By Djanet Sears
Set on the corner of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X Boulevards, Harlem Duet is a prelude to Shakespeare’s Othello through the eyes of Billie, Othello’s first wife, who is left behind as Othello moves closer to a white identity. Winner of the Governor General’s Award for Drama and the Chalmers Play Award, this powerful piece recounts the continuous struggle of the African American fight for equal justice in America.
Directed by Mike Payette
Starring: Lucinda Davis, Dave LaPommeray, Neema Bickersteth, Liana Montoro and Jeremiah Sparks
Set & Lighting Design: Ana Cappelluto
Costume Design: Susana Vera
Composer: Rob Denton
October 24 to November 11, 2012
Students / Professional Artists * $20
* Identification required
Special rates available for groups of 10 or more
Preview: Oct. 24
Opening Night: Oct. 25
Evenings Wednesday to Thursday 8 p.m.
Saturdays 8:30 p.m.
Matinees Sundays 3 p.m.
Tickets: 514-932-1104 ext 225
@ The Segal Centre for Performing Arts
5170 Chemin Cote St. Catherine
“This is an impressive achievement, an ambitious and accomplished work with scope and the vision to realize it, a drama filled with intelligence and compassion, humour and anger, outrage and understanding.”
- Toronto Star “
“An ambitiously complex and satisfying work about interracial marriage, ghettos and the whitening of Black history and culture”
“It all adds up to a dynamite show that should not be missed.” Pat Donnelly
“Harlem Duet Scores High.” Anna Fuerstenberg
“The talent of the carefully selected top-notch cast seems infinite” Kira Walz
“Harlem Duet soars at the Segal.” Emily Rain
“Harlem Duet; a complex exploration of love, and racial politics.” Elizabeth Fraser
“If you can see only one play this month let it be Harlem Duet.” Anna Fuerstenberg
Harlem Duet Creative Team
Celebrated playwright Djanet Sears is also an acclaimed theatre director and an adjunct professor in drama at the University of Toronto. Her plays have been widely produced, published and even translated. Selected productions include: The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God (Mirvish Productions, Nightwood Theatre, Obsidian Theatre); Harlem Duet (The Stratford Shakespeare Festival, St. Louis Black Repertory Company, Nightwood Theatre, CanStage), and Afrika Solo (Black Theatre Workshop, Factory Theatre, Theatre Fountainhead). She is also the editor of two anthologies: TESTIFYIN’: CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN CANADIAN DRAMA, VOLS. I & II. She has been a Visiting Fellow at Stanford University, a Creative Fellow at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Warwick University, Playwright-in-Residence at Tarragon Theatre, Factory Theatre, Nightwood Theatre, and International Artist-in-Residence at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre in New York City. Her honours include the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Canadian Screenwriting Award, the Gold Prize at the International Radio Festival Of New York, a Chalmers Fellowship, a Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award, the Toronto Arts Foundation William Kilbourne Award, the African Canadian Achievement Award, the Harry Jerome Award and the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award.
Privileged to have worked with companies from coast to coast, Mike is an award-winning actor and director from Montreal. Selected acting credits include the national tour Oil and Water (Artistic Fraud/Factory Theatre/Arts and Culture Centre), Richard III (Metachroma Theatre), Pirates of Penzance (Segal Centre), Humans (Tableau D’Hôte Theatre), Robinson Crusoe (Geordie); The Jungle Book (Geordie/Citadel/MTYP), as well as A Raisin in the Sun, Skin, Nutmeg Princess and New Canadian Kid (Black Theatre Workshop). He has directed several Montreal premiere productions including Lion in the Streets by Judith Thompson, A Line in the Sand by Guillermo Verdecchia and Marcus Youssef, and Elizabeth Rex by Timothy Findley. For Black Theatre Workshop, he directed and adapted the TYA production of George Seremba’s Come Good Rain. He is also the co-founder and Artistic Director of Tableau D’Hôte Theatre, a company which has continued its mandate for eight seasons; producing exclusively Canadian works rarely or never seen on a Montreal stage and is co-founder of Metachroma Theatre. He will soon be heading to Vancouver as Neworld Theatre’s Artist in Residence in spring, 2013.
Lucinda has been blessed with many opportunities to work on stage, on screen, in cartoon and in video games. Her past theatre credits include: The Lady Smith (Black Theatre Workshop), Gas (Infinitheatre), Rock, Paper Jackknife (Talisman Theatre), and Beethoven Lives Upstairs (Geordie Productions) Doubt: A Parable, The Madonna Painter, and Intimate Apparel (Centaur Theatre), Elizabeth Rex (Tableau D’Hote Theatre), and The Tragedy of Richard III (Metachroma Theatre). She is a co-founding member of Metachroma Theatre, which addresses the under-representation of visible minority actors in Canadian Theatre, challenging current perceptions by telling stories with a diverse cast in order to normalize the presence of these artists on stage. Black Theatre Workshop cast Lucinda in her first professional theatre show, and she is thrilled to work with them again!
Dave LaPommeray is thrilled to be making his return to the stage in Black Theatre Workshop’s production of Harlem Duet. A graduate of Concordia University’s Department of Theatre, Dave has participated in close to 30 projects in the media of theatre, film and television. Selected credits include featured roles in Tiger’s Heart (Centaur Theatre Company), The Bacchae (Concordia Theatre Department), Julius Caesar (Concordia Theatre Department), Screamers: The Hunting, Redeemer, Charlie Jade and MTV: Undressed.A law school graduate (Université de Montréal), Dave successfully completed the Quebec Bar exams this past spring and should be called to the Bar in the spring of 2013. Dave wishes to thank, very sincerely, Black Theatre Workshop, the cast, crew and last, but most certainly not least, the playwright Djanet Sears, for having given him the opportunity to work on such a fantastic project.
Neema Bickersteth began an opera degree at the University of British Columbia, where she received both a Bachelors and Masters of Music. She has performed internationally in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Press includes these mentions: “Neema Bickersteth is all coiled energy that snatches our attention whenever she enters the room.” (The Toronto Star), and “Amazing control of her vocal palette, producing a warm and sensual colour” (Opera Canada). Neema has had the great honour of performing for the XIVth Dalai Lama and the Archbishop Desmond Tutu. This summer, Neema received a Dora Nomination for her roles in Caroline, or Change (Acting Up Stage/Obsidian). More experimental/theatrical work includes Stitch and Voicebox (Urbanvessel); Giiwedin (Native Earth Performing Arts); Obeah Opera (b current); Dark Star Requiem (Luminato/Tapestry New Opera); and Oil and Water (Artistic Fraud).
Liana is an honoured graduate of Dawson’s Professional Theatre Program. Upon graduating she was awarded the Brian Cloutte Memorial Bursary. Soon after, she was casted as Desdemona in Montreal Shakespeare Theatre Company’s (M.S.T.C) school tour of Othello. Following the eight month run she worked on their following production of Titus Andronicus, playing at the Monument National. Her most recent production is ‘History of the Devil’, produced by the independent theatre company Title 66. This is Liana’s first time working with BTW and she is thrilled!
Now based in Toronto, Jeremiah was born and raised in Preston, Nova Scotia.
He is an accomplished Actor, Singer and Composer. His theatre credits include Mufasa in The Lion King, Hosanna, Louis Armstrong in Satchmo suite, The Odyssey (Stratford; Actor and composer) Mother Courage, A Christmas Carol, and Oliver for the National Arts Center. He is a major performer in the world renowned production of Drum. Jeremiah recently performed as the lead role in in play named Cake for the Biyimba International Arts Festival in Uganda Africa.
His 2nd CD “Storms of Fear” has recently been released on Itunes.
Set & Lighting Designer
Ana Cappelluto is based in Montréal. Her designs have traveled to numerous international festivals including Londrina International Festival in Brazil, Singapore Arts Festival, Valencia International Arts Festival in Venezuela, Festival International des Théâtres Francophones in France and Aoyama Round Theatre in Japan. In Québec she has worked with many independent companies including, Geordie Productions, Dulcinea Langfelder & Co, Imago Theatre, Pigeons International and Théâtre Le Clou. She is a Professor in the Department of Theatre at Concordia University in Montréal.
Production Stage Manager
Over the years, Kathryn has worked with several Montreal theatre companies, and for the past eleven, has been Talent Coordinator at the Just for Laughs Festival Galas. An experienced schoolteacher, she recently returned to McGill University to continue post-graduate studies. Past Black Theatre Workshop shows include Ododo, The Nutmeg Princess, Our Lost Heroes, Kajuka and Maija of Chaggaland. She is very pleased to be working with the company once again on this beautiful play with this beautiful group of people.
Susana has worked as a Costume designer and couturière for over a decade. She received her BFA with honors in studio painting prior to studying at the renowned Dalhousie University Costume program. Recent Design credits: Bacchae and The Heretics of Bohemia for Scapegoat Carnivale, Intimate Apparel for the Centaur, Haunted Hillbilly for SideMart Grocery, The Taming of the Shrew for Repercussion Theatre, On 2nd Avenue and EQUUS for the Segal Centre and EL 12 for La Otra Orilla. Susanaʼs upcoming projects include: If I was God for See Creature Prod, and HomoBLABLAtus for La Otra Orilla. Susana has received a MECCA for the costume design of The Jungle Book for Geordie Productions and has been nominated for several other awards.
Design assistant and Seamstress
Apprentice Stage Manager
This marks Danielle’s first production with Black Theatre Workshop. Danielle has been working in professional theatre for over fifteen years as an actor, teacher, administrator, playwright and stage manager. Her most recent credits include The Taming of the Shrew (Repercussion Theatre Company), Same Time, Next Year (Segal Theatre), Ars Poetica (Infinithéâtre), The Little Prince (Geordie Productions) and both Gemini and Forty Carats for the Dawson College Theatre Program. She would like to thank her family Mike, Ella and Florent for all of their support and love.