#227 – The Negroes Are Congregating
The Negroes Are Congregating (NAC) unapologetically wrestles with deep-rooted internalized racism through the lens of the Western World and the ‘Black experience’ hat stretches far beyond Canada and the United States, and rather a pan-African exploration. The laugh-out-loud piece balances comedy with discomfort, pulling audiences beyond the fourth wall, where everyone is invited to cackle, cry and be still together.
Artists; Uche Ama (Female 1), Christopher Bautista (Male 1) and Christopher Parker (Male 2) perform this contemporary piece delivered through a fusion of spoken word, satire, soulful dialect and musical vocals. Audiences will enter a realm of private truths and leave with an understanding of what it means to be Black, proud, and ready.
The Negroes are Congregating has already received international acclaim, having been programmed by Théâtre de l’Usine (Geneva, Switzerland); Black Theatre Network Conference (Memphis, TN); Halifax Fringe (Halifax, Nova Scotia); SummerWorks Performance Festival (Toronto, Ontario) and selected ‘Best of The Fest’ Award at The Atlanta Black Theatre Festival (Atlanta, GA). Tickets can be purchased at www.passemuraille.ca. This production is a Theatre Passe Muraille Production in association with Piece of Mine Arts.
Created and Directed by Natasha Morris an award winning playwright whose work has been presented in Canada, the United States, and Europe. She is the founder and executive director PIECE OF MINE Arts, a platform for Black play creators to showcase work-in-development, featuring over 150 artists since 2013. Natasha is the recipient of several accolades including SummerWorks’ New Performance Text Award, The Black Canadian Awards’ Leadership Certificate, and the Ontario’s Leading Women Building Communities Certificate. She credits local companies b current, anitafrika dub theatre, and Obsidian Theatre for her invaluable artistic training. The Negroes are Congregating originated out of development and excerpt presentations during the Piece of Mine Festival in 2016 at Toronto’s Palmerston Library Theatre.
Troy De Four (Producer) is an award-winning producer whose experience started in regional theatre and is recently producing professional productions. Troy De Four is the executive producer of Scores in The City Musical Productions (Toronto, Ontario). Troy has recently been a participant of Obsidian’s 2018/2019 Playwrights Unit and has received grants from the OAC and CCA for his development of new Canadian libretto’s focused on stories centralizing characters of the black-Canadian and pan-African diaspora. Past producer credits include; Jesus Christ Superstar, The Full Monty, Jekyll & Hyde The Musical, CHESS, TOMMY and more.
Uche Ama (Performer – Female 1) is a graduate of the St Clair College Music Theatre Performance program. Some previous credits include; Obeah Opera (Luminato Festival2019), Rosencrantz: Drunk Hamlet (Dauntless City Theatre), Oya/Ahosi/Buffalo: Lukumi: A Dub Opera (Watah Theatre). She is honored to be a part of this production.
Christopher Parker (Performer – Male 2) received his Master of Music in Literature & Performance at Western University while studying under renowned Canadian baritone Theodore Baerg. He made is professional debut in the Canadian premiere of Choir-Boy (Centaur Theatre) by Oscar-winning writer Tarrell Alvin McCraney which won Best PACT Production at the 2019 Montreal English Theatre Awards. Since then, he has participated in the workshopping of new productions with Obsidian Theatre, Tapestry Opera, and The Musical Stage Company. Christopher is elated to make his Toronto stage debut in The Negroes are Congregating before flying to Halifax to perform in Billy Elliot (Neptune Theatre)
Christopher Paul Bautista (Performer – Male 1) was born in Dallas, Texas. While playing Santa Claus in his kindergarten class, and seeing his Grandmother Shirley look on with a smile, he fell in love with performing. Following September 11th, he joined the military and went on two deployments with the US Marine Corps. Christopher then attended and graduated from the University of Southern California, where he studied English Literature, Theatre, and Film. It was while studying at USC, after attending a performance of Tennesee Williams’ Glass Menagerie that Christopher rekindled his passion with acting. His striking appearance, strong presence, and distinct voice make him a memorable addition to theatre, television, and film productions. Christopher’s recent credits include; Sound and Fury; (Shakespeare in Action), Fences; (Grand Theatre), Timothy Findley’s The Wars; (Grand Theatre).
When: Performances run from February 29 to March 14 at 7:30pm, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00pm
Previews: Feb 27 at 7:30pm, Feb 28 at 2:00pm for previews, and every performance has a part-of-show discussion as a part of the 90 minutes.
Where: Theatre Passe Muraille (Mainspace Theatre), 16 Ryerson Ave, Toronto, ON
Price: Tickets range from $17 – $38, with “pay what you can” options.