Dixon Road tells the story of a Somali family who immigrate to Canada in 1991 as the civil war begins to tear their homeland apart. They settle in Dixon Road, in a neighbourhood near Pearson airport that is still the heart of Toronto’s Somali community today. Somali-Canadian playwright Fatuma Adar will bring her personal stories and the history of Dixon Road to life with this new musical.
Join us to take in some performances from the upcoming musical, as well as a conversation between Fatuma Adar and Director Kimberly Colburn about Dixon Road and the inspirations behind the pieces as well as the play.
Dixon Road is A Musical Stage Company & Obsidian Theatre Company Co-Production. Originally developed as part of Obsidian Theatre’s Playwrights Unit and commissioned by The Musical Stage Company with funding from The Aubrey & Marla Dan Foundation’s Aubrey & Marla Dan Fund for new musicals.
Musical arrangements: Adam Sakiyama
Thank you to Mohamed Adar for being a part of the interview.
Fatuma Adar is a writer and performer based in Toronto. In 2019 she was published in the anthology “Black Writers Matter” and her new musical “Dixon Road” had been shortlisted for Playwrights Guild of Canada’s Stage West Musical Award. Fatuma is an alumnus of the Bars Workshop NYC at The Public Theater.
Kimberly Colburn is a freelance story editor and producer based in Toronto. She’s been South Coast Rep’s literary director (and co-director of the Pacific Playwrights Festival) and the literary manager at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Around the country, she has dramaturged dozens of world premiere and other productions, workshops, and readings.
Adam Sakiyama is a Dora award-winning music director, composer & lyricist. Recent theatre credits include Sunday in the Park with George (Eclipse Theatre), Songs for a New World (Theatre Sheridan), Reprint (Musical Stage Co.), Next to Normal (Musical Stage Co. / Mirvish), and Billy Elliot (Stratford). Composing credits include Quench (Axon Interactive) and in between (National Ballet of Canada). Songwriter/Arranger for Super Simple Songs, one of the most watched educational channels on YouTube. Currently writing the score for Macbeth (Ballet Kelowna). Adam is a proud alumnus of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.
Germaine Konji (she/they) is a Kenyan-Canadian actor, singer, writer and activist. Her artistry lives where the theatrical, cultural, and political intersect. They’re co-founder of The And, Stage Company, a not-for-profit creating opportunities for women and members of the trans community. Training: 2020 graduate, Sheridan Music Theatre Performance Program Awards: 2020 Musical Stage Company Banks Prize, 2020 Outstanding Contribution to the Canadian Music Theatre Project-Sheridan College, 2019 Highest Achievement in Acting Performance-Sheridan College, Writing credits: After the Reckoning, Centaur theatre 2020. The Rising, 2021 Confederation Centre of the Arts Young Company, The Lobster Who Cried Person, Bad Hats Theatre 2021.
Michael-Lamont Lytle, an immigrant, is originally from Springfield Ohio. He was born to a performing family. His father was noted Vibes musician Johnny Lytle and his aunt Ada Lee (formerly of Peterborough ON) used to sing with Count Basie’s orchestra. Michael-Lamont is proud to be a part of this workshop and having the opportunity to bring Fatuma Adar’s powerful words and beautiful songs to life. Family always comes first for Michael-Lamont, which is why he dedicates this and every performance to his mother Barbara Lytle and his husband D’Arcy McLenaghen.
Justin Han is a versatile Toronto-based drummer, percussionist, arranger, and transcriber. After completing his studies at the University of Toronto (under the tutelage of John Rudolph and Beverley Johnston), he established his career in the theatre and artist communities with a reputation for versatility and support. Highlights include helping with Toronto-originating musicals such as Dora Award-winning Chasse-Galerie, Drama 101, The Perilous Predicament of Polly Peel, and long-form improvised One Night Only. Justin is excited to be making his proper debut with Musical Stage after previously engaging as a substitute performer.
Emily Porter is a theatrical sound designer and teacher with significant experience in system consultation, and rentals/purchase support. She teaches college & university audio courses and is currently pursuing an MSc in Acoustics. Design credits include productions with Regina’s Globe Theatre, Luminato, London’s The Grand Theatre; Rainbow Stage, Thousand Island Playhouse, Neptune Theatre (recipient of the Robert Merritt Award Outstanding Sound Design for Into the Woods), Harold Green Jewish Theatre, Young People’s Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Tarragon Theatre, Canadian Stage, Theatre20, Dancap Producitons, Canadian Opera Company, Stratford Festival and Shaw Festival as well as many independent productions.
Nate Demisse is a singer/songwriter from Toronto, Ontario. Born in London England, Nate started singing at the age of 8 at local churches and family events. Nate explores ideas of hope and reconciliation in his writing, over soft R&B ballads and nostalgic sonics on piano. Nate works as a Youth Outreach Worker, developing his community through youth engagement in artistic expression.
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7:00PM – 8:00PM