Stone Soup: Teatime


Common Boots Theatre and Live Cinema Collective present

Stone Soup: Teatime


Samira Mohyeddin (Feb 5), Waleed Abdulhamid (Feb 12), & Jani Lauzon (Feb 19);
Hosted by Derek Kwan

February 5, 12, 19, 2023

Sundays at 4 p.m.

Labour of Love
223 Carlton Street

Watch the Series

Recorded versions of the events are available to sip at your convenience.

Your support helps with our efforts to make our work more accessible and welcoming, including: removing barriers by providing free admission, ASL interpretation, and programming options such as digital streaming.

Support Our Work

Creative & Production Team

  • Guest (February 5)Samira Mohyeddin
  • Guest (February 12)Waleed Abdulhamid
  • Guest (February 19)Jani Lauzon
  • HostDerek Kwan
  • ASL InterpreterRogue Benjamin
  • Livestream Producer & Technical DirectorMaziar Ghaderi
  • Labour of LoveRegina Sheung

Come join us for a cup of warm tea and escape the cold!

Join us throughout the month of February for Stone Soup: Teatime. Sunday afternoons at 4 pm, we will be gathering to beat the cold with a series of special Guests, as we connect over a nice cup o’ tea. Part interview, part cultural sharing, and part tea party, join host Derek Kwan as we learn about the importance of different teas in different cultures from across the globe.

Attendance is FREE and there are two ways to participate:

  • In-person: Sign up to join us in-person in our very limited capacity live venue: Labour of Love (223 Carlton St., Toronto). We’ll be sharing the tea we are making!
  • Digital streaming: Join us remotely through our immersive 360° livestream. If you sign up by January 27, we will send you the tea so you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home! A recording of each episode will be available afterwards for streaming at your convenience.

Three Gatherings Throughout February

Each week, host Derek Kwan will be joined by a Guest, who will share with us a tea that is important to them, how to prepare it, and fascinating stories about their lives. All in a casual, relaxed environment. Join us however you like: in-person or virtually; for one gathering, or join us for all three gatherings!

February 5: Samira Mohyeddin; Persian Tea

Samira's colour photo: a Middle Eastern woman with short hair and bright red lipstick sits on a stool. She is leaning forward and her arms are crossed upon her knee.

Samira Mohyeddin is an award winning journalist and broadcaster at CBC Radio. She is also host and creator of the CBC podcast Unforked – a series about the culture and politics of food. She also has a Master of Arts in Gender and Modern Middle Eastern History from the University of Toronto and is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Manhattan.

Persian Tea is prepared from loose leaf black tea, and served in clear glasses so that the drinker can admire the colour.  Cha-ee (as tea is called in Iran) is enjoyed brewed strong at the Qaveh Khaneh (coffee house) is a popular pastime that stretches back centuries. Persian tea also features a distinct way of using sugar cubes!

SPECIAL THANKS to Puppetmongers for allowing us use of their samovar

February 12: Waleed Abdulhamid; Karkade

Waleed's headshot: A smiling Black man with a beard, wearing a traditional Sudanese hat and holding a traditional stringed instrument that looks like a lyre.

Waleed Abdulhamid is a Canadian Multi-instrumentalist; Composer; Vocalist; Music and Film Producer, known for his striking vocals, innovative bass technique, and his speed and precision on percussion. He has been an active member of the Toronto music scene since his arrival, in 1991 from Sudan, where he began to perform as early as six years old. He is the recipient of the Canadian New Pioneer Award; African Tama Award; Reel World Film Festival Award and Canadian Film Board of Excellence Award. In addition, he has not only received other international awards, but was also twice honoured with a DORA Award. In turn, he is frequently invited to serve on juries in Music and Theatre, and has acquired a distinctive profile in the media.

Waleed Abdulhamid has recorded, performed and toured with celebrated artists including David Clayton Thomas of the Grammy Award winning band Blood, Sweat & Tears and Motown legends, The Drifters. He has also toured both nationally and internationally. However, he is most proud of his role as a mentor to acclaimed younger artists such as D’bi Young, Ngozi Paul, and Zaki Ibrahim.

Waleed has been the subject of study for researchers and PhD candidates seeking to understand the workings of the virtuoso mind, and is currently a faculty member in the music department of the University of Toronto. Formerly, he worked for twenty years as a professor in the Music Degree Program at Humber College.

Karkade (hibiscus tea) is prepared from the dried calyces of the roselle flower, creating a dark crimson coloured tea, with a tart cranberry-like taste. It is very popular in Sudan and Egypt, as well as other parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean.

February 19: Jani Lauzon; Cedar Tea

Jani's black & white headshot: a Méti woman with long white hair around her shoulders wearing a simple black top. Photo by Helen Tansey.

Jani Lauzon is a multidisciplinary artist of Métis ancestry. She is a ten-time Dora nominated actor/director/writer, a three time Juno-nominated singer/songwriter, an award-winning screen actress, and a Gemini Award winning puppeteer. As a Director she received the Toronto Theatre Critics award and the John Hirsch Directing Award (OAC). As a puppeteer she has fond memories of playing Grannie on the Mr. Dress-Up show and Pa Foley on the Big Comfy Couch. Memorable theatre appearances include: Cordelia/Fool in the NAC Aboriginal production of King Lear, Shylock in Merchant of Venice (SITR) and the Neighbour/Servant in the Modern Times production of Blood Wedding. Her company Paper Canoe Projects producers her own work including the award-winning Prophecy Fog as well as I Call myself Princess, and A Side of Dreams. Television guest appearances include Ruby and the Well, Something Undone, Saving Hope, and Conspiracy of Silence. Recent directing credits include: 1939 (Stratford Festival) Where the Blood Mixes and Almighty Voice and his Wife(Soulpepper), Rope (The Shaw Festival) and The Monument (Factory Theatre). Jani began her career as an artist educator at the Claude Watson School for the Arts: Junior campus in the 1980s. She honed her skills as AD/Principal of The Centre for Indigenous Theatre and has worked extensively developing a pedagogy of actors training based on interdisciplinary training and circular communication. Photo by Helen Tansey.

Cedar Tea is prepared from leaves of the cedar tree, one of the powerful Four Sacred Medicines used in Indigenous cultures. It is used in ceremony and also as a tea with many health benefits, including: boosting the immune system, and as an anti-inflammatory. Please note: This medicine is not suitable for use during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or by those with kidney weakness.

About Stone Soup:

Stone Soup is an evolving concept that examines culture and identity around a meal involving a hot pot. Initiated by Derek Kwan and Maziar Ghaderi, Stone Soup seeks to reveal the intricacies of our interconnectedness as Canadians with a myriad of identities and origins, through the sharing of dialogue and food. Stone Soup was partly developed at the SummerWorks 2022 Lab. One offshoot of the project, Stone Soup: Re-Past, was presented at Canadian Stage’s 2022 Festival of Ideas and Creation, where Derek and Maziar explored ideas of aspiration, shame, and reclamation of food and culture, whilst cooking rice-based meals of their ancestors. Stone Soup: Teatime is another offshoot and revolves around sharing of culture and experience with distinctive teas from around the world.

About Live Cinema Collective:

Live Cinema Collective explores the ways in which space and synchronicity affect the artistic experience for both creator, viewer and what’s between. During its inaugural year, the group participated in the RBC residency at Canadian Stage with their livestreamed theatre piece, The Grand Hacker that examined the lines between surveillance, social media, interactivity and the storytelling experience. Collective members are: Maziar Ghaderi, Derek Kwan, Star Nahwegahbo, and Banafsheh Taherian.

About Maziar Ghaderi:

Maziar Ghaderi is a Toronto-based media artist and theatre innovator that articulates social commentary through metaphors, epiphanies and critiques centring unheard voices through his artistic practice, Playformance. With a breadth of experience creating live shows for SummerWorks (x2), International Symposium of Electronic Art (x2), Luminato (x2), Nuit Blanche (x3) and HarbourFront Centre, his artistic practice has utilized emerging technology to amplify community-centric cultural rituals such as Sufi whirling, Capoeira and Inuit throat-singing. Ghaderi’s works have gained recognition from MIT Media Lab, Globe & Mail (x2), VICE (x2), Washington Times, and Newsweek. He also co-founded the BIPOC-centred media arts collective, blcknbrwn, has raised more than $115,000 for his art and film projects in 2021 alone and was the media producer and videographer for Marina Abramovic at the 2013 Luminato Festival’s MAI Prototype.

About Labour of Love:

Labour of Love is a multifunctional space; besides retail we also utilize our space for events, workshops, popups and food & beverage demos. We are a creative hub for culture exchange; collaborating with local makers, artists and small independent businesses. Our focus is to provide a place where we cultivate engaging interactions, and where everyone can truly experience our product selection. Here, our visitors can touch, taste, smell and learn about what the makers have to offer.




The demonstration kitchen of Labour of Love is at the same level as the sidewalk. To access the washroom, there are 5 steps up to the main floor of the store.

Labour of Love is located approximately 60 metres west of the intersection of Parliament and Carlton Streets on the south side of Carlton Street. This intersection is serviced by TTC Streetcar 506 College, and TTC Bus 65 Parliament.

ASL interpretation will be available.

Digital Streaming:

Auto-generated captions will be available with the livestream, and ASL interpretation will be available.

Health and Safety Policy

If you are unwell, please stay home.

Masks that fully cover the nose and mouth, and are at minimum medical grade are required to be worn at all times while attending the in-person performance.

Masks may be temporarily lowered while tasting the tea.

There are a number of airborne viruses circulating (Covid- 19, flu and RSV) that pose a health risk to all. Out of an abundance of caution and care for those who may be immunocompromised, or who care for someone who is high risk, we at Common Boots continue to adhere to strict health protocols.

Please request a mask from our Front of House team if you do not have access to a mask, or forgot yours at home.

In addition to our mask protocols, for your protection, all staff, volunteers and performers require proof of vaccination and will be tested for COVID-19 on the day of the performance. No staff, volunteer or performer will be on site if unwell.

Hand sanitizer will be available at Front of House.

If you booked to attend in person, but are unwell on the booked day, please let us know and we will happily send you the link to the live stream so you can participate remotely. Please contact [email protected].