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Jeff Ho

Jeff Ho / Ho Ka Kei is an actor and playwright who was born in Hong Kong but is now based in Toronto. He has held residencies with the Stratford Festival, Tarragon Theatre, Nightswimming, Cahoots, the Banff Playwrights Lab, and Factory Theatre. Ho is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal.



Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2024.
Forthcoming June 2024.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

You can call him Cockroach, or Roach for short. He’s a catnip-smoking city slicker living in the dark corners of our homes. A bard (yes, that one) longs for rest as he contends with his legacy. In their crosshairs lies a boy, caught in their collision of linguistics, longing, and lobsters (who sometimes burp). A unique exploration of survival and the dynamics of language erosion, cockroach (曱甴) is a coming-of-age play about the stories we tell ourselves to comfort, to persevere, to resist, to overcome, and to be.


Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land) & Antigone

Issued under the playwright’s Chinese name Ho Ka Kei
Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2022.
e-book (Access restricted to members of the university community)

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

From the author of trace comes two adaptations that transport mythological stories from Ancient Greece to modern-day civilizations. Led by people of colour, these darkly comedic plays depict recognizable plights for justice. Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land) highlights the repetition of hate and colonialism that occur in ancient myths through a mischievous lens. Since Iphigenia was rescued from the sacrificial altar, she has served as a high priestess to the goddess Artemis on Tauros, where she in turn is to sacrifice any foreigners who try to enter. When she discovers that an exiled prisoner is her brother, they together plot their escape, but are soon confronted by a force beyond their control. Antigone: is set against the backdrop of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement and Tiananmen Square Massacre protests. When citizens challenge a state’s traditional doctrine, the ruling family is divided between their own interests and those of its citizens. After brothers Neikes and Teo kill each other in the protests, their sister Antigone defies her father’s orders to retrieve Neikes’s body, causing the government—and what’s left of their family—to reach a reckoning.

Awards and Honours

2022 Governor-General’s Literary Award–English drama (Finalist)
2023 Lambda Literary Award–LGBTQ+ Drama (Winner)



Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2019.
Available to members of the TMU Community as an e-book

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Ma misses the sun, warmth and colors of their faraway homeland, but her daughter sees magic in everything — the clouds in the winter sky, the “firework” display when she throws an armful of snow into the air, making snow angels, tasting snowflakes. And in the end, her joy is contagious. Home is where family is, after all.

An elegant and sweeping story of a Chinese family’s history, trace follows the footsteps of four generations as their homes and identities are challenged. Jeff Ho brings life to his great grandmother, grandmother, and mother through considerate storytelling as they recount their pasts, leading to a paralleled present.

Great Grandmother fled the Japanese during World War II by escaping China into Hong Kong, a traumatic event that’s rippled down the family line. Grandmother married into the family after a childhood of poverty that will always stay with her. Mother decided to leave Hong Kong for Canada with her two sons, pursuing more opportunities, though dissatisfied with her son’s desire to focus on the piano rather than math. Though pain is a constant, there are plenty of wisecracks, games of mah jong, and familiar family anecdotes swirling through Ho’s genealogical journey of survival.



Publisher Playwrights Canada Press

Jeff Ho’s twitter feed

Jeff Ho interview with Eileen Liu for the Queer of Colour project, summer 2020 posted 18 January 2021