TRACE and More Slated for bcurrent's 26th Year of Rebirth
Back for a 26th year, bcurrent is under new management, and the upcoming season more than proves it with expanded projects in association with Factory Theatre and Theatre Passe Muraille and a revamped rock.paper.sistaz - now a season long residency, featuring Makambe K Simamba and The Bite Hard Collective.
When asked what made this season memorable, what made it link to the past yet still exist as a renascence for the future, newly appointed Artistic Director Catherine Hernandez replied, "Taking the helm of this 26 year old theatre company, I knew I wanted to respect the legacy given to me by the courageous Black women whose hard work gave this organization its wings. I am strapping on those same wings, preparing to fly the company into its next 26 years, developing and producing work by Black, Indigenous and of-colour artists, from the page to the stage. In our creation story, b current starts with a promise and continues to blossom with the tenacity of our new team and the capacity of our new theatre space - From mud, wood, and the breath of our ancestors: Welcome to b current performing arts' season of rebirth.
trace written by Jeff Ho
Previews: Nov 11 - 15
Runs: Nov 16 -Dec 3
Factory Studio Theatre
A Factory Theatre production in association with b current performing arts
"He is my son.
He Hong Kong boy,
He must learn classical music to get better at math,
I not pay you to make my son stupid with
Some dream a dream song."
trace follows three generations of mother and son from the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong to Canada in the 21st Century. Combining virtuosic original piano compositions with an incredible performance and a lyrical text, this exquisite and stimulating one man chamber play offers a new look into what we give up to thrive under duress.
Take D Milk, Nah? Written and Performed by Jivesh Parasram
Previews: Apr 10-11 2018
Run: Apr 12-22 2018
Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace
A Pandemic Theatre and b current performing arts Co-Production in association with Theatre Passe Muraille
Dramaturgy by Graham Isador
"This is the story of how I once birthed a cow...kinda...."
Jiv is "Canadian." And "Indian." And "Hindu." And "West Indian." "Trinidadian" too. Or maybe he's just colonized. In Take d Milk, Nah? Parasram blends personal storytelling, ritual, and academic lecture to walk an audience through the Hin-do's and Hin-don'ts at the intersections of these cultures. The show is a refreshingly candid and delightfully funny look at race, religion and nationalism(s): What divides us - and what we're willing to accept in the desire to belong. Oh, and there's a cow.
ROCK.PAPER.SISTAHZ DEVELOPMENT SERIES:
rock.paper.sistahz festival has been reimagined into an in-depth development series where curated artists are invited to explore, play and present their work throughout the season, all within our newly renovated 50 seat Studio Theatre.
This year's works in residence are:
Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers
Written and Performed by Makambe K Simamba
February 26, 2012, Florida. A 17 year old black boy wearing a hoodie leaves a 7/11 carrying a bag of Skittles and an iced tea. He never makes it home. Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers invites us to enter the world of an infamous teen, relive his last moments, and face the intricacy of his dance into the afterlife. Makambe's residency is supported in part by the Alberta Theatre Projects.
BITE HARD: THE JUSTIN CHIN PROJECT
The Bite Hard Collective: Jasmine Chen, Jeff Ho, Michael Man and Jonathan Tan
BITE HARD: The Justin Chin Project is a no holds barred performative exploration of queerness, love, sex, Culture Clashing and community, through piano and poetry. One of the first slam poets in America, Justin Chin was a force to be reckoned with. His performance style was uncensored, unapologetic and startlingly unique. Before his death in 2015, Chin was a poet who gave voice to his own intersectional identity, which served as his lens on the world. In his poetry, one-man shows and essays, he had the deft skill of delivering searing anger through sharp wit and cynicism.
The Bite Hard Collective seeks to use Justin's writing as a launching pad to explore the intersectionality of Queer and Asian identities. Inspiring piano composition and spoken text, the collective will examine the complexities of this intersection and how it affects all aspects of life: family, religion, relationships, social status, body image, discrimination, etc. It is largely felt that the Queer lens in Canada is by default a White lens. White is accepted as 'neutral' in the gay community and Asianness exists outside of the dominant narrative. The intersection of Queer and Asian can sometimes feel like a violent collision; where two cultures often fail to accept or make room for the other. Yet, there is the popularized term 'Gaysian' - a loaded word that for some people is a reclamation and for others is an ill-fitted label. BITE HARD is a wild debate, a subversion, a piano-drag-burlesque, and a celebration of Asian Queerness.
For over 26 years, b current has produced outside of the box performance pieces, ideas, workshops, and mainstage productions. They splashed onto the scene in 1991, when ahdri zhina mandiela founded the company, and they brought to Toronto the first ever production of a Dub Theatre script, mandiela's dark diaspora... in dub. The kinetic artistic energy from this fuelled their pioneer work: feeding and shaping the future of Canadian performance art through culturally-rooted creation. Since inception, b current has developed scores of internationally celebrated artists and their works, with a focus always on engaging the community and creating space for diverse voices to be heard.