The Play Origins Workshops & Readings Sibling Abuse Impact
CreateTruth & Friends Resources Support Us! Contact Us Home


Rachel runs away with her daughter, arriving unexpectedly at her childhood home; Jade spends more nights in the college art studio than she does in her own bedroom; the sudden reappearance of Josh’s mother forces him to take a hard look at his life. Now, all three of them must confront the truth about their childhood, as its impact on their adult lives is revealed.

Broken Branches exposes a side of family life, often hidden in plain sight. Siblings are our friends, role models, and rivals. They define who we are, perhaps more than our parents. But what happens when sibling conflict crosses a line into something cruel, even dangerous? When the bully lives in the same house, babysits younger siblings, shares a bedroom?

Through the pain, humour, and reality of family dynamics, Broken Branches makes the invisible visible, and will forever change the way we see sibling relationships.

Brothers. Sisters. Survival.


Rebecca Applebaum
Mark Correia
Janel Rae Filipiak
Sarah Kitz
Anastasia Kokolakis


Playwright & Assistant Director Lorene Stanwick
Director & Dramaturg Philip McKee
Stage Manager Sam Hale
Production Manager & Technical Director Gloria Mok
Lighting & Set Designer Jareth Li
Sound Designer Lyon Smith
Costume Designer Adriana Bogaard
Choreographer Carmen Leardi

Audience Advisory: 

- There are references to childhood abuse from siblings (including sexual abuse) and its aftermath; mental health issues, addiction and self-harm. Coarse language. 
- Mental health resources will be available. All evening performances will have Active Listeners onsite.
- Some performances will be followed by post-show discussions (see below).  



P: 416-531-1402 or E:

September 19 – 29, 2019

Previews  Sept 17 & 18  8:00 pm
Tues - Sat
Evenings  8:00 pm
Sat & Sun
Matinees  2:00 pm

From Director Philip McKee:  "Broken Branches is a very important and unique project. It is a remarkable showcase of human suffering and perseverance. The form of trauma it explores is almost completely hidden from public view. The staging of the aftermath of sibling abuse is therefore a radical and subversive act."

Post-Show Discussions

Many performances will be followed by Talk-backs. The following guests have expertise relevant to Broken Branches and are confirmed - more to come!

Sat Sept 21 - 8pm:  Judith Thompson, two-time winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama, and Kelly Straughan, Executive Artistic Director of Workman Arts, and former Executive Director of the Toronto Fringe Festival. A discussion facilitated by director Philip McKee.

Sun Sept 22 - 2:00:  Dr. Vernon Wiehe was a professor in the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky. A pioneer in the study of sibling abuse, Dr. Wiehe has published and lectured extensively, with multiple radio and television appearances, including The Phil Donahue Show. A discussion with playwright Lorene Stanwick, moderated by Justina Zatsman (M.A, M.S.W., R.S.W), psychotherapist, college instructor, and Membership and Hospital Programming Manager at Workman Arts.

Tues Sept 24 - 8:00:  Karyn Kennedy, CEO, BOOST Child and Youth Advocacy Centre (to be confirmed) 

Wed Sept 25 - 8pm:  Heidi McBratney, trauma therapist, Masters in Counseling Psychology, counsellor, and Board Certified expert in Traumatic Stress in conversation with sibling abuse survivors.

Thurs Sept 26 - 8pm:  Dr. Linda Baker, is a clinical psychologist, the Learning Director at the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children, and an Adjunct Professor in the School and Applied Child Psychology Program at Western University. A conversation with playwright Lorene Stanwick.

Copyright 2016 CreateTruth Productions; Designed by J. McAlpine