Photographed above from left to right: Aba Amuquandoh and Kira Renee. Image description: Two Black women embrace each other smiling. Photo by Marko Kovacevic, makeup by Charm Torres

Playwrights Incubation

Jan 2021-April 2021


In the spirit of the AfriCanadian Playwrights Festival, b current performing arts is developing new work to be presented at our 30th anniversary in late 2021. 


To prepare for this momentous occasion, we are taking the time this season to incubate the work of six selected Black playwrights, which will then be presented as staged readings at our future festivities. These pieces will be curated and supported by dramaturgs Dian Marie Bridge, daniel jelani ellis and Natasha Mumba. 


Stay tuned for more details about these exciting new works. 

Dian Marie Bridge is an award winning theatre maker and creative producer.  She holds a degree in Theatre Arts and Dramatic Literature from Brock University and attended the University of Minnesota’s Theatre and Dance program. Two decades of practice has afforded Dian work with many organizations including Luminato Festival Toronto, Maison de Poivre Gallery, Harbourfront Centre, The Stratford Festival, Volcano, BAND Gallery, Obsidian Theatre, Canadian Stage, Mirvish Productions, Soulpepper Theatre, Playwrights Guild of Canada, and The Guthrie Theatre. Dian is the recipient of the inaugural Strombergs Family Realization Fund, through Nightwood Theatre, the Stratford Festival’s Elliott Hayes Guthrie Award for Playwriting, and SummerWorks’ RBC Professional Award. Dian was also a part of the Stratford Festival’s first Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction, and has been a mentor through Paprika Festival, AMY Project, Speak Sudan, B Current’s RaizinArtz , Only One You workshops, and the Boys and Girls Club of Vancouver.

daniel jelani ellis (he/him) is a Toronto-based artist raised in Jamaica by a village of theatre artists, poets, and educators. His art practice is driven by his commitment to celebrate those of us who live within the margins. dan jelani has performed on stages across Canada and the Caribbean. Recipient of The Theatre Centre's Emerging Artist Award, Merritt Award Nomination and 5 Dora Award Nominations. Graduate of National Theatre School of Canada and alumnus of the Playwrights Unit at Obsidian Theatre Company and Emerging Creators Unit at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. He is currently in residency at The Theatre Centre developing a series of plays and performance works. ellis is proud parent to plenty plants.

Natasha Mumba is a Zambian artist currently based in Toronto. She is a graduate of the acting program at The National Theatre School of Canada and a Dora Nominated actress whose recent credits include: Canadian Stage: Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing; Shaw Festival: The Hound of the Baskervilles, Henry V, Middletown, The Adventures of the Black Girl. Obsidian Theatre: School Girls; Or the African Mean Girls Play; The Citadel: The Untold story of Robin Hood; Tarragon Theatre: Millennial Malcontent; Theatre Kingston: The Mountaintop; Driftwood Theatre: Hamlet (Ontario tour). She also recently stepped into the position of Apprentice Artistic Director at Factory Theatre with the generous support of the Metcalf Foundation. Her directing credits include; Driftwood Trafalgar; Balance, Factory Theatre; Lady Sunrise (Assistant Director) YPT; The Water Gun Song.