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A show that looks and speaks like Canada!
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Show Tour 2019: Ottawa-Toronto

Sample Program (2019@ Fairview Library Theatre)

Samples Press Release (2019@Aki Studio)

May 10-11 Ottawa​

June 26-29 Toronto

July 25-26 and Aug 18 North York

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In Sundry Languages 

August 16 

@Fairview Library Theatre (Toronto)

Multilingual performance featuring Persian, Armenian and other languages.

August 16 @ 7:00 PM

August 16 @ 9:00 PM

"In Sundry Languages":

    Investigating the phenomenon of multilingual acting

Is stage multilingualism possible? Do we always yearn for translation? 



A Show that Looks and Speaks Like Canada

“In Sundry Languages” is a multilingual theatre experiment conducted by the Toronto Laboratory Theatre with a diverse group of performers, including recent immigrants to Canada and refugees. Structured as a series of loose vignettes, the stories told on stage are of immigration, displacement, hybrid identities, constant learning and unlearning. As the scenes and stories unfurl, the audience is confronted with their biases about the languages of each other, laughing and crying in turn at cultural and linguistic stereotypes. The multilingual performers use and abuse various dialects of Mandarin, Arabic, Russian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, among many others. While the actors never translate what they are saying, the message is translated across the complex physicality of the performers and video dramaturgy. Audience members are invited to reflect on the multiple subjectivities that make up the voices of Toronto residents, and also on the subjectivity of their own voices and perceptions.


Un spectacle qui ressemble et reflète le Canada

La pièce multilingue « En langues diverses » est une expérience théâtrale menée par le Théâtre‑laboratoire de Toronto et composée d’un groupe d’acteurs variés, y compris des nouveaux immigrants au Canada et des réfugiés. Structurées sous forme de vignettes distinctes, les histoires mises en scène portent sur l’ immigration, le déplacement, l'identité plurielle, l’apprentissage continu et le désapprentissage. Au moment  où les scènes et les histoires se déroulent, les spectateurs sont confrontés à leurs préjugés linguistiques des autres acteurs, riant et pleurant à la fois des stéréotypes culturels et linguistiques. Les acteurs multilingues usent et abusent de divers dialectes mandarins, arabes, russes, anglais, français, espagnols et portugais, entre autres. Aucune ligne du texte des acteurs n’est traduite, mais l’interprétation du message est faite à travers leur physicalité complexe et la dramaturgie sous forme de vidéo. Les spectateurs sont invités à réfléchir sur plusieurs subjectivités qui font partie des voix des habitants du Canada, ainsi que sur la subjectivité de leurs propres voix et perceptions.


In Sundry Languages




by Danielle Son

Robert Gill Theatre, Univeristy of Toronto

May 2015

Cast and Team

Performed by:


Art Babayants

Performer/Director/Artistic Director

Art was bitten by the theatre bug (a very large and venomous one) at the age of eleven when he started attending his mother’s acting school. After learning everything possible and impossible about Stanislavski's Method of Physical Actions, he began to work as an Acting and Movement instructor.  After dabbling  in many fields, he finally dmitted to himself that theatre was his first and strongest love – much to the displeasure of one of his stern Armenian grandmothers, who considered theatre (as well as all of his other career choices) a ‘tragic waste of time’. He founded his first theatre company in 2004.

Click to Learn More about Art.


Юрий Ружьёв / Yury Ruzhyev


Yury is multidisciplinary performer in film, theatre, and circus. Originally from Moscow, where he studied theatre and acting at Boris Shukin Theatre School, affiliated with Vakhtangov Theatre (2008), performance arts at The Green Theatre in Moscow (2005); He also holds MBA from Moscow University (2001); Yury is very proud to have studied with John Turner at the Clown Farm and at Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris.

Click to Learn More  about Yury.


Lavinia Salinas


I am an Economist, an Engineer, a Philosopher, an Early Child Educator, a teacher, a dancer, a wife, a mother, a pretty decent farmer and gardener but right now I am decided to go full steam into acting and yoga teaching. I surely need to do it since the acting worm that consumes my insides if I am not on stage, has revealed me one more truth…I am probably an adopted mother to my kids…you see every time an opportunity arises for a volunteer to step into the space, I would go "me, me, pick me and my kids and hubby would be so embarrassed.  :)


高子莹 / Ziying Gloria Gao


Ziying Gloria Gao is a Toronto-based theatre artist, singer and dancer who came to Canada from China in 2011. She received her Honours B.A. in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Toronto. In August 2016, Gao was selected to perform in ENSEMBLE Canadian Youth Theatre’s production TOUGH!. In March 2016 and May 2015, she co-wrote and performed in the earlier iterations of Toronto Laboratory Theatre’s multilingual theatre production In Sundry Languages. Gao is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and English. 


Ghazal Partou  غزال پرتو 


Ghazal Partou is an Iranian multi-disciplinary artist, who moved to Canada in 2013. Ghazal is the recipient of Toronto Arts Foundation’s 2015 TELUS Newcomer Artist Award, Persbook Contemporary Art Award, and the National Sculpture Biennial Award in Tehran. Since landing in Toronto, Ghazal has been active in more than 20 art projects as an actor, creative director, and designer. These days, her effort is to make the most out of the multicultural atmosphere of Toronto, to find an international language as an artist, and expand the limits to connect with people beyond their race, language, nationality, and ethnicity.


Pooria Fard پوريا فرد


Pooria Fard is an Iranian-Canadian theatre artist based out of Toronto. He is a graduate of the Theatre Performance program at Humber College, and a co-founder of Go Play Prouducing. He has also acted in number of plays, films both in Farsi and English including The Kite Runner (Theater Calgary/Edmonton’s Citadel), Cathrine Frid’s The Solitary (InspiraTo Short Play Festival), Circumstance (Marakesh Film), Friendship (Web Series), The Pillowman (Nowadays theater) performed in Canada, Iran and Russia. Also the creation and the presentation of Morrir de Pie or Die Standing at Rutas Panamericanas and Caminos festivals.


Vik Hovhanisian Վիկ Հովհաննիսյան


Née en Arménie, Vik a grandi dans un cadre multiculturel et multilinguistique, fait de voyages et de croisées de chemins. Elle a concentré la majeure partie de son travail sur la question de colonisation-décolonisation, le trauma identitaire et le dialogue interculturel. Après des études au Conservatoire d’art dramatique à Paris (Fr), Vik a travaillé sous la direction de metteurs en scène français, en répertoire classique et contemporain. Parallèlement, avec une formation en danse classique, elle a étudié les danses traditionnelles de différentes régions du monde. Établie à Toronto depuis 3 ans, elle est comédienne et autrice francophone.

Production Team:

Directed by Art Babayants



Myrto Koumarianos

Production Dramaturge

Myrto is a current doctoral candidate at UofT. She speaks four languages to varying degrees, writes in two (and a half), understands an additional two (sometimes), and can navigate (with some misadventures) another two ancient ones.  Her research apprenticeship with the internationally composed Open Program team of the Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards helped to focus her current academic work. More.


Tyler Kruspe


Tyler Kruspe is a Toronto based Theatre Producer, Designer and Artist. He is the winner of the 2018 Goethe Institut Toronto Prize and has studied abroad in New York, Rome, Helsinki, Berlin and Mannheim, Germany. Born and raised in Ottawa, he has a Classical Theatre training from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, studied both in Theatre and Architecture at the University of Toronto and Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University. In Vancouver,

he performed as part of the TooBa Physical Theatre Ensemble and produced with Touchstone Theatre. Past collaboration credits include, Smitten (TooBa), Killing Caesar (Touchstone), Cherri (Orpheus), Shakespeare’s Criminal (Orpheus) He is Lead Visual Designer with Orchestra Toronto, a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto in Fine Art and Bauhaus history and is an international gold medalist in the sport of rowing.

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Community Producer

Syeda works as a Coordinator in a business company in Toronto. She holds a B.Ed. in Special Education and Master’s in Development Studies. She has extraordinary skills in people management. At the same time, she is passionate about performing arts. She is empowered to take ownership of her work and assisted different Theater companies in their project development. More.

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Maria Kordoni

Community Producer

Maria Kordoni, a graduate of the drama school Embros, is an actor, director, and teacher of dramatic arts. She has appeared in several film, television and theatre productions in Greece between 2000 and 2011. She has acted in and directed both classical and contemporary theatre, including: Double Inconstancy, Beauty and the Beast. Maria moved to Canada in 2011 and is now running her own Greek language drama school, “Epi Skinis.” More.

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Luba Cherny

Community Producer

Luba Cherny has had an extensive journalist career in Russia working for newspapers and publishing companies. In Canada, she publishes “Canadian Courier” and a hosts of Radio Kurier on CHIN. She created the yearly Russian Carousel Cultural Festival In 2002 she has received Gold Jubilee Medal of Queen Elizabeth for her active community work. More.


Gregory Guzik


Gregory is a theatre artist and producer from Poland based in Toronto. He is a recent theatre graduate from UofT and Sheridan College’s joint Theatre and Drama Studies Program. Greg was drawn to this project because of his fascination with language, culture and the exciting ways in which they interact with one another. 


Kia Salimian


Kia Salimian has studied architecture and started to work as a stage and set designer from the age of 18. He’s attended many acting, playwriting and set designing workshops to learn more about theatre.
Since then he has been involved in many productions as  a producer, set designer, actor and director.

This project has had many collaborators. Click here to learn about all those who have worked on In Sundry Languages in the past.

Audience Feedback

Audience Feedback


"I LOVED it. I've been disappointed in much of the theatre I've seen. This has finally excited me."

(First language - French)

"I was engaged, amused and intrigued. The visual cues more than made up for any lack of understanding in the spoken performance"

(First languages - English and Afrikaans)

"Insightful, brought together a variety of perspectives; very humorous - teaching people through laughter is very effective"

(First language - English)

"Funny and offensive (in a good way)"

(First languages - English and Urdu)

"The show was as multicultural as Canada itself. It's very interesting and I definitely recommend it"

(First language - Korean)


"Thoughtful, thought-provoking, funny, real, heartbreaking! It was new and intriguing and at times frustrating just like many things in life!" 

(First language - Cantonese) 

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