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Young People's Theatre Launches 2021.22 Season With RIHANNABOI95 


rihannaboi95 is directed by Dora Award-nominated theatre artist Tawiah M'Carthy  and features actor and playwright Davinder Malhi.

Young People's Theatre will kick off its 56th season with playwright Jordan Tannahill's powerful virtual play for teens, rihannaboi95.

Available online from Nov. 22-Dec. 18, the play features Sunny - aka "rihannaboi95" online - whose whole world threatens to come crashing down when videos of them dancing to their favourite pop singer go viral. Recommended for ages 13-18, the play is a raw, unvarnished account of a teenager with a unique talent in the relentless pursuit of self-expression, despite the danger it poses.

Tannahill is one of Canada's most accomplished playwrights and a 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize nominee. rihannaboi95 is one of three pieces featured in their Governor General Award-winning play collection, Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays. It received the 2013 Dora Mavor Moore Award for 'Best New Play', Theatre for Young Audiences Division. Acting as Artistic Advisor for YPT's 2021 version of the production is Bilal Baig - lead and co-creator of the boundary-breaking series Sort Of (CBC/HBO Max).

rihannaboi95 is directed by Dora Award-nominated theatre artist Tawiah M'Carthy (Obaaberima), and features actor and playwright Davinder Malhi. Originally produced in 2013 by experimental theatre company Suburban Beast, the production resonates in a whole new way in 2021 as teens - and the whole world - moved entirely online to express and connect.

Says new Artistic Director Herbie Barnes, "Young people today know how important their online presence is - and how one small step can negatively and immediately alter their world. I believe this play will create much conversation and change for the better."

Sunny (aka rihannaboi95 online) made some videos and shared them online. And while, yeah, they're getting lots of hits, not everyone likes them. Now, Sunny's whole world is threatening to implode.

Hidden in the bedroom of Keira - a drugstore makeup counter clerk - Sunny records a video for their loyal viewers and invokes the spirit of Rihanna to help with the situation.

Artistic Advisor: Bilal Baig; Set & Costume Designer: Camellia Koo; Lighting Designer: Michelle Ramsay; Sound Designer: River Oliveira; Stage Manager: Bradley Dunn.

A Described Video version is available. All performances include a pre-recorded post-show discussion with members of the creative team. Workshops for schools, as well as a study guide, are also available.

rihannaboi95 was first produced in Canada by Suburban Beast (Toronto, ON) from April 23 to 28, 2013. The play was performed nightly in a bedroom and live-streamed over the Internet for audiences to watch from their computers.

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