Shakespeare D&D: Recap

The Story So Far…


Shipwrecked on a mysterious island following a violent tempest, our adventurers – the young sorcerer Percy Parsimmon Parsnip, the songful bard Feste, the fun-loving witch Hecate, the jittery rogue Dogberry, the vengeful paladin Joan, and the mysterious warrior Fidele – set out to find the missing master of the diminutive gnome, Dromio of Syracuse.


Guided by a local inhabitant, Caliban, the party make their way into the heart of the densely forested island where they are harassed by troubling visions, meet by the wondrous spirit Ariel, and solve the riddle of a bounteous feast. Conquering their many challenges (and narrowly avoiding death once or twice) they finally arrive at a hillside grotto at the edge of the woods.


Deep within the caverns hidden within the homestead, they find the imprisoned Antipholus and confront the evil hag, Sycorax.


Once a coven-mate of Hecate, Sycorax was banished by her sisters for stealing and consuming the newborn child of the Macbeths in hopes of birthing a powerful progeny. Instead, imprisoned on a far-away island, she had a son, Caliban.


In those darkened caverns, in the fight of their lives, the heroes finally prevail when Joan reveals her true form – an ethereal-winged Aasimar, a being touched by the gods – and smites the hideous hag.


Our story begins weeks after these event when, having escaped the island, our protagonists arrive weeks later at the bustling port city of Ephesus, where new adventures (and new companions) await!


Join us for SHAKESPEARE D&D: 2nd EDITION on Monday, May 15!


(Party image by Jeremy Smith)


2023 Season Announcement

Driftwood Theatre presents The Final Bard’s Bus Tour

A 30-year Tradition of Outdoor Summer Theatre Winds Up in 2023 

Driftwood Theatre Group today announces their 2023 season including the return of Shakespeare D&D, and the final season of The Bard’s Bus Tour from August 5-27, 2023 in eight Ontario communities including Kingston, Bloomfield, Peterborough, Oshawa, Pickering, Ingersoll Toronto and Burlington.

With gratitude to audiences, artists and company members who have shared in nearly 30 years of outdoor summer theatre, Driftwood Theatre will bring its celebrated Bard’s Bus Tour to a close in 2023. 

“The past few years have prompted significant reflection about Driftwood’s history, legacy and long term goals,” says Artistic Director Jeremy Smith. “We’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished and grateful to our partners, supporters and audience members across the province who have supported The Bard’s Bus Tour since 1995” 

Driftwood will carry on with a new mandate in 2024, but before then The Bard’s Bus Tour will hit the road one last time with its most personal production to date: Living With Shakespeare, a love-letter to the poetry and plays of William Shakespeare. 

Living With Shakespeare image by Ramon Perez.

Living With Shakespeare, created by Jeremy Smith and Steven Gallagher, brings Jeremy officially back to the stage for the first time in over a decade as he reckons with his life-long relationship to the Bard of Avon. Weaving scenes, passages, and music from Shakespeare’s greatest plays with personal stories from Jeremy’s lifelong relationship to the Bard, Living With Shakespeare is an exploration of our continuing fascination with the world’s most recognizable playwright. 

“It has been a privilege to work alongside one of the greatest playwrights in the history of English theatre for almost 30 years,” explains Mr. Smith, “but all things come to an end. I’m so thankful and thrilled to be able to personally share this final tour with our audiences across Ontario.”

Shakespeare D&D image by Jeremy Smith

The 2023 Driftwood Theatre season will kick off with the return to the 2022 sold-out phenomenon, Shakespeare D&D: 2nd Edition. A live-play event of the world’s most popular tabletop roleplaying game, Shakespeare D&D: 2nd Edition brings together a cast of Driftwood friends for an evening of Dungeons and Dragons on a quest of Shakespearean proportions. Shakespeare D&D: 2nd Edition will take place live on May 15 at Toronto’s Social Capital Theatre, and streaming on YouTube.

Behind the scenes, Driftwood’s Beyond the Bard new play development program continues to work with playwrights Gloria Mok and Ahmed Moneka on their new plays, Diminished and The Onion Cellar respectively. In May, these artists will be coming together with the Living With Shakespeare creative team for Driftwood’s first-ever  playwrights’ retreat in Picton, Ontario.

Tickets for Driftwood’s 2023 Season are now on sale online at In keeping with Driftwood Theatre’s vision of theatre for all people, all performances offer a range of ticketing options and Driftwood continues to offer Community Tix, free tickets to community members for whom the cost of attending is prohibitive.  

Driftwood Theatre is dedicated to good people connected by great stories and is grateful for the support of the Ontario Arts Council, The Canada Council for the Arts, and season sponsors Ontario Power Generation and Deighton Associates. For more information about Driftwood’s mission, mandate and projects, visit 


Shakespeare D&D: 2nd Edition

May 15 at 7pm
Social Capital Theatre, 154 Danforth Avenue

Click HERE for more information


Living With Shakespeare

Bard’s Bus Tour 2023 Confirmed Schedule

AUGUST 5 & 6 (previews) – Kingston at Springer Market Square in association with The Kick & Push Festival

AUGUST 9 (Opening) & 10 – Prince Edward County at BMO Pavillion at the Eddie presented by County Stage

AUGUST 12 & 13 – Peterborough at Peterborough Museum and Archives in association with the Peterborough Museum

August 15 & 16 – Oshawa at Ed Broadbent Park presented by the City of Oshawa

AUGUST 17 & 18 – Pickering at Esplanade Park in association with the City of Pickering

AUGUST 19 & 20 – Ingersoll at Ingersoll Cheese Museum in association with the Ingersoll Cheese Museum

August 22 & 24 – Toronto at Kew Gardens Park

AUGUST 25, 26 & 27 – Burlington at Royal Botanical Gardens presented by the Royal Botanical Gardens

Additional dates to be announced soon

Click HERE for Full Schedule

Media Contact: Damien Nelson,

Finding Inspiration in 2023

Hello and Happy New Year from Prince Edward County!

After digging ourselves out of a very snowy holiday season, we’re almost ready to pull the curtain on Driftwood’s plans for our 29th season. Almost, but not quite.

I’ve always worked from home. It’s one of the great perks of running a non-venued theatre company. Since moving to Picton, home has also come to include a second business, a licensed Bed & Breakfast (, and our house is now a hub activity.

This summer we’ll welcome artists and staff here for the duration of rehearsals and preparation for the summer season; a place to come together in the celebration of our imaginations and creativity. Throughout the rest of the year, we’ll welcome guests as they embark upon their own adventures here in PEC.

Today the house is empty, as my family are off at school and work. After a December filled with the hustle and bustle of construction, it’s nice to have some quiet in the house again. It’s also helpful, given that I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately.

This is a distinctly different experience for me: writing. Not grant or administrative writing (I do those things all the time), but writing as an art form. It’s been a little like dragging out my sketchbook after months of letting the practice slip. I find myself hesitant. Too often, my brain gets in the way of any progress – self-doubt crippling any meaningful momentum.

As I meander through the empty house on my way to my desk, I’m finding inspiration from my daughters who, even when they aren’t at home leave constant reminders of their presence: the hand-made multi-coloured necklace hanging from a doorknob, the recently-completed 1,000 piece Harry Potter Lego set proudly displayed in the fire room, countless canvasses and pages of art strewn about the house, a giant cardboard box decked out as a Club House making a statement in the front hall.

As much as it might frustrate me to constantly be tidying the detritus of my children’s creativity, I do hope they continue to create and imagine with such fearlessness. 

It’s ironic how, when we’re kids, our imagination is the progenitor of all our fears (last night I was up four times consoling both kids after nightmares) and yet we’re often more fearless in the way in which we explore the world and express ourselves. We just haven’t learned to fear the dragon of self-doubt, haven’t armored ourselves against the barrage of other people’s judgement.

When a kid commits to doing something, they do it with relentless abandon. They imagine completely, freely and without hesitation. It’s an important lesson, really. A great reminder of the power we all hold within ourselves.

As I continue to write, I’m going to try and hold onto that willingness to play, to explore, to create. Just get in there and do it.

And when my daughters get home, instead of chastising them for not cleaning up, I’m going to tell them how delighted by and proud I am of their boundless creativity (ok, and then maybe get them to tidy up a little bit) and join them in the Club House with some Lego.


Welcome to The Onion Cellar

Welcome to The Onion Cellar, a unique nightclub of particular significance. Here you will find no bar, no waiter, no menu. Only onions, cutting boards, and kitchen knives. And music, always live music.

This is the setting for German novelist Günter Grass’ The Onion Cellar, a chapter from his celebrated 1959 novel, The Tin Drum.

To understand why Ahmed Moneka, a 29-year old refugee from Baghdad living in Canada since 2015 might have an interest in this particular story, you need learn something about this extraordinary theatre artist and musician.

Ahmed’s first home in Toronto was in Kensington Market in the heart of Toronto. It was here that he ‘grew up’ in Canada after being forced to remain here when militias in Baghdad threatened his life in 2015. For Ahmed, the Kensington community is rooted in diversity.

People from all over the world gather in this small section of the Toronto and make it their home: Brazilian, Ukranian, Cuban, Chinese, Algerian, Greek, Jewish, Spanish, Argentenian, and more. Their sounds are the sounds of the street. They are the sounds which welcomed, inspired and healed Ahmed when he was alone, didn’t speak English and felt a deep sense of hopelessness.

Ahmed’s experiences in Kensington taught him how to be close with people once again. That vibrancy and sense of union of many peoples is what drew him to the story of The Onion Cellar.

In The Onion Cellar, those who have experience trauma, who feel alone, who are suffering in their inability to share their stories or emotions, visit this celebrated nightclub. There, through the process of cutting and peeling their onions, guests shed tears as they share their deeply personal stories. They peel their suffering away and purge themselves of the pain of the world. This sharing is closely tied to music being played by the bar’s band. The stories lead the music and the music leads the journey, melodies mirroring emotions. Music fills the space, allowing everyone to feel comfortable, open and ready to share their stories.

I first met Ahmed in 2017. He’d been here for two years and was looking to reconnect with his roots in live theatre. With thanks to the Toronto Arts Council’s Newcomer and Refugee Mentorship Program, Ahmed and I were able to spend a year exploring theatre in Toronto, meeting other artists and helping Ahmed to discover his place within the theatre community. Together we developed a project exploring Multilingual Shakespeare. Ahmed became an Artist in Residence during that summer’s production of Othello and ended up touring with the company. Almost immediately, we knew that our journey together would be long-lived.

When Ahmed approached me with his ideas for The Onion Cellar, I knew that I had to support him however I could.

Always a great collaborator, Ahmed’s vision for The Onion Cellar is a piece of theatre created by a group of artists, with everyone contributing to the story being told. This devised theatre process invites us to welcome multiple voices to the process and, after a selection process earlier this year, we’ve assembled an extraordinary group of individuals to help us craft this story including Dillan Mieghan Chiblow, Nehassaiu deGannes, Richard Lam, Alison Porter, Shaina Silver-Baird and Ravyn Ariah Wngz. You can read more about each of these fabulous artists here.

Over the course of the next two months, between October and December 2022, we’ll be meeting twice with each artist over Zoom, gathering their stories and perspectives. Once the interviews are complete, Ahmed will spend some time writing, taking inspiration from and building these varied stories into the foundation which will become The Onion Cellar.

This phase of development will wrap up in the new year with a one-day workshop to bring everyone together, in person, to read through and discuss the play. Future phases will include more writing time, the incorporation and exploration of music and lyrics, and further workshops to develop and shape the play.

We’re pretty sure that the process of bringing this ambitious work to the stage will take years, but we’ll certainly be updating you as we progress.

We’re deeply indebted to Brian Quirt and everyone at Nightswimming Theatre for putting their faith in Ahmed’s vision and providing the seed funding to embark up this extraordinary adventure.

If you are curious and would like to support the development of a new piece of theatre, feel free to reach out to us at or make a donation directly right here.