“Spell-binding. Black & Rural awakens a deep-seated longing in many of us who live busy, noisy, urban lives and wonder why we live the way we do. One life. No rewind.” -Jo Ledingham
Black & Rural is the story of a lone Black country woman struggling to defy the monolith of what matters to Black lives. Derived from dozens of real-life interviews with Black folk tucked away on the countryside across Canada, Shayna Jones weaves together a story of vulnerability, quiet triumph, and striking humanity. The show features Shayna's unique storytelling voice, interspersed with new folkloric tales and verbatim reflections from her interviewees.
"Pi Theatre has brought to the stage an exceptionally important piece of art ...Black & Rural puts forward timeless tales and fresh perspectives." -Stir Vancouver
"Thank you Shayna for sharing your beautiful story and wondrous performance of a lifetime. It was sheer energy to witness your stunning performance ... Amazing work! We were spellbound." - Beth Ringdahl
Written, performed, and created by Shayna Jones
Featuring voice-over performances by: Tom Pickett, Omari Newton, Kwasi Thomas, Giselle Carke-Trenaman, Ivy Charles, Britney Buren, and Mariam Barry
Directed by Richard Wolfe
Lighting Design: Brad Trenaman
Set Design & Costume Consultant: Cecilia Vadala
Sound Design & Composition: Rufus Cappadocia
Movement Director: Amber Barton
Stage Manager: Kayleigh Sandomirsky
Tour Stage Manager: Maria Zarrillo
Dramaturg: Angela Konrad
ADVISORY INFORMATION: Black + Rural is drawn from the true stories of Black Canadians, and explores their lived experiences with frankness and grace. This show features strong language. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Run time: 65 minutes, no intermission.
About the Artist
"I live in the rural mountains of British Columbia and have the privilege of being a full time mother to three incredible children. Motherhood is my deepest work. Though I often fail, I endeavour to live deeply, truthfully, simply, and beautifully. My work as a performance artist, and specifically as a Storyteller of African and African Diasporic Folklore, is woven into this endeavour. It is an extremely life giving, creative practice. Discovering, shaping and sharing tales keeps me steeped in the awareness of our common humanity; of our deeply threatened need for slowed-down, unplugged, heart to heart connection with one another and with the world around us; and of our inherent orientation toward something deep and divine. In short, as I experience it, Storytelling is a deeply spiritual act. It is not only a way of communing with others, it is a way of reaching out to God my Creator, to my ancestors, and to the Mothers that went before me. It is my way of coming Home. If I am so blessed, I will share tales until I am buried in the ground. And perhaps even thereafter. What a glorious thing that will be."