PRoductions


Presented as part of the 2017 TD BANK Black History Month programming
And inaugurating the Streetcar Crowsnest Scotiabank Community Studio on stage in Toronto February 1 to 11, 2017

A WORLD PREMIERE
CO-CREATED BY KHARI WENDELL MCCLELLAND AND ANDREW KUSHNIR WITH CBC's JODIE MARTINSON
DIRECTED BY ANDREW KUSHNIR
PERFORMED BY KHARI WENDELL MCCLELLAND, Tanika Charles, and Noah Walker

Set and costume design Joanna Yu
Lighting design Oz Weaver
Sound design Debashis Sinha
Stage manager Emilie Aubin
Research dramaturge Jodie Martinson

The Cast of Freedom Singer on Breakfast Television

The Cast of Freedom Singer on Breakfast Television

Khari Wendell McClelland with CBC q Host Tom Power

Khari Wendell McClelland with CBC q Host Tom Power

Director Andrew Kushnir speaks with Jazz FM91 Host Shirley Camia

Director Andrew Kushnir speaks with Jazz FM91 Host Shirley Camia

The latest groundbreaking verbatim work from Project: Humanity, FREEDOM SINGER asks: can “vibrations of the past” bring us closer to the truths and freedoms we may be seeking today? 

I SANG MY SONG TO THE RIVER IN THE VALLEY BELOW
IN THE HOPES IT MIGHT WASH AWAY MY SORROW

AND AS I WALKED AWAY I HEARD THE RIVER CLEARLY SAY
ROLL ON, MY SON, ROLL ON

Developed and produced by Project: Humanity (the award-winning company behind The Middle Place and Small Axe) in association with Crow's Theatre and Vancouver's Urban Ink, FREEDOM SINGER is the new documentary theatre piece inspired by the remarkable journey of singer-songwriter Khari Wendell McClelland (as featured on CBC's The National and Tapestry). In 2015, JUNO-nominated McClelland retraced the steps of his great-great-great grandmother Kizzy and – using contemporary styles like hip hop, funk and soul – personalized the songs that likely accompanied her and thousands of others as they escaped U.S. slavery. In sharing this music, Khari is brought face to face with his own "unrecorded" heritage, and the realities and myths of one of our quintessential historic narratives: the Underground Railroad. 

 

The Production is 100 Minutes, with no intermission
Ticket prices range from $20-$40
For secondary school rates & info please contact dan@projecthumanity.ca

For ticketing information please see Crow's Theatre

 
 

Lead Sponsor

 
 

/vərˈbādəm/
2016 TORONTO SUMMERWORKS 

Catherine Murray’s "highly organic" dance work, /vərˈbādəm/, explores how movement, language, and ethical responsibility can interact, intersect, and inform each other. Born of interviews that Catherine personally conducted with young mothers at Jessie’s (The June Callwood Centre for Young Women), this work sees dancers physically grappling with the concept of translation, empathy, and whether or not we can ask clear questions of justice through dance. Can rigorously embodying words and sounds enhance our understanding of someone’s marginalization? Or does it – regardless of care and good intentions – simply render a voice unintelligible? With great compassion, /vərˈbādəm/ pores over language – its rhythms, its poetry and politics, and the identities and ideas embedded within it – to see what further meaning can be found in between the lines. 


SMALL AXE
2015 TORONTO PREMIERE: PROJECT: HUMANITY in Co-Production With THE THEATRE CENTRE

★★★1/2 (out of 4) – THE GLOBE AND MAIL
★★★★★ (out of 5) – THE TORONTOIST JANUARY 17-FEB 1, 2015
★★★ (out of 4)– TORONTO STAR
NNNN (out of 5) - NOW MAGAZINE

“The best theatre prods, provokes and informs. Writer/performer Andrew Kushnir’s Small Axe does all that, and a lot more…The script, and Alan Dilworth’s direction, are bracing in their directness and urgency.” - NOW Magazine
“Does the small axe represent the black community chopping their way through the overwhelming power of a white world? Or does it stand for all gay people, black and white, united in a hunt for equality? Both readings are possible in this uncompromising piece of verbatim theatre, which I guarantee will command your attention." - Toronto Star

TOP 10 Shows of 2015 - THE GLOBE AND MAIL
TOP 10 Shows of 2015 – THE TORONTOIST

A queer white documentary theatre-maker thinks he’s investigating homophobia in Jamaica. But what starts as a quest to expose an injustice, turns into a burning call for his own personal transformation. How do we justly engage with an injustice? To whom does an injustice “belong”? Through a constellation of encounters — with activists, refugees, priests and ministers, journalists, artists, Pride Week revelers, and many queer people of colour – Small Axe asks us to bravely face our differences in order to discover how intricately connected we are. Created by playwright/performer Andrew Kushnir, director Alan Dilworth, and Project: Humanity (the company behind the award-winning The Middle Place).

A queer white documentary theatre-maker thinks he’s investigating homophobia in Jamaica.

But what starts as a quest to expose an injustice, turns into a burning call for his own personal transformation.

How do we justly engage with an injustice? To whom does an injustice “belong”? Through a constellation of encounters — with activists, refugees, priests and ministers, journalists, artists, Pride Week revelers, and many queer people of colour – Small Axe asks us to bravely face our differences in order to discover how intricately connected we are.

Created by playwright/performer Andrew Kushnir, director Alan Dilworth, and Project: Humanity (the company behind the award-winning The Middle Place).


THE MIDDLE PLACE
2011 WORLD PREMIERE and FIRST NATIONAL TOUR:

★★★★ – EYE WEEKLY
★★★★ – TORONTO SUN
★★★1/2 – THE GLOBE AND MAIL
★★★★ – TIMES COLONIST, VICTORIA
NNNN – NOW MAGAZINE 2011

“It’s gritty, moving, disturbing, and sometimes funny. The use of language is astounding.”
-TIMES COLONIST 
“This is theatre that reflects its city in a way that is both urgent and entertaining.”
-THE GLOBE AND MAIL

“The onstage methods of The Middle Place could hardly be simpler. The impact is very powerful and also surprisingly complex…The way these kids talk can give you hope. Like them, the play makes painfully but not depressingly clear, we need it.” -NATIONAL POST

Toronto Theatre Critics’ Award for Outstanding Production Dora Award Nomination for Outstanding New Play 

Project: Humanity brought a young, middle class playwright into one of Toronto's roughest neighbourhoods to conduct on-camera interviews with the residents of a youth shelter. That striking encounter is The Middle Place. Written by Andrew Kushnir and directed by Alan Dilworth, this documentary play has five actors portray 16 remarkable youth, 3 caseworkers and one well-intentioned outsider. 

Project: Humanity brought a young, middle class playwright into one of Toronto's roughest neighbourhoods to conduct on-camera interviews with the residents of a youth shelter. That striking encounter is The Middle Place. Written by Andrew Kushnir and directed by Alan Dilworth, this documentary play has five actors portray 16 remarkable youth, 3 caseworkers and one well-intentioned outsider.