show description

“Yes, I did it! But it wasn’t my fault.” 

An odd young woman finds herself before an audience.  Her knees are bruised and there’s blood on her hands.  She set out to solve a crime and ended up committing one of her own. Awkward, frail, beautiful powerhouse, this macabre comedy is her defense.

OH MY IRMA is a dark comedy with razor teeth — a coming-of-age monologue with huge heart.  Moving from the colloquial to the poetic, the show raises questions about the boundaries of unconditional love and the implications of women perpetrating violence.  

This is award-winning, critically acclaimed solo show has toured extensively internationally and been translated into French, German and Bulgarian.

★★★★ “you’ll be left hanging on her every word, movement & facial expression”  - Three Weeks

select press & awards

★★★★ “Defiantly distinctive… an utterly singular character” - The Scotsman

★★★★★ “Outstanding… story-telling at its best… ” -  Fringe Review Amsterdam

★★★★1/2  "sends you out of the theatre dazzled”  - Edmonton Journal

★★★★ "always funny on the surface but also evocative of the mental struggles people face everyday" - NOW Magazine

“Light and dark all at once; jagged, vivid – impossible to listen to comfortably, impossible to look away from – like a series of car crashes watched in a thunderstorm.”   
                                                                          - Andrew Haydon, Postcards from the Gods

“an intricately written & beautifully performed examination of self-destruction due to the mistakes of others”  -  A Younger Theatre

Best Production, United Solo Theatre Festival, NYC
1st Prize, THESPIS Monodrama Festival, Kiel, Germany
Best Encore, United Solo Theatre Festival, NYC
Betty Asfalt Award, Amterdam Fringe Festival
Jury Commendation, International Category, Amsterdam Fringe Festival
Best Actress, MonoAkt Festival, Kosovo
Shortlist Arches Brick Award, Edinburgh, Scotland

performance history

Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto, Canada, 2011
TheatreROW/United Solo Festival, NYC, USA. 2011 & 2012
Betty Asfalt/Amsterdam Fringe, The Netherlands, 2012
Upstairs at the Three & Ten, Brighton, England, 2012 & 2013
Theater Kiel/THESPIS, Kiel, Germany, 2012
The Old Red Lion, London, England, 2012
Unit 102, Toronto, Canada, 2013
Belfry Theatre/SPARK Festival, Victoria, Canada, 2013
St. Muse Festival, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 2013
MonoAkt Festival, Peja, Kosovo, 2013
Hill St. Solo Theatre/Edinburgh Fringe, Scotland, 2013
Theaterdiscounter, Berlin, Germany, 2013
National Theatre School, Montreal, Canada, 2014
Global Arts Forum, Varna, Bulgaria, 2014
Tampere International Festival, Finland, 2014


Ma Irma, the French translation by Marie-Claire Marcotte, who also performs the show in French, was supported by The Glassco Translation Residency and Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal, Québec. Marie-Claire has performed Ma Irma at La Troupe du Jour in Saskatoon and Zones Théâtrales biennial in Ottawa, Canada.

Meine Irma, deine Irma, the German translation by Neele von Müller and was performed Stadttheater Fürth, Germany.  Meine Irma, deine Irma is represented by Theaterstückverlag, a literary house in Munich, Germany. 

development history

OH MY IRMA was developed at Theatre Passe Muraille’s Crapshoot and BUZZ Festival and Banff Playwrights' Colony.  It was first performed at the Edmonton Fringe directed by Mitchell Cushman, before its professional premiere as part of Theatre Passe Muraille’s 2010-11 Season.  Tours of OH MY IRMA were supported in part by grants from the Ontario Arts Council and generous donations through two crowdfunding campaigns.

creative team

Haley McGee - writer & performer
Alisa Palmer - director
Andy McKim - dramaturg
John Gzowski - sound design
Dave DeGrow - lighting design
Camellia Koo - costume/props design

Mitchell Cushman - Edmonton Fringe director & dramaturg
Morgan Norwich - BUZZ Festival director
Derrick Chua - co-producer for international tours
Never Mind the Noise - co-producer for international tours

bonus: poetry in-scent-ive

I made this poetry blog in 2010/11 as a side project to the show.  People sent in photos of their laundry and I'd write them a poems inspired by these pictures.  

Haley McGee in  OH MY IRMA . Photo by  Hannah Houston . 

Haley McGee in OH MY IRMA. Photo by Hannah Houston