On What Ground
on what ground
produced by other hearts productions
What is the first place you remember? When do we know we belong to a place? When does a space become a place? How will this place remember us?
For a society that is increasingly realizing the critical importance of place and environment, On What Ground is an exploration of the ways that we find, make, and leave the places that define us. Dynamically combining music, movement, and an honest conversation between the artists on stage and the members of the audience, we work together to find what makes a place the place. Part performance, part ritual, On What Ground offers a model of not only creative, but also political and ecological commons inspired by the ground that we stand on. The place we are. The place we’re trying to get to. A place we can all belong to.
Is this the place yet? Enough of that. Let’s begin.
Other HeArts is a Toronto-based performance collective made up of four members: Yousef Kadoura, Sebastian Marziali, Silvae Mercedes and Harri Thomas. Our work has been called “consistently challenging” (Mooney on Theatre, 2021) and moves laterally across form and genre, ranging from puppetry and performance art to installation and experimental film. This versatility is supported by the diversity of our identities and lived experiences (Arab, Womxn, Mad, Disabled, Latinx, Non-Binary, Queer). Our work together is driven by a shared curiosity around the possibilities of hybrid performance forms, and is especially devoted to marginalized histories, the inventive use of bodies and objects, and the performance of memory.
meet the team
HARRI THOMAS (they/them) is a nonbinary director, dramaturg, and performance maker based between rural and urban Ontario. Their previous works as a director have included adaptations of classic texts, as well as world play premieres and live art creations. Their work emphasizes the body as the site of both trauma and forgiveness, in relationship to love, the earth, the spirit and society. They are a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s directing program. Recent Credits: Creator/Perfomer Flower Machine v2: Paiseu (Other HeArts, York Lane Art Collective 2018), Director/Dramaturg Mad Ones (Tangled Art + Disability 2018), Director/Dramaturg One Night (Other Hearts, Caminos 2019), Director/Performer Intangible Adorations Caravan (Artworx TO/Tangled Arts+Disability 2020), Director/Dramaturg Slaughter Bros Dime Circus (baby monster productions, 2020).
SEBASTIAN MARZIALI (they/them) is an Uruguayan-Canadian performer, director, producer and graduate of Humber College’s Theatre Performance program. Sebatian was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award as part of the ensemble of Modern Times Stage and Aluna Theatre’s Blood Wedding. They work extensively with Aluna, having presented at and helped produce the RUTAS Panamericanas and CAMINOS Festivals. Sebastian assistant directed & dynamic-surtitling for The Refuge of Freidel and Dora nominated What I learned from a decade of fear (La MaMa E.T.C. in NYC; Festival Alternativo Bogotá; Hemi Encuentro ‘14, PROGRESS ‘15). They performed in, designed, and choreographed for the sold-out T.O. Fringe hits Lysistrata, Carmilla, and Mayhem at Miskatonik. Recently, they appeared in A Streetcar Named Desire at Soulpepper and Wring the Roses at High Performance Rodeo.
SILVAE MERCEDES (shey/they) is a Mad performer, writer, producer and costume designer. Her work as a lyricist has been called “funny, lyrically nimble and jarring in just the right measure” (Charlebois Post, 2013), and her performance in the North American premier of Howard Barker’s Lot And His God was given 4 stars by Now Magazine’s Jon Kaplan and hailed as “the highlight of the show”. She was a member of the Toronto International Festival of Authors New Embassy 2022, and her poetry is currently published in Issue 22 of The /t3mz/ Review. Performance credits include: Mad Ones (Tangled Art + Disability), Flower Machine v2: Paiseu (Other HeArts, York Lane Art Collective), Slaughter Bros. Dime Circus (baby monster productions), Murdoch Mysteries (CBC), Call Me Fitz (HBO Canada).
YOUSEF KADOURA (he/they) is a Disabled Lebanese-Canadian actor, writer, and producer as well as a graduate of the acting program at the National Theatre School of Canada (2017). He was the producer and host of Walking the Space, a podcast series exploring disability in the arts, and was previously the 2018 Curator in Residence at Tangled Art + Disability. Yousef’s recent theatre credits include: Jihad, Eraser, Riser Project (2019), Tanjou, Soifs Matériaux at the FTA (2019), Fifi/Zidan, The Green Line at the Rhubarb festival (2019), Jonathan : LA FIGURE DU GOÉLAND at Theatre Denis Pelletier (2022) and Rubble at Theatre Passe Muraille (2023)