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Photo by Alexandra Stiller-Moldovan

Too Dirty to Clean


brawk hessel

The Theatre Centre, BMO Incubator

August 6, 7:00pm

August 10, 8:00pm

50 Minutes

Ticket Price
$15 / $30

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Photo by Alexandra Stiller-Moldovan

Too Dirty to Clean is a filth-obsessed satire of the messy logic of purity and cleanliness.  Performed using cleaning and disciplinary tools, a beleaguered cleaner tries to restore order to a room as the mess and the implements takes on a life of their own. Cleanliness takes on a brand-new shiny veneer of filth and fun that playfully shadows and critiques our narratives of addiction while revealing the complex experience of ongoing recovery.

Puppeteer/performer brawk hessel has utilized their lived experience as a house cleaner and a recovering addict – who is now “clean” and sober – to create this twisted, antic-filled examination of the ever-incomplete process of cleaning up our act. Combining elements of object theatre, installation, clown and performance art, the audience is invited into the age-old question, “Who made this big mess?”

Ann Powell (she/her): prop design consultant and mentor
brawk hessel (they/them): performer and creator
Brigitte Head (she/her): active listener
Harri Thomas (they/them): director & dramaturg
Nathaniel Hanula James (they/he): dramaturg
Nic “murr” Murray (he/him): sound design
Robin Leveroos (she/her): design and puppet manipulation consultant

The August 10th presentation of Too Dirty to Clean is designated as a Relaxed Performance and a Risk-Conscious Performance. All audience members are required to wear face masks or coverings in the Theatre Centre, BMO Incubator at all times.


Content: queer-/trans-phobic language, representation of addiction and overdose
Sensory: loud music, sudden noises, scents: cinnamon, pepper, cornstarch, cedar shavings


SummerWorks Lab programming – a place for exploration, experimentation, and process, with diverse performance works shared at crucial stages of creative development, forging connections between artists and audiences.