An interview with Jay Northcott, a multidisciplinary artist, director, playwright, and burlesque dancer. They joined the 2023 season of the Stratford Festival as an assistant director on the production of King Lear. We discuss the importance of including diverse perspectives and stories within the Black experience to create a more inclusive and vibrant artistic landscape. Topics include celebrating the richness of "black identities" and encouraging the exploration of different narratives and the intersection of art, identity, and self-belief.
In the conversation, Jay dives into their journey, reflecting on the challenges they faced as a young multiracial individual growing up in a predominantly white neighbourhood in Spruce Grove, Alberta. They open up about their artistic influences, drawing inspiration from pop culture icons like Paris Hilton and Beyoncé. Aesthetics and fashion heavily drive their artistic expression, creating unique and engaging live performances.Write comment (0 Comments)
An interview with multifaceted actor and performer Joella Crichton. We dive deep into Joella's artistic journey, exploring the unique creativity she discovered within the Afro-Caribbean community as both an actor and Carnival Queen. We learn how her role as a performer becomes a means of self-exploration and human connection, delving into the toolbox of skills she utilizes to bring her stage characters to life.
Joella Crichton's journey as an actor began when her mother asked her what she truly wanted to do. Armed with her passion for acting, she got accepted into the prestigious acting conservatory program at York University. However, while studying there, Joella realized the Eurocentric views of the plays they were analyzing. This realization led her to embark on a mission to find her own voice within those texts and celebrate the diverse voices within them. Inspired by the rich tradition of oral storytelling in the Caribbean, Joella became determined to tell stories that matter and showcase her unique voice.
Join us as we uncover Joella's insights into the power of theatre and her experiences working on this year's Stratford Theatre Festival productions of Les Belles-Soeurs and Wedding Band.Write comment (0 Comments)
Stephen, a non-binary performer, brings a fresh perspective to these iconic plays. They shine a light on the significance of having diverse voices in theatre and showcase the remarkable talent of the black queer community.
As always, Stephen's passion for the arts shines through as they discuss their love for various artistic forms such as visual art, movement, poetry, and even their own personal style of performance. They express a desire to see more Black people in the audience, as they believe that diverse perspectives and experiences are essential for a richer cultural landscape.Write comment (0 Comments)
An interview with two actors currently on stage at the Stratford Festival's 2023 season. They're performing in two plays: Much Ado About Nothing as well as King Lear. Austin Eckert is a Nigerian-Canadian actor from Regina, Saskatchewan. He went to college in Victoria, BC, at the Canadian College of Performing Arts. He has been working in theatre, film and television for the past eight years. This is his second season at Stratford. Also joining the conversation is Andre Sills. Andre is a Guyanese-Canadian veteran actor and producer. This is his ninth season at Stratford since his debut in 2005. He's a graduate of George Brown College's Theatre program.
During the course of this engaging exchange, we delve into the pressures of striving for excellence at all times and the dream of being allowed to fail in a world where tokenism has too often straight-jacketed the evolution of Black stage performers.Write comment (0 Comments)
A discussion with Detroit-based director Sam White, who is currently in her second and favourite season at the Stratford Festival. She discusses how the Stratford Festival has changed over the years and how she works with her cast and crew to create a unique experience for Alice Childress' "Wedding Band." We also delve into Sam's mentors and inspirations who helped build her up, including her parents, who continue to influence her work, and she talks about her passion for sharing Shakespeare's work in the rust belt.Write comment (0 Comments)
Lee Siegel fell in love with the musical Rent as a teenager after hearing the soundtrack and reading the Rent Bible. He always dreamed of playing Tom Collins, and as he grew older, he appreciated the show's complex themes of love, growth, and finding oneself in a rough city like New York. Lee loves observing people, but also enjoys jumping into the action of the city. Playing a part in Rent has been a fulfilling experience for him.Write comment (0 Comments)
An interview with stage actresses Akosua Amo-Adem and Déjah Dixon-Green. They are both part of the Stratford Festival's current production of Death and the King's Horsemen, written by renowned Nigerian playwright, novelist, poet and Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka. The production runs until October 29. As part of our conversation, we discuss the singularity of staging a Yoruba classic play at Stratford.Write comment (0 Comments)
An interview with stage artist Beck Lloyd—as part of our conversation series from the Stratford Festival's 2022 season. Lloyd currently plays the role of Marianne in the festival's adaptation of Molière's The Miser, which runs until October 29.Write comment (0 Comments)
An interview with Ngozi Paul, founder of FreeUp! She discusses her film "FreeUp! Freedom Talks," celebrating BIPOC vocalists broadcasting on CBC and CBC Gem on Canada’s Emancipation Day.
Today is Emancipation day 2022. Emancipation Day marks the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire, declared on August 1st, 1834. In this episode, I speak to Ngozi Paul, a seasoned performing arts practitioner, writer, producer and award-winning director. She's the founder of FreeUp! Through her company, Emancipation Arts, in partnership with CBC, she speaks to us about her film "FreeUp! Freedom Talks," celebrating BIPOC vocalists within the context of Canada’s Emancipation Day. The film will air today, August 1st, at 8 p.m. ET on CBC and CBC GEM as part of a two-hour special celebration of Emancipation Day.Write comment (0 Comments)
An interview with actors Jessica B. Hill and Jordin Hall, both currently part of two shows in the Stratford Festival's current season. Namely, Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well and Richard III. Our conversation focuses on their leading roles as Helen and Bertram in All's Well That Ends Well.
In this episode of Afropolitan Dialogues, we speak with Jessica B. Hill and Jordin Hall. The two actors are currently performing leading roles as Helen and Bertram in the Stratford Festival's current production of Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well. They're also both concurrently playing Richard III. Performances for both plays are taking place at Stratford's new Tom Patterson Theatre.Write comment (0 Comments)