Out and About
“Secrets of a Black Boy” – On Stage Nov 10 to 20, 2016 (Toronto)
We all have secrets but some secrets are darker than others.
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.
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. An uncensored look into the human experiences of five black men, no subject is taboo in this gritty production that unpacks the revealing Secrets of a Black Boy. Within these authentic narratives, the underlying effects of common stereotypes faced by racialized men are critically examined and explored. However, it’s Jakes that brings race and sexuality to the forefront of the production. Throughout the course of the play, he reveals his closeted relationship with a man, who is about to marry a woman.
In conjunction with the release of the stage production, guests are invited to experience the Secrets of a Black Boy x Olu Seye Art Exhibition. Informed by Yoruba mythology and geometry, visual artist Olu Seye fuses human, mask, and sculptural elements to imbue his portraits with a physical-spiritual identity. The ambiguity of their form is deliberate – a symbol of lives lived on the peripherals of the mainstream. He combines acrylic, charcoal, and photo transfer in his intersectional exploration of black male identity, existentialism, sexuality, and outsider cultures.
Additionally, an installation of Olu Seye’s work can also be seen throughout the run of the play at Theatre Passe Muraille, and is accessible during and after each show with a ticket.
Secrets of a Black Boy – Nov 10 to 20, 2016
Theatre Passe Muraille – 16 Ryerson Ave, Toronto
Presented by Playing With Crayons
Read our review by Dylan Kulcher here
Secrets of a Black Boy x Olu Seye Art Exhibition
DAIS | 1196 Queen Street West, Toronto
Nov. 11 – 18 | Gallery Hours: 12 PM – 6 PM
Closed Nov. 13 & 17
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.