Almeida (The Glorious) by The AMY Project playing at SummerWorks Festival 2017 is an ensemble piece, a non-linear assemblage of monologues, poetry, and group performances of both movement and voice.
Created by the ensemble, this piece explores young peoples’ relationships to their ancestry and how it affects their daily lives through their own true stories. These powerful young people deserve the platform they are fiercely occupying.
The audience was firstly encouraged by Artistic Director Nikki Shaffeeullah to feel free to leave if any subject matter was triggering, and to return when/if desired.
This liberating announcement, as well as the valued acknowledgement of the Indigenous keepers of this land, set an incredible tone. The show followed suit in what can well be described as ‘woke theatre’.
The entire beautifully diverse cast fills the stage throughout the whole show. For some, this is their first public presentation of a fully mounted production.
This fact only showed itself in the beginning, when what could have been a strong vocal opener came off as a bit timid, but the performers seemed to hit their stride as they went along.
Their stories touch on a number of critical themes, from poverty to bullying to sex work to Indigenous erasure. I found the performances of Karis Jones-Pard and Morgan to be particularly profound.
The teary sniffles and approving snaps surrounding me throughout every actor’s story tell me other people were moved as well.
Besides live performance, this piece also utilizes artful projections and voiceovers to punctuate moody movement pieces to great effect.
At times confrontational, other times introspective, and still other times sharing in the joy of unified camaraderie, this stage full of varying gender identities, ethnicities, politics, and spirit, is the image of Canada’s future. I eagerly await what these creators will bring to our landscape.
And yet, I don’t wait at all. They’re already bringing it. They’ve brought it. And it’s beautiful to behold.
Almeida (The Glorious) plays at the Pia Bouman-Scotiabank Studio Theatre, 6 Noble Street
- Saturday August 5th 1:15pm
- Sunday August 6th 1:00pm
- Wednesday August 9th 5:45pm
SummerWorks tickets are now Pay What You Decide at $15, $25, or $35, whichever suits your budget. All tickets are general admission and there are no limits to any price level. Tickets are available at the performance venue (cash only), online and in person at the SummerWorks Central Box Office – located at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street). Open August 1-13 from 10am-7pm. Cash and credit accepted.
Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 7 shows.
Audience Advisory: Mature themes.
Image of Nicole Acaso, Zainab Egbeyemi, Karis Jones-Pard, Jamie Kasiama, Destiny Laldeo, Caroline Manjaly, Morgan, Adri Almeida, Rofiat Olusanya, & Kaitlynn Rodgers by Bessie Cheng.