Written by Matthew MacKenzie
Directed by Nina Lee Aquino
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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
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 became Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre, currently holds the same position at Factory Theatre. Awards for her work include the Ken McDougall Award 2004, the Canada Council John Hirsch Prize 2008, the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Margo Bindhart and Rita Davies Cultural Leadership Award, and three Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Direction.