BY: JELANI GRANT
Piece of Mine Arts will hold their 3rd Annual Black Men In Theatre showcase at the Fairview Library Theatre. The group of male artists will explore difficult issues impacting the black community. They will use their works to open up discussion on themes of black identity, mental health, poverty, and sexual abuse. Guests will be engaged with genuine storytelling, however, the showcases scheduled on February 16th and 17th are family friendly but mature subject matter will be discussed.
On February 15th Troy Crossfield’s A Little White Lie will take the center stage. It is a breakthrough play about people pretending to be something they are not in order to achieve their own self-serving goals. The play sold out successfully each of its four nights. The play’s sequel, A Little Black Lie, will be included in the February 16th and 17th line-ups. The story is meant to illustrate dark family secrets revealed and the reasons families hide secrets in order to protect themselves.
Besides Troy Crossfield’s A Little Black Lie, the Friday and Saturday lineups are scheduled to include Peter Bailey who will present Tyson’s Song, a story of two friends who plan a last guy’s night out before Tyson’s depression complicates things.
DORA Award winner, for Outstanding Sound Design/Composition, Kobèna Aquaa-Harrison will refer to his autobiography turned live script during the showcase. Called Golden Tale of Djungle Bouti, the story uses music and comedic conversations to explain a young Ghanian boy’s transition into Canada. Aquaa-Morrison is a multi-instrumentalist who created his first company at ten years old and is the founder/former President of Toronto festivals such as AfroFest and Michèzo! International Festival.
Dennis Langley’s Vagabond is a one-man show currently being developed for the stage. It is about a young man taking steps to progress in his career, making decisions that may have come too late, all while wrestling with his current and future state. Langley was most recently seen in Crossfield’s sold out stage play A Little White Lie at the Alumni Theatre and Church People at the Aga Khan Museum.
Jonathan C. Pearce’s Gossip Folks, a narrative of hip-hop culture mixed with songs that bring you back to take you forward. Additionally, Pearce founded the Fusion Dance Company in 2017, offering authentic Hip-Hop Classes of all levels at an affordable price. It is a safe, accessible space where people living in or around the Markham/Scarborough area come to express themselves through dance. These showcases will be presented for 90 minutes each day beginning at 7:30 PM. Tickets for one day are $25 while the 2-day pass goes for $40.
The featured artists were selected from Piece Of Mine Arts submissions in order to provide deserving professionals with a venue and marketing as a way of supporting their work. Founded in 2013, Piece of Mine Arts gives artists of the community opportunities to create works that will embrace the abundant cultures of black people. In addition to work created by their intersectional Black artists, Piece Of Mine Arts has youth programming and educational workshops designed to explore African-Canadian narratives.
The showcase, promising a night of theatre, dance, and music, will take place on the same weekend as the Canadian opening of Black Panther, the only black superhero movie to hit theatres in twenty years. A timely reminder that black content creators are in abundance and forever climbing.