Stephen Jackman-Torkoff as Richard II

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.

We encourage you to listen to this thought-provoking episode. Stephen's narrative is captivating, and their dedication to amplifying Black queer artistry is both inspiring and empowering. Join us as we celebrate their journey and the strides being made towards more inclusive and representative storytelling in the arts.

Topics and outtakes from our podcast conversation:

The Tradition of Freedom and Imagination: "I think there's a tradition of freedom and in spite of other things. And Jill's the kind of energy between the two kings in our play, who are both Black kings, actually, you know, is one is kinda representing freedom, which is Richard, and one is representing strength. But for me to represent that freedom and to think of being Black and also being queer, I think, is also a tradition of freedom and imagination and creativity despite other people's opinions."
— Stephen Jackman-Torkoff 00:06:1600:06:48

Stratford Festival: "I had an image of Stratford being kind of closed off and old-fashioned, but I feel like there is a real attempt to change the culture here."
— Stephen Jackman-Torkoff 00:16:1200:16:16

The Impact of Shakespeare: "I learned pretty early on that you could play around with it. [...] So, at a certain point, I feel like there is so much freedom. [...] You can break it open, and it's already been brought open in millions in different ways."
— Stephen Jackman-Torkoff 00:18:2600:18:31

The Rise of Black Queer Performers: "Black queer people are extremely talented. We're only growing in our presence on the stages here. It feels really present right now and exciting. We have a meeting to talk about this. When we're telling our own stories, it's better. So I think Black Boys, we did that, but a lot of people are telling their own stories and empowered. It's cool shit."
— Stephen Jackman-Torkoff 00:24:4100:24:50

About Much Ado About Nothing

TOM PATTERSON THEATRE
UNTIL SEPTEMBER 28

BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
ADAPTED BY BRAD FRASER
CONCEIVED BY JILLIAN KEILEY
DIRECTED BY JILLIAN KEILEY
CHOREOGRAPHED BY CAMERON CARVER

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