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Firebrand Theatre is thrilled to announce a concert reading of the company's new musical Airborne: A Bessie Coleman Story 

about the early African-American pioneer of aviation.

The upcoming concert reading is a work-in-progress and will be presented in collaboration with Drew University.

May 18th, 2PM at BAM Fisher Hillman Studio, in Brooklyn, New York 

Book by Beau Dixon & Lyrics by Jewelle Blackman
Music by Beau Dixon and Jewelle Blackman
Story Conceived by Michele Coleman, Beau Dixon, Susan Newman and Rob Fortin.

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Beau Dixon
Artistic Director

Beau Dixon is a multi-award winning playwright, actor, composer and sound designer. As a playwright he has been commissioned by Arbor Theatre (From Here to Africville); Heritage Pavilion (Once a Flame and Freedom Belles); Canadian Citizenship of Immigration (Other People’s Heaven: The Viola Desmond Story) and the  Prince of Wales Public School (The Lunch Club).  His plays have been performed in elementary, secondary and post- secondary schools throughout Canada and many of them celebrating Black History Month. His one man musical drama Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story won him two Dora awards (Best New Play and Best Performance/ TYA Division), the Calgary Critics Award (Best Individual Performance), Calgary Critics nomination (Best Touring Play), and a Betty Mitchell nomination (Best Male Performance).   In 2016 he was a KM Hunter Award finalist and was also inducted into Peterborough's Pathway of Fame for his leadership in the dramatic arts.

Michele is an educator and theatre maker.  She comes to Toronto after seven years in Philadelphia and New York City combined. While in the United States Michele directed and produced new plays with emerging playwrights and was asked to join the  Lincoln Center Theatre Directors’ Lab and Mabou Mines theatre company under Lee Breuer. Her directing work has been seen at The Salon, New Georges, Circle Rep Lab, HERE, Dixon Place and Women’s Project and Productions and in Toronto at the Rhubarb Festival.  Michele studied Drama at the University of Toronto (UCC Drama Program) and has her M.Ed. and B.Ed. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). Michele currently works for the York Region District School Board in the English and Drama departments.

Michele Coleman

Firebrand is committed to producing stories by Canadian playwrights and we are excited to be celebrating our eighth year as an independent theatre company. Firebrand is a company devoted to educating young people through the medium of theatre to help incite live encounters that are memorable for both the audience and actors. Our intention is to tell stories that provoke and inspire our viewers to look at life from different perspectives.  

My play Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story toured Canada celebrating Black History Month throughout the 2014/15 season and returned again in the 2015/16 season.  Maurice Ruddick—along with six other miners in the Cumberland Mine in Springhill Nova Scotia—were trapped for nine days.  This story touches my heart deeply, not only because of the bravery and courage Maurice instilled in his fellow miners, but because he was also an accomplished musician who used music as a source of strength and hope.

Currently, we are in the process of writing a new musical play Airborne highlighting the pioneer and aviator Bessie Coleman—another courageous historical figure who didn’t allow gender or racial discrimination stop her from achieving her goals.  

Please browse through our website to find out more about the variety of stories we have to offer.  We thank you for your support and hope to see you at a venue near you!

Yours truly,

Beau Dixon


firebrand (noun)
a person who is passionate about a particular cause, typically inciting change and taking radical action

Our Mandate:
Firebrand Theatre is committed to investigate and perform history with the intention of affecting the lives of Canadians today.

Our Mission:

We are dedicated to making these stories accessible and affordable for young and older audiences. When touring, teachers will be provided with inclusive curriculum packages prior to the  performance. We also offer talk-backs after the show to include student questions and involve them in the process of theatre-making with the artists.  



Year Established






Awards & Nominations



Book by Beau Dixon and Lyrics by Jewelle Blackman

Music by Beau Dixon and Jewelle Blackman
Conceived by Michele Coleman, Beau Dixon, Rob Fortin and Susan Newman

Dramaturg: Lisa S. Brenner


Created and Performed by Beau Dixon

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Created by Caitlin Driscoll, Leora Morris & Eleanor Hewlings

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Previously produced by:

Heritage Pavilion Stage, Peterborough

C Theatre Works at Factory Theatre, Toronto

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Previously produced by:

Arbor Theatre, Peterborough

Firebrant Theatre

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By Beau Dixon & Phil Oakley

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By Beau Dixon 

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By Beau Dixon 

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Previously Produced By:

Firebrand Theatre at Trent University, Peterborough 


We gratefully acknowledge the support of:



If you would like to support the artists, please click 'Donate' below.

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