The Firehall Arts Centre Launches 2019/2020 Season With THE SHIPMENT
The Firehall Arts Centre launches its 37th anniversary season with SpeakEasy Theatre's powerful and provocative comedy, The Shipment, from Wednesday, September 25 to Saturday, October 5, 2019.
Written by Korean-American playwright Young Jean Lee, The Shipment is a subversive modern minstrel show about Black identity meant to wake the world to the ridiculous narratives in dominant media. Five Black actors - Andrew Creightney, Chris Francisque, Omari Newton, Adrian Neblett, and Kiomi Pyke - play a roster of characters that reads like a bad b-list of Black iconography: Video Ho, Crackhead John, Bad Cop, Standup Comedian, Drug Dealer Mama, Grandma from Heaven, and Record Company Executive, to name just a few. The brazen mash-up of these stereotypes with clichés, distortions, and brilliant sleights of hand all force us to go beyond the lampoon and shift the lens through which we perceive race in order to confront our own bias.
"Young Jean Lee is one of America's most fearless and exciting playwrights," says Firehall Arts Centre's Artistic Producer, Donna Spencer. "In her writing, she is not afraid to tackle difficult subject matter and does so with humour and intelligence. When SpeakEasy Theatre first produced The Shipment, I was privileged to sit in a sold-out performance and watch the audience shift in their seats, uncomfortably, and then laugh out loud a few moments later. The work engaged them and made them consider. I am proud to share this playwright's work and this talented company of artists with Firehall audiences."
Garnering five Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards nominations and a Best Actor win for Omari Newton, The Shipment is biting satire at its very best.
Photo Credit: Jens Kristian Balle