Story of struggle and survival conveyed through theatre

NANAIMO – Anatolia Speaks is a fictional account of a Canadian immigrant sharing a refugee past

The journey of a Bosnian refugee in Poiema Productions’ Anatolia Speaks will have audiences looking at their country with new eyes, said actress Candice Fiorentino.

Anatolia Speaks, a one-women show written by playwright Kenneth Brown, takes audiences into an ESL classroom where a new Canadian tells a story of struggle, passion and survival.

The refugee, Anatolia, means to give a light presentation about Bosnia and her experiences as a new immigrant working in Edmonton’s Superstore. But as her classmates question her about the past, the character begins to reveal more depth to her journey.

“I’m the kind of actor that enjoys doing shows I’m proud of … that really have a message and this has that,” said Fiorentino, who plays Anatolia.

“I think it opens your eyes to Canada and that we are a place for people all over the world  and … [it] gives a new outlook on immigrants and [what they might have gone through].”

The show makes its debut performance in Nanaimo Sept. 14, fresh off the circuit in Alberta and Ontario where it picked up five star reviews and Pick of the Fringe.

Brown, best known for his plays Letters in Wartime and Life after Hockey,  tells the story of a “sweet and awkward” refugee who showcases her love of the simple things Canada offers against the backdrop of war-torn Bosnia.

The story set in the 1990s is a “drama-dy,” taking audiences on the highs and lows of the character’s life journey, according to Fiorentino. She believes it’s picked up good reviews because it inspires true emotion.

“The script is phenomenal,” she said. “There are nights where people are laughing hysterically for the first half of the show and the last they are silent and crying,” she said.

This is the first time the Edmonton-based Poiema Productions has shown a performance in the Harbour City. The curtains will lift on the production  Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Nanaimo Centre Stage and 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 15.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $18 for students and can be purchased at the door or click on the current events calendar at

Just Posted

Construction work continues on the City of Nanaimo’s new Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street. (News Bulletin file)
Next phase of borrowing approved as Nanaimo fire hall construction ongoing

City of Nanaimo CAO says construction on Fitzwilliam Street hall on schedule and budget

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

A view of the outside of St. Andrews Roman Catholic Cathedral on Victoria’s Blanshard Street. (Don Denton/News staff)
Vancouver Island bishop apologizes for church’s role in residential schools

Bishop Gary Gordon of the Diocese of Victoria voices commitment to healing and reconciliation

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

Most Read