Introduction by :Kern Albert ,
Afterword by :Andy McKim ,
Afterword by :Jivesh Parasram
Imprint:Playwrights Canada Press
Dimensions:8.4in x 5.37 x 0.45 in | 210 gr
Page Count:160 pages
"Compassion is good, but it’s just motivation. Cars need engines. Movements need mobilization."
Through spoken word, storytelling and hip hop, acclaimed wordsmith Donna-Michelle St. Bernard illuminates racial discrimination, the suppression of expression and the trials of activism. Her experience as a Canadian emcee is woven through with allusion to Tunisian emcee Weld El 15’s unjust imprisonment for rhymes against a regime. This story creates a space to reflect on how we are connected to the systems that oppress us, and how we can empower each other to rise up.
Donna-Michelle was inspired by Weld-El 15, who was jailed in 2013 for his song “Boulicia Kleb” (“Cops are Dogs.”)
Sound of the Beast is another part to Donna-Michelle’s 54ology project, creating a performance for every country in Africa, this one for Tunisia. Her previously published plays are also part of the project.
Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, a.k.a. Belladonna the Blest, is an emcee, playwright, and agitator. Her main body of work, the 54ology, includes Cake, Sound of the Beast, A Man A Fish, Salome’s Clothes, Gas Girls, Give It Up, The Smell of Horses, and The First Stone. Works for young audiences include the META-nominated Reaching For Starlight, The Chariot, and Rabbit King of Kenya. Opera libretti include Forbidden (Afarin Mansouri/Tapestry Opera) and Oubliette (Ivan Barbotin/Tapestry Opera). She is co-editor with Yvette Nolan of the Playwrights Canada Press Refractions anthologies, and editor of Indian Act: Residential School Plays.
Andy McKim focuses his professional life on developing, dramaturging, directing and producing new Canadian plays. He was recently Artistic Director of Theatre Passe Muraille (2007–2019), and was Associate Artistic Director of Tarragon Theatre (1986–2007), where he created and programmed the Spring Arts Fair. Andy was President of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (2002–2005) and President of the Toronto Theatre Alliance (1997–1999). Among other awards, Andy has been recognized with the Playwrights Guild of Canada’s Bra D’or Award (for playwright gender equity), the George Luscombe Mentorship Award and the Dora Mavor Moore Silver Ticket Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Jivesh Parasram is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist of Indo Caribbean descent (Cairi/Trinidad & Tobago). Jivesh grew up in Mi’Kma’Ki (Nova Scotia) before moving to Tkaronto (Toronto). In 2009 he co-founded Pandemic Theatre, through which much of his work has been created, often in close collaboration with co-founder Tom Arthur Davis. He is a recipient of two Harold Awards for his service to the independent theatre community in Tkaronto, including the Ken McDougall Award. Jivesh won the 2018 Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award, and was a member of the second cohort of the Cultural Leaders Lab with the Toronto Arts Council and the Banff Centre. In 2018, Jivesh took on the position of artistic director for Rumble Theatre. He lives primarily in the unceded Coast Salish territories (Vancouver, BC).
“Unusual and disarming.” - J. Kelly Nestruck, The Globe and Mail
“Effective, disturbing, and enlightening.” - Karen Fricker, Toronto Star
“As poignant as it is playful. Utterly affecting.” - Camila Fitzgibbon, Montreal Theatre Hub