Black Theatre Workshop Launches

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Sound of the Beast: 3rd – 14th October

@ MAI (Montréal, arts intercultural)


Black Theatre Workshop (BTW) is proud to launch their 48th Season with the Montreal premiere of Sound of the Beast (SOTB). Written and performed by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard and co-presented by Black Theatre Workshop and MAI (Montréal, arts interculturals), and produced by Theatre Passe Muraille, SOTB is inspired by Tunisian emcee Weld-El 15 – who was jailed for his song Boulicia Kleb (The Police Are Dogs) – St. Bernard riffs on oppression, poverty and systemic injustice. Using spoken word, story-telling, and hip-hop, Sound of the Beast speaks truth to power and highlights St. Bernard’s quick wit and quicker rhymes in a multimedia solo performance that reflects on questions of identity, the decision to call out authority and what happens when authority strikes back.

Are you ready for BTW?

In her solo performance Sound of the Beast, two-time Governor General’s Award Nominee Donna-Michelle St. Bernard speaks truth to power using spoken word, storytelling, and hip-hop.  Inspired by Tunisian emcee Weld-El 15 – who was jailed for his song Boulicia Kleb (The Police Are Dogs) – St. Bernard riffs on oppression, poverty, and systemic injustice.  Sound of the Beast highlights St. Bernard’s quick wit and quicker rhymes in a multimedia performance that reflects on questions of identity, the decision to call out authority and what happens when authority strikes back.

The Creators

Donna-Michelle St. Bernard (playwright/performer): DM St. Bernard aka Belladonna the Blest is an emcee, playwright, administrator and agitator, a Torontonian from Grenada by way of Bequia, St. Vincent. She is stoked to be the emcee in residence at Theatre Passe Muraille and playwright in residence at lemonTree creations. Past works include They Say He Fell, A Man A Fish, No Wall So High, Say The Words, The House You Build, Salome’s Clothes and Gas Girls. She has been a nominee for the KM Hunter, Governor General’s, META and SATA awards, a recipient of Dora Mavor Moore, Herman Voaden and Mallory Gilbert Protégé awards, and once upon a time placed top female emcee in the Truskool Freestyle Competition and the Caribana Rap Off. DM has developed works in the 54ology with the support of residencies at Obsidian Theatre, National Arts Centre and Dynamo Theatre, as well as opportunities at Banff Centre Playwrights Colony, Banff Centre Spoken Word Program, Stratford Playwrights Retreat, Springworks, SummerWorks and Mayworks festivals. Her work is published by Playwrights Canada Press. Everything is possible with the enduring sustenance of Kern Albert, Mom, and Yvette Nolan. Also God, obvs.

Andy McKim (co-director/dramaturge): Andy McKim has been the TPM Artistic Director since June 2007. He is a nationally renowned director and dramaturge who has worked in theatre for over 40 years. He has spent most of his professional life developing, dramaturging and directing new Canadian plays. Early in his career, he worked in PEI, in Halifax at Neptune Theatre, in London (UK), but the bulk of his career has been in Toronto where from 1985 to 2007 he was the Associate Artistic Director at Tarragon Theatre. Andy has directed more than 50 different productions. Nearly all of them were world premieres. Most outstanding amongst them is 2 PIANOS, 4 HANDS. He sat on the Dora Awards Board, the Toronto Theatre Alliance Board (TTA), served as the TTA President, sat on the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) board and served as the PACT President. Andy has taught in a variety of contexts and is serving on the Theatre Department Advisory of both Sheridan and Humber Colleges. He has received the George Luscombe Award for mentorship, the Bra D’Or award from the Women’s Caucus of PGC, The Harold Award and the Silver Ticket Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jivesh Parasram (co-director/dramaturge): Jivesh Parasram is a multidisciplinary artist, facilitator, and researcher of Indo-Caribbean descent currently based in Toronto. He is the Associate Artistic Producer for Theatre Passe Muraille, the founding Artistic Producer of Pandemic Theatre, a core member of the Wrecking Ball, and a member of the Ad Hoc Assembly. He was a member of the 2016 Cohort of the Cultural Leaders Lab with the Toronto Arts Council and the Banff Centre. Select credits include: The Only Good Indian v 2.0 (Pandemic/Rhubarb), Daughter (Quiptake/Pandemic), Situational Anarchy (Pressgang/Pandemic), Take d’ Milk, Nah? (Pandemic), Whose Revolution? (Neworld/Theatre Centre), The Double (Bad New Days).

Cameron Davis (projection design): Selected credits include: projection designer: Life, Death, and the Blues, CRASH (Theatre Passe Muraille); Enchanted Loom, Ultrasound (Cahoots); Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Pacific Opera Victoria); Up The Garden Path (Obsidian Theatre); Domesticated (Company Theatre); Sweet Charity, You Never Can Tell (Shaw Festival); Watching Glory Die (Canadian Rep Theatre); The Gay Heritage Project (Buddies in Bad Times/Canadian Tour); Yukonstyle, Cruel and Tender (Canadian Stage); Feng Yi Ting (Spoleto Festival USA/Lincoln Center Festival/Luminato Festival); Dance Marathon (bluemouth inc); lighting designer: How Do I Love Thee? (Canadian Rep Theatre); They Say he Fell, BIRTH, Tjorvi the Flaccid (Pandemic Theatre). Cameron teaches and mentors projection design at the National Theatre School of Canada.

Rebecca Vandevelde (lighting/set design): Rebecca is a (mostly lighting and video) designer, curator, technician, and anything-manager who creates interactive installations like Flip the Table and Blanket Fort with Art is Hard, freelance Production Manages, does lighting/video/everything design + production work with many independent theatres and festivals, and even sometimes writes/directs/designs interactive theatre for young audiences. Rebecca holds a BA in Drama, History and speaking French sometimes from Glendon College at York.

Heather Bellingham (Stage Manager): Heather has worked in stage management on 50+ shows, ranging from small-scale Fringe productions, to pieces in international festivals such as World Pride and Panamania, to large-scale shows at the Stratford Festival. She has even stage-managed a private performance for royalty. See credits at Follow @blue84HB

David Mesiha (Music Composer & Sound Designer): David Mesiha is an award-winning music composer and sound/video designer. David’s practice centers around examining questions of form in interactive and performance arts. He is fascinated by the relationships between form, performer, content, and audience. His work utilizes multichannel immersive audio, interactive design, and projection design. He has worked on shows such as Project (X) by Leaky Heaven, Terminus by Pi Theatre, and The Busy World is Hushed by One2 theatre and Foreign Radical by Theatre Conspiracy. He has been nominated and won Jessie Richardson Awards in multiple categories and most recently received a Dora Award nomination for his sound design work on Oraltorio by IFT theatre. David’s Work has spanned multiple mediums and formats. In Video Games his music is often a cornerstone of the user experience with titles such as Red Shift and Dream of Ruins series. David’s music and Sound Design have also been part of Canadian Indie film with titles such as Small Currents and the TV series Eternity Tomorrow. David is honored to have been invited to be part of Sound Of The Beast and to be given the opportunity to explore new musical territories.


Venue: MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels)
3680, rue Jeanne Mance
Box Office: 514.982.3386

Online Ticket purchase here


  • $27 — Regular
  • $24 — Students
  • $22 — Student/Pro Artist
  • $19 — Groups/Preview (University) (10+ tickets)
  • $16 — Student group (HS & CEGEP) (20+ tickets, free teachers tickets for every 20 Students)

Black Theatre Workshop is Canada’s longest running Black theatre company and is committed to reflecting Black culture and community by developing and providing visibility for Black Canadian artists. Black Theatre Workshop is an award-winning English- speaking theatre company based in Montreal, Quebec.


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