Past Works

Erika has been creating and performing innovative and award-winning work since 1983.
These are a few of her favourite past works.
For more information, contact

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Mr. Raisin Head

Mr. Raisin Head is a comic monologue told by a lascivious bachelor who has air in his head and is obsessed with water. As he looks for his true self, we meet the grape he marries and a variety of Virtues including Purity and Justice. Eventually his love for water and an encounter with the gorgeous Trustworthiness triggers his ultimate transformation. 

The show toured across the USA and Canada, with many presentations in New York, Boston and Toronto.

Contact for touring information

    Stupid Fish & Complicit Trees (2013)

    A site specific installation by Erika Bardorf and Suzanne Bartos, Stupid Fish and Complicit Trees was created for NAKYMA in Akaa, Finland in June 2013. Suzanne created the puppet fish and a larger matching sculpture that was floating in the lake next to where Erika performed.
    The mask is by a Balinese artist, L.A. Laksmi

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    Peer Gynt

    Three years after its sold-out hit, Gorey Story, Erika Batdorf and The Thistle Project returned to the Toronto stage with Peer Gynt, a tour-de-force performance piece adapted for two actors by director Erika Batdorf with the company. Playing in every corner of Toronto’s historic Church of the Holy Trinity, actors Susan Coyne (Soulpepper Founding Member and Gemini-winning performer and creator of Slings and Arrows) and our own Matthew Romantini brought Henrik Ibsen’s epic poem to life.

    * Top 10 Theatre Shows for 2010 in NOW Magazine

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    One Pure Longing (2010)

    Commissioned by Luminato this collaborative creation headed by Batdorf was inspired by Tahirih. In 1848, at a religious conference in what is now Iran, the poet and teacher known as Táhirih, or “The Pure One” dared to appear in public without a veil. She was arrested and subsequently put to death.

    Weaving dance, poetry, Iranian, First Nations and African American song, silk work and lamentation into an intense theatrical exploration that challenges us to find our authentic voice and the courage to speak.


    A fairytale without the darkness washed away.

    Meet shy Moleman, an old Frogman and a frightening Birdlady, imaginatively brought to life by a four year old coming to terms with a forgotten mystery. One of Batdorf's most arresting pieces, kid is profoundly moving with an uplifting and transformative ending. Kid has toured extensively to rave reviews and overwhelmingly positive audience response and was most recently remounted in Toronto in October 2011. 

    Bird's Eye View

    Obsessed with flight, a prisoner under surveillance escapes into a tiny world of her own creation. Set to an original musical score, Bird's Eye Viewproduced by Foreign Landscapes, is a visually evocative multi-media puppet show inspired by Oscar Wilde and his work. This is a solo co-created and directed by Erika Batdorf and performed by puppeteer, theatre creator and performer Faye Dupras, of Foreign Landscapes.

    * Winner of the 2007 Summerworks Jury Prize for Best Production


    Gorey Story

    Created by The Thistle Project, Gorey Story is a whimsical and macabre chronicle of the deaths of 26 children. Called "nastily clever and impeccably staged" by NOW Magazine, the work was recognized Four Dora Mavour Moore Nominations:

    • Outstanding New Play (Erika Batdorf, Christine Horne, Matthew Romantini and the Company)
    • Outstanding Production (The Thistle Project)
    • Outstanding Direction (Erika Batdorf)
    • Outstanding Costume Design (Ming Wong)
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    Facing East

    Umik, A dear Inuit friend visited me from Paraguay and said "Erika, I am going to die soon- when I do, you must pray to me, I will work through you." I couldn't pray to him. Then I watched too many people I loved die from AIDS. I couldn't pray to them. So I wrote Richard and asked him if I could come to Toronto and have him help me with this piece I was creating on death and prayer. I got a post card saying he had passed on. Using physical 'prayers', invoking the souls of three of Batdorf's mentors, Richard Pochinko, Dr. Gari Rea Airth {Umik} and Lucy Jarvis who have passed on, we struggle to understand death in life.