Everyone has their reasons, here's ours...
1. If we don't tell our stories who will? The PIECE OF MINE Festival validates the power and necessity of the Oral Tradition. There are so many new/unknown stories being shared - such as Agave, a story about mental health/addiction by Dian Marie Bridge, or Ayiti, an account of the Haitian Revolution by Chevy 'X' Eugene.
2. We need to celebrate and pass on our stories. The festival is aiming to grow our youth audience as well as 'non-traditional' theatre goers. It has been rewarding to see so many new faces last year, which is a reminder of how diverse our communities are.
3. Speaking of youth, WORD!SOUND!POWAH! will cast 20 youth under 30. Written and directed by d'bi.young anitafrika, this dub-o-pera production is being developed to deliver a larger than life performance!
4. Fact: We have always been more than 'slave narratives.' We can hold (meaningful) black events outside of February. We are claiming and telling our truths.
5. It's so much more than 'acting.' Our festival incorporates multi-disciplinary elements of music, dance, voice, and visual art. Singer Ania Soul presents her first woman play Broken in Transit...because she's versatile like that!
6. It's more than theatre - we will be having an opening ceremony to commemorate three generations of black theatre in the city. POMF will also include a holistic health component on the last day of the festival that links creativity to self-care.
7. The more the merrier. Although POMF is currently the only black theatre festival in the country, we are keen on collaborating, partnering and supporting other black organizations/initiatives because we're stronger in numbers. Look out for our partnership with York United Black Student Alliance (YUBSA).
8. More and more (we're saying more a lot!) storytellers are paving the way and breaking barriers. We continue to shift traditional ideas of what black theatre looks like. Let's take 'da kink in my hair for example- a show that began at Fringe, grew to Mirvish and landed on television. It's important to remind ourselves to think big, starting with owning our craft.
9. Films are irreplaceable, but as playwright Amanda Parris states: 'There is something magical about theatre...it's now or never.' Nothing can replace live theatre and we look forward to sharing 6 nights of magic October 7-12!
10. We need our community's support to survive. If you agree with our list please take the time to visit, share and contribute to the PIECE OF MINE Festival's Indiegogo Campaign. Our goal of $16,000 will be going towards production expenses including artists fees (playwrights, actors, directors, curators), the performance venue, rehearsal space, and documentation. The campaign runs until September 14th.
Please visit the campaign page and spread the word! http://igg.me/at/pomf