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SYNOPSIS


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SYNOPSIS


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS


SECRETS OF A BLACK BOY is a brutally honest dramedy that gives voice to five young black men from Toronto as they come together for one last domino game at their local community centre before its permanent closure - a devastating result of the neighbourhood's revitalization project. With thousands of people already displaced, the ongoing dismantling of the community serves as a constant reminder that the only home many youth have ever known is literally being ripped apart with questionable explanation and rationale.

A theatrical masterpiece that sifts through all the gory thoughts, doubts, fears, questions, and obsessions that traipse through the mind of a black man.

Through a series of compelling monologues and authentic narratives mixed with musical interludes, our story critically explores the underlying effects of common stereotypes faced by racialized men and delves into several controversial issues including police brutality and injustice, mental health, domestic abuse, infidelity, inter-racial dating, and sexuality.

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CAST


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAST


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAST


Samson Brown | Biscuit Samson Brown is a Toronto born actor, hoofer, playwright, and stage manager. An alumnus of The Watah Theatre Company's Kente Season, he continues to study under the guidance of d'bi.young anitafrika and her acclaimed Sorplusi Methodology. Most recently, Samson worked on "Master Harold and the Boys," as an Apprentice Production Manager with Obsidian Theatre. His monodrama, “11:11 A Monodrama in 7D” will be published in Black Solo 2 through Sorplusi Institute Press. 

Samson Brown | Biscuit

Samson Brown is a Toronto born actor, hoofer, playwright, and stage manager. An alumnus of The Watah Theatre Company's Kente Season, he continues to study under the guidance of d'bi.young anitafrika and her acclaimed Sorplusi Methodology. Most recently, Samson worked on "Master Harold and the Boys," as an Apprentice Production Manager with Obsidian Theatre. His monodrama, “11:11 A Monodrama in 7D” will be published in Black Solo 2 through Sorplusi Institute Press. 

Julien Hyacinthe | Sean Raised in the streets of Parkdale, Julien Lamar Hyacinthe began acting at the age of 15. His first appearance on stage saw him play a lead role in The Ultimate Sacrifice (EMG) at Toronto’s historic Panasonic Theatre. No stranger to film and television, Julien’s work to date includes appearances in Private Eyes, Incorporated, Recall, The Girlfriend Experience, and ABC’s new fall series Conviction. This is Julien’s first appearance in Secrets.

Julien Hyacinthe | Sean

Raised in the streets of Parkdale, Julien Lamar Hyacinthe began acting at the age of 15. His first appearance on stage saw him play a lead role in The Ultimate Sacrifice (EMG) at Toronto’s historic Panasonic Theatre. No stranger to film and television, Julien’s work to date includes appearances in Private Eyes, Incorporated, Recall, The Girlfriend Experience, and ABC’s new fall series Conviction. This is Julien’s first appearance in Secrets.

Al St. Louis | Sheldon A natural storyteller and one of Toronto’s foremost spoken word artists today, Al St. Louis has been using the art of performance poetry to develop his craft and fuel a passion for acting since 1998. Inspired by a need for change and a hunger to share his gift, he has performed on numerous stages and his talents have led to collaborative projects with the likes of John Singleton, Spike Lee, James Brown, Roy Ayers, and Andre 3000 amongst several others.

Al St. Louis | Sheldon

A natural storyteller and one of Toronto’s foremost spoken word artists today, Al St. Louis has been using the art of performance poetry to develop his craft and fuel a passion for acting since 1998. Inspired by a need for change and a hunger to share his gift, he has performed on numerous stages and his talents have led to collaborative projects with the likes of John Singleton, Spike Lee, James Brown, Roy Ayers, and Andre 3000 amongst several others.

Troy Crossfield | Jakes A native of Pickering, Ontario, Troy Crossfield has been featured in numerous productions as a principal actor. His most recent credits include the Fringe Festival’s Dario Et La Diablesse (Bellemoune Productions) and It’s My Turn (TKJ Productions). He previously appeared in My Brother’s Keeper (EMG), A Gift for Mom,, and Robin Givens’ Joy in the Morning. While Troy’s acting career is on the rise, he is also an accomplished songwriter, currently signed to Sony/ATV/DTP.

Troy Crossfield | Jakes

A native of Pickering, Ontario, Troy Crossfield has been featured in numerous productions as a principal actor. His most recent credits include the Fringe Festival’s Dario Et La Diablesse (Bellemoune Productions) and It’s My Turn (TKJ Productions). He previously appeared in My Brother’s Keeper (EMG), A Gift for Mom,, and Robin Givens’ Joy in the Morning. While Troy’s acting career is on the rise, he is also an accomplished songwriter, currently signed to Sony/ATV/DTP.

Mark Sparks | Jerome Originating from Toronto, Mark Sparks is a former Calvin Klein Man of Steel and Mr. Caribbean International. Making a career for himself in film and television, he has most recently appeared in Pixels (Sony Pictures) and Killjoys (NBC Universal). His past projects include Defiance (NBC Universal), Flashpoint (CBS), Nikita (Warner Brothers), and his own Youtube show, Men's Room, which has over 4.3 million viewers. This is Mark’s debut as a Secrets cast member.

Mark Sparks | Jerome

Originating from Toronto, Mark Sparks is a former Calvin Klein Man of Steel and Mr. Caribbean International. Making a career for himself in film and television, he has most recently appeared in Pixels (Sony Pictures) and Killjoys (NBC Universal). His past projects include Defiance (NBC Universal), Flashpoint (CBS), Nikita (Warner Brothers), and his own Youtube show, Men's Room, which has over 4.3 million viewers. This is Mark’s debut as a Secrets cast member.

DJ O-nonymous | Dwayne After years of quiet anonymity, DJ O-nonymous, has taken his love for performing to concert stages, cross country tours, club appearances, and broadcasting on radio air waves. Known locally and nationally, he stays true to his moniker, preferring to be the backdrop to your soundscape versus standing front and centre. Constantly seeking innovative ways to diversify the culture and lifestyle, the Dora nominated DJ has taken to theatre to explore merging a more recent art form with a traditional one. 

DJ O-nonymous | Dwayne

After years of quiet anonymity, DJ O-nonymous, has taken his love for performing to concert stages, cross country tours, club appearances, and broadcasting on radio air waves. Known locally and nationally, he stays true to his moniker, preferring to be the backdrop to your soundscape versus standing front and centre. Constantly seeking innovative ways to diversify the culture and lifestyle, the Dora nominated DJ has taken to theatre to explore merging a more recent art form with a traditional one. 

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CREW


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CREW


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CREW


Kimahli Powell | Director/Dramaturge Kimahli has directed and served as dramaturge for each production of Secrets of a Black Boy to date (DC Black Theatre Festival, Washington DC, Single Carrot Theatre, Baltimore, 2015; National Black Theatre Festival, North Carolina/Daniel Spectrum Theatre, Toronto, 2013; Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, 2009, Enwave Theatre Toronto, 2007). Additionally, he has worked on How Black Mothers Say I Love you (Technical Director, Factory Theatre, Toronto, 2016) and ‘Da Kink in My Hair (Technical Director, National Black Theatre Festival, North Carolina/Enwave Theatre, Toronto, 

Kimahli Powell | Director/Dramaturge

Kimahli has directed and served as dramaturge for each production of Secrets of a Black Boy to date (DC Black Theatre Festival, Washington DC, Single Carrot Theatre, Baltimore, 2015; National Black Theatre Festival, North Carolina/Daniel Spectrum Theatre, Toronto, 2013; Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, 2009, Enwave Theatre Toronto, 2007). Additionally, he has worked on How Black Mothers Say I Love you (Technical Director, Factory Theatre, Toronto, 2016) and ‘Da Kink in My Hair (Technical Director, National Black Theatre Festival, North Carolina/Enwave Theatre, Toronto, 

Kimberly Miller-Pryce | Stage Manager Kimberley Miller-Pryce is a Toronto born award-winning filmmaker. Her work has been featured in various local and international film festivals, including Montreal Du Monde, BET’s Urbanworld, Cannes Short Corner, the NSI Film Festival, and the Reel World Film Festival, where she won best short for her directorial debut, Baby Half Lie (Temple Street Productions). She continues to develop as an artist focusing on writing and directing, with numerous projects under way. When she is not working on passion projects, Kimberly is committed to raising awareness about mental health – telling untold stories from inner city communities. She has collaborated with the likes of PLAYINGwithCRAYONS, Toronto Public Health, Scarborough Centers for Healthy Communities, CRTC, and City Life Film Project, amongst others.

Kimberly Miller-Pryce | Stage Manager

Kimberley Miller-Pryce is a Toronto born award-winning filmmaker. Her work has been featured in various local and international film festivals, including Montreal Du Monde, BET’s Urbanworld, Cannes Short Corner, the NSI Film Festival, and the Reel World Film Festival, where she won best short for her directorial debut, Baby Half Lie (Temple Street Productions). She continues to develop as an artist focusing on writing and directing, with numerous projects under way. When she is not working on passion projects, Kimberly is committed to raising awareness about mental health – telling untold stories from inner city communities. She has collaborated with the likes of PLAYINGwithCRAYONS, Toronto Public Health, Scarborough Centers for Healthy Communities, CRTC, and City Life Film Project, amongst others.

Bonnie Beecher | Lighting Designer An award-winning designer, Bonnie has worked with over 300 productions in theatre, opera, and dance across Canada and internationally. Her work has been seen at most major Canadian theatres including Shaw, Stratford, Canadian Stage, The Canadian Opera, Soulpepper, Tarragon, The National Arts Centre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Pacific Opera, and Opera Atelier. Recent titles include The Nutcracker (Royal Flanders Ballet), Grey Gardens (Acting Up Stage), Naked (Kevin O’Day Ballet, Mannheim, Germany), A Midsummer’s Night Dream (Pacific Opera), Salome (Stuttgart Ballet, Germany), and John Gabriel Borkman (Stratford). Bonnie has received 15 Dora nominations and has won the award twice.

Bonnie Beecher | Lighting Designer

An award-winning designer, Bonnie has worked with over 300 productions in theatre, opera, and dance across Canada and internationally. Her work has been seen at most major Canadian theatres including Shaw, Stratford, Canadian Stage, The Canadian Opera, Soulpepper, Tarragon, The National Arts Centre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Pacific Opera, and Opera Atelier. Recent titles include The Nutcracker (Royal Flanders Ballet), Grey Gardens (Acting Up Stage), Naked (Kevin O’Day Ballet, Mannheim, Germany), A Midsummer’s Night Dream (Pacific Opera), Salome (Stuttgart Ballet, Germany), and John Gabriel Borkman (Stratford). Bonnie has received 15 Dora nominations and has won the award twice.

Gavin Bradley | Music Composer & Sound Designer  Gavin Bradley is an award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter and producer based in Toronto. His recent work includes music composition and production for How Black Mothers Say I Love You (Trey Anthony Productions/Girls in Bow Ties) at Factory Theatre. He is the recipient of a Juno Award, a Socan Number One Song Award, and a Billboard Dance Hot Plate for his work with Jacksoul, Serena Ryder, and Nelly Furtado, respectively. Gavin previously earned a Dora nomination for Outstanding Composition & Sound Design in relation to the original production of Secrets of a Black Boy (Trey Anthony Productions). 

Gavin Bradley | Music Composer & Sound Designer 

Gavin Bradley is an award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter and producer based in Toronto. His recent work includes music composition and production for How Black Mothers Say I Love You (Trey Anthony Productions/Girls in Bow Ties) at Factory Theatre. He is the recipient of a Juno Award, a Socan Number One Song Award, and a Billboard Dance Hot Plate for his work with Jacksoul, Serena Ryder, and Nelly Furtado, respectively. Gavin previously earned a Dora nomination for Outstanding Composition & Sound Design in relation to the original production of Secrets of a Black Boy (Trey Anthony Productions). 

Laura Warren | Production Manager and Projection Designer Laura is a Saskatchewan raised, Toronto based, designer and production manager. Her work includes a number of productions including Love’s Labour’s Lost, Guys and Dolls (Nightwood Theatre), No Strings (Attached) (Pink Pluto, Eventual Ashes, Buddies in Bad Times), Situational Anarchy (Pressgang Theatre/Pandemic Theatre), Stroke (Barlizo Productions, Montreal Fringe), Alice in Wonderland (Shaw Festival), Niagara ~ A Pan-American Story (Panamania/Propeller Arts Projects), Tricks (Magicana/Soulpepper), Squawk and Sidewalk Chalk (Geordie Theatre). She has worked on additional projects with Pandemic Theatre/Cahoots and Ghost River Theatre’s Devised Production Intensive. Laura is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s production program.

Laura Warren | Production Manager and Projection Designer

Laura is a Saskatchewan raised, Toronto based, designer and production manager. Her work includes a number of productions including Love’s Labour’s Lost, Guys and Dolls (Nightwood Theatre), No Strings (Attached) (Pink Pluto, Eventual Ashes, Buddies in Bad Times), Situational Anarchy (Pressgang Theatre/Pandemic Theatre), Stroke (Barlizo Productions, Montreal Fringe), Alice in Wonderland (Shaw Festival), Niagara ~ A Pan-American Story (Panamania/Propeller Arts Projects), Tricks (Magicana/Soulpepper), Squawk and Sidewalk Chalk (Geordie Theatre). She has worked on additional projects with Pandemic Theatre/Cahoots and Ghost River Theatre’s Devised Production Intensive. Laura is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s production program.

Glenn Davidson | Production Designer Glenn is an accomplished designer, having worked for over 450 productions across Canada and abroad. His recent credits include Tales of Two Cities, Circle of Creation, the Australian and US tours of House of Dreams, and The Galileo Project (all for Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra). Amongst Glenn’s other projects include Stuff Happens (NAC), and The Play of Daniel (Toronto Consort), amongst several others. He teaches theatre at Humber College and is also the resident lighting designer at The Bata Shoe Museum. Glennʼs work has received two Dora awards, a Harold award, and the Pauline McGibbon award.

Glenn Davidson | Production Designer

Glenn is an accomplished designer, having worked for over 450 productions across Canada and abroad. His recent credits include Tales of Two Cities, Circle of Creation, the Australian and US tours of House of Dreams, and The Galileo Project (all for Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra). Amongst Glenn’s other projects include Stuff Happens (NAC), and The Play of Daniel (Toronto Consort), amongst several others. He teaches theatre at Humber College and is also the resident lighting designer at The Bata Shoe Museum. Glennʼs work has received two Dora awards, a Harold award, and the Pauline McGibbon award.

Rachel Forbes | Costume Designer  A Toronto based set and costume designer, Rachel has had the pleasure of working with many companies in the city including Obsidian Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times, VideoCabaret, Nightwood Theatre, and Acting Upstage. Her recent work includes Bleeders (Watah Theatre), How Black Mothers Say I Love You (Trey Anthony Productions), Black Boys (Saga Collectif), and Brimstone and Treacle, Talking Heads I and II (Precisely Peter). Rachel  has worked on projects with Safeword, Steppin’ Out Productions, and Clearwater Theatre, and is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School.

Rachel Forbes | Costume Designer 

A Toronto based set and costume designer, Rachel has had the pleasure of working with many companies in the city including Obsidian Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times, VideoCabaret, Nightwood Theatre, and Acting Upstage. Her recent work includes Bleeders (Watah Theatre), How Black Mothers Say I Love You (Trey Anthony Productions), Black Boys (Saga Collectif), and Brimstone and Treacle, Talking Heads I and II (Precisely Peter). Rachel  has worked on projects with Safeword, Steppin’ Out Productions, and Clearwater Theatre, and is a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School.

WolF J McFarlane | Marketing Direction A Toronto native, WolF J is a talented graphic artist, creative designer, songwriter, and performer, whose vibrant work recalls a mind full of colour and sound execution. Existing in the midst of an artistic revolution, his artistry stands out and has landed him on some of the biggest platforms platforms in the city and beyond. Whether it’s his visual work or his music, WolF J is poised to reflect a world within the world we live in.  

WolF J McFarlane | Marketing Direction

A Toronto native, WolF J is a talented graphic artist, creative designer, songwriter, and performer, whose vibrant work recalls a mind full of colour and sound execution. Existing in the midst of an artistic revolution, his artistry stands out and has landed him on some of the biggest platforms platforms in the city and beyond. Whether it’s his visual work or his music, WolF J is poised to reflect a world within the world we live in.

 

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DIRECTOR & CREATOR


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIRECTOR & CREATOR


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FROM THE DIRECTOR & CREATOR


 

FROM THE DIRECTOR


In 2007, when I was first asked to work on Secrets of a Black Boy, I was handed a ten page script that had a lot of potential but wanted to grow. Working with Darren, we built a world that highlighted the lived experiences of black men. We mounted our first production with a crew of actors new to theatre and many high expectations following a successful run of the extremely popular ‘Da Kink in My Hair. While we were nervous, we knew we had a piece of art that spoke from the heart and shone a spotlight on the displacement of our communities. We also had the audacity to put six black men on stage and have them bare their souls sharing intimate, personal stories.                                                                                                                            

Ten years later, I’m grateful to continue to work with this exceptional team of artists - many of whom have been there from the beginning. As we revisit Secrets after several tours, Darren’s work is more urgent than ever, particularly in light of the many challenges we continue to experience in our society today. And so, we use the power of the theatre to continue speaking out and taking a stand in the face of injustice, bringing our narratives forward and letting our voices be heard.


                                                                        - Kimahli Powell

FROM THE PLAYWRIGHT


The past year has been extremely alarming for the black community, not only in the US but right here in Toronto. The many unwarranted attacks on black bodies have become an increased topic of discussion and our collective response is too often distorted by the major media news cycles. So rather than allow frequent misrepresentations of our experiences to persist, we take this opportunity to give you our narratives. I want Secrets of a Black Boy to spark uncomfortable, healthy dialogue that can inspire a conscious shift and contribute to making our society a better one for future generations. 


As a writer, I aim to shed light on subjects often considered taboo within the black community. I place emphasis on the nuances of my world as I have come to understand them, through honest narratives that reflect our collective growth and evolution. Secrets is just that - a representation of the many facets of black men that extend beyond the headlines, and I wrote it because we are more than the one-dimensional stereotypes so often presented in the mainstream and pop culture.  It has now grown into something much bigger - bigger than just me.


                                                                        - Darren Anthony

 
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CREDITS


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CREDITS


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CREDITS


CONCEIVED BY

Darren Anthony and Kimahli Powell

 

WRITTEN BY

Gavin Bradley, Kimahli Powell,

Troy Crossfield, Quinn Marie,

Mark Ruglass, Sammy Tezbta,

and David Nichols

SCORE

Original music composed by Gavin Bradley

Vocals by D.Shon Henderson,

Steve Foster and Troy Crossfield

Cello by Kevin Fox

Violin by Karen Graves

Scratching by DJ O-nonymous

Voiceovers by Richard Collier

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Shaka Licorish

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OFFICIAL SELECTIONS


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS


 

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PARTNERS


PARTNERS


PARTNERS