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Governor General's Literary Awards 2021

Take d Milk, Nah?
By (author): Jivesh Parasram Foreword by: Tom Arthur Davis Foreword by: Graham Isador
Jivesh Parasram ,

Foreword by :

Tom Arthur Davis ,

Foreword by :

Graham Isador


Playwrights Canada Press



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
May 11, 2021
$17.95 CAD


7.6in x 5.1 x 0.25 in | 140 gr

Page Count:

120 pages


85 minutes
Playwrights Canada Press
DRAMA / Canadian
Governor General's Literary Award 2021, Nominated Jessie Richardson Critics’ Choice Innovation Award 2020, Nominated
  • Short Description
In the first (known) Indo-Caribbean-Hindu-Canadian identity play, Jivesh Parasram offers the Hin-dos and Hin-don’ts for those living in the margins and the mainstream.

Jiv is “Canadian.” And “Indian.” And “Hindu.” And “West Indian.” “Trinidadian,” too. Or maybe he’s just colonized. He’s not the “white boy” he was teased as within his immigrant household. Especially since his Nova Scotian neighbours seemed to think he was Black. Except for the Black people—they were pretty sure he wasn’t. He’s not an Arab, and allegedly not a Muslim—at least that’s what he started claiming after 9/11. Whatever he is, the public education system was able to offer him the chance to learn about his culture from a coffee table book on “Eastern Mythology.” And then he had a religious epiphany while delivering a calf in Trinidad. By now, Jiv’s collected a lot of observations about trying to find your place in your world.

In this funny, fresh, and skeptical take on the identity play, Jivesh Parasram blends personal storytelling and ritual to offer the Hin-dos and Hin-don’ts within the intersections of all of his highly hyphenated cultures. This story asks the gut-punching questions: What divides us? Who is served by the constructs of cultural identity? And what are we willing to accept in the desire to belong? Then again—it doesn’t really matter, because we are all Jiv.

  • • The play’s structure is based on the form of “prayers” pujas and yagnas, as practised in the Trinidadian Smarta tradition.
  • • Take d Milk, Nah? has been performed in Toronto and Vancouver, and will be performed in Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal in 2020.

Jivesh Parasram is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist of Indo Caribbean descent (Cairi/Trinidad & Tobago). Jivesh grew up in Mi’Kma’Ki (Nova Scotia) before moving to Tkaronto (Toronto). In 2009 he co-founded Pandemic Theatre, through which much of his work has been created, often in close collaboration with co-founder Tom Arthur Davis. He is a recipient of two Harold Awards for his service to the independent theatre community in Tkaronto, including the Ken McDougall Award. Jivesh won the 2018 Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award, and was a member of the second cohort of the Cultural Leaders Lab with the Toronto Arts Council and the Banff Centre. In 2018, Jivesh took on the position of artistic director for Rumble Theatre. He lives primarily in the unceded Coast Salish territories (Vancouver, BC).

Tom is a T’karonto-based arts worker and the founding artistic director of Pandemic Theatre, a collective with a mandate for creating political work. Since 2018, Tom has acted as a producer for Why Not Theatre, where he manages multiple projects including the RISER Project (a collaborative producing model designed to address the challenges of producing independent theatre) and the Space Project (a program designed to access temporarily underutilized space for artist use). He was also the inaugural director and program designer of TENT, the Toronto Fringe's educational program that teaches entrepreneurial skills to theatre artists. Works for the stage include Mahmoud (co-writer), Take d Milk, Nah? (co-creator/dramaturge), and The Only Good Indian (co-creator).

Graham Isador is a writer and photographer in Toronto. He is a former contributing editor at VICE. His work has also appeared at GQ, Men’s Health, and The Globe and Mail. Isador’s latest play, White Heat, won outstanding performance text at the SummerWorks performance festival in 2019.

“This engaging and powerful solo blends hilarious family-focused storytelling, incisive historical analysis of colonialism and imperialism and gut-punch first-hand accounts of everyday racism and marginalization in Canada.” - Jordan Bimm, NOW Magazine

“I was impressed—nay, thrilled—by its boldness.” - Carly Maga, Toronto Star

“It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’re from, Take d Milk, Nah? Is a must-see experience.” - Alyssa Mahadeo, Toronto Caribbean

“A thing of beauty.” - Lynn Slotkin, The Slotkin Letter

“Hilariously entertaining and insightful.” - Cate McKim, Life With More Cowbell

“Screamingly funny.” - Sam Mooney, Mooney on Theatre

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