By Andrew Moodie

A dramatic and often humorous look at six black Canadians of diverse backgrounds who share a Toronto house. Their lives unfold against the backdrop of civil unrest, which erupted when the Los Angeles police officers on trial for the beating of Rodney King are acquitted. The fracas outside keeps intruding as characters clash, collide, and swap jokes about everything from racism to the status of Quebec as a distinct society, from Malcolm X to The Road to Avonlea.

“Boisterous, intimate, entertaining and enlightening.”

The Globe and Mail

"'Riot' triumphantly transcends racial issues and becomes a useful metaphor for what it means to be a Canadian in the 90's"

Toronto Star

★★★★★ (out of 5)
"...a sizzling script by Ottawa's Andrew Moodie... Moodie and a vibrant ensemble deliver a multi-layered slice of young black life full of nuances, difference and, most importantly, humour - in natural, profanity-laced dialogue... an utterly human window on life."

Ottawa SunTralee Pearce

"a brilliant script... a stunning, thought-provoking evening of entertainment... Moodie has created characters who are real and who have real concerns... Without a doubt (Riot is) the best play I've seen in Ottawa this theatre season."

The CharlatanCindy Robinson

"Riot is a thoughtful exploration of the rich variations of the black community in Canada... (Riot addresses) real conflicts and real situations with great humour...a Canadian classic in the making... You just have to see this one."

The Ottawa CitizenJennifer Hartley

Production Details

4 Male

2 Female

3 Acts

By Andrew Moodie

Purchase Play Script

Production History

Riot, Andrew Moodie’s first play, was an immediate success with critics and audiences. First produced at the Factory Theatre (Toronto) in 1995 with a subsequent remount in 1996.

Subsequent productions by Great Canadian Theatre Company (Ottawa) in 1997 & Black Theatre Workshop (Montreal) in 1998.

Riot won the 1996 Chalmers Canadian Play Award.

Riot was published by Scirocco Drama in 1997 and is also available for purchase through PGC’s Canadian Play Outlet

Cover design: Terry Gallagher / Doowah Design. Photos: Kevin Pickles.

License this play? Contact