Call for Submissions: The Onion Cellar

Driftwood Theatre Group invites applications from diverse storytellers for a new project led by Ahmed Moneka.

Truth spoken has the ability to heal. Truth guarded has destroyed civilizations.

With the generous support of Nightswimming Theatre and in partnership with Driftwood Theatre, actor, musician and creator Ahmed Moneka is engaging in a new project to explore our human need to share and experience stories as a process of healing, breaking down barriers, and building community.

The Onion Cellar imagines a tavern in the city of Toronto where no food or alcohol is served but where, through the cutting and peeling onions, guests are prompted to shed tears, share stories and begin a process of healing.

In Moneka’s vision, The Onion Cellar (based loosely on a chapter of German novelist Gunter Grass’ ‘The Tin Drum’) is a vital story, a response to circumstances and technology that have robbed us of our ability to truly commune and share openly with each other across cultures, beliefs and experiences. The Onion Cellar is envisioned as a collectively-created, world-fusion musical celebrating openness, storytelling and community.


We are looking for six theatre artists, preferably with a strong connection to music, to engage with us in a process of story sharing and creation over a potentially long-term project (pending funding).

For this current phase of supported work, we are conducting two meetings with each artist lasting approximately 90-120 minutes each. In the first session the artist will share one or more personal stories. Between the first and second session will be a period of writing by Mr. Moneka. At the second session each artist will be asked to respond to and engage with the writing. Each session will take place over Zoom.

From Mr. Moneka, “we are asking you to bring your most treasured self and your radical truth and in return, we will provide a humble honouring and gratitude for your rawness and vulnerability”.


What follows is a suggested breakdown of artists. However, we are committed to reflecting Canada’s rich diversity in all aspects of our work. We encourage and welcome applicants from all backgrounds and will prioritize applicants who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, Women, Gender minorities, 2SLGBTQ+, d/Deaf, Disabled/People with Disabilities, and/or Neurodiverse.

  • Artist 1. Trans-identifying individual, any gender. 20-30
  • Artist 2. Asian individual, any gender. 20-40.
  • Artist 3. Black individual, cis female. 50-60.
  • Artist 4. Indigenous individual, any gender. 20-40.
  • Artist 5. A widow or single parent, any gender. 20-40.
  • Artist 6. Caucasian individual, cis male. 40-60.

Again, these are suggestions only, if you don’t see yourself reflected above but feel that you have a story to share, we’d like to hear from you.

Please submit a letter of interest, photo & resume in a single pdf format to Driftwood Theatre at In the letter, please provide any details about yourself you are willing to share and express, in some way, your connection to story or storytelling. Please also indicate your connection to music, what instruments you play (if any), and vocal range (if you know it).

Please note: we encourage everyone with an interest to make an application. Musical ability would be great, but it is not mandatory. First and foremost, we want to hear your story.

Both CAEA members and non-CAEA members will be considered. All artists will be engaged under a workshop contract through the Independent Theatre Agreement (CAEA). Electronic submissions only. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

No agency submissions please. Agents, please encourage your clients to self-submit.

COMPENSATION: Compensation will be $250/session ($500 total).

The deadline for submissions is February 14, 2022, at 12pm.

Something’s Baking

I didn’t bake this bread. But I did help test it.

A comparison could be made to my recent Covid-19 booster, though testing the bread was far more enjoyable than getting vaccinated. And there’s the rub.

On one hand, I experienced the immediate, rich, endorphins-launching joy of consuming freshly-baked bread. For my pandemic-exhausted soul, this was bliss, though maybe at the expense of my youthful waistline (ha!).

On the other hand, I deeply abhor needles and can’t say that I particularly enjoyed any of the three recent experiences I’ve had with them. Though looking at it from the other end, those vaccinations are far better for my long-term health and well-being than the bread.

But look at me; this was supposed to be a post about what Driftwood has (figuratively) baking in the oven.

Though hardly dormant, Driftwood hasn’t enjoyed any in-person, events in two years. But despite the recent return of deep uncertainty wrought by Omicron, we’re on the cusp of just that – the return of our annual Bard’s Bus Tour in the summer of 2022.

We’re choosing to move forward in hope of gathering with you all again in 2022. We’re building plans, re-vivifying our creative spirits, and engaging in conversations about when and how Driftwood Theatre will return to safely sharing space with people and communities across Ontario.

The feeling which accompanies all that work is more akin to the bread than the needles.

So, stay tuned, because very soon we’ll have more news to share (and maybe even more freshly-baked goods).


P.S. The bread is one of many baking and cooking tests that my wife, Tabitha Keast, and I are embarking upon this month. Because that’s what you do when you buy a B&B in a small town in the middle of a pandemic. More updates about the Benjamin Gillespie House anon.