Sound of the Beast
Written & Performed by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard
Direction and Dramaturgy by Andy McKim and Jivesh Parasram
A Theatre Passe Muraille Production
“Hear ye, hear ye let it be known,
No one on my block walks alone.”
An outspoken emcee finds that free speech comes with caveats .
In Sound of the Beast, ialli spits rhymes from the underground, relentlessly challenging poverty, oppression and bad dancing. When her attacks become more specific, inspired by rising tensions in the community, she learns that the powers-that-be have been listening, and that the police do not take kindly to criticism.
Sound of the Beast is a long-form narrative spoken word/hip-hop hybrid performance inspired by Tunisian hip-hop emcee Weld-El 15, who was jailed for his song, Boulicia Kleb (The Police Are Dogs). From this impetus, TPM Resident emcee Donna-Michelle St. Bernard digs down into “the need to speak” vs “the fear of hearing”. Through the lens of her own personal experiences with police and performance, Sound of the Beast explores censorship, brutality, the artist’s social responsibility, and abuse of authority.
Sound of the Beast is a part of the 54ology: Donna-Michelle’s commitment to create one performance work drawn from each country in Africa.