Skip to main content

Metachroma Theatre Montreal: Richard III September 19-30 2012

From a media release:

Metachroma Theatre & the Segal Centre Present:
Richard III
Written by William Shakespeare, Directed by Joel Miller
September 19-30, 2012
at Segal Centre, Montreal

And thus I clothe my naked villainy
With odd old ends stolen forth of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.- Richard

Montreal, September 2012 – The city’s newest theatre company, Metachroma Theatre is Montreal’s only independent theatre company of professional actors of colour; an important new addition to the local arts scene, contributing to the Canadian theatre landscape as a whole. They are excited to present their inaugural production, William Shakespeare’s great history play, Richard III, from Sept. 19-30 at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts, directed by Joel Miller. The production features some of Montreal’s top actors, along with talented guest artists. The Segal Centre team is looking forward to this Metachroma Theatre production, kicking off a great season.

With one of world literature's most insidious and manipulative characters, Richard III is a powerful piece, as horrifying as it is fascinating. Shakespeare's timeless tragedy journeys through the psyche of one man who will stop at nothing to serve his ambition. Defined by his physical deformity and demonized by society, Richard is ever the outsider. In a whirlwind of horrible deeds and unspeakable acts, he fights to claim his position as monarch at all costs. For director Joel Miller, the play is one, inexorable, ceremonial journey to Richard’s demise, a journey—sometimes fiercely comical—of death, betrayal and intrigue. It is a ritualistic cleansing of evil from the realm, the justifiable deposition of a tyrant who attained the throne by schemes, lies and murder. Miller expounds, “Richard III is a portrait of a community reeling under the dictatorial thumbs of a parade of brutal kings and their lackeys.  What is fascinating about Richard III is not simply the title character, but the others who, by complicity, indifference or fear, allow him to thrive and prosper.”

For Miller, the play is extremely relevant, “Our era is well aware of the brutality and inhumanity of despotic political and social regimes. We have witnessed the Nazis and Fascists of Germany and Italy, the Stalinist regimes of the old Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, North Korea, the barbarous dictatorships of Pinochet in Chile, Marcos in the Philippines, Noriega in Panama, the apartheid regime in South Africa and right now, the horrors committed by Bashar al–Assad in Syria. If anybody wonders how these criminals come to power, Richard III can serve as a fearful lesson.”

A recent trip to Lebanon delivered firsthand insight for Metachroma Theatre company member Jamie Robinson (Richard III), “Middle-Eastern society takes the importance of family blood lines very seriously, a major theme in Richard III. As well, bordering Syria, everyday discussions about ‘the situation’ were a constant reminder how a Richard III-type scenario is still being played out.”

For company member Glenda Braganza, themes of appearances and the trappings of illusion resonate strongest, “To challenge perceptions or to bow to collective, preconceived notions is a choice that exists within us all. To exploit or to explore, to define or to defy, to revere or to revile- this is the joy of theatre. Here, the opportunity to watch a traditional piece of theatre performed by a non-traditional cast offers the chance to embrace and question what ‘image’ means to all of us.”

That said, the play is highly entertaining and the company would like audiences to laugh. Richard announces his villainy right off the top of the play. He tells the audience what he is going to do, and they can watch with ironic delight, as he sets off to carry out his often ghastly task at hand. For Robinson, “As dark as some of the themes may be, Shakespeare does a magnificent job of allowing us to enjoy the machinations of Richard- don't be surprised if you find yourself having as much fun as Richard in attaining his never ending goal of supreme power.”

Metachroma (‘beyond colour’) Theatre addresses the under-representation of visible minority actors in Canadian theatre, challenging current perceptions by telling stories with a diverse cast in order to normalize the presence of these artists on stage. Company member Tamara Brown would like nothing more than “to become irrelevant.” The choice of Richard III for Metachroma Theatre’s first production is inspired by these themes of perception raised in the play- Richard is defined by his appearance. The company hopes to inspire change of thought in artists, engagers and theatre goers alike about what is perceived as ‘normal’ in regards to race and ethnicity on stage. Audiences are asked to simply enjoy the telling of the story, with plot and theme unaffected by the physical traits of the artists. They invite audiences to make diversity of skin colour artistically viewed no differently than the diversity of hair or eye colour. Actor Meilie Ng (Marquess of Dorset) wants audiences to dive into the story of the play just like children do; regardless of the actors’ colour, gender or age, “I recently played the role of Pinocchio and not one kid asked me why Pinocchio was Asian.” It is only a matter of time until the dynamism of this country is truly reflected on its stages.

Designer Veronica Classen’s creative vision for this classic telling will be “a period piece towards a contemporary collage”. Classen sees the characters as “trapped in their situation; a heavy weight above their heads. But, suspended above is a delicate, easily transferable, golden castle.” Joel Miller’s sound design will include authentic medieval music played on original instruments, along with environmental sounds throughout the theatre.

Within the company there are two Stratford Conservatory alumni, two Artistic Directors, several award-winning actors and decades of professional experience in theatre performance. Beyond the reality that each of the performers are seasoned actors, they speak directly to Canada’s diverse population. (Two company members, Glenda Braganza and Warona Setshwaelo, are presently performing in other projects.) The performers in Richard III represent many countries and cultures around the world including Africa, First Nations, The Caribbean, China, India, Japan and the UK. The stellar cast is made up of founding Metachroma Theatre members Quincy Armorer, Tamara Brown, Lucinda Davis, Julie Tamiko Manning, Mike Payette and Jamie Robinson. Joining the company for this production is Walter Borden, Jimmy Blais, Diana Fajrajsl, Azeem Nathoo, Meilie Ng and Amrit Sanger. Set, costume and props design by Veronica Classen, lighting design by Jodi Burkholder, sound design by Joel Miller, and production and stage management by Melanie St-Jacques.

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York. - Richard

Richard III Wed. Sept. 19-Sun. Sept. 30 (ten shows only)
Metachroma Theatre with the generous support of the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts
Segal Centre for Performing Arts Studio

5170 Côte-Ste-Catherine Rd.
Wed. Sept. 19 preview is pay-what-you-can
Thursday, Sept. 20 (Opening Night) and 27, 8:00pm
Saturdays, Sept. 22 and 29, 8:30 pm
Sunday, Sept. 23, 8:00pm
Monday, Sept. 24 is 2-for-1
Matinees: Sundays, Sept. 23 and 30; Thurs. Sept. 27, 1:00pm
Tickets start at $18
Box Office: 514 739-7944
Opening night is Thursday, September 20

METACHROMA presents RICHARD III from metachroma on Vimeo.


What Else Is Hot This Week?

FACTORY presents World Premiere ACTS OF FAITH November 19 to 28 2020 - Free Livestream

 From a media release: World Premiere FACTORY presents  ACTS OF FAITH by David Yee Directed by Nina Lee Aquino Starring Natasha Mumba November 19 – 28, 2020 @ 7:30PM Streamed live for 6 performances Free of charge TORONTO (October 19, 2020) - To kick off its groundbreaking 2020/21 season, Factory presents the world premiere of acts of faith, by multi-award winning Asian Canadian playwright David Yee, directed by Nina Lee Aquino, and starring Natasha Mumba. Written specifically to be performed for a digital platform, acts of faith will stream live to audiences at home for six performances, November 19-28, 2020.  Thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group, admission is being offered entirely free of charge to audiences across the country and beyond. acts of faith tells a story about the power of faith, the inescapable persistence of our online identities, and the nature of truth in a digital age. The story follows Faith, a young woman who gets mistaken for a prophet. When a ques

Blues Single | Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020)

Blues Single Bushwick Blooze Band: Waiting (Independent / 20 October 2020) Stream It From Your Fave Service Waiting is the latest in a string of singles released by Bushwick Blooze Band. The Brooklyn-based blues trio have been performing and recording the blues around the NYC area since 2018. Their first album "Cryin' for the L Train" was released in January 2019, and included covers of famous songs composed by their greatest influencers such as Little Richard, The Allman Brothers Band, Freddie King, and Eddie Vinson.  Bushwick Blooze Band is finishing up the production of their second album "Yes Dear" and unlike the previous cover record, this new album will be their first original contribution to the genres they love. Waiting is an upbeat blues track with a party kind of veneer over solid musicianship. What begins with a classic blues feel transforms into an extended psychadelic flavoured trip. Inventive guitar licks almost make you forget about the virtuosity

Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 Online - PWYC

 From a media release: Batuki Music Society and Alliance Francaise Toronto present A virtual concert featuring Blaise La Bamba & Kotakoli November 7th 2020 at 8:00 PM Enjoy the concert from home! K inshasa’s vibrant nightlife has long been world-famous. It is home to the subculture known informally as the Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People (SAPEUR), which has spread its influence through artists such as Papa Wemba. Blaise La Bamba is part of this scene. He has worked with some of the top names of Congolese music, in particular General Defao. I n 2018, Blaise La Bamba founded Kotakoli , an all-star collective of musicians that perform an energetic mix of Congolese rumba and soukous . In the company of Kotakoli, this veteran musician brings Congolese popular music back to the forefront, with spellbinding dances. The Details Date: Saturday November 7th, 2021  Blaise La Bamba and Kotakoli Virtual Concert Time: 8:00 PM Tickets: Pay what you can This concert is offered to you

CD Release: TriBeCaStan's New Deli Breaks the Time/Space Continuum in New Deli (Feb 7)

From a media release: New Release from Little Known Government of TriBeCaStan : Capital New Deli Found to Have Irregular Time-Space Continuum EverGreene Music - February 7, 2012 TriBeCaStan: News Alert. This morning Aljazzeera reported that the questionable nation of TriBeCaStan ( ) has made scientific breakthroughs in time travel. The unrecognized republic of nomads has broken the code of the time/space continuum. And by broken we mean: it no longer works. Applying sonic techniques once only known to a small group of punk rock shamans, the nation's most prestigious scientific entity, the TriBeCaStani FolkLorkEstra, uses sound alone to simultaneously place listeners in eras separated by decades and terrains separated by oceans. The breakthrough is outlined in an auditory compendium titled New Deli (distributed by the state-run EverGreene Music, set for release February 7, 2012 ), a recording that allows the world to experience a type of soulful networking mor

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020)

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020) New York City based singer and songwriter Shihori's new single Soul Trip is atmospheric and ambient. Interesting rhythms and interwoven melodic vocal lines showcase jazzy harmonic progressions in a slow groove mode.  As a songwriter, she uses electronic effects with impeccable musical taste. As a singer, her flexible vocals range from a sweet soprano to a strong mid-range. A veteran of the Japanese pop scene, Shihori moved to New York City in 2018, a move she talks about in a media release. "I was so surprised when I came to NY for the first time. Independent and strong women are respected and there are lots of different preferences in music and style. I thought, 'oh my God! This place really accepts uniqueness and freedom! I didn't know there is a place like this totally different world that allows you to be yourself. Everybody looks so different. So many races, colors, cultures, fashion, ideas...I am so