Forest fires and ‘weather events’ are becoming more frequent and more catastrophic. In 2017, when visiting Tomson Highway, we related to each other our personal and harrowing stories about forest fires in the interior of B.C. and Northern Manitoba. The three of us decided that we wanted to write an entertaining show that addressed the dire effects of climate change and came up with the idea for The Cave:

A ragged group of animals flee for their lives and take refuge in a cave. The animals, through song, comment on their fate and that of the world. What caused their dire situation? The writing was supported by two themes: the Genesis ‘expulsion from the garden’ story, and our changing environment. In our complacent greed we are ‘evicting’ ourselves and all creatures from the ‘garden’. The Cave is our way of telling the story of the earth’s precarious survival.

The format of the show takes its inspiration from cabaret. The MC, hilariously played by John, tells jokes and stories and gives political context to the songs.

The lyrics are at times comic, at times tragic. Two songs are in Cree. John’s music is bombastic, lyrical and moving. The band, led by music director, Gregory Oh, includes keyboards, accordion, reeds, bass, banjo, and percussion. Adam Paolozza, of Bad New Days renown, directs. The Cave includes an impressive list of performers, musicians, and designers.

We welcome Vancouver’s Bruce Alcock to the design team. His animated forest fire and the images of the fleeing animals now have an astounding presence and will be featured in our upcoming Luminato show and our fall tour.

The Cave is entertaining, tragic, and timely. It inspires the audience to keep talking about the climate crisis.


Naomi Campbell, the Artistic Director of Luminato Festival, saw the workshop presentation of The Cave in 2018 and decided to include The Cave in their 2019 programming at the Soulpepper Tank House theatre. The show was a resounding success and it has been growing ever since. We are thrilled that Luminato has included us in their June 2022 festival with the support of Theatre Passe Muraille. And we are excited to announce that The Cave will tour the BC interior this fall with a two week run at the Van East Cultural Centre from November 8 – 20.

We are also pleased to announce that there will be an album of the songs from The Cave available from the website in May 2022.

All of the above was made possible by the generous funding from all the following: Canada Council for the Arts, Canada Council New Chapters, Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council Luminato Festival, Theatre Passe Muraille and countless private donors.



John Millard – Composer
Tomson Highway – Librettist
Martha Ross – Book Writer


Adam Paolozza – Director
Greg Oh – Music Director
Victor Pokinko – Producer


Alex Samaras
Maryem Tollar
Derek Kwan
Andrea Koziol


Rob Clutton – Bass
Greg Samek – Percussion
Peter Lutek – Reeds
Matti Pulkki – Accordion
Greg Oh – Keyboards, Conductor
John Millard – Banjo and Vocals
Chris Pruden – Keyboards alternate


Bruce Alcock – Animation
André Du Toit– Lighting Design
Alia Stephen – Lighting and Projections Associate
Allie Marshall – Costume Design
Christopher Ross-Ewart
– Sound Design
Trevor Schwelnuss – Set Design
Kara Pankiw – Set Design
Yesim Tosuner – Graphic Design & Website


Remington North – Production Manager and Technical Director
Kevin Olson – Stage Manager
Nicole Eun-Ju Bell – Projection Programmer