Obeah Opera is a hand clapping, foot stomping, spirit lifting, magical musical sensation. Steeped in Black music, sung entirely a cappella by a powerful all-female cast, Obeah Opera is a retelling of the legendary Salem witch trials from the fascinating perspective of Caribbean slave women.

The first of its kind, Obeah Opera (music & libretto by Nicole Brooks) is an a cappella ‘musical odyssey’ or ‘theatrical epic’ sung and danced by a racially diverse cast of 14 women. Rooted in the 17th century world of the Salem Witch Trials, (the same story found in Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ among other famous works including operas and films) this production revisits history and tells the story from the perspective of a young Caribbean slave, Tituba. It is a ground- breaking dramatic work that redefines the traditional opera form by moving away from its European classical standard and using an array of different musical genres mainly found in what is termed 'Black' music such as spirituals, blues, jazz, gospel, traditional African, Caribbean Folk, Calypso, ska, R&B and reggae. It expands the definition of opera by incorporating a variety of storytelling elements from the performing arts and uses an inter-disciplinary approach that includes traditional theatre, musical theatre, opera, dance, visual arts. It ultimately introduces a different use of language, voice, and the body on stage.



Tuesday, August 4 - 7:00pm
Wednesday, August 5 - 7:00pm
Thursday, August 6 - 7:00pm
Friday, August 7 - 7:00pm
Saturday, August 8 - 1:00pm & 7:00pm




Young Centre for the Performing Arts
The Distillery District
50 Tank House Lane
Toronto, ON  M5A 3C4

Nicole Brooks  (Creator, Composer and Librettist)

Lezlie Wade  (Director & Staging)

Andrew Craig  (Music Director)

Anthony “Prime” Guerra  (Choreographer & Cultural Consultant)

Graham Clarke  (Sound Designer)

Robin Fisher  (Set and Costume Designer)

Bonnie Beecher  (Lighting Designer)

Kathleen Harrison  (Stage Manager)

Ashley Westlake  (Assistant Stage Manager)

Marinda de Beer  (Associate Producer - Creative)

Paul Shaw  (Associate Producer - Technical)

Derrick Chua (Producer)



Nicole Brooks (Tituba)

Divine Brown (Mary Black)

Karen Burthwright (Candy)

Diana Coatsworth (Captain/Doctor)

Saphire DeMitro (Auctioneer/Shapeshifter)

Deidrey Francois (Sarah)

Nickeshia Garrick (Shapeshifter)

Sarah Gibbons (Abigail Williams)

Janet MacEwen (Rev Samuel Parris)

Debbie Nicholls-Skerritt (Shapeshifter)

Melissa Noventa (Mercy/Shapeshifter)

Naomi Peltz (Puritan)

Dana Jean Phoenix (Betty Parris)

Sabryn Rock (Elizabeth Eldridge)

Singing Sandra (The Elder)



For press inquiries

Dianne Weinrib, DW Communications

For general inquiries


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Culchahworks Arts Collective

Guided by the teaching that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward, the not-for-profit Culchahworks Arts Collective enthralls, educates and inspires audiences by celebrating universal stories, drawn principally from the Caribbean-Canadian, African-Canadian and African-American cultural legacies.

Nightwood Theatre forges creative alliances among women artists from diverse backgrounds in order to develop and produce innovative Canadian Theatre. We produce original Canadian plays and works from the contemporary international repertoire. We advocate for women, provide a training ground for emerging talent and engage artists in play development and theatre production. We make theatre that is relevant, that awakens a new perspective, and promotes empathy and a deeper connection to our humanity.Nightwood¹s overriding vision is to be the gateway, propelling women to the top of their craft in Canadian Theatre.

b current is the hotbed for culturally-rooted theatre development in Toronto. Over the past 24 years, b current has created space for diverse voices to be heard, always with a focus on engaging the communities from which the stories emerge. Originally founded as a place for black artists to create, nurture, and present their new works, the company has grown to support artists from all diasporas. b current produces outside of the box performance works and ideas in addition to mainstage theatre productions. It is also home to the bcHub, an artist network and resource program where play development, professional development, and community outreach converge. bcurrent.ca

Obeah Opera was commissioned by the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games arts and culture festival, PANAMANIA presented by CIBC