Imprisoned in Canada for committing a violent crime, a young man from Ghana tells his cellmates a story on the eve of his release. Although there is great risk in sharing his tale, he must tell it to be truly free. Through storytelling, dance, and live music, Obaaberima chronicles a young African-Canadian’s journey across continents, genders, races, and sexualities.
Winner of the 2013 Dora Award for Outstanding Production, Obaaberima has played on stages across the country, garnering rave reviews from coast to coast. For a fourth consecutive year, Espace Libre will host a production from Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, wich creates vital Canadian theatre by developing and presenting voices that question sexual and cultural norms. Like Black Boys in 2018 which also featured Tawiah Ben M’Carthy in the cast, Obaaberima is a co-presentation between Espace Libre and Black Theatre Workshop. For the second time, these two theatre companies are joining forces to create a space where francophone and anglophone Montrealers can gather together.
Tawiah Ben M’Carthy
Tawiah M’Carthy is a Ghanaian born, Toronto based Theatre artist: Playwright/Creator/Performer/Director. His playwright/creator/performer credits include, Obaaberima (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre), Black Boys (SagaCollectif) and Maanomaa (Blue Bird Theatre Collective). He appeared at Globe Theatre, Regina; Romeo and Juliet, The NAC, Ottawa; Alice Through The Looking Glass, Stuff Happens, Theatre Hetaerae; He Left Quietly. Tawiah worked as an Assistant Director at Shaw Theatre Festival; The Baroness And The Pig and Henry V, Obsidian Theatre; Venus’ Daughter, National Arts Centre; The December Man. He is the director of Bush of Ghost (Blue Bird Theatre Collective) and Our Daughters (working title) in residency at Canadian Stage. Tawiah is a Dora Nominated Playwright and Performer.
Black Theatre Workshop
Black Theatre Workshop is Canada’s longest running Black theatre company. Its mission is to encourage and promote the development of a Black and Canadian Theatre, rooted in a literature that reflects the creative will of Black Canadian writers and artists, and the creative collaborations between Black and other artists. Black Theatre Workshop aims to promote and produce Black theatre that educates, entertains and delights its audiences. The company strives to create a greater cross-cultural understanding by its presence and the intrinsic value of its work.
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
Established in 1979, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre is Toronto’s leading destination for artistically rigorous alternative theatre and a world leader in developing queer voices and stories for the stage. Buddies offers a year-round program that includes a full season of queer theatre, new works festivals, artist residencies, and intergenerational training and education initiatives. In its 40-year history Buddies has welcomed over one million people into its home in the heart of Toronto’s queer village and has premiered nearly 1,000 new works for the stage, making it the largest and longest-running queer theatre company in the world.
Espace Libre is a theatre that offers an open mind to its neighborhood and its city, while attentive to our times and questions that arises from them. Its mission is to promote exploration, intercultural dialogue and to present scenic adventures where pleasure and performance aligns together.
From March 24 to 28 2020 at Espace Libre
A Buddies in Bad Times Theatre production
Performances in English with French surtitles
Written + Performed by Tawiah Ben M’Carthy
Directed by Evalyn Parry
Live Music by Kobèna Aquaa-Harrison
Set and Costume Camelia Koo
Lighting Michelle Ramsay
Stage Manager Laura Baxter
Production Manager Charissa Wilcox
Technical Director Adrien Whan
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