We are John Millard (composer) and Martha Ross (writer/dramaturge).
We are compelled to tell stories that imaginatively address serious issues within a spirit of play. The presence of music and a heightened sense of design are essential aspects to the theatre we create. We value originality in art, as do we value and search for a means to be relevant. We are passionate about ensuring that our artistic teams represent the cultural diversity of Canada.
J Mar Electric was formed after the resounding success of our cabaret show, The Cave, which we wrote with the internationally renowned Cree playwright, Tomson Highway, as a response to the climate crisis. The artistic leads of J MAR Electric are John Millard (composer) and Martha Ross (book writer), but an essential member of our company is our producer, Victor Pokinko, who has been promoting our work since the beginning. The Cave was featured in the 2019 Luminato Festival and will also be included in their June 2022 festival. It will be toured this fall throughout BC with a final run at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre.
The success of The Cave has inspired us to continue investigating how music and design can enrich theatre. We have created theatre with music for many years. We define “music theatre” as theatre that uses music to carry dramatic weight, theatre that requires the presence of music in order to tell the story. But why do we want to do theatre at all? From time to time something extraordinary and ‘electric’ happens in the space between the performers and the audience. We want to make theatre that charges the audience with an awareness of being alive. Music within a story and a heightened design element make this objective more achievable.
We are compelled to tell stories that imaginatively address serious issues within a heightened spirit of play, music, and design. We value originality in art, as do we value and search for a means to be relevant. We are passionate about ensuring that our artistic teams represent the cultural diversity of Canada.
John Millard has been active in the music/ theatre scene in Toronto and across Canada since the early 80’s. He has composed many award-winning theatre productions and has earned himself a notable reputation as a composer for theatre.
Martha Ross has been writing and creating theatre since the early 80’s when she founded with Leah Cherniak, the Toronto-based company, Theatre Columbus. Their distinguished physical and comic style fuelled the creation of 25 award-winning plays and helped foster the interest and growth for devised theatre in Canada.
Victor Pokinko is a Dora Award-winning producer, actor, and theatre-creator based in Toronto. As an Artistic Producer of Bad Hats Theatre and Creative Producer of JMAR Electric, he is dedicated to the development of original work, championing the collective voices of artists to let them influence and shape the creative process.