The Caged Bird Sings

Live Theatre Performance

The Caged Bird Sings

Date: Tuesday, June 11–Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Show Duration: 80–90 minutes
Price: $36 Regular | $32.40 Friends, Students, Seniors and Arts Workers
Include a contribution to support Canadian artists: $55 Regular | $49.50 Friends, Students, Seniors, and Arts Workers
Limited number of rush tickets will be available at the door.
Tickets include same-day Museum admission.

A limited number of pay-what-you-can tickets (suggested: $14) are available for the performance on June 23.

Please note:

  • The Caged Bird Sings will be performed in the outdoor Courtyard. We recommend dressing appropriately for the weather. Personal blankets are welcome.
  • Seating is first-come, first-served. Chairs are provided.



Reserve Tickets:

June 10 | 8 pm ($18 Preview Performance) June 12 | 8 pm June 14 | 8 pm 
June 16 | 8 pm June 17 | 8 pm June 18 | 8 pm June 19 | 10:30 am ($12.50 Performance) June 19 | 7 pm June 22 | 2:30 pm 
June 23 | 2:30 pm (PWYC Performance) June 23 | 8 pm  June 24 | 8 pmJune 25 | 8 pm June 26 | 8 pm


Directed by: Rafeh Mahmud


Experience a re-imagining and radical adaptation of parts of Rumi’s Masnavi with a special presentation of The Caged Bird Sings, an original piece by Rouvan Silogix, Rafeh Mahmud, and Ahad Lakhani, presented by the Aga Khan Museum, in association with Theatre ARTaud. The Modern Times Stage Company production, performed in the round, features three prisoners — two star-crossed lovers and scientists Rumi and Jin — who share a cell with Sal, a mysterious vagrant. As they navigate their newfound reality and reconcile their past lives, they are haunted by ghosts and demons of their own making. The piece explores Sufi mysticism, ideas of Fanafillah, the prisons — literal and metaphorical — that we are put in, that we put ourselves in, and that we create ourselves, and how and whether it’s possible to escape such prisons. 


Performed in the Museum's Courtyard, this re-imagining, created by immigrant writers with roots in Pakistan, contemporizes Rumi in a way you have never seen before — staying true to his work and the spirit of his Sufi-mystical writings and art. Rumi’s work is confounding, demanding, witty, sharp, and unapologetic. This surreal re-imagining captivates readers, prompting them to question. It resonates with Toronto's diverse audience while remaining faithful to the author's acclaimed, now classic works.


The Museum’s Performing Arts programming is generously supported by the Nanji Family Foundation.



Navtej Sandhu

Navtej Sandhu, a versatile artist based in Toronto, is an actor, emerging screenwriter, and singer, originally from the United States. Notable recent roles include Bagheera the Panther in Kidoons' Jungle Book touring production and Karna/Satyavati in Mahabharata directed by Ravi Jain at the Barbican Centre in London. Sandhu is also skilled in actor combat currently advancing her training at Rapier Wit. Her passion lies in storytelling and amplifying the voices of marginalized communities. With a commitment to projects that resonate with her beliefs and speak to these communities, Sandhu continues to carve her path in the arts.


Rouvan Silogix


Rouvan Silogix is a multi-talented immigrant Pakistani-Tanzanian artist, celebrated for his award-winning work as a writer, director, performer, and classical pianist. His creative journey often involves reimagining classical texts to explore complex sociopolitical themes.


Before joining Modern Times, Silogix made significant contributions as Associate Artistic Director at Crow’s Theatre and Founding Artistic Director of Theatre ARTaud. With a background that spans New York City, Karachi, and now Toronto, his work has graced stages across the globe, earning him accolades including awards from RBC and the Toronto Arts Foundation.

Recent credits include productions like Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and The Land Acknowledgement / As You Like It, showcasing his commitment to pushing artistic boundaries while amplifying diverse voices. Silogix's artistic ethos centres on empowering immigrant artists and communities, advocating for a bold and transformative vision of Canadian futurism.


Mikaela Lily Davies


Mikaela Lily Davies is a distinguished graduate of the CBC Canadian Film Centre's Acting Conservatory. With a wealth of experience, she's graced the stages of Soulpepper Theatre and The Stratford Festival, earning accolades including Dora nominations and the prestigious Jon Kaplan Canadian Stage Performer Award. Her performances, such as Katherine of France in Breath of Kings and Beatrice-Joanna in The Changeling, have garnered critical acclaim. Mikaela's talent extends beyond the stage, with nominations for Outstanding Comedic Performance and Outstanding Supporting Performance. A graduate of the renowned Michael Langham Conservatory for Classical Direction at the Stratford Festival, Davies has honed her craft under luminaries like Robert Lepage and Jill Keiley.


Rafeh Mahmud


Rafeh Mahmud is a multi-award-winning director, writer, producer, and editor, with Pakistani, Tanzanian, and American roots, now settled as a new immigrant in Canada. His latest film, When Life Gives You Lemons (2022), has garnered critical acclaim with multiple official selections, an award, and two nominations for Best International Short Film and Best Editing at Oscar-qualifying festivals like Martha's Vineyard AA Film Festival Virtual Experience and the St. Louis International Film Festival.


Prior to his move to Toronto, Mahmud made waves in the film industry with his previous work, In Defense of Civil Society (2021), which received numerous official selections and awards, showcasing his talent for storytelling and editing. In addition to his film accolades, Mahmud has made significant contributions to television, working with prestigious networks like ABC News and contributing to hit shows like Netflix's The Queen's Gambit and Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Since relocating to Toronto, he has lent his expertise to projects on networks such as Lifetime, CBC Gem, and CTV.


Ahad Lakhani


Ahad Lakhani is a playwright drawn to the avant-garde delights in crafting stories that challenge expectations and play with classical themes. With a bold vision and an inventive spirit, he invites audiences into a world where the familiar is transformed into something surreal.

Lakhani is also a seasoned producer whose work spans theatre and film and has been showcased in South Asia and North America. In Canada, he has assisted in bringing acclaimed productions to audiences at festivals like the SummerWorks Performance Festival, Next Stage Festival, and the Jubilee National Arts Festival.


About Modern Times Stage Company


Modern Times creates original Canadian art, reimagines classic work, and adapts plays in different languages and contexts to bring holistic and innovative forms to their contemporary and diverse Toronto audiences. They are committed to exploring, imagining, and creating exciting, radical, performing arts in Toronto while empowering voices that have been historically and presently marginalized — focusing on artists who have immigrated or sought asylum in Canada.


Established in 1989 by iconic Persian theatre directors Soheil Parsa and Peter Farbridge, Modern Times Stage Company's work has toured Montreal, Colombia, the United States, Europe, and Iran. They have won and been nominated for over 65 Doras in their 34+ years of operating. Coming off recent hit shows, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad ZooThe House of Bernarda Alba, and As I Must Live It, the company is now artistically led by award-winning Pakistani-Tanzanian creator, performer, and classical pianist, Rouvan Silogix. 



A Modern Times Stage Company Production

Presented in association with

With the participation of the Government of Canada

Proudly supported by


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