Showing now:


World Premiere of

The Monkey Queen 

Written by DIANA TSO and Directed by WILLIAM YONG




At the Theatre Centre Incubator, 1115 Queen Street West 416-538-0988

TORONTO – RED SNOW COLLECTIVE presents the World Premiere of THE MONKEY QUEEN, written by Diana Tso, directed by William Yong, and performed by Diana Tso and Nick Eddie. The production weaves text, movement, visual art and music, and reimagines the ancient tale through the playwright’sown personal journey as a Chinese-Canadian female artist. THE MONKEY QUEEN runs from November 15 – December 2, 2018 at the Theatre Centre Incubator (media night on November 16 at 7:30pm).

In THE MONKEY QUEEN, the ancient mythology of the Monkey King in Wu Cheng’En’s Journey to the West has been re-envisioned through the playwright’s own heritage. In this modern version, The Monkey Queen is born in Canada and travels East towards China in search of her identity. Her epic path crosses realities between the female perspective of the warrior and herself through a fantastical Canadian landscape close to home.

“My Asian roots and my European theatre training and upbringing in the west are reflected in the weaving together of both these dramatic styles.” Says playwright Diana Tso“This ancient mythology of my ancestral roots ignited my imagination in re-envisioning the story through my personal journey as a Chinese-Canadian artist.” 

Playwright: Diana Tso
Director: William Yong
Cast: Nick Eddie and Diana Tso
Music Composers: Nick Storring and Brandon Valdivia
Designers: Robin Fisher (Costume Design), Rebecca Picherack (Lighting Design), Elysha Poirier (Projection Design), William Yong (Set Design)
Publicist: Ashley Belmer
Photographer: David Hou

For school shows and students workshops please contact Diana Tso @
Download Monkey Queen Study Guide.

Production photos by David Hou

Theatre critics hailed The Monkey Queen as:

“Diana Tso plays the Monkey Queen with a steely energy that is compelling. She is diminutive and fierce. She flips through the air and negotiates the levels of the set with ease. She also conveys the urgency of the Monkey Queen’s journey and determination to complete it.”

…I couldn’t help but be aware of the contrast to the diminutive dynamo of Diana Tso and the tall, graceful elegance of Nicholas Eddie…His (Eddie’s) gracefulness is jaw dropping. His arms flowing back and forth behind him look like feathers floating on a breeze.”

The production is directed and choreographed by William Yong and it is wonderful…William Yong has such economy in his direction and creates such vivid images, the Shaman woman in a white shawl becoming the polar bear being one image, that you keep shaking your head in disbelief and the artistry of it all.”

Lynn Slotkin – Lynn Slotkin & The Slotkin Letter (

“…a quietly subversive play…Tso and Eddie strip down their storytelling process to the bare bones of make-believe.”

“William Yong’s directing and choreography serve as ballast to this universe without rules. His moves, hypnotic in their strangeness, mirror his openness to playing with abrupt transitions, longer scenes, and the difference in size between his actors to lend the work an auteur’s touch. It’s his work, coupled with the cast’s single-minded earnestness, that make The Monkey Queen a collection of memes. And I mean this as a complement, in case it needs clarifying. The numerous memorable images the duo performs are each singular in their hilarity, and none are worth ruining here.”

Trevor Abes – Mooney On Theatre (

“…wondrous, enchanting, multidisciplinary…The effect is magical…this is storytelling at its fantastic, imaginative best.”

“The performances are playful and brave, with a mischievous edge; sculpted with supple, powerful and expressive movement—all tempered with a sense of gravitas in the face of insight, enlightenment and penance.

“From the moment you set foot in the Incubator space, you feel transported to a place outside of time and space. The haunting, otherworldly music (composers Nick Storring and Brandon Valdivia) echoes like the sound of the spheres—soothing, hypnotic and mysterious…”

Cathy McKim – Life with more cowbell (

“…an hour of intriguing and visually exciting theatre.”

“(Eddie’s) interactions with Tso are fascinating…The size difference allows for some intriguing physical acting and places interesting demands on Tso’s acting.”

John Gilks – Opera Ramblings (

“The Monkey Queen springs to life…is a warrior of immense strength and is equipped for speed…prances with lightness and grace, all the while telling her story.”

“…more than usual willing suspension of disbelief…”

Susan Walker – Susan Walker Arts Blog (

Buy Tickets

Diana Tso

Nick Eddie

Nick Eddie

Nick Eddie








Red Snow Collective is a proud member of the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts and