The National Arts Centre English Theatre presents thirsty by Dionne Brand adapted from her book of poetry, thirsty Directed by Peter Hinton WORLD PREMIERE November 5 - 17, 2012 NAC Studio

Featuring the NAC English Theatre Company
Carol Cece Anderson, Audrey Dwyer, Andrew Moodie, and Jackie Richardson.

Ottawa, Ontario – In 1978, Alan, a Jamaican man, is killed in his Toronto home by police. For the women in his life – his widow, daughter, and mother – the memory of the event still reverberates, fresh and raw. Dionne Brand, winner of the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize and 2011-12 NAC Playwright in Residence, brings this heartbreaking story to the stage with the world premiere of thirsty -- based on her 2002 book of poetry of the same name.

Her gripping adaptation adds a new dimension to this story of loss, suffering, and abandonment, revealing the scars left on the family and society. Cultural confrontation turns into tragedy, captured in the victim’s dying word: “thirsty”.

A renowned poet, novelist, and essayist, Dionne Brand has won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, the Trillium Prize for Literature, the Pat Lowther Award for Poetry, the Harbourfront Writers’ Prize, the Toronto Book Award and was Toronto's third Poet Laureate 2009-2012.

Director Peter Hinton, along with a masterful group of actors and artists, have created a beautiful exploration of worlds and words, and a perfect fit in this season of plays by women, to open the NAC English Theatre Studio series. Peter Hinton was recently awarded the 2012 Gascon-Thomas Award from the National Theatre School of Canada. The award is given annually to two artists, recognizing those who have shaped the world of theatre, and their status as role models to National Theatre School students.

“Brand’s is a voice both brave and beautiful.” – NOW

The creative team includes: Director Peter Hinton; Set and Costume Designer Gillian Gallow; Lighting Designer Louise Guinand; Sound Designer Troy Slocum; Production Dramaturg Paula Danckert; Stage Manager Kate Macdonnell; and Apprentice Stage Manager Erika Morey.

November 5 - 17

Monday, November 5
Tuesday, November 6 and Wednesday, November 7
Thursday, November 8

Salon Saturday:         
Saturday, November 10 at 12:45 p.m. in the NAC Salon.
NAC English Theatre Artistic Director Jillian Keiley invites English Theatre patrons to join her, and a special guest, as they discuss aspects of the play thirsty. Free to the public.


Wednesday, November 14, and Thursday, November 15.
Stay in your seats for a post-show question-and-answer session with artists from thirsty.

Performance Schedule:         
Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m.
Saturday matinees at 2 p.m.
(no performances on Sunday)

Tickets start at $30
Groups of 10 or more contact or visit

Tickets are available for purchase:

  • Online on the NAC’s website:
  • In person at the NAC Box Office
  • At all Ticketmaster outlets*
  • By telephone 1-888-991-2787*
    *A service charge applies on all purchases made through Ticketmaster.

Find out more about NAC English Theatre on Facebook and YouTube. To discover some fascinating facts about thirsty visit and explore the English Theatre online study guide.

This production is eligible for the Trinity Live Rush program.
Full-time students age 13-29 with a valid Student ID may buy up to two tickets per performance at the discounted price of only $12 per ticket. Trinity Live Rush tickets are available from 10 a.m. on the day before the performance to 6 p.m. the day of the performance. This includes all available seats, including the best seats in the house.
Check out for information on the Trinty Live Rush program.

Embassy Hotel & Suites is proud to be the Official Hotel Partner for the National Arts Centre English Theatre.


For information, please call:
Sean Fitzpatrick, Communications Officer, National Arts Centre English Theatre
613-947-7000 ext. 389; e-mail:
or visit the NAC website at