Soulpepper Theatre Company has announced the addition of two new World Premieres to its 2019 Spring season lineup: Welcome To My Underworld, with RARE Theatre Company, and The Black Drum, a new ASL musical from the DEAF CULTURE CENTRE. Both productions bring the experiences of diverse communities to the stages at Young Centre for the Performing Arts in cross-cultural collaborations that audiences can enjoy.

In Soulpepper’s fifth partnership with RARE Theatre Company, Canadian theatre pioneer and two-time Governor General award-winner Judith Thompson directs and dramaturges the World Premiere of Welcome To My Underworld, bringing together the work of eight blazing-hot Canadian playwrights into one singular gripping journey.

Gate-crashing ideas and fresh, bold language are brought to the stage to illuminate the shift in human identity and the search for one’s truest self. Written from a diverse collective of voices,Welcome To My Underworld features work from Bilal Baig (Acha Bacha), a queer Muslim artist; Ellen Ringler, an artist who has navigated the mental health system; Nikoletta Erdelyi (Borne), a published writer who uses a wheelchair; Radha Sciara-Menon, a South Asian British-Canadian playwright; Grace Campbell (My Nightmares Wear White) an artist living with a disability; Maddie Bautista (Love You Wrong Time, Soulpepper Shen Festival), a Saudi Arabia-born Filipino artist; Simone Dalton, a queer Trinidadian-Canadian playwright; and Carolyn Heatherington, an 89 year old internationally acclaimed actress and playwright.

In June, Soulpepper is pleased to support the DEAF CULTURE CENTRE and the extraordinary signed musical, The Black Drum – elevating the artistic work of the Deaf community beyond ASL interpretations. Commissioned and produced by the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf, the World Premiere of The Black Drum by Deaf Canadian playwright Adam Pottle, tells the story of a young woman, whose life is upturned when her tattoos come alive and propel her on a fantastical journey in search of her own inner music.

World famous Norwegian director Mira Zuckermann, weaves together dance, signed music, projection, tattoo art, and movement into a performance of visual rhythms from the heart, with a refined mix of Deaf artistry, with designs from Maryam Hafizirad (Assistant Set & Costume/Tattoo Artist); Chris Malkowski (Lighting); Ruth Albertyn (Costume); and Soulpepper Resident ArtistKen MacKenzie (Set).

Featuring a world-class collective of celebrated Deaf artists including Dawn Jani Birley (Prince Hamlet), Yan Liu (Thousand-hand Bodhisattva), Bob Hiltermann (Beethoven’s Nightmare), Daniel Durant (Deaf West’s Spring Awakening), and Corinna Den Dekker, The Black Drum is a rhythmic telling of their story in the world’s first entirely Deaf musical theatre that is not originally a sound based work. This production is presented with an English synopsis and is accessible to non-ASL audiences.

Welcome To My Underworld runs from May 8 to 25, opening on May 9, 2019.

 The Black Drum runs from June 15 to June 30, opening on June 20, 2019.

For more details about additional ticket prices visit or call the Young Centre Box Office at 416.866.8666.

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