by Christine Rodriguez
Our 2020 Black History Month School Tour
Simone, Half and Half is about a teen caught between cultures: Canadian, Québécois and Trinidadian. She’s also torn between projects: the talent show and the Black History and Culture Committee. As pressure mounts on seeing her projects through, her friendships start to feel the strain and her loyalties are tested. Simone must find the courage and the strength to stand up to her friends for what she believes in and what really matters to her. Will they listen? Will they accept her for who she really is?
This is a touching story about reaching out to the past, uncovering hopes and dreams for a better future and discovering one’s identity, told through theatre, music, dance and poetry.
To book your school for the tour contact:
firstname.lastname@example.org / 514.932.1104
Montrealer Christine Rodriguez is the award-winning playwright of Dreaming in Autism, a one-woman show that received third prize at Ottawa Little Theatre’s 72nd National One-Act Playwriting Competition. Adjudicator Garry Davey described the work as a “strongly imagined piece with a distinctive style.” Christine followed that up with The Autism Monologues which goes beyond the story of one mother to share the points of view of many other people related to autism. Alt.theatre critic Kelann Currie-Williams writes, “There is a sort of unbounded power within those monologues; a power that transformed the space and the people within it.” Christine developed The Autism Monologues during the 2014-2015 BTW Artist Mentorship Program and a short term mentorship with the m-a-i in 2015. The play premiered at the 2018 Montreal Fringe Festival and received an Honourable Mention for Most Promising Theatre Company from the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts. Her work in French has also received notice with Je rêve en autisme being the focal point of an episode on ICI Radio-Canada’s Médium Large during Autism Awareness Month in April 2014 in which Québec producer Marc Bertrand declared “C’est un coup de cœur!”
Simone, Half and Half is the culmination of many years of work starting with a commission grant Christine was awarded from the Cole Foundation’s Intercultural Conversations program to write a play for young audiences for Black Theatre Workshop. She was able to develop the play along the way with the support of Playwrights Workshop Montreal and the Canada Council for the Arts. As with all her work, this play holds no punches and celebrates her Trinidadian and Montreal South Shore roots.
Christine holds a Certificate of Professional Screenwriting from UCLA and a MBA from McGill University. She’s also a trained actor who’s appeared in film and TV productions such as Warm Bodies, Gurov and Anna, Blue Moon, Unité 9 and Ruptures; and recent theatre productions of The Domestic Crusaders and Hair, the Tribal Rock Musical. Her work is largely informed by her mixed race heritage and her multicultural environment. When she’s not writing or performing, she’s raising her beautiful son and working to earn a Major in Hispanic Studies from Université de Montréal.
SET AND COSTUME DESIGNER
Nalo Soyini Bruce
Nalo Soyini Bruce is a Montreal-based artist, set, costume and prop designer of Caribbean origin. Her designs evoke rich associations through vibrant colour relationships, textured surfaces and varied materials. She uses this vocabulary to express underlying historical, cultural and psychological dimensions of stories enacted on stage. As set elements are introduced or reoriented, or as outer and inner layers of costumes are revealed, the audience discovers the deeper layers of people, places and things. Since she emerged from the Black Theatre Workshop Artist Mentorship Program’s 2017-2018 ensemble, Nalo has worked with numerous theatre companies that include Black Theatre Workshop, Geordie Theatre and Tableau D’Hôte theatre on productions that explore themes of cultural identity, tolerance, acceptance, and hopeful futures. Recent projects include Scotian Journey, directed by Jamie Robinson (Black Theatre Workshop’s Black History Month school tour presentation, February 2019); Maskulin(e), directed by Michelle Rambharose(Half mask vignettes portraying different forms of toxic masculinity, May 2018); Rendez-vous With Home, directed by Dayane Ntibarikure (Black Theatre Workshop’s Black History Month school tour presentation, February 2018). Upcoming productions include Simone 1/2 and 1/2 (Black Theatre Workshop), Luna (Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal) and ‘Da Kink in My Hair (Arts Club Theatre Company).
Nalo’s website: https://www.nalosoyini.com
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