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Essential, ecstatic theatre that touches the earth and ignites the soul.


"Theaturtle was established in 1999 to create essential, ecstatic theatre that touches the earth and ignites the soul. Its name is derived from stories told in both Native Canadian and Jewish traditions that the world sits on the back of a turtle. We develop work slowly and carefully, plodding like the turtle. Then, we glide like a turtle into international waters to share our Canadian-made, physically and musically robust theatre."

Alon NashmanArtistic Director

Our history

In 1999, Adam Nashman's The Song, featuring Alon Nashman and Deborah Hay, was hailed as "...a tribute to the possibilities of the human body and human imagination" (National Post). In 2000 and 2002, Wajdi Mouawad's Alphonse was called "A One-Man Wonder" (Globe and Mail) and was nominated for Dora and Brickenden Awards.

Alon and Mark Cassidy of Threshold Theatre developed the solo play Kafka and Son, based on a letter Franz Kafka wrote to his father. The play toured with acclaim across Canada, to the National Theatre of Iceland, the Edinburgh Fringe, The Hague, Budapest, London, and Prague, where it won an Outstanding Performance Award. Recently, Kafka and Son was featured at Germany's Thespis Festival, Turkey's Ankara International Theatre Festival, South Africa's National Arts Festival, and at New York's Soho Playhouse.

In 2006, The Snow Queen, adapted by Canadian composer Patrick Cardy, was brought to theatrical completion with the help of The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Directed by Alon and performed with the Tokai String Quartet, The Snow Queen garnered Dora nominations for Outstanding Production and Performance, and has played at Toronto's Young Centre, Calgary ProMusica, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, and Vancouver's Roundhouse, with the Cecilia String Quartet.

In 2009, Alon directed a workshop production of a vibrant new play, Noah's Great Rainbow by Sam Chaiton, which encompasses the shared experience of survivors of the Rwandan Genocide and the Holocaust, and features music by Mighty Popo, Waleed Abdulhamid and David Buchbinder.

Theaturtle is also touring the acclaimed Stratford Festival production of Hirsch, created by Alon Nashman and Paul Thompson, about legendary Canadian director John Hirsch, which was praised by the New York Times and Dame Maggie Smith. Recent projects developed by Theaturtle include CHARLOTTE: a Tri-Coloured Play with Music, an international collaboration based on the remarkable life and artwork of Charlotte Salomon, with music by Aleš Březina, libretto by Alon Nashman, and scenography/direction by Pamela Howard.

Awards & Nominations

4Dora Award Nominations
6Fringe Best in Fest Awards


Outstanding Touring Production, Brickenden Award, London, Canada


Outstanding Performance, Prague Fringe


Jury Award, Thespis Festival, Germany


Arena Stage Award, National Arts Festival, South Africa


Fringe Encore Series Selection, Soho Playhouse, New York


Critics' Choice Award, Orlando Fringe Winter Fest