Theatre Icon Walter Borden Brings Highly Anticipated The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time To The NAC
THEATRE ICON WALTER BORDEN BRINGS HIGHLY ANTICIPATED ONE MAN SHOW TO THE NAC
Autobiographical The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time arrives after previously cancelled performances in 2022.
October 4, 2023 – OTTAWA (Canada). In February of 2022, NAC English Theatre was set to present Walter Borden’s masterpiece, The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time, when protests in downtown Ottawa caused its cancellation. Following critically acclaimed runs at Halifax’s Neptune Theatre in May and Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre in September and October, the play is set to make a triumphant return to Ottawa, from November 1 to 11, 2023.
Directed by former NAC English Theatre Artistic Director Peter Hinton-Davis, The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time is a one-man, multi-character tour-de-force. It chronicles the poignant journey of a young Black queer man growing up in rural Nova Scotia.
Initially written and performed by Walter Borden in 1986 and presented as Tightrope Time Ain’t Nuthin’ More Than Some Itty Bitty Madness Between Your Twilight & Your Dawn, the work was one of the first Canadian plays to explore male homosexuality from a Black perspective.
Infusing the play with wisdom and perspective garnered over the past 35 years, Borden has crafted a diary of imagination and experience. In 2023, he now presents a powerful performance articulated through the voices of 10 dynamic characters, each instrumental in reflecting his philosophy on life's journey.
In The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time, legendary Walter Borden leads the audience on a personal odyssey across the town square, into the church, and through the perspective of a Black gay man. This piece offers a unique opportunity to experience the resilience and vitality of the human spirit.
CELEBRATING WALTER BORDEN
This homecoming serves not only as a celebration of a critically acclaimed production, but also as a tribute to Walter Borden, the venerable actor, playwright, poet, and teacher who has been graced with numerous accolades throughout his career, including the Order of Canada in 2006.
In honour of this Canadian theatre icon, NAC English Theatre is curating a special display outside the Azrieli Studio. This vibrant installation will feature over 100 brightly colored ribbons, each one representing a milestone in Walter’s extensive theatre journey, showcasing his rich timeline of credits, awards, and recognitions. Additionally, audiences will have the opportunity to delve deeper into Walter’s world through video links where they can witness him engage in a heartfelt conversation with playwright and actor Andrew Moodie, as part of the Legend Library project from Canada's Theatre Museum.
BLACK OUT NIGHT
On November 3, NAC English Theatre’s first Black Out Night of the season will coincide with the evening performance of The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time. We invite audiences to join a pre-show panel and a post-show celebration honoring Walter, co-presented by Black Gay Men’s Network of Ontario. Given the overwhelming success of last season's Black Out Nights, tickets for this event are expected to sell out quickly.
Black Out Nights at the NAC offer Black audiences and their guests an opportunity to enjoy performances within their community, showcasing the vibrant spectrum of the Black experience. As always, everyone is welcome to join the Black Out Night during The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time performance, fostering a spirit of inclusivity and celebration.
As the show arrives at the NAC, a new and fully revised edition of The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time will be released for sale by Nimbus Publishing. For more information, visit: https://nimbus.ca/store/the-last-epistle-of-tightrope-time.html
THE LAST EPISTLE OF TIGHTROPE TIME – NOVEMBER 1 - 11, AZRIELI STUDIO
The NAC English Theatre/Tarragon Theater revival of the NAC English Theatre/Neptune Theatre co-production
Written and performed by Walter Borden
Directed by Peter Hinton-Davis
Set, Lighting, Projection and Costume Designer Andy Moro; Sound Designer and Composer Adrienne Danrich O’Neill; Associate Sound Designer Wayne Hawthorne; Stage Manager Fiona Jones; Assistant Stage Manager Alison Crosby.
PERFORMANCE AND TICKET INFORMATION
For more information and showtimes, please visit: https://nac-cna.ca/en/event/33678. For Black Out Night, visit: https://arts.nac-cna.ca/en/booking/production/bestavailable/92
THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS
The National Arts Centre Foundation would like to thank The Slaight Family Foundation and Official Hotel Partner Ottawa Embassy Hotel & Suites. Special thank you to the Dr. Kanta Marwah Endowment for English Theatre.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE
The National Arts Centre (NAC) is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety — and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation.