronto based stage manager, and theatre technician. He has stage managed for the world premiere of Rope Running Out (lemonTree creations, 2017), the touring, Dora nominated, and award winning production of Pearle Harbour’s Chautauqua (Pearle Harbour Presents, 2016-2019), and the Dora award winning production, Mr. Truth (Lester Trips Theatre, 2018)
Chris Pereira // Sound Designer
Chris Pereira is an Edmonton based actor and sound designer. He is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program. He discovered his knack for sound design at the University of Alberta when he volunteered to do it for a class project. Since then he has sound designed 15 shows. Chris’s sound designs are done primarily by researching and finding other works that he feels would fit the style of a project. An example would be when he did the sound for Makram Ayache’s The Green Line, he did a full continuous soundscape throughout the entire production made entirely out of the works of Arabic composers. The play was set in Beirut during and after the Lebanese Civil War. So, who better to accurately generate the mood, culture, and energy then the artists who’ve lived there.
I was 15 years old and the first person I ever came out to was a Christian Youth Pastor who I deeply trusted. He promised that Christ could heal me and that this sin would take me away from God. He also told me Allah, the God of my family, was another way to take me away from God.
This evangelizing underbelly is a powerful and defining presence in Canada. I truly believe that my Pastor loved me and cared for me, but as an adult, I can recognize all the symptoms of white Christian domination. But that’s the issue; systems of oppression do not need ill will. If he didn’t intend harm, could I forgive him? Should I? How does his harm continue to infect my capacity to fully inhabit my queerness to this day?
The Hooves Belonged to the Deer is an attempt to archive the emotional reality of this experience. But even more, as I look onto this experience with years of distance and, in so many way, a full, joy-filled queer life, I am asking the question, as articulated strikingly by Maya Angelou: “What is the line between social justice and a lust for revenge?”
My hope is that I am always in pursuit of justice. Nothing more but certainly nothing less.
Thank you for sharing this experience with me.
— Makram Ayache, playwright
I have known Makram Ayache since 2017, when he was completing his MFA in Performance/Creation at York University. During that time Makram shared with me an indefatigable enthusiasm for his queer theatre community in Edmonton and Calgary. Over the years, working on various projects in Alberta, I have met so many of his peers, who are devoted to Makram and the theatre he makes. Not surprisingly, four of those artists are part of this presentation. With Makram, there is an undisputed groundswell of inspiration for his play-making. He is without question a singular and unique voice; and also, part of a new generation of theatre-makers in Alberta and beyond. Over the past 5 years, I have learned so much from Makram. It’s especially rewarding to exchange ideas about queer stories and plays across generations and cultures. I am learning new languages and putting my pedagogy and aesthetics to revitalizing scrutiny.
The Hooves Belonged to the Deer re-visions a mythology of Paradise and expulsion. In the context of colonizing mythologies, the play works like a new mythology for our time; an erotic reflection on forbidden knowledge and also an ironical depiction of revenge.
Thank you, everyone who has enthusiastically worked on this play.
— Peter Hinton-Davis, director
Contents of the play may be triggering content for some listeners. Please review the content/trigger warnings below at your discretion but please note that they may spoil some aspects of the story.
Highlight below to read the content warnings:
Conversations of miscarriage.
Colonial, imperial, and religious violence.
Depictions of sexual violence.
Forward depictions of consensual sex.
Depictions of abortion.
Development of The Hooves Belonged to the Deer has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Edmonton Arts Council.
The project was originally commissioned by the Alberta Queer Calendar Project in 2020.
Produced and Directed by Mahmoud Ayache
Accessing The Hooves Belonged to the Deer is free. Just click the “Buy Tickets” link above and get a free ticket in order to be sent the link to the recording.
The audioplay will be available for streaming from February 16-March 2.