–A Black Theatre Workshop and Prairie Theatre Exchange Co-Production.
Diggers is a Black Theatre Workshop and Prairie Theatre Exchange Co-Production. The play centres around 3 gravediggers, their dedication to their work, and how they are viewed, and sometimes excluded, by fellow citizens of their village. Diggers will be presented at The Segal Centre for Performing Arts (Studio), from February 1st to the 17th. A Black Out Night will be reserved for Black-identifying audience members to gather on February 11th.
A play about essential workers following the shutdown that the theatre world experienced in recent years was an obvious choice for Black Theatre Workshop. The themes depicted in Diggers provide a platform to acknowledge and honour the resilience of essential workers. The characters and their journey are relevant to the forever-changed society we live in today. A thought-provoking tale, Diggers offers audiences an opportunity to reflect and empathize.
Diggers will mark a 3rd collaboration between Black Theatre Workshop and Playwright Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, following the acclaimed productions of her plays Sound of the Beast (2018-19) and Gas Girls (2014-15). A three-time Governor General Award nominee (2011, 2016, 2020) Donna-Michelle’s work offers sometimes heavy, but always important, explorations of the human experience.
“It is such an honour to continue to build our relationship with playwright Donna-Michelle St. Bernard with this commission and production of Diggers, as the latest addition to her epic 54ology project.Dian Marie Bridge, Artistic Director – Black Theatre Workshop
We welcome audiences back into the theatre with a piece that, under Pulga Muchochoma’s movement-based direction, truly captures an eloquent, sometimes dire, and ironic summation of how community functions in both solidarity and crisis.”
Abdul and Solomon introduce newbie Bai to the intricacies and dignity of gravedigging for the town down the hill. But when illness hits the town, the three must make the best of a bad situation as their workload increases and their support from the community diminishes. Full of song, laughter, tears and beautiful humanity, Diggers is a tribute to essential workers.
“There are those who stand apart by merit of the work they do – whether they want to or not.”
Abdul: Chance Jones
Bai: Jahlani Gilbert-Knorren
Solomon: Christian Paul
Sheila: Warona Setshwaelo
Playwright: Donna-Michelle St.Bernard
Dramaturg: Thomas Morgan Jones
Director: Pulga Muchochoma
Associate Director: Lydie Dubuisson
Set & Props Design: Courtney Moses Orbin
Costume Design: Georges Michael Fanfan
Lighting Design: Tim Rodrigues
Production Manager/Technical Director: Tucker / Shopdogs
Diggers is a CKUT co-presentation.
ABOUT PULGA MUCHOCHOMA
Pulga Muchochoma was born in Mozambique. His dance career and training began in Quelimane with Montes Namuli Dance Company. In 2006, he came to Toronto with the company for the International AIDS Conference. With Montes Namuli/Shakespeare Link Canada, he performed in several shows in venues in Toronto and Mozambique. When Montes Namuli returned to Mozambique, Muchochoma stayed in Toronto to study at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre.
In 2009 he joined the company Toronto Dance Theatre where he danced for 11 seasons under the leadership of Christopher House. With TDT, Pulga worked with many local and international artists, and he also participated in the 2015 Opening ceremony of the Toronto Panam Games, with Cirque du Soleil and NBS. He’s also the creator and the founder of Pulga Dance since 2015.
ABOUT DONNA-MICHELLE ST. BERNARD
Donna-Michelle St. Bernard aka Belladonna the Blest is an emcee, playwright and agitator. Her playwriting is focused in the 54ology: The First Stone, Diggers, Give It Up, The Smell of Horses, Just Now, Click Click, Cake, Sound of the Beast, A Man A Fish, Salome’s Clothes, Dark Love and Gas Girls.
Other offerings include theatre for young audiences, opera libretti, collaborative works and weird reflections. As director, she has worked on The F Word (Cheesman/Miranda), Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers (Simamba), Job’s Wife (Nolan), Oops! (Feld).
DM is currently an associate artist at lemonTree Creations, artistic director of New Harlem Productions, coordinator of the AD HOC Assembly, and of play development at Nightwood Theatre and Theatre Aquarius.
by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard
FEB 1, 3, 4*, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13, 14, 15, & 17
The Segal Centre of Performing Arts
5170 Côte-Ste-Catherine, H3W 1M7
More details available on www.blacktheatreworkshop.ca