New Montreal play uses spoken word to examine modern love
She Said/He Said uses hip hop and spoken word to explore relationships and race
A new play that combines hip hop culture, music and spoken word performance explores the intersection of modern love and race.
Montreal's Black Theatre Workshop will premiere She Said/He Said by Canadian playwright Anne-Marie Woods this week.
Mariah Inger plays a single black woman who meets a man at a club and she thinks he's her dream lover.
Christian Paul's character is a sensitive, emotionally open young black man who feels his partner is more in love with her own pride than him.
It's a love story that gets complicated when she realizes he's still seeing his former girlfriend.
"I mean what woman hasn't been there?" says Inger.
It's a universal experience to discover the person you thought was your soul mate is not that into you. But Inger says it's even more complicated when you're black.
"You would assume they would be a lot more connected. But that's not always the reality and that is a race thing, a culture thing, what we are still living today," she says.
Christian Paul feels young black men suffer too as they try to develop their own identity independent of social pressures and media stereotypes.
"It's how you build your own identity and how it comes from you and other people's perception of you as well," he says.
Both actors say the play has challenged them to get comfortable incorporating music and spoken word rhythms into their work but think those elements make the play a modern, accessible work.
The Black Theatre Workshop's production of She Said/He Said by Anne-Marie Woods gets its world premiere this week at the MAI, Montréal Arts Interculturels, 3680 Jeanne-Mance Street. It runs from April 13 to May 1.