OWN IT 2018


Nada Humsi  |  mtspace.ca

photo of Nada demonstrating a portion of her show on stage, pulling a lamp  

If there's one word that characterizes Nada Humsi's views on theatre, it's "relevant." 

Not "trendy" or "popular" or "why don't more people come out to theatre?" (Okay, that's eight words.) 


Nada was born and educated in Damascus, Syria. Such a city carries connotations to Canadians who only hear about the conflicts in Syria, but Nada says people's perception of Syria is built by looking through the wrong lens. 


Damascus, the oldest, continuously inhab- ited city in the world, is a cosmopolitan city. Women wearing shorts and belly-button rings walk and sit alongside women in hijab.


Nada's desire for relevant theatre has taken her around the world - and Kitchener made the list. While she's often touring her own one-woman shows, her stop in Kitchener was the result of an invite from MT Space Artistic Director Majdi Bou-Matar. He asked Nada to perform in The Last 15 Seconds, a play about the 2005 terrorist attack on Halloween series producer Mustapha Akkad and his daughter.


"Majdi Bou-Matar chooses subjects that are relevant to real people and things that are coming from real people," Nada says. 


Majdi's style is in stark contrast to the theatre work Nada took on when she first arrived in Canada: Shakespeare. 


However, it wasn't only the relevancy in Majdi's work that Nada liked, it was the philosophy. It reminded Nada of the Syrian productions she was familiar with; theatre wasn't produced for entertainment value, instead it was produced to express something to the artists and audiences.


According to Nada, a play's relevance does not define its quality, because every individual establishes relevance differently.


"When the subject is not relevant to me, it is not touching me as a person, who came from that part of the world," she says. "Even if I enjoy it, if it is very well done, and then later it doesn't stay with me because it's not relevant, I forget about it."


Lori Straus  |  loristraus.com

Photography: Dean Landry  |  dvision.ca


photo of Nada on stage



photo of Nada laughing on an old-fashioned cushioned chair




photo of Nada on stage with a lamp on in the background