A Chitenge Story

Artist: Makambe K Simamba
Fri Feb 8 @ 8:30pm
Sat Feb 9 @ 3:00pm
Backstage Theatre

A Chitenge Story written and performed by Makambe K Simamba. Directed by Kathryn Smith. Premiered March 2018, Presented by Handsome Alice Theatre in Calgary, AB. A Canadian college student journeys deep into the sounds, smells, and spirits of Zambia. Surrounded by family, she is steeped in a single secret: that she has returned to her ancestral home with a singular mission: to find the identity of a man who abused her as a child and take justice into her own hands. A Chitenge Story is a young woman’s autobiographical account of releasing trauma, embracing heritage, and uncovering her ultimate healing.


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Anthem of Life by Tololwa Mollel

Artist: Tololwa Mollel
Mon Feb 11 @ 4:00pm
The Lobby

For his session, Tololwa will draw on his play “Anthem of Life” that he wrote for the 2017 Thousand Faces Festival. He adapted it from 8 books of Anthem of the Decades, a massive 15-book poetic tome by the late Mazisi Kunene, a celebrated South African Zulu writer and poet. In a future phase, Tololwa hopes to expand “Anthem of Life” to encompass Kunene’s remaining 7 books. Based on Zulu creation mythology, Mazisi’s work features bitter dissension among the gods following a contentious decision to create mankind. Some gods compassionately advocate for mankind, others vociferously against. Tololwa will do performed readings of excerpts from his compact play adaptation and correspondingly, of excerpts from the original Kunene’s luxuriant work. He has asked the producer, the director and the designer of the play to share, as part of this presentation, something unique from their experiences in the production. The presentation will also feature stunning photographs and one or two video clips of the production and a demo of the giant masks and other props used.

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A Lesson On Justice by Jay Sanni

Artist: Jay Sanni
Mon Feb 11 @ 5:00pm
The Lobby

After the death of her father, Nyameama (a blind Ghanian girl) is compelled to defend the family land in a heated land squabble waged by greedy uncle who sees an opportunity within a world that gives us a glimpse of precolonial Africa.

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FUMBO by Mukonzi Musyoki

Artist: Mukonzi Musyoki
Mon Feb 11 @ 6:00pm
The Lobby

Five years after a detrimental civil war, Fumbo’s family is still suffering from a loss that seems to haunt both the family and the entire nation but the recent turn of events seems to promise some excaputory truth.

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The System by Althea Cunningham

Artist: Althea Cunningham
Mon Feb 11 @ 7:00pm
Backstage Theatre

The story of Ritalin a black youth, who’s been in child services most of their life, within a couple years she'll be an adult and age out of care. What happens then when she doesn't have the necessary skills to survive in mainstream society. She is repeatedly kicked out of school due to bad behavior and undiagnosed illness. Assigned to Ritalin as a last resort Constance the new youth worker - brings with her a secret & ulterior motive

This is ASL/English Accessible.

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Choreographer/Poet: Shanel Edwards
Wed Feb 13 @ 10:30pm
Backstage Theatre

SLOWDANCE is a collaborative poetry and movement experience that specifically centers Black Queer Femmes. Using laughter, intimacy, and the power of stillness it allows for time to slow; giving us space to breathe, process and celebrate.

Mpoe Mogale
Imani Khalifa
Charlie Diaz


This is ASL/English Accessible.

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Reclaiming Black Dance

Artists: Ivan Touko, Cherelle Jeree, Quincy Pipella, & Mpoe Mogale
Sat Feb 16 @ 10:00pm
Backstage Theatre

It seems commonplace to search up Hip-Hop, Afrobeats, or Soca and find non-Black folks moving to and monetizing from these styles. This performance is a reminder that nobody else but Us really could! Join these Black bodies as they reclaim not only Black dance, but also Blackness. Also look forward to special guest Jamaican-Canadian dub poet, monodramatist, and educator, as well as a 3 time Dora Award-winning actor and playwright, D’bi Young Anitafrika who will open this reclamation up with an original, soul-stirring poem.

D’bi Young Anitafrika

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CVZY x Onyx Creatives Closer

Artists: Floyd Robert Maduekwe, Betty Abebayehu
Sun Feb 17 @ 8:15pm
Westbury Theatre

A collision of worlds; visual and performance art that spans expressions of Blackness. This closing party curated by CVZY (pronounced “Cozy”) and Onyx Creatives unapologetically celebrates free thought, free expression and free living in hopes we all do.


This is ASL/English Accessible.

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