Generous Friend

Generous Friend is a collaboration between Erum Khan and Erin Brubacher. 

In our work together we seek to create worlds that reflect the current and fluid social, political, and cultural landscape in Canada. 

Our inaugural project was Noor, a play written by Erum and directed by Erin.

Globe and Mail: Noor rethinks the boundaries of theatre

From October 2-21, 2018, Generous Friend was in residence, in a Mongolian yurt, located in the inner courtyard of the Aga Khan Museum. A group of interdisciplinary artists made performances of Noor, a new play written by Erum Khan, directed by Erin Brubacher, with original music by the electronic music duo LAL and sitarist Anwar Khurshid.

Museum visitors were invited to experience ‘open rehearsals' and witness performance making in process. 

This work was a play, concert, live installation and performance experiment in a museum context. Performances featured sung and spoken recitations of Rumi and trail blazing 20th century poet, Parveen Shakir.

Following a nine day durational performance, through which visitors came and went freely, there were nine full length ticketed performances of the piece. 

Noor is about a family in Toronto in 2018. Noor, a young woman embarking on adulthood, faces the absence of her mother, Mumina, and looks for shelter in a relationship with another young woman, Aubrey. Noor’s father Bashir struggles to establish a relationship with his daughter. Each character navigates an inner violence of identity, belonging, and displacement, while engaging with Rumi and the untraceable path of his muse, Shams Tabriz. Noor offers Rumi and Shams as counterpoints to contemporary inertia in an urban, Canadian, queer context. 


written___Erum Khan
directed___Erin Brubacher 
performed___Rosina Kazi, Erum Khan, Anwar Khurshid, Sofía Rodríguez
original music ___ Rosina Kazi, Anwar Khurshid, Nicholas Murray
lighting design __ Rebecca Picherack
set design __ Kaitlin Hickey 
sound design __ Nicholas Murray
stage management __ Jennifer Lee
production management___James Kendal
assistant direction ___ Tijiki Morris
artistic collaboration ___ Liz Peterson 
production/ design assistance ___Franco Pang

About Erum: Erum Khan is a film and theatre maker. Current and recent projects include: Creator and performer for Becoming (Rhubarb Festival and Ottawa Fringe Festival, 2018); assistant director for Acha Bacha (Theatre Passe Muraille); production assistant and collaborator for 7th Cousins performer and assistant director for Concord Floral (The Theatre Centre, Canadian Stage, and The PuSh International Performance Festival); and filmmaker for Banjaare ka ghar (Toronto Independent Film Festival, 2016). She was part of the 2017/18 Emerging Creators Unit at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. She is currently the Youth Coordinator for the Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival.

About Erin 

Generous Friend is supported by The Toronto Arts Council, The Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Noor is part of the National Arts Centre's The Collaborations. Thanks to Nightswimming who supported Noor through the OAC Theatre Creators Reserve and to Theatre Tarragon who supported the early development of this work.