Due to the success of its premiere webcast earlier this Fall 2020 season, Talisman Theatre presents a free encore streaming of its recorded production of Habibi’s Angels: Commission Impossible on Sunday, December 27th and Saturday, January 2nd.
Profound, poetic, and deliciously quirky—The play is a living x-ray of Montreal that lays bare its foundations, ancient and modern. A meta-experiment on the collectivity with contrasting feminist visions. From its outermost shell—a volley of letters between writers that are hired to write a piece to be performed by women of colour—to its innermost core—a plot to destroy The Machine—the play’s true target is tokenism. All of this in a city that can’t even align its streets with the four points of a compass! Audience be warned: you’re invited to a scratchy celebration of Montreal.
The action begins when a pair of non-binary artists belonging to “visible minorities” are commissioned to write a bilingual play focusing on the themes of Quebec, feminism, history of women, love, and immigration…Nothing less! But one author complains: “I’d rather die than write the multicultural feminist show. […It] feels like I’m feeding some monster.” The other replies: “I don’t wake up thinking: ‘How diverse I feel!’ […] Let’s blow up those categories.” And intersectional chaos seizes their writings!
The authors construct a labyrinthine system of characters and situations to trap and expose Habibi, a “tentacular diversity-feminism-data-eating machine” that feeds off their content. Montreal is seen through a myriad of perspectives: the blocked writer surviving on coffee and cigarettes, the young immigrant resisting the established order, the elderly Arabic-speaker with her hands plunged in the earth, and a mischievous aquatic sprite that has more than one string to her bow. When Habibi finally imprisons their characters in her Diverse Play Factory, the authors manage to turn the tables causing her self-destruction.
The questions that Habibi’s Angels : Commission Impossible gestures towards are : How do we deal with tokenism and the harm caused by self-serving, colonialist gatekeepers? How can we fight an oppressive elite to create a real democratization of arts and culture? And above all, what does this new world that we are resisting look like?
Habibi’s Angels : Commission Impossible is Talisman Theatre’s first commissioned play. Talisman is thrilled to have brought together the creative forces of Kalale Dalton-Lutale and Hoda Adra. Kalale’s lyricial, magic-realist, tragi-comic perspective combined with Hoda’s acute Franco-Arabic observations on Quebec culture and slam-poetic energy is a force to be reckoned with.
ABOUT TALISMAN THEATRE
Talisman Theatre was founded in 2006 by two graduates of the National Theatre School of Canada, Lyne Paquette, now its Artistic and Executive Director, and Emma Tibaldo now the Artistic and Executive Director of Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal in 2008. Talisman’s mission is to produce professional English-language premieres of contemporary Quebec plays. Talisman Theatre is funded by Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et du lettres du Quebec, Conseil des arts de Montreal and The Cole Foundation.
Cast Chadia Kikondjo, Aida Sabra, Lesly Velazquez, Emilee Veluz and France Rolland (voice)
Director Sophie Gee | Choreographer Claudia Chan Tak | Set Design Lyne Paquette | Costume Design Sophie El Assaad | Lighting Design Leticia Hamaoui | Sound Design Maria Elena Stoodley |video Designer Amelia Scott| Stage Manager Alessandra Tom | Assistant Designer Zoe Roux
HABIBI’S ANGELS : COMMISSION IMPOSSIBLE
For more information, visit talisman-theatre.com