Skip to main content
A scary good deal on trusted journalism
Get full digital access to globeandmail.com
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks SAVE OVER $140
OFFER ENDS OCTOBER 31
A scary good deal on trusted journalism
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
SAVE OVER $140
OFFER ENDS OCTOBER 31
// //

From the left, Qasim Khan, Cheyenne Scott and Akosua Amo-Adem in The Home Project.

Dahlia Katz/Soulpepper

Keep up to date with the weekly Nestruck on Theatre newsletter. Sign up today.

  • Title: The Home Project
  • Written by: Akosua Amo-Adem, Qasim Khan, Cheyenne Scott
  • Director: Keith Barker, Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster, Paolo Santalucia
  • Actors: Akosua Amo-Adem, Qasim Khan, Cheyenne Scott
  • Company: The Howland Company and Native Earth Performing Arts
  • Venue: The Courtyard of the Young Centre for the Performing Arts
  • City: Toronto
  • Year: To Oct. 3, 2021

The simple set for The Home Project involves suitcases and cardboard boxes. Someone’s moving. But aren’t we all, always? The theme of this play is that one’s home evolves and eludes.

The co-creators and co-stars of The Home Project are one in the same: Akosua Amo-Adem, Qasim Khan and Cheyenne Scott. They never share the stage. Essentially delivering monologues, their characters are versions of themselves in varying degrees, linked by a shared longing for a sense of home. The result is a winning, thoughtful exercise in storytelling.

Story continues below advertisement

Scott is of mixed Saanich Nation/Norwegian background. She plays someone overwhelmed by a flood, physically and meta-physically adrift, whether swimming with salmon or flying with gulls in search of her lost spirit. She sings with herself using a looping device; she talks with herself using a poetic inner dialogue.

Qasim Khan doesn't share the stage with his co-stars in The Home Project, but their characters are versions of themselves in varying degrees.

Dahlia Katz/Soulpepper

Khan hails from Newmarket, Ont., as does his character. We meet him at his boyhood home, where his mother still lives but is now leaving. He speaks of an idyllic 1990s childhood in a small town “on the cusp of becoming a legit suburb.” There was no traffic and a lot of hope back then. Then capitalism came, making the whole place “smell like a Yankee Candle.”

He’s in a garage filled with his old things – “my childhood in boxes.” His mother finds meaning in objects. To her it all means home.

Up last is Amo-Adem. She plays a comedian at the Turtle Island Comedy Night. This is where the production becomes participatory. As comedians do, she interacts with the audience (which is us), bringing up the subject of the COVID-19 lockdown by mentioning she hasn’t performed publicly for quite some time.

It’s a graceful way of marking the return to live theatre in Toronto. The Home Project, produced by the Howland Company in partnership with Native Earth Performing Arts, is being presented by Soulpepper Theatre in the courtyard next to the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. Let’s call it a temporary “home,” with physically distanced seating pods, a proof of vaccination policy and required mask-wearing for theatregoers.

Cheyenne Scott sings with herself using a looping device, which features poetic inner dialogue.

Dahlia Katz/Soulpepper

Amo-Adem starts out her monologue in an upbeat mood. Because she can’t see the mouths of the audience members, she asks for full-body laughing, “like a Black auntie watching a Tyler Perry movie.” Then she mentions that since moving to Canada from Ghana as a small child, she’s gradually lost touch with the native Twi language. Her mother mocked her for being “so Canadian.”

Her worry is that she’ll never make it back to her birthplace, and that she’ll end up taking her last breath having never returned to where she drew her first.

Story continues below advertisement

If she did return, what would she find? Things change and, we’re told, “things end.”

The American writer James Baldwin said, “perhaps home is not a place, but simply an irrevocable condition.” Deeply human and creatively presented, The Home Project suggests the same predicament.

In the interest of consistency across all critics’ reviews, The Globe has eliminated its star-rating system in film and theatre to align with coverage of music, books, visual arts and dance. Instead, works of excellence will be noted with a critic’s pick designation across all coverage. (Television reviews, typically based on an incomplete season, are exempt.)

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies