1184 Poster

Phoenix Arts and Aga Khan Museum gratefully acknowledge the ancestral lands and waterways of the Anishinabek, Wendat, Haudenosaunee, the Mississaugas of Credit First Nation, and any other Nations who cared for the land – acknowledged and unacknowledged, recorded and unrecorded. Past, present and future.

The cast and crew of 1184 are inspired by The Dish With One Spoon Wampum Covenant, a treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee that binds them to share the territory and protect the land. The dish represents the land, and the spoon, the peaceful sharing of its resources. We all share the responsibility to ensure that the dish is never empty and that we work together to take care of the land and all living beings on it. We aspire to live up to these values.

We’re grateful to call Tkaronto our home and to be able to create and join in community with one another on this land.


from the Playwright

This play emerged from the ongoing question as to whether peoples from the three major Abrahamic religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity can ever live in peace with one another. On the surface, we only need to look at our own country to see that in Canada, they do, very much so.

But for so long, and especially since 9/11, the narrative surrounding Muslim identity has been co-opted by many to insist on a clash of civilizations. pitting “East against West”.

I decided to put these assumptions to the test.

In 2016, I began researching the medieval period, giving equal opportunity to Muslim, Christian and Jewish historians. I was expecting to find each historian render their own religious bias in such a way as to render their own people either best suited to victory or overly hard done by in defeat.

And yes, there was indeed such bias, especially among the primary sources. Astonishingly, when comparing the historical accounts of a particular event from historians of different religious backgrounds, I found that the accounts were consistent 90% of the time.

This aspect would come to serve as the cornerstone of 1184 – that a common purpose, in this case among historians, to provide a faithful interpretation of historical events would, taken together, lead to a more accurate idea of what the “truth” and the “facts” are.

While this has confirmed for me that a truly robust position on anything can withstand scrutiny from all sides, this is nothing new.

A diversity of perspectives has coexisted for millennia, and when it comes to the three major Abrahamic religions, it has done so as far back as medieval times in Andalusia, where coexistence, or Convivencia, thrived for 500 years (8th to 13th centuries). It is no coincidence that this period was also home to both the Islamic and Jewish Golden Ages.

1184 is just a humble attempt to uncover the secrets of that period. What worked? What didn’t? And if not, why not?

The rest I leave up to you in the hope that we continue to explore what binds us rather than what breaks us apart, while remembering the wise words of our Bookseller:

“We are all as capable of evil, as much as we are of good.” 

Azeem Nathoo

from the Director

When visiting Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum recently, I was struck once again by the enormous reach to which the Islamic faith has spanned over time and space, encompassing multiple borders, languages and philosophies. That is precisely what makes 1184 so enriching. Though set historically in Andalusia, Spain of that very year (in the Gregorian calendar), our story asks you to think outside of what you might know about any faith, and bear witness to a world where all cultures are embraced in one harmonious place. But what happens when that world is suddenly shattered by “the incoherence of the incoherence,” as our protagonist Ibn Rushd (or Averroes) would say?

Wherever it is that your mind takes you, remember that this is theatre – live at last! – and the writer, performers, designers, and producers all bring unique perspectives to this journey of conflicting truths. You have the privilege of experiencing this ancient story with us, here and now, as if no time has passed at all. In fact, our perceptions of time, over these past couple of years, have been altered so significantly, it is my belief that there is no better time to be sharing this lyrical tale with an audience that has been starved for human connection for so long. Learn, be entertained, but most of all, be yourself once again. We’ll strive to do the same.

Jamie Robinson

Cast & Company

Playwright: Azeem Nathoo
Dramaturg: Guillermo Verdecchia
Director: Jamie Robinson
Producers: Azeem Nathoo & Aga Khan Museum
Associate Producer / Marketing: Sarah Kaufmann
Stage Manager: Heather Bellingham
Production Manager: Giuseppe Condello
Set & Costume Design: Anahita Dehbonehie & Niloufar Ziaee
Lighting Design: Jennifer Jimenez
Sound Design: Maddie Bautista
Composer: Roula Said
Assistant Director: Zoe Marin
Choreographer: Roula Said
Fight Director: Ash Knight
Intimacy Director: Corey Tazmania
Backstage: Niloufar Ziaee


Azeem Nathoo: Ibn Rushd
Walter Borden: Bookseller & Alfonso
Quancetia Hamilton: Queen & Eggseller
Roula Said: Buthaina & Judge
Neta J Rose: Moses Maimonides & Al Arabi
Adriano Sobretodo Jr.: Ya’qub & Fishmonger
Jennifer Villaverde: Pilgrim
Joella Crichton: Mada & Crivelli
Johnny Thirakul: various

Phoenix Arts and Aga Khan Museum engage professional artists who are members of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the terms of the INDIE 2.2.

In Gratitude

Phoenix Arts would like to thank the Aga Khan Museum for its support of 1184 since the first workshop in January 2019.

For the Spring 2022 production, Phoenix Arts remains humbled by the following support from our donors:

Platinum Contributors

Toronto Arts Council & Canada Council for the Arts

Gold Contributors

Theatre Passe Muraille & York University

Silver Contributor



Betty Giroux & Glen Seymour
Joella Crichton
Ferial Nathoo & Troi Sahl
Mohamed Khaki
Amyn Nathoo & Collin Jones (U.S.)
Steven Elliott Jackson
Victor Chisholm
Marie Francine Michele Rinaldis
Jamil & Sonya Nathoo (UK)
Mehboob Vellani (U.S.)
Frida & Nazir Nathoo (KENYA)
Zee & Nael Bhanji
Ekta Sachdev & Niraj Mathur
Mahmud Abdulla
Secret Theatre (Nova Scotia)
Irfan Keshavjee (KENYA) 

Azeem Nathoo would like to give personal thanks to the following for their guidance and support throughout the journey:

Amirali Alibhai, Soheil Parsa, Marjorie Chan, Indrit Kasapi, Eric Read, Jenn Sartor, Al-karim Manji, Sue Balint, Gia Nahmens, Jon de Leon, Albert Blais, Aaron Willis, Sharmila Dey, Kim Nelson, Ada Aguilar, Virginia Cardinal, Emilie Aubin, Ash Knight, Steve Elliot Jackson, Roshanak Jaberi, Zaheer Merali, Marc Bondy, Tasleem Somji, Alex Karolyi, Nadia Somani, Jonathan Gray, Mike Doherty, Vikki Anderson, York Regional Arts Council, Pleiades Theatre, Theatre WhyNot and the Ontario Arts Council.

The Aga Khan Museum acknowledges the support of the City of Toronto and the Ontario Arts Council.