First Métis Man of Odessa show poster

First Métis Man of Odessa

April 1 2021, Online


Recommended for ages 16+

Written by Matthew MacKenzie
Directed by Nina Lee Aquino

Listen wherever you get your podcasts!

You Can’t Get There From Here Audio Series

Episode 2: First Métis Man of Odessa

Set in Toronto; Odessa, Ukraine; and the liminal spaces between, Matthew Mackenzie’s First Métis Man of Odessa is a contemporary love story set against the backdrop of a global pandemic.

No sooner do lovers Matt and Masha part ways for a short time last March, than COVID-19 shutters borders, keeping the new couple apart. Masha can’t get to Matt; Matt can’t get to Masha; and to make matters more complicated, Masha learns she is pregnant. Determined to get to Ukraine to marry the woman he loves and get her to Canada prior to the birth of their son, Matt sets out on an unlikely and hilarious journey to transcend borders – and ends up paying for a klezmer band for several other wedding parties in the process.

Based on true events and alternating between Matt and Masha’s perspectives, First Métis Man of Odessa is a captivating romantic comedy sure to warm even the most COVID-fatigued hearts.

About the Playwright

Matthew MacKenzie

Edmonton playwright Matthew MacKenzie (Métis) is Artistic Director of Punctuate! Theatre, as well as the founder and an Artistic Associate with Pyretic Productions. In 2018, his play Bears won Doras for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Production, was named a co-winner of the Toronto Theatre Critics Outstanding New Canadian Play Award and won the Playwright Guild of Canada’s Carol Bolt National Playwriting Award. In 2019, Punctuate! premiered Matt’s play After the Fire, which was nominated for an Outstanding New Play Dora, as well as The Particulars, which was named one of the top ten productions of of the year by The Globe and Mail.

About the Director

Nina Lee Aquino

With a string of firsts in Asian Canadian theatre, Nina was the founding Artistic Director of fu-GEN Asian Canadian theatre company, organized the first Asian Canadian theatre conference, edited the first (2-volume) Asian Canadian play anthology, and co-edited the first (award-winning) book on Asian Canadian theatre. She was previously the Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre and Factory Theatre and is now the Artistic Director of English Theatre at the National Arts Centre. Awards for her work include the Ken McDougall Award, the Canada Council John Hirsch Prize, the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Margo Bindhart and Rita Davies Cultural Leadership Award, the Toronto Theatre Critics Awards for Best Director, and three Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Direction.

Cast & Creative Team

Mikael Bensimon

Sound Designer

Samira Banihashemi

Apprentice Sound Designer

Matt McGeachy


Lily Chan

Assistant Production Manager