Throwback: Womenz Wordz see Maya Angelou Live at Roy Thompson Hall

May 25th 2011

The AMY PROJECT Auditions for a New Season of Young Women’s Creative Excellence!

Rootz Kizzy featured in Our Hope for Children @ 2011 Nuit Blanche

Our Hope for Children art installation by the OACAS was featured at this year’s Nuit Blanche in Toronto. The streets were packed to from dusk to the break-a-dawn as T.dot stayed awake all nite long, finding art in the most usual and unusual places. Shining in Yonge Street’s Additionelle store windows, 45 portraits represented the faces and voices of the city, blending words and images into “Poetik Portraits.”

The exhibit was a collabo featuring the up close and personal imagery of photographer John Beebe and poetiks of Womenz Wordz own Motion. The exhibit featured the faces and words of artists, youth workers, community builders and peoples from around the way who stopped by to share their thoughts on the theme of Hope for the younger generation. Spoken word poet Rootz Kizzy was larger-than-life, joining the likes of Tdot notables, J-WyzeMark StrongDJ L’oqenz,Tamara ShellyBrandon HayeQuentin VercettyLa BombaKoncept KingTamara DawittTheo 3,  Jo AltilliaLove Jones Sundays. Rootz Kizzy’s quote, “A Legacy,” reflects her own poetic motivation to empower and enlighten with each word she speaks.

“Dancing to a White Boy Song” Hits the Stage @ Summerworks Festival!

By Tendisai Cromwell for SWAY Magazine Online

As part of this year’s Summerworks Theatre Festival, Dancing to a White Boy Song is promising to be a unique theatrical experience.

Exploring the personal stories of three African immigrants, the title is a metaphor for an immigrant living in a Western culture. The narratives will unfold in a multidisciplinary fashion employing poetry, dance, and visual imagery.

In examining the overarching theme of ‘otherness’, the play will also explore family dynamics, intergenerational tensions, work, race, and address the notion of home.

The inspiration for the play lies in the immigrant experiences of Kenyan-born Director and Co-Creator Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu.

“It came from a very personal place, ”Otu revealed. “I immigrated here as a teenager with my family and I had a very rough transition.”

To actualize her aspirations, Otu collaborated with playwright,  poet [& Womenz Wordz facilitator] MOTION and choreographer, Meryem Alaoui.

“She hears poetry as the voices of the characters,” Motion said of Otu’s vision. “It’s a play that brings out different voices, rhythms, cadences, stories.”

The trio has been working since this past May to reflect the complexities of human expression in the play.

“It’s an exploration of how we express ourselves as human beings. We express ourselves through movement, through sound, sometimes through visual imagery, ”Otu said.

The final production will be inclusive of many aspects of various immigrant narratives and though the play explores African immigration, it also deals with many universal sub-themes and a wide range of shared human emotions.

“When we become personal, we can see how universal our experiences can be,” Motion said. “Every single one of us has had moments of insecurity. All of us have had those generational gaps that take place within families, within communities.”

“It’s up to each person to, I hope, feel somehow connected or find something that is relevant to their life, ”Alaoui expressed.

They encourage everyone to watch the play and leave hopefully with a greater understanding of issues surrounding the immigrant identity.

For showtimes and to purchase tickets visit: www.dancingtoawhiteboysong.com


Holla!: The Book Launch

Womenz Wordz First Anthology: Hollah!

Start the Long Weekend off Right!

Womenz Wordz, a Literature for Life project presents the launch of their debut anthology, “HOLLA!”, a powerful collection of wordz from fresh new voices blowing up Toronto’s poetix scene.

Young women, hailing from 1900 Sheppard and Women Moving Forward, come together to drop their wordz on the mic for one night only!

Hosted by Motion

Featuring performances by:

Amber King
Roots Kizzy
Whitney French
Miss Cola
Shanae Smith
Rochelle David
Niki Roberge
Makida Jones
and more!

Doors open at 6:00pm
Showtime 7:00pm SHARP!

Join us for book signing, light refreshments, mix-music-and-mingle and of course LIVE poetry. Children more than welcome.

A night of WORDZ and SOUNDZ at Toronto’s legendary bookstore, A Different Booklist. Don’t miss it!


RSVP on Facebook: HERE



Check out pieces from the anthology here:

Ode to Clyde
Empty Fills
Dub Insomnia
I Am Everything

and more!

Aneemah’s Spot

bcurrent and MotionLIVE presents the illest play that’s graced the stage. Come on out and support Womenz Wordz facilitator Motion as she premieres here spoken word play “Aneemah’s Spot”, part of the Rock.Paper.Sisterz Festival. Show takes place at May 15th (this Saturday!) at Artscape Wychwood Barns Theatre (610 Christie St), two shows: 2 pm and 5pm.

ANEEMAH’S SPOT: the Base is a stylistic mix of stealthy dialogue, rhyme and spoken word. The funeral of “G” brings Aneemah and Wan together to mourn, and share their histories, as they are forced to let go of the past and choose how they will navigate life, either apart or together, from this moment on.

Don’t miss it! Check here to RSVP on Facebook.

presented by Canadian Stage

Dynamics of Language and Movement: Hip Hop and the Creator/Performer with Will Power
Monday, May 16 – Tuesday, May 17, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Wednesday, May 18 – Thursday May 19, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

In Partnership with Equity Showcase Theatre

Hailed as “The best verse playwright in  America ,” (New York Magazine), whose work “…combines the complexity of serious drama with the visual and sonic arsenal of MTV,” (The New York Times), Will Power is an award-winning playwright and performer. As one of the theatre world’s shining stars, his recent plays include Fetch Clay, Make Man (McCarter Theatre, Directed by Des McAnuff), Five Fingers of Funk (Children’s Theatre Company, Directed by Derrick Sanders), and the nationally and internationally acclaimed solo show FLOW. This 4-day practical intensive will look at the creator/performer’s approach to cross-disciplinary projects incorporating the urban arts, opening up new possibilities exploring physicality, language and source materials for artists who create and perform new works.

Musicality in Performance with Patrice Naiambana and Surahata Susso
Monday, May 9, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., and Tuesday, May 10 – Thursday May 12, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

In Partnership with Equity Showcase Theatre

Led by acclaimed international artists based in the UK, this four-day workshop is inspired by African Diaspora Performance aesthetics and the raison d’etre of The Griot, and will use Verse Text from Shakespeare’s Othello, discovering choric and personal responses to the action and themes of the play. Participants will develop a performance language that integrates text, movement and music (kora, djembe, flute, song and
percussion). This workshop will culminate in a public showing and discussion. Participants will have preparation requirements.

PLEASE NOTE: There is also a FREE day-long version of this workshop for Youth and Arts Educators on Saturday May 14th from 10am-3pm (workshop presentation at 3pm) at the Wychwood Art Barns (76 Wychwood Ave) Educators and Youth age 14-21 can register by writing us here: festival@canadianstage.com


AUDITION NOTICE   dancing to a white boy song

A cross-disciplinary project co-created by Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu, Meryem Alaoui and Motion.  Directed by Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu

Presented at Toronto Summerworks Theatre Festival, Aug 4-14 2011



3 Performers needed

  1. Male, Black/African background. 25-45
  2. Female, Black/African background. 25-45
  3. Female, Black/African background. 20-30

Performers will be required to play a wide range of ages and accents and ethnic backgrounds,

Performers should be comfortable working in an experimental rehearsal model and play development process.

Performers should be comfortable performing poetry and movement based work.

Audition Requirements:

Please prepare two contrasting monologues  (2 min max each) that show your ability to play characters of different ages. The key contrasting ages we are looking at are mid teens (14-17) and mid 40s.

Monologues from plays about Africa, or by Black/African playwrights are encouraged.

You will be also be asked to do some movement based work at the audition.

You may also be asked to do a cold read of a poetry piece.

To book an audition, email headshot and bio/resume to mumbi@ifttheatre.com

Project Premise: A cross-disciplinary theatrical project exploring the metaphor of what it means to ‘dance to the beat of the other’. The project is inspired by personal stories and research on the psychology of the African immigrant in Canada.

Story: Carol Muthoni Maina, a fourteen year old girl is desperate to fit into a new school and a foreign culture and yet she longs for the freedom to be just who she is. Frightened of her own uniqueness and individuality, she goes into a desperate mission to change everything she can about herself.

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