is proud to announce the world premiere of

The Caged Bird Sings

The Caged Bird Sings

presented by

in association with

The Caged Bird Sings

2024 world premiere

In the Courtyard of the Aga Khan Museum, witness a re-imagining and radical adaptation of Rumi’s “Masnavi”: The Caged Bird Sings reveals a cage within a cage as this surreal piece unfolds for audiences in the round. 


An original piece written by Rouvan Silogix, Rafeh Mahmud, and Ahad Lakhani, The Caged Bird Sings holds three prisoners: two star-crossed lovers and scientists, Rumi and Jin, who share a cell with Sal, a mysterious vagrant. As they navigate their new-found reality and reconcile their past lives, they are haunted by ghosts and demons of their own making. The piece explores Sufi mysticism, ideas of Fanafillah, the prisons – literal and metaphorical - that we are put in, that we put ourselves in, and that we create ourselves, and how and whether it’s possible to escape such prisons.

When

Show dates from:

June 10 – June 26, 2024

Where

77 Wynford Drive,

Toronto, Ontario, M3C 1K1

Show Length

80 - 90 minutes

“Rumi’s work, often when adapted in our “Western” context, tends to err on caution, presenting an almost reverent, delicate, prophetic interpretation of his work - where as The Caged Bird Sings is anything but.”

“Rumi’s work is confounding, always demanding, witty, sharp, unapologetic, always making the reader engage, wonder and question. This re-imagining, created by Brown immigrant writers originally from Pakistan, contemporarizes Rumi in a way never really done - staying true to his work, and the spirit of his Sufi-mystical writings and art.”
said Rouvan Silogix,
Artistic Director of Modern Times Stage Company.
“Rumi’s work, often when adapted in our “Western” context, tends to err on caution, presenting an almost reverent, delicate, prophetic interpretation of his work - where as The Caged Bird Sings is anything but.”

“Rumi’s work is confounding, always demanding, witty, sharp, unapologetic, always making the reader engage, wonder and question. This re-imagining, created by Brown immigrant writers originally from Pakistan, contemporarizes Rumi in a way never really done - staying true to his work, and the spirit of his Sufi-mystical writings and art.”
said Rouvan Silogix,
Artistic Director of Modern Times Stage Company.

On-Stage

Rumi

Mikaela Lily Davies

Mikaela Lily Davies is a 2020 graduate of the prestigious CBC Canadian Film Centre's Acting Conservatory. She has performed in eight shows with Soulpepper Theatre (Two Dora nominations) and spent four seasons at The Stratford Festival, playing Katherine of France in Breath of Kings, Irma in The Madwoman of Chaillot and Beatrice-Joanna in The Changeling/ Davies is the inaugural recipient of the Jon Kaplan Canadian Stage Performer Award.


She holds a Sterling nomination for Outstanding Comedic Performance for the titular role Miss Bennet at The Citadel Theatre, a META nomination for Outstanding Supporting Performance for her work as Bess in The Last Wife at The Centaur and a My Entertainment World nomination for Outstanding Actress for her work in The Changeling. She is a graduate of the Stratford Festival's Michael Langham Conservatory for Classical Direction where she worked with Robert Lepage and Jill Keiley and is a two time nominee for the Cayle Chernin Media Award.


https://mikaelalilydavies.com/

SAL

Rouvan Silogix

Rouvan Silogix is an award-winning, immigrant Pakistani-Tanzanian writer, director, performer, and classical pianist. His work primarily explores imaginative forms of art, often reimagining classical texts, digging into the profound and complex sociopolitical issues of our times.

 

Prior to joining Modern Times in 2022, Rouvan was Associate Artistic Director (Head of New Play Development) at Crow’s Theatre, Founding Artistic Director of Theatre ARTaud, Writer-In-Development at Factory Theatre, and Associate Artist and Producer at Mammalian Diving Reflex. Prior to immigrating to Canada, he worked professionally in New York City and Karachi, Pakistan. In Toronto, Rouvan’s work has been seen on the stages of Theatre Passe Muraille, Buddies In Bad Times, The Theatre Centre, Crow’s Theatre, Factory Theatre, SummerWorks Performance Festival, Next Stage Festival, and others. In Karachi, Pakistan, he was a Resident Artist at the National Academy of Performing Arts working under Pakistani icon Zia Mohyuddin.


Rouvan is an RBC and Toronto Arts Foundation award winner. Recent Artistic Credits include the Toronto premiere of “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” by Rajiv Joseph, “The Land Acknowledgement / As You Like It” by Cliff Cardinal, and “The Caged Bird Sings” at the Aga Khan Museum.

JIN

Navtej Sandhu

Navtej Sandhu is a Toronto-based actor, born in the United States; she is also an emerging screenwriter and singer. Her most recent acting credits include Bagheera the Panther in Kidoons touring production of Jungle Book and Karna/Satyavati in Mahabharata directed by Ravi Jain at the Barbican Centre in London, England.


Navtej is also an intermediate actor combatant and is now in the process of getting her advanced actor combatant at Rapier Wit. She hopes to be able to tell her story and amplify the voices of communities that have had their voices constantly stifled. Navtej’s goal is to continue to create and be a part of projects that she believes in, and that speak to those communities.

“Any form of art is a form of power; it has impact, it can affect change – it can not only move us, it makes us move.”
- Ossie Davis”

Off-Stage

DIRECTOR | WRITER

Rafeh Mahmud

Rafeh Mahmud is a multi-award-winning director, writer, producer, and editor, with Pakistani, Tanzanian, and American roots, now settled as a new immigrant in Canada. His latest film, When Life Gives You Lemons (2022), has garnered critical acclaim with multiple official selections, an award, and two nominations for Best International Short Film and Best Editing at Oscar-qualifying festivals like Martha's Vineyard AA Film Festival Virtual Experience and the St. Louis International Film Festival.

Prior to his move to Toronto, Mahmud made waves in the film industry with his previous work, In Defense of Civil Society (2021), which received numerous official selections and awards, showcasing his talent for storytelling and editing. In addition to his film accolades, Mahmud has made significant contributions to television, working with prestigious networks like ABC News and contributing to hit shows like Netflix's The Queen's Gambit and Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Since relocating to Toronto, he has lent his expertise to projects on networks such as Lifetime, CBC Gem, and CTV.

WRITER

Ahad Lakhani

Ahad Lakhani is a playwright drawn to the avant-garde delights in crafting stories that challenge expectations and play with classical themes. With a bold vision and an inventive spirit, he invites audiences into a world where the familiar is transformed into something surreal.

Lakhani is also a seasoned producer whose work spans theatre and film and has been showcased in South Asia and North America. In Canada, he has assisted in bringing acclaimed productions to audiences at festivals like the SummerWorks Performance Festival, Next Stage Festival, and the Jubilee National Arts Festival.

is proud to announce the world premiere of

The Caged Bird Sings

The Caged Bird Sings

presented by

in association with

is proud to announce the world premiere of

The Caged Bird Sings

The Caged Bird Sings

presented by

in association with

Behind the Curtains

Modern Times

Aga Khan Museum

Theatre ARTaud

About

The Modern Times Stage Company was established in Toronto in 1989. We create original plays, revisit classical work, and adapt, translate, and re-imagine the plays of immigrant, Iranian, Desi, Arab, Brown, IPBOC and LGBTQ+ dramatists. We are primarily interested in radical performing arts and imaginative art forms. We are a company built by immigrants. We believe that individual voices, experiences, and backgrounds can unite in a common vision and create theatre that expresses the essence of a shared human spirit. Founded by Soheil Parsa and Peter Farbridge, now led by Artistic Director, Rouvan Silogix, the company’s work has been performed in Colombia, Cuba, Iran, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Denmark. The company has received 65+ Dora awards and nominations in its 34+ years of operations.

Team

Playwrights 

Rouvan Silogix | Rafeh Mahmud | Ahad Lakhani

Director 

Rafeh Mahmud

Cast

Navtej Sandhu | Mikaela Lily Davies | Rouvan Silogix

Production Manager

Aaheli Mukherjee

Scenic Design

Waleed Ansari

Sound Design & Score

John Gzowski

Stage Manager

Lisa Sciannella

Costume Design

Niloufar Ziaee

Modern Times Stage Company
Aga Khan Museum
Theatre ARTaud
Modern Times Stage Company
Aga Khan Museum
Theatre ARTaud

Behind the show

About Modern Times

Modern Times Stage creates original Canadian art, reimagines classic work, and adapts plays in different languages and contexts to bring holistic and innovative forms to our contemporary and diverse Toronto audiences. We are committed to exploring, imagining and creating exciting, radical, performing arts in Toronto, while empowering voices that have been historically and presently marginalized – focusing on artists who have immigrated or sought asylum in Canada.


Modern Times is the only Toronto-based Theatre company that prioritizes empowering immigrants, newcomers and refugees as part of our core mandate.

Rouvan SIlogix

Artistic Director 

Steph Crothers

Artistic Producer & Company Manager

Honey Hoseiny

Apprentice

Natasha Anwar

Marketing Associate

Gia Nahmens

Bookkeeper 

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