SATURDAY MAY 7th
Site-Specific Performace @ St Matthew’s United Church, 729 St Clair Ave W
PWYC ($10 suggested minimum)
Africville in Black and White
Cyrus Sundar Singh
Creator, Writer, Performer, Composer, Musician
Actor, Singer, Performer
Africville in Black and White is a site-specific verbatim documentary performance. Symbolically situated inside the demolished, Seaview United Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the documentary tells the story of the community of Africville. The church becomes a “container”, (a physical, metaphorical and philosophical space), in which the various parts of the Africville story in conjunction with the audience unfolds. The energy of the performance is shared between all three “players”: the narrator (the outsider), the singer (the insider), and the audience (the Africville diaspora). As with Verbatim-theatre, all lines are pulled from transcriptions and the full ‘script’ is printed in a program that doubles as a liturgy to be followed and recited where required. The triumvirate of story, performance, and audience is used to create an interactive and immersive documentary experience incorporating oral storytelling, poetry, musical score, archival materials and television—all performed live.
A brown-man with a yellow-guitar and a black-camera, Cyrus is a Gemini Award-winning filmmaker, songwriter, composer, and poet. Born and raised in India and living in Canada, he continues to bridge his different worlds effortlessly while maintaining an original unique style. Cyrusʼ directorial debut Film Club is the winner of both a Gemini Award and the NFBʼs Reel Diversity Award and since then he has written, produced and directed in a range of genres including documentary, reality, lifestyle, and installations. His film productions have earned numerous awards and taken him around the world including to Israel, India, Haiti, and Spain. Cyrus’ recent academic pursuits in documentary media have allowed him to push the boundaries of the form towards a hybrid he calls “performing the documentary.” His most recent documentary-hybrid Brothers In The Kitchen has its world premiere at Hot Docs 2016 Festival in Toronto.