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A Poem for Rabia ()

Produced by

Nightwood Theatre and Tarragon Theatre and Undercurrent Creations

Playwright: Nikki Shaffeeullah
Co-Directors: Clare Preuss and Donna-Michelle St. Bernard


Tarragon Theatre – Extra Space


October 17th, 2023 – November 12th, 2023


An epic journey across time, oceans, and tectonic shifts in political history.

A Poem for Rabia weaves the stories of three queer women from the same bloodline: Zahra, a disillusioned activist in 2053, navigating a Canada that has just abolished prisons; Betty, in 1953 British Guiana, caught between her new secretarial job at the Governor’s office and the growing national independence movement; and Rabia, an Indian domestic worker in 1853, abducted by colonial ‘recruiters’ and sent sailing from Calcutta to the Caribbean on an indentured labour ship. (


Nikki Shaffeeullah Zahra
Virgilia Griffith Sheree / Marsha
Michelle Mohammed Betty / Anu
Adele Noronha Rabia
Jay Northcott Jem / Tom
Anand Rajaram Farooq / Ramesh

Creative Team

Nikki Shaffeeullah Playwright
Clare Preuss Co-Director
Donna-Michelle St. Bernard Co-Director
Donna-Michelle St. Bernard Dramaturge
Becky Ablack Assistant Director
Sonja Rainey Set Designer
Jawon Kang Costume Designer
Echo Zhou 周芷會 Lighting Designer
David Mesiha Sound Designer
David Mesiha Composer
Jack Rennie Fight Director
Sasha Tate-Howarth Additional Dramaturgy
Intisar Awisse Additional Dramaturgy


Amani Dorn Dialect Coach
Gurkiran Kaur Dialect Coach
Andrew Prashad Dialect Coach
Sandi Becker Stage Manager
Kayleigh Mundy Apprentice Stage Manager
Rachel Penny Consulting Creative Producer


Gerry Egan Director of Production
Leslie Hernandez Technical Director
Carley Melvin Assistant Technical Director
David Mallette Extra Space Technician
Andrew Chute Head Carpenter
Ashley MacDonald Head of Properties
Acadia Walsh Head of Wardrobe
Shara-Lee Miller Head Scenic Artist
Hilda Chu Scenic Painter