The Theatre Centre And The ECT Collective Present HERE ARE THE FRAGMENTS
How do we trust what we see or feel? How do we know which voices are truly our own? THE THEATRE CENTRE and THE ECT COLLECTIVE are proud to Co-produce HERE ARE THE FRAGMENTS., an immersive work of theatre written by Suvendrini Lena, Theatre Centre Residency artist and CAMH Neurologist. Based on the psychiatric writing of famed political theorist Frantz Fanon and combining narratives, sensory exploration, and scientific and historical analysis, HERE ARE THE FRAGMENTS. reflects on the relationships between identity, history, racism, and mental health. FRAGMENTS. will run November 19 to December 1 at The Theatre Centre (Opening Night November 21).
HERE ARE THE FRAGMENTS. consists of live performances within an interactive installation. The plot, told in fragments, follows a psychiatrist early in his training as he develops psychosis and ultimately, treatment resistant schizophrenia. Eduard, his son, struggles to connect with his father, while the young man must also make difficult treatment decisions.
The Theatre Centre's Franco Boni Theatre and Gallery will be transformed into an immersive interactive installation. The design will offer many spaces for exploration, investigation, and discovery, bringing audiences into the perceptual experience of Schizophrenia. The scenes unfold around you, incorporating a fabric of sound, video, and live actors. Amidst the seeming chaos there will also be areas of retreat; whispering voices, Fanon's own books, archival materials, interviews with psychiatrists, neuroscientists, and people living with schizophrenia all merge to provoke analysis and reflection on the intersection of racism and mental health.
People living with schizophrenia 'hear voices' and fear loss of control over their own thoughts and bodies; HERE ARE THE FRAGMENTS. invites audiences to reflect on whether anyone can actually separate internal and external voices. The concept is mirrored in the structure of the piece - which is intentionally poetic and free - with attendees encouraged to craft their own unique experience.
"HERE ARE THE FRAGMENTS. presents an important opportunity to educate the public about schizophrenia through the lens of race with an aim to stimulate conversation, combat stigma and inspire advocates," says Araba Chintoh, Psychiatrist CAMH 2019. "Our racialized patients are necessarily marginalized and the concomitant burden of schizophrenia creates a particularly vulnerable population that few can appreciate. This project has strengthened my commitment to foster dialogue with patients, their families as well as my colleagues to promote awareness, compassion and improved care."
HERE THE FRAGMENTS. was developed in Residency at The Theatre Centre over five years by Suvendrini Lena with Co-creators Leah Cherniak and Trevor Schwellnus, with Lyon Smith. This run follows a number of work-in-progress showings during Residency. "It was astonishing," noted one attendee. "It was a disturbing, sometimes scary, often beautiful, altogether riveting experience."
Suvendrini Lena (Writer) is a playwright and neurologist. She works as the staff neurologist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and at the Centre for Headache at Women's College Hospital. She is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of Toronto where she teaches medical students, residents, and fellows. She also teaches a course called Staging Medicine, a collaboration between The Theatre Centre and University of Toronto Postgraduate Medical Education.
Leah Cherniak (Co-Director, Co-Creator) is a Co-Founder of Theatre Columbus in Toronto. The company created over 30 new plays and also has an excellent reputation for innovative productions of classics. For Theatre Columbus she directed and co-created most of the company's repertoire, including: The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine, Gynty (an adaptation of Peer Gynt), Twelfth Night, The Betrayal, Hotel Loopy, And Up They Flew (by Martha Ross), and many more. She also teaches Directing at The University of Toronto.
Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu (Co-Director) is a Kenyan-Ugandan-Canadian Theatre creator and Director. Mumbi is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Dora Nominated company IFT (It's A Freedom Thing) Theatre and the 2015 recipient of the Pauline McGibbon Award for Directing. Mumbi has also been nominated for the John Hirsch Award for Directing and been the recipient of the Mallory Gilbert Leadership Protégé Award. Mumbi was a member of the 2016-2018 Soulpepper Academy.
Set and Video Designer Trevor Schwellnus' contribution as a designer and co-creator has been integral to the piece. His recent credits include Out the Window (The Theatre Centre, Luminato, 2018). He is also Artistic Producer of Aluna Theatre, where he directed / designed What I learned from a decade of fear, Nohayquiensepa, designed Blood Wedding, La Comunión, Madre and For Sale, and produces the panamerican ROUTES | RUTAS Panamericanas: an International Festival of Performance for Human Rights. HERE ARE THE FRAGMENTS. also features the design work of Associate Set Designer Victoria Wallace; Lighting Designer Shawn Henry; Sound Designer Nick Murray; as well including the work of Abigail Whitney in the role of Assistant Director; and Rebecca Vandevelde in the role of Production Manager.
Frantz Fanon (1925-1961), was a French West Indian psychiatrist, political philosopher, revolutionary, and writer, whose works are influential in the fields of post-colonial studies, critical theory, and Marxism. Fanon published numerous books, including Black Skin, White Masks (1952) and The Wretched of the Earth (1961).
HERE ARE THE FRAGMENTS. will be brought to life by a number of talented actors and performers, including Allan Louis as Chauvet, Kwaku Adu-Poku as Eduard, Peter Bailey as Fanon, and Kyra Harper as Ether.
In addition to performances, The Theatre Centre will host a number of panels and events. Highlights include a post-show talkback with Ngozi Paul (Development Producer, Artist/Activist) and Psychiatrist Collaborator Araba Chintoh on November 22. Also of note is Our Patients and Our Selves: Experiences of Racism Among Health Care Workers with facilitator Dr. Fatimah Jackson-Best of Black Health Alliance on November 23rd and Fanon Today: A Creative Symposium on November 24th, a panel, reading, and creative discussion featuring David Austin, Frank Francis, Doris Rajan and George Elliot Clarke.
To purchase tickets please visit http://theatrecentre.org/?p=13463 or by phone at 416-538-0988