In a society where the Black male body is both vilified and sexualized, Black Boys uncovers the complex dynamics of the queer Black male experience. Text, movement, and design portray the rhythm and vulnerability of three very different Black men who seek a deeper understanding of themselves, each other, and of how they encounter the world. As they explore their unique identities, their performances rigorously interrogate and playfully subvert the ways in which gender, sexuality, and race are read and performed.
Theatrical and intimate, Black Boys weaves together the ensemble’s own personal stories in search of an integrated self and a radical imagination while shining a light on new possibilities for young Black queer people.
Virgilia Griffith is a Toronto-based actor and winner of the Meta Emerging Artist Award for Gas Girls. She was also a Dora Mavor Moore Award nominee for Outstanding Female for her performance of Honesty directed by Jordan Tannahill. Movement has always been a part of her artistic practice and she is honoured to have had the opportunity to choreograph with Saga Collectif. Selected credits include: Iphegenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land), Harlem Duet, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Wedding Party, Other Side of the Game, The Watershed, da ’Kink in my hair, How We Are, Up the Garden Path, and Byhalia, Mississippi. She is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School.
Stephen Jackman-Torkoff is a lover, a wandering poet, and a disco dancer. They were born in Toronto and raised in foster care in Richmond Hill. Stephen has acted in several productions across Canada including Angels in America, Botticelli in the Fire / Sunday in Sodom, and The Glass Menagerie. Stephen is the resident poet with the Queer Songbook Orchestra and toured with them in October 2018 to ten cities across Canada. This year they will be working on a multidisciplinary solo piece called Die Phantasie. After spending a lot of time in institutions, Stephen is now immersing themself in creation and collaboration beyond institutional walls.
Tawiah M’Carthy is a Ghanaian-born theatre artist. His playwright/creator/performer credits include Blue Bird, Body 13, Obaaberima (Dora Award for Best Production), and The Kente Cloth. Tawiah has worked with theatre companies such as the National Arts Centre of Canada, the Cultch Vancouver, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, Obsidian Theatre, MTSpace Theatre, the Globe Regina, and InterArts Matrix as an actor, playwright, and/or director. Tawiah is a co-founder of Blue Bird Theatre Collective and Saga Collectif.
Thomas Antony Olajide is an actor from Vancouver, BC.
Jonathan Seinen is a founding member of Saga Collectif, artistic associate with lemonTree creations, and co-artistic producer of Architect Theatre. Most recently, he directed Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land), Black Boys, and with Architect Theatre, he co-created and performed in Highway 63: The Fort Mac Show and Like There’s No Tomorrow. He co-created Charisma Furs with Katie Sly, which was published in Q2Q: Queer Canadian Performance Texts. As a participant in the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction, Jonathan was Assistant Director for Timon of Athens at the Stratford Festival, and is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Theatre Directing at Columbia University.
“This is an exceptional, powerful, and quite delightful piece of work.”- S. Bear Bergman, Mooney on Theatre
“This is theatre at its very best.”- Willow White, alt.theatre
“Black Boys suggests that conflicts don’t have to be smoothed over, but can be the beginning of creativity.”- J. Kelly Nestruck, The Globe and Mail
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