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In Conversation: 21 Black Futures

February 19, 2021

Original Artwork by Yung Yemi

How and where do theatre and film intersect?

The School of Performance partners with Obsidian Theatre, external link to offer two conversations with the creators of 21 Black Futures.

About 21 Black Futures

21 playwrights, 21 directors and 21 actors respond to the question “What is the future of Blackness?” in this urgent anthology series now streaming on CBC Gem.

Performing the Hybrid

Wednesday, February 24th, 7pm to 8pm

In conversation with...

Virgilia Griffith

Virgilia Griffith  is a Toronto based actor. Winner of the Meta Emerging Artist Award for Gas Girls by Donna Michelle St. Bernard. Winner of the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance for Harlem Duet by Djanet Sears. She was also a Dora Mavor Moore nominee for Outstanding Female in an Independent Theatre Division for her performance of Honesty directed by Jordan Tannahill and a Dora nomination for Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land)(Saga Collectif) by Jeff Ho.  Selected credits include: Guarded Girls (Tarragon Theatre/ Greenlight Arts), Betrayal (Soulpepper Theatre), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Soulpepper Theatre), The Wedding Party (Crow's Theatre), Other Side of the Game (Cahoots/ Obsidian Theatre),  Da Kink In My Hair (Theatre Calgary/ Nac), How We Are (Mikaela Davies and Polly Phokeev Productions), Up The Garden Path (Obsidian Theatre Company). 

Pablo Ogunlesi

Pablo Ogunlesi is a Nigerian-Canadian playwright, producer, director and actor. He was born in London, England, however he lived in Nigeria and Switzerland before immigrating to Canada, where he found his passion for acting. Pablo graduated from the Ryerson School of Performance Acting program, where he wrote, produced and starred in Black President, a cultural and political play about post-colonial Nigeria, through the perspective of activist and musical genius Fela Kuti. The play made its debut in the Ryerson New Voices Festival. Post-graduation, Pablo has performed internationally in Australia and Vietnam. He has also featured in TV docudrama series If I Should Die and a Stub-hub commercial. Works include: So Speaks The Land, Mateo (2019) Black President, Fela Kuti (2019) This Is How We Live, Frantic Assembly (2019); The Odyssey, Ensemble (2018); The Women, 1st Saleswoman, Maggie (2018); The Seventh Seal, Jonas Skat, (2017); Orpheus Descending, Valentine Xavier (2017); Julius Caesar, Metellus Cimber, Messala (2016); Seminar, Martin (2016).

Designing the Hybrid

Wednesday, March 3rd at 7pm to 8pm

In conversation with...

Lucius Dechausay

Director and Producer

Lucius Dechausay is a video producer at CBC Arts, as well as a freelance illustrator and filmmaker. His short films and animations have been screened at a number of festivals including The Toronto International Film Festival and Hot Docs. Most recently he directed KETTLE, which is currently streaming at CBC Short Docs.

Shawn Henry

Lighting Designer

Shawn Henry is s a Toronto based Production Manager and Lighting designer. She has worked for Eventual Ashes, Tapestry Opera, as well as b current performing arts. The projects she has worked on include rock.paper.sistahz., Hiding words for you, Saltfish Girl, Wise Woman, Hook up. Her lighting design credits include: Here are the Fragments, How to succeed in business without really trying, Lady of Spills, I Marcus Garvey and Love & Marriage. Shawn is also the resident Lighting Designer for Ismailova Dance Company. When She’s not Designing or Managing Productions. Shawn works for Westbury National Show Systems as a Technical Director and Lead Technician.

Rachel Forbes

Set and Costume Designer

Rachel Forbes is an award-winning set and costume designer creating for theatre, dance, opera and film. Her work has been seen across the country on stages big and small including the Shaw Festival, Buddies in Bad Times, Obsidian Theatre, Neptune Theatre, YPT, Centaur Theatre and many more.