THE EMPIRE PODCASTS - Episode 1 Now Online

The Empire is not just a trilogy of modern epics for the theatrical stage, it is also a trilogy for your earbuds. Episode 1 of THE PHILOSOPHER'S WIFE podcast is now available for your listening pleasure. 

You can download Episode 1 of The Philosopher’s Wife by Susanna Fournier on iTunes, or stream it directly on our website or from our podcast partners at PlayME.  

Subscribe to PlayME and don’t miss an episode. The Philosopher’s Wife podcast will be released over three episodes in the coming weeks and features performances by Aviva Armour-OstroffKeith BarkerIshan Davé, and Chala Hunter directed by Leora Morris

Susanna Fournier
Empire Trilogy Press Release February 2018


February 27, 2018

Announcing PARADIGM Productions’ 

The Empire Trilogy by Susanna Fournier  / To have world premieres in 2018-19 Season

(Toronto) - Founding Artistic Producer Susanna Fournier is proud to announce PARADIGM Productions will premiere The Empire Trilogy in 2018-19 with the support of Canada Council for the Arts’ momentous New Chapter program.

The Empire Trilogy is an epic story for our time told by award-winning playwright Susanna Fournier. Audiences will experience the three plays, spanning five hundred years of an imagined history (not unlike our own) wrought with dramatic conflict and fantasy akin to cult HBO television series but live on stage. Programming begins Autumn 2018 through to Summer 2019. Described by celebrated Canadian playwright Guillermo Verdecchia as “a thrilling theatrical vision quite unlike any writing I know of in Canada”, the project is led by artists under the age of 35 who create contentious, disruptive, political work.

The Philosopher’s Wife brings audiences into the world of The Empire, where a dog trainer and her high profile client expose society’s obsession with power and the dynamics between gender, sex, and class. Directed by Leora Morris (Orphans, Coal Mine; He Left Quietly, Summerworks; Yale Directing Fellow, John Hirsch Emerging Director Finalist).

The Scavenger’s Daughter takes place twenty years later in a destroyed landscape as five soldiers struggle to survive war and toxic masculinity. Directed by ted witzel (All’s Well That Ends Well, Canadian Stage; LULU: aspects of a femme fatale, Buddies in Bad Times).

Four Sisters is a spiraling combination of dance and theatre that begins 280 years into the future, with an intergenerational cast of 10 women facing an apocalyptic world. Directed by Susanna Fournier (LULU v4. // but you are not a dead woman Buddies in Bad Times; two-time nominee for KM Hunter Award - Theatre Artist of the Year) and choreographed by Amanda Acorn (multiform(s), Festival Trans Ameriques/Summerworks; Resident Artist 2016-18, Dancemakers).

Joining PARADIGM productions is producer Alison Wong, who brings her experience in new theatre development and production from five years as Artistic Producer of b current (rock.paper.sistahz festival, Obeah Opera, Brotherhood: The Hip Hopera) and as current producer for Toronto’s Small Wooden Shoe (Fun Palace Radio Variety Show, Are We Not Horses).

 A team of emerging designers from across the country will work on The Empire Trilogy in a long-form design process that reveals the universe of The Empire through each separate encounter with the work over the 2018-19 season.

 Toronto based Small Wooden Shoe and Luminato Festival are supporting The Empire Trilogy as mentor companies to the project.

In addition to the live experience, The Empire Trilogy will be available to international audiences online as free, serial podcasts released through PlayMe, produced in partnership with Expect Theatre. The first instalment to be released this coming summer.

Casting, venue, and additional partner announcements to come Spring 2018.


For more information on The Empire Trilogy and PARADIGM Productions, please visit or


twitter: @paradigmtheat

instagram: paradigm_productions_theatre


For more information and media requests please contact:

Alison Wong


Susanna Fournier
Four Sisters In-Studio Workshop

Susanna and Amanda were joined by a phenomenal group of cross disciplinary artists in September 2017 to begin a collective investigation of Four Sisters. Some of our experiments included:

- The ensemble casting themselves -

How can we decide things together? Which character's story attracts, resonates, deeply challenges, or alienates us? Who do we identify with in this text? Who are we drawn to, or not, and why? How can casting be an exercise in empathy building and an exploration of our own individual and group identities? 

- Blurring experiences of time & memory : collapsing linear space-time  -

What is the theatrical equivalent of a photographic blur? What is the personal experience of this 'blurring'? How do we experience it in memory, disassociation, pleasure, cognitive dissonance? How can we stage it? How can we embody it?

- Systems of the body as systems of choreography -

How can the functions/organization of the nervous, circulatory, and endocrine systems relate to characters, how can they inform and inspire specific choreography access points?

- Linguistic mouth patterns as choreography -

How do our mouths move to shape words and sound? Can we transfer/project these movements across the entire body? What happens if we use this lens as a way to "read" the text as a choreographic score?

Our work was hosted by The Theatre Centre, produced by Alison Wong, and featured the following artists:

Kyra Harper, Chala Hunter, Aisha Sasha John, Krystina Bojanowski, Virgilia Griffith, Bea Pizano, Dalal Badr, Ximena Huizi, Jill Connell, and Claudia Moore. This workshop was generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council.


Susanna Fournier