Gimme Shelter

Project Description:

Gimme Shelter

Rising sea levels are displacing millions of people around the world due to climate change.  Why Not Theatre assembles a team of international artists in the world premiere of Gimme Shelter to ask: What can one person do? Inspired by the ancient text of the Indian epic The Mahabharata, Gimme Shelter questions individual responsibility to action when facing problems that seem too big to solve.

The collaboration brings together top artists from theatre, music and visual arts to create an innovative storytelling form that seamlessly integrates traditional narrative, movement, Eastern sounds and stunning multimedia spectacle. Gimme Shelter is directed by award-winning NY based director Jenny Koons, with original composition by tabla sensation Gurpreet Chana, sound design by Nicholas Murray of the electronic music duo LAL, projection designs by Ex Machina’s David Leclerc, set and costumes by Soulpepper resident artist Ken MacKenzie and lighting by multiple Dora Award-winning designer Kimberly Purtell.

Gimme Shelter is performed by Ravi Jain, artistic director of Why Not Theatre. Ravi created and performed in the hit show A Brimful of Asha. He directed the Governor General Award-winning Fault Lines by Nicolas Billon and recently directed the politically charged Canadian premiere of Soulpepper’s Accidental Death of An Anarchist,nominated for six Dora Awards including Outstanding Production and Outstanding Director.

Co-presented by Why Not Theatre and PANAMANIA presented by CIBC, in association with Soulpepper Theatre Company in July 2015.  Currently in further development.


Written and performed by Ravi Jain
Developed and Directed by Jenny Koons
Original Music by Gurpreet Chana
Set & Costume Design by Ken MacKenzie
Video Design by David Leclerc
Associate Lighting Design by C.J. Astronomo
Sound Design by Nicholas Murray
Stage Management by Heather Thompson
Production Management and Technical Direction by Kelly Read
Produced by Owais Lightwala

Gimme Shelter was commissioned by the TORONTO 2015 PAN AM/PARA PAN GAMES arts and culture festival, PANAMANIA presented by CIBC, and developed with the support of Soulpepper Theatre Company, the Playwrights Workshop Montreal, and The Toronto Arts Council.

Special thanks to Andrew Shaver, Viktor Lukawski and Miriam Fernandes for additional writing and dramaturgical support, and Debashis Sinha for sound design during preliminary workshops.



with funding support from