rock.paper.sistahz festival is on now

Press Release

rock.paper.sistahz celebr8’s full figure – b current Brings it in Brand New Spaces

The rock.paper.sistahz festival is back for its 8th year and promises something for everyone! Beginning May 4, 2009 the festival launches with a sampling of it’s new works by Black women artists, so expect to mingle with some of the most creative dance and visual artists, filmmakers, creators and performers from the city and beyond.

Led by Artistic Director ahdri zhina mandiela, rock.paper.sistahz entertains audiences through a variety of mediums including visual art, dance, music, theatre, spoken word, and food. Expect exciting new additions alongside the theatre and performance events at this year’s festival! You can have a mothers’ d8, sample young chefs’ delights, dance with the artists, let your own words flow, or rock the house in a final wrap up concert.

The full‐figured lineup unfolds a new art installation series, with works by Isidra Cruz, Nehal El‐Hadi, Andrea Henry, Pascale Julien, and screenings of the short film I Love You, by Sabrina Moella (Mpenzi, Reel World, Texas Black Film Festival). Followed by a stylish mother’s day reception, then brings several spoken word jams allowing young wordsters to reach different crowds in malls and libraries in Rexdale, Jane/Finch and Weston/Mount Dennis.

The month‐long program continues with a new dance showcase, cutting/figure, then the return of the A is for Orange writers at the popular sistahz say! While continuing the ever popular presentation of new plays featuring Virgins by playwright Joan M. Kivanda (Stori Ya at Harbourfront’s Hatch Series & Playwright’s Theatre Centre in Vancouver) and directed by Nina Lee Aquino (Dora nominated Singkil, 2008 John Hirsch winner). The festival play series features other new plays by Kanika Ambrose (My Umm Hmm, Paprika Festival), filmmaker, Nicole Brooks (Sun TV’s Echo Series, OMNI’s A Linc In Time), actor & playwright, Lisa Codrington (Cast Iron, Opera on the Rocks, Refined, & currently acting at the Shaw Festival), Sedina Fiati (7th Gen, rock.paper.sistahz 7), Maxine Marcellin (Assembly Line of Love, Fringe 2003, Keen in SummerWorks 2009), the rAiz’n ensemble (7th gen in rock.paper.sistahz 7 & defin8: the next movement in SummerWorks 2009), hypnosage, Tanya Pillay (Wise.Woman), and Francisca Zentilli (El Color di mi Corazon), each guaranteed to entertain and inspire!

Just in time for the festival happenings, b current, has moved into the recently restored Wychwood Barns at Christie and St. Clair: a multifaceted community centre connecting arts and culture, with environmental leadership, heritage preservation, and affordable housing. With most events and installations being held at the Artscape Wychwood
Barns and other locations in the St Clair West corridor, and a few venues in the northwest, the festival is an ideal showcase of b current’s nurturing of new works and artists toward support, fostering, and building the arts community in Toronto.

This year’s rock.paper.sistahz 8 festival schedule during the month of May:
May 4: festival launch @ Artscape Wychwood Barns/Covered Street/601 Christie St/ 5pm
Official festival launch with samplers of the art installations and a figure 8 taste of upcoming events. Entrance by donation

May 4‐31: beyond our walls @ Artscape Wychwood Barns/601 Christie St/ Times tba
Multi disciplinary art install8tions throughout the barns, everything from performance to textile art. entrance by donation

May 10/sun: mothers/d8 @ The Trane Studio, 964 Bathurst Street / 4pm ‐6pm time to appreci8 mom: performances, sweet eats, massages and more… prizes for the ‘fashionest’ mum‐daughter or son combo. Adults $18/Children $10/Moms free!

May 16: @ Artscape Wychwood Barns/601 Christie St/ 12pm
Artistic director, ahdri zhina mandiela broadcasting live and interactive with raw food, festival facts and creative fiction. pwyc/suggested $8

May 17: next gen cooks again! @ The STOP, Artscape Wychwood Barns/601 Christie St/ 1‐4pm Young chefs show off culinary skillz prepping, cooking & serving up prized dishes from ‘home’, while everyone else watch & eat! Hosted by Jajube Mandiela (Degrassi: Next Generation) Entrance $10/Registrants no cost

May 21‐25: figure o speech @ a mall, community centre or library near u! 6:30‐8pm
Poets & word artists parlay creative speech, their f8 decided by audience as the best wordsters will perform in the final festival concert. register for $8/Entrance by donation

May 22: sistahz sAy! @ Oakwood Library Theatre, 341 Oakwood Ave/n of St Clair/ 7pm
The popular A is for Orange women writers return to rock.paper.sistahz! Bringing a queer Caribbean push for no more h8! Entrance $10

May 23: cuttin/figure @ Oakwood Library Theatre, 341 Oakwood Ave/n of St Clair/ 8pm
Dance cre8tors showcase old and new styles, everything from traditional African to contemporary to street with live and recorded music. Entrance $8

May 26‐28: virgins @ select Toronto High Schools/ times tba
A mini tour of Joan M Kivanda’s new play exploring youth/trust/intimacy & desire… also at the Oakwood Library Theatre.

May 27‐29: ff8th/plays @ Oakwood Library Theatre, 341 Oakwood Ave/n of St Clair/ 8pm
A full‐figured presentation of exciting new plays in‐the‐works by some of the city’s emerging playwrights. PWYC/Suggested $8

May 31: settling scores @ The LOOP, Artscape Wychwood Barns/601 Christie St/ 7‐10pm
A stand up and dance concert for everyone, with music, spoken word, and dance artists rAizing the roof and rAizing more funds to keep the work going! Entrance $18

For tickets, please call or text the box office line 416 707 0330, send an email to, or check our website