Past-Seasons-Hero-Image.jpg

Past
Seasons

For over 10 years, Red Betty Theatre has created captivating performances that have reached audiences across Canada and internationally. Below is an archive of past performances from Red Betty Theatre, from 2012 until present day.

First Season (2011-2012)

THE
WASHING MACHINE

Production: The Next Stage Theatre Festival, January 5-15, 2012 

Playwright: Radha S. Menon

Director: Sasha Kovacs
Cast: Aparajit Bhattacharjee, Steve Cumyn, Mina James, Jivesh Parasram,

Dipal Patel, Cydney Penner, Ronica Sajnani, Asha Vijayasingham
Set and Costume Design: Jung Hye Kim
Lighting Design: Dave Degrow

Sound Design: Steph Berntson
Stage Management: Heather Bellingham
Associate Director: Jonathan Heppner

Production Manager: Ashley Westlake

 

In The Washing Machine, Isabelle returns from England to her childhood home in India after the death of her husband and child. She has big plans for this banana plantation: out with the sacred grounds, in with tennis courts and a fancy new washing machine! Isabelle and her lustful brother James clash with their superstitious servants, a neighbouring convent, and the wrath of an Aghori guru as her family’s dark secret is finally exposed.

Second Season (2012-2013)

GANGA'S
GANJA

Production: Hamilton Fringe Festival,
July 20-29, 2012


Playwright: Radha Menon

Director: Tony Sciara
Cast: Ronica Sajnani, Asha Vijayasigham, Tony Sciara, Ashima Suri, Ernie Tollar

Living in complete isolation, Ganga cares for her sister Mena who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. Mena has renounced her previous pharmaceutical care regime and uses cannabis medicinally to ease her debilitating symptoms. Ganga self-medicates and uses sex to blot out guilt and loneliness. A fast-talking interloper stumbles into their world and their weed crop is stolen- thrusting the sisters onto a path of no return.

 

Awards: Finalist, Herman Voaden Playwriting Contest, 2013

RENU'S
GIRL

Workshop Performance: Bits Of Obits Festival 2012 (London) UK, Tamasha Theatre Scratch Night,
June 2012


Playwright: Radha Menon

Director: Emma Sampson

Cast: Shaheen Khan
 

In Renu's Girl, Pinkie considers the formation of dough balls and their importance when making roti and compares it with the socialization of people.
This short play, written at Tamasha Theatre was one of the first scenes that eventually became Menon's play Rukmini's Gold.

MAROONED

Production: London Design Festival - Lost Soles Gallery, June 2013
 

Playwright: Radha Menon

Director: Nick Myles
Cast: Clive Llewellyn

A Jamaican man is being interviewed and is preparing to go out. Moved by the plight of other immigrants trying to find a better life, he keeps noticing things he is unable to ignore. Clive Llewellyn made this character lovable and intriguing and kept the audience utterly engaged.

Third Season (2013-2014)

LEARNING
TO SWIM

Workshop Performance: B current’s rock.paper.sistahz festival, Workshop Performance May 29, 2013 

Playwright: Radha Menon
Director: Tony Sciara
Cast: Marvin Ishmael, Mina James, Karin Ricard,
Jsin Sasha, Jivesh Parasram

Learning To Swim is about two young women who meet by chance in a city park- a site occupied by social and political activists. Runaway teenager Rani, Western born but raised by a traditionally strict Indian family, awaits the arrival of her boyfriend at their designated meeting point. There Rani encounters Cherry, a fierce mixed-race, social activist who is grappling with her own past. In the midst of a simmering social protest that finally boils over both women learn either to sink or swim.

THE
CIRCUS

Production: Lyric Theatre, Hamilton,
March 1-16, 2013

 

Playwright: Radha S. Menon

Director: Tony Sciara

Cast: Luis Arrojo, Emi Di Pietro, Sabrina Armani, Lisa Pijuan-Nomura, Aparajit Bhattacharjee, Monika Ciolek, Maya Huliyappa-Menon, Pamela Gardner

Producer: Radha S Menon              
Producer/ASM: Denyse Terry     
Stage Manager: Sierra Spence
Costume Design: Leana Mukhina 

Lighting Design: Patrick Brennan
Sound Design: Samuel Chang       
Stage Hand: Liam Nelson
Set Design: Tony Sciara                   
Art Work: Lynne Foster

Baste your brains, tickle your tonsils and tune up your funny bone! The Circus tells the story of queer couple Katie and Brenda who travel to London in search of Katie’s long lost father. Their first meeting doesn’t go very well & the women return home but then Katie receives a letter saying that her father Sammy is coming to visit. They take Sammy on a day-out to his first ever football game, where they encounter an unlikely angel who alters the course of their lives by opening doors to the circus within Sammy’s mind. This play explores the wildness in all our hearts; the wildness that lets us run off with the circus and fall in love when we know this love is doomed from the start.

GHOST
TRAIN RIDERS

Productions: Hamilton Fringe Gallery Series, July 19-21, 2013, Factory Media Centre, July 20-29, 2013

Playwright: Radha Menon

Director: Tony Sciara

Cast: Dia Frid, Maya Huliyappa-Menon

 

Two women meet – and travel the distance – in this haunting exploration of life’s passages. How far will you travel? Be first in line for this part of the ride: sometimes in life your train comes late – sometimes it comes on time.

Fourth Season (2014-2015)

RISE OF
THE PRICKLY PEAR

Productions: Artword Art Bar, July 18-27, 2014,
Staircase Theatre, October 23-26, 2014,
The Box , November 6-9, 2014

Playwright: Radha S. Menon 

Director: Tony Sciara

Cast: Carla Garcia, Tamara Kammermans, Nathan Bigec, Jsin Sasha, Leo Sciara

 

Rise Of The Prickly Pear is a full-length play about love and betrayal. The first act is set in 1959 Santiago De Cuba. Che Guevara and his ‘bearded ones’ are holed up in the Sierra Maestra fighting a bitter battle as revolution grips the nation in a dire struggle against American imperialism while two local Marianna and Hermosita women battle each other over love. The second act takes place twenty years later in Miami after the Mariel boatlift in 1980 when Cuban refugees were permitted entry to the U.S. these women face each other and get to grips with their turbulent past.

Awards: Finalist, Playwright of The Year 2015, The Bridge Initiative

THE
PETITION

Workshop Performance: Ottawa School of Art,
June 7, 2015,


Playwright: Radha Menon

Director:  Dia Gupta Frid
Cast: Radha Menon

The Petition is part daydream and part nightmare; a downtrodden mother is forced to teach her children a very harsh lesson. Amma - a manifestation of Mother Earth - is at her wit’s end; disappointed, hurt, angry and humiliated at the careless and painful treatment she has endured at the hands of her children. She waits, ready to petition the Vedic Gods

Fifth Season (2015-2016)

RUKMINI'S
GOLD

Production: Stationery Factory Main Stage (Toronto), July 1-12, 2015,
Mills Hardware (Hamilton), July 17-27, 2015


Playwright: Radha S. Menon

Director: Wes Berger
Cast: Dia Frid, Ellora Patnaik, Maya Huliyappa-Menon, Rishma Malik, Sindhuri Nandhakumar, Tony Sciara, Vivek Hariharan


Rukmini’s Gold is about journeys in life. Every second counts in this play about connections and moments of departure. Ten stand-alone and yet interconnected scenes set in geographically unique stations around the world, cross continents and surpass a century. Through the eyes of the matriarch, Rukmini track the passage of one South Asian family’s movement, focusing on the women’s struggles against patriarchy through a lens of colonialism, as the dawn of industry, locomotion and mass capitalism determine global movement of labour.

 

Awards: 2015 Toronto New Play contest winner & recipient of 2015 Hamilton Fringe Festival Critics' Choice Award, Finalist 2020 Sultan Padamsee, Playwriting contest & Winner of 2020 Sanhita Manch Playwriting Contest, Finalist Herman Voaden Playwriting Competition 2021

Sixth Season (2016-2017)

Throughout our sixth season, founder and Artistic Director Radha Menon was undertaking her Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Guelph and subsequently productions were put on hiatus during this time.

Red Betty Theatre Logo

Seventh Season (2017-2018)

GANGA'S
GANJA

Workshop Performance:
Staircase Theatre, Hamilton, April 4-6, 2018,
Feminist Fuck it! Festival, Toronto, April 8-22, 2018


Playwright: Radha S. Meno

Director: Jennie Esdale
Cast: Senjuti Sarker, Pam Patel, Amanda De Freitas, Jesse Horvath


Living in complete isolation, Ganga cares for her sister Mena who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. Mena has renounced her previous pharmaceutical care regime and uses cannabis medicinally to ease her debilitating symptoms. Ganga self-medicates and uses sex to blot out guilt and loneliness. A fast-talking interloper stumbles into their world and their weed crop is stolen- thrusting the sisters onto a path of no return.

Eighth Season (2018-2019)

RUKMINI'S
GOLD

Workshop Performance: Hamilton, Ontario


Playwright: Radha Menon

Director: Anand Rajaram


Rukmini’s Gold is about journeys in life. Every second counts in this play about connections and moments of departure. Ten stand-alone and yet interconnected scenes set in geographically unique stations around the world, cross continents and surpass a century. Through the eyes of the matriarch, Rukmini track the passage of one South Asian family’s movement, focusing on the women’s struggles against patriarchy through a lens of colonialism, as the dawn of industry, locomotion and mass capitalism determine global movement of labour.

THE
HANGING

Production: Hamilton Artist Inc, Hamilton April 2018

 

Playwright: Radha S. Menon

Director: Tony Sciara
Cast: Stephanie Park, Rick Roberts, Jesse Horvath, Tricia G. Cook, Michelle Prosek, Abra Bergen, Erika Reesor, Lori LeMare, Marianne Vrbanic, Larry Smith, Stephanie Vasquez


The Hanging, an immersive and interactive short spectacle based on verbatim text collected from Hamilton Rent Strike interviews and recordings at Landlord Tenant Board hearings in Hamilton, riddled with flights of fancy by playwright Radha Menon. Directed by Tony Sciara, this performance was developed with Lori le Mare and the Hamilton Aerial Group, supported by Hamilton Tenants Solidarity Network.

Ninth Season (2019-2020)

Workshop Performance: Zoom


Playwright: Radha Menon

Director: Radha Menon


A devised feminist adaptation of epic poem Ramayana, written by sage Valmiki somewhere between the 1st and 5th century BCE, about Ram’s quest to rescue his abducted wife Sita. Our telling of this entrenched text is through the eyes of Sita, a living-breathing woman, with the intention of subverting this problematic myth.

SITA'S
REVENGE

Sita's Revenge Hamilton Arts Week .jpg

BLACKBERRY

Production: Hamilton Fringe Festival, Skip the Glitches, July 21-26, 2020

 

Playwright: Radha S. Menon

Director: DM St.Bernard


Cast: Jason Chung, Gisy Mohamed, Molly Mutch-Murray

In a remote stretch along an urban lakeside, Fiona, Mo and Salim find peace and a place where they can simply be themselves – until the discovery of a murdered girl’s body destroys their collective fantasy. Blackberry examines the lingering stain of colonialism from the perspective of three IBPOC youth. A timely response to the social justice movements of 2020, Blackberry is a relevant, mysterious, and hopeful piece of theatre that offers a powerful take on the ‘Defund the Police’ movement.

Tenth Season (2020-2021)

DECOLONISE YOUR EARS NEW PLAY FESTIVAL

Production: Virtual Festival streamed on Neme.tv June 24-26, 2021



Unwanted by Melissa Murray-Mutch
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Director: Marilo Nuñez
Dramaturg: DM St. Bernard
Cast: Peter Bailey, Jeremy Carver-James and Jesse Horvath

How Much for Tranquility? by Joanne Roberts
Friday, June 25, 2021
Director: Karen Ancheta
Dramaturg: DM St. Bernard
Cast: Ericka Leobrera, Nicco Lorenzo Garcia, Jona Sagadraca

The Sheep by Radha S. Menon
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Director: Jennie Esdale
Dramaturg: Judith Thompson
Cast: Dia Gupta Frid, Jake Runeckles, Anand Rajaram, Aria Sharma, Mirabella Sundar Singh

 

Decolonising theatre doesn’t mean tossing out the likes of Tennessee Williams, Joe Orton or the Bard. It means brown and black bodies having space and time to explore our voices, develop our practices and explore lesser-known cultural forms without having to negotiate, conform or squeeze into the parameters of Western aesthetics.

Festival playwrights were chosen through an open submission call and juried process. Playwrights then worked with their partnered dramaturgs to develop three drafts of a script. The development process culminates in a staged reading of the pieces at the inaugural festival.