lemonTree creations is an equity-seeking theatre company that brings rarely told stories to the stage.
We centre artists making work informed by their lived experience and present them through a queer performance lens. Our creative process includes decolonial and anti-racist strategies in the pursuit of equity for Indigenous and culturally diverse communities.
The leadership team includes Artistic Producers Indrit Kasapi (Albanian-Canadian) and Cole Alvis (Métis) and Artistic Associates Donna-Michelle St. Bernard and Ryan G. Hinds.
Our work is based in Dish With One Spoon Treaty Territory where the original caretakers are the Mississaugas of Credit First Nation, as well as Anishinaabe, Onkwehon:we, and Wendat peoples.
Grappling with colonialism is part of our arts practice and we invite you to engage with us about how to be good guests on these Indigenous territories.
lemonTree creations was established by Indrit Kasapi in 2007 to produce his first play THE RED DEVIL, directed by Jonathan Seinen at the 2008 SummerWorks Theatre Festival (NOW Magazine, Outstanding Ensemble & Outstanding Direction). The play told the story of an Albanian family travelling illegally to Canada during the 1997 Albanian civil war.
Inspired by the success of that collaboration, Jonathan Seinen and Indrit Kasapi were joined by Cole Alvis (Dora Nominated Gorey Story) to participate in the 2009 Pride Toronto Festival with Jean Genet’s DEATHWATCH. This gritty play about crime idolization and prison homoeroticism was performed to sold out audiences and rave reviews in the claustrophobic basement of XPACE CulturalCentre.
Following this, lemonTree developed and produced several critically acclaimed productions including MSM [men seeking men], a dance deconstruction piece inspired by online Grindr ‘hook-up’ culture. Premiering first as one of the top grossing productions at Toronto Fringe 2013, it went on to play two shows nightly during Toronto’s WorldPride celebration in June2014. The Charlebois Post called it: “At times frisky and fun, and at others violent and hard to watch. The remount of MSM is a great achievement.”
lemonTree creations is an equity seeking theatre company.
We demonstrate these values through what we put on stage (or any performance venue) and the leadership structures within our ad hoc organization.
We dismantle white supremacy by providing leadership roles for artists from the communities that our work represents on stage and other platforms on which we create.
At all times in the creative process:
We endeavour to create a safer space for respectful dialogue that works toward a shared understanding of complex experiences. We recognize the potential for failure in upholding these values within our organization and our art. We welcome feedback and respect the bravery required of our collaborators and communities to address oppression via direct and indirect communication.
We acknowledge our performance and art creation is challenging and can discomfort, particularly when we engage with sexuality on stage directly. We commit to creating a rehearsal and creative space where artists are engaged and consent during every aspect of art-making; experience physical safety; and are treated with professionalism and respect. We commit to a space, free of: sexual harassment/sexual assault; mental, physical, and/or emotional abuse; and bullying. We prioritize: artist dignity; personal safety; respect of personage; and self-determination of boundaries.
Artistic Producers Indrit Kasapi and Cole Alvis take issues of cultural and artistic safety seriously and can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or anonymously if desired.
If circumstances require, and if direct communication is not possible, we welcome and will participate in:
1. mediation via lemonTree artists:
Associate Artists Donna-Michelle St. Bernard & Ryan G. Hinds
2. third-party facilitation,
3. methodologies as recommended by the person bringing forth the concern (or their proxy).
This is a living commitment and will evolve as conversations continue and new realities emerge in our communities.
We are a small theatre company with ambitious projects in the works. Our big ideas are possible with your generosity. Please consider supporting us through our PayPal account. You can also speak with Artistic Producers Indrit Kasapi and Cole Alvis, if you have questions.