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About the play

What the Buddha Never Taught is a musical celebration of the western encounter with Buddhism. Based on the book by Tim Ward, the story is set in a fictional international monastery populated by an assortment of western practitioners. The play takes audiences on a high-spirited musical ride through uncharted philosophical and spiritual waters. Eastern and western horizons fuse and open into silence... 

Tim: Wait! Did they just say "A Buddhist musical"?      

Jim:  It's a musical-comedy actually, a rock opera. 


Tim: I don't believe it.


Jim: It's not about belief, Tim. 


Tim: What have they done? Good God!


Jim: In fact... you're in it.


Tim: Help!                                                                                                        


Jim: Listen to this:

A suspicious suicide greets an idealistic Canadian philosophy student upon arrival at an international Buddhist monastery, upsetting his plans for a life of quiet meditation. Intimations of murder, romance, and religious fascism wreak havoc in the young seeker's mind as illusions are shattered and enlightenment achieved.


Tim: Actually, this sounds kind of cool. Who are you, then?


Jim: Trusty sidekick, realist.


Tim: OK then, what's the real story?


Jim: Well...


What the Buddha Never Taught is a musical celebration of the western encounter with Buddhism--written by Dr. Martin T. Adam, a  playwright, songwriter, and professor of Buddhist Studies residing on Canada's west coast. The play channels the comedic spirit of  Monty Python, the musical inspiration of the Fab Four, and the epic vision of J.R.R Tolkien. (Well... maybe not that last bit--but there is a storyline).  


The first full production of the play took place at Vancouver's Jericho Arts Centre in the summer of 2022. It is now online for viewing. A collaborative effort, the Theatre Alive production is directed by the swashbuckling Shakespearian, Chris Humphreys, with live music by the super group Sarnath Rainbow -- featuring Victor Noriega (keys), Scott White (bass), Richard Moody (strings), and  Karl de Jong (percussion). Scott, serving as the production's Musical Director, brings with him two decades of European theatre experience (Cirque du Soliel, Palazzo Theatre Berlin) to ensure that audiences have their proverbial socks rocked right off. He and Richard are known internationally as key members of The Bills, where they play alongside Marc Atkinson, musical arranger and cowriter for many of the play's 22 songs.


Tim: A splendid time seems guaranteed for all.                                

Jim: Watch the video here:


Password: BuddhaSummer_2022

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* 10% of net profits from future theatrical productions will be donated to the Wilderness Committee's campaigns in British Columbia. See:


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