Thespians rejoice! The Montreal premiere of Sound of the Beast is taking place at the MAI (Montreal, arts interculturels) theatre from October 3rd to October 14th, 2018. This one-woman show is a Theatre Passe Muraille production presented by Black Theater Workshop. It is written and performed by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard.
St. Bernard is an emcee and playwright and is a Governor General Literary Award nominee. She is also the Artistic Director of New Harlem Productions. A really impressive woman!
This was my first time attending a one-woman show and I must say it was riveting. I tip my hat to Donna-Michelle for hypnotizing me for an hour and a half and for taking me on a journey through a spectrum of emotions.
Firstly, the show is a hybrid of spoken-word and hip-hop elegantly intertwined into a captivating storytelling experience. Various relevant segues briefly interrupted the main storyline which kept the audience on their toes. These segues included historical references, anecdotes of daily struggles and stories of protesting the system.
Furthermore, St. Bernard shares the experiences of policing in Black communities. Having to fight for the fundamental right to be treated as a human being like everyone else. She makes us rethink of biases we might not even know we have inherited from the constructs of our society. Making us see that even in Canada, a country that has a reputation for being inclusive, discrimination exists in many places.
Donna-Michelle’s open vulnerability and discourse took us through the motions: tears, disbelief, anger, and a desire for rebellion.
The performance itself was remarkable. Donna-Marie maintains great eye-contact with the audience. She breaks the 4th wall seamlessly, making everyone in the room feel involved. Even with a serious subject matter, she made the crowd laugh at times with all her charisma. Furthermore, she had great flow in the musical performances which elevated the stories told.
I believe it’s important to attend shows like Sound of the Beast that expand our knowledge and shed light on our subconscious biases. It allowed me to further increase my understanding of the reality for all communities. I think understanding transforms into collaboration and an overall improvement of everyone’s societal experience.
To conclude, if you are looking to be moved while being immersed in the performing arts of theater and music, this show is for you. For 50 years, the mission of Theatre Passe Muraille has been to create “work that is relevant to today’s ideas and issues”. This is exactly what you get with Sound of the Beast!
For more information and for tickets, you can click here.
Since they are awesome, Raison D’Être Media is giving away a pair of tickets for one of the remaining Sound of the Beast shows to one lucky Jano Lapin reader! We will be announcing the details of the giveaway on our Facebook shortly. Stay tuned!