Ahdri Zhina Mandiela

1997, 51:00 minutes, colour, English


Ahdri Zhina Mandiela's long-awaited documentary about Black Women theatre artists in Toronto was a labour of love, five years in the making. A dub poet, performer and director herself, Mandiela profiles nearly 30 women, including Alison Sealy-Smith, Djanet Sears, Tricia Williams, Jackie Richardson and Sharon Lewis.
on/black/stage/women goes behind the scenes and celebrates some 30 years of contributions made by Black women to Toronto's vibrant theatre scene. The documentary also offers archival footage of live stage performances form works that include Dryland, Diaspora... in Dub and the lesbian themed Sistahs.
As Mandiela writes, on/black/stage/women
"is who we are,
is what we've been doing,
is how and why we do what we do,
because black/stage/women we be."

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Critical Writing

by Saada Branker. The Word, Feb. 1998.