On the day Makambe K. Simamba was born in Zambia, Nelson Mandela was visiting the country for the first time since his release from prison. It was the voice of men like Mandela and Malcolm X that made up the soundtrack of her childhood. Born in Zambia and raised in Guyana, Virgin Islands, and the Cayman Islands, this 29 year old storyteller has been exposed to many cultures and people. After high school, Makambe left the islands for Canada and took up theatre at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta.
In October 2018 Weyni Mengesha returned to Toronto as Soulpepper Theatre’s Artistic Director - making her the first woman and person of colour to sit at the helm of the city’s largest non-profit.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Photo by Andrew Eccles
“Alvin Ailey was a pioneer in celebrating the human spirit through the African-American culture and modern dance, elevating the world of the performing arts and the hearts and minds of people of all backgrounds," says the man at the helm of a 60 year old cultural instititute.
I had just taken the helm of b current performing arts, a 26-year-old company dedicated to theatre from the Black and brown diaspora.
This Black History Month, PIECE OF MINE Arts returns with the highly anticipated BLACK MEN IN THEATRE showcase at the grand Fairview Library Theatre, February 15 – 17.
Dracula on stage at the Shaw Festival Theatre goes old school — garlic and crucifixes included — in the retelling of Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic tale.
“I’d love to see you play a Hamlet one day, or Macbeth or any role you want and deserve, regardless of gender or race or anything else.” One of my mentors said those words to me with an undeniable spark in her eyes as we spoke about the state of theatre in Toronto.
Djanet Sears is a woman who needs no introduction. The award-winning playwright, director, producer and actor made history in 1990 when her theatre anthology Afrika, Solo became the first published play by a Canadian woman of African descent.