For over 28 years, b current has produced outside-the-box performance pieces, ideas, workshops, and mainstage productions. We splashed onto the scene in 1991, when ahdri zhina mandiela founded the company, and we brought to Toronto the first ever production of a Dub Theatre script, mandiela’s dark diaspora… in dub.
The kinetic artistic energy from this fuelled our pioneer work, feeding and shaping the future of Canadian performance art through culturally-rooted creation. Since inception, b current has developed scores of internationally celebrated artists and their works, with a focus always on engaging the community and creating space for diverse voices to be heard.
Zach Smadu, Board of Directors Vice Chair
Adam Barrett, Board of Directors Treasurer
Eliza Albano, Board of Directors member
Jonathan Nehmetallah, Board of Directors member
Aine McGlynn, Board of Directors member
Karim Morgan, Board of Directors Chair
"I’ve worked many years creating work without any institutional support in this country and at no time was I resentful because it’s been instilled in me, as a woman of colour, that one has to pull themselves up with their own bootstraps. I have invested in that mantra for the 9 years I’ve been working at becoming a better writer.
I’ve written the multiple drafts and applied for dozens of grants but never expected anyone to make life easier for me. It was only with Catherine Hernandez and b current, a company that historically gives a platform to racialized women, that I was given a hand up. I mean, someone saw me grinding away on a script I believed in, had been refining for over 2 years and said, ‘Let us help you make this better and use our reach to bring it to a larger audience’.
Because of this support and their residency my Viola Desmond play, Controlled Damage, is going to get its world premiere at the largest Maritime regional theatre in the country in 2020. b current is the little theatre that could, did, and will continue to conquer as long as it champions marginalized voices."
b current is the hotbed for culturally-rooted theatre development in Toronto. Originally founded as a place for Black artists to create, nurture, and present their new works, our company has grown to support artists from all diasporas. We strived over two decades to create space for diverse voices to be heard, always with a focus on engaging the communities from which our stories emerge.
As a result, these communities trust our company and respect the work that we do. Whether our audiences identify with our work through ethnic experience, social values, or political awareness, these groups are loyal to our programming because they recognize the high level of cultural authenticity and integrity we foster in our artists and their works.
We develop new works by diverse artists primarily rooted in the cultural, social, and political experiences of the Canadian and international Black and brown Diaspora. In order to effectively do this we have dramaturgy & workshop sessions, public readings, and workshop performances, as well as in-depth training programs for emerging creators.
We produce daring and groundbreaking theatre creations and since inception we’ve mounted over a dozen main stage plays, and 100+ other public performances.
Catherine was the founder and Artistic Director of Sulong Theatre Company for ten years. She has served companies such as Aluna Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Native Earth Performing Arts and countless others as outreach, education, marketing and publicity support.
Her plays include The Femme Playlist (b current, Eventual Ashes and Sulong Theatre), Singkil (fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company in association with Factory Theatre), Eating with Lola (Sulong Theatre and Next Stage Festival), Kilt Pins (Sulong Theatre) and Future Folk (collectively written by the Sulong Theatre Collective, produced by Theatre Passe Muraille). Catherine Hernandez is the award-winning author of Scarborough (Arsenal Pulp Press). Scarborough won the 2015 Jim Wong-Chu Award, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award, the Evergreen Forest of Reading Award and Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction; and longlisted for Canada Reads 2018. It made the "Best of 2017" list for the Globe and Mail, National Post, Quill and Quire, and CBC Books.
A three-time Olympian representing Canada in track and field 400m hurdles and former anchor with Global News, Rosey brings with her a wealth of experience as the Executive Director of Micha Muse Media Inc and director of the newly released documentary, Oliver Jones: Mind Hands Heart. Seasoned at team building, Rosey has served as a Public Engagement/Diversity Committee member for Shaw Media, Executive Team Committee member at Toronto International Track & Field Games and Executive Board member at Best Buddies Canada.
Rania El Mugammar is a Sudanese Canadian NPO Director, Artist, Arts Educator, Equity and Anti-oppression Educator & Consultant , performer, speaker and published writer. As a writer, Rania's work explores themes of identity, womanhood, Blackness, flight, exile, migration, belonging, gender, sexuality and beyond. Rania's primary mediums are poetry, spoken word and oral storytelling. She is a published poet, storyteller and playwright. Rania is deeply interested in poetic form and the auditory texture of words as well as the visual/aesthetic impact of language and form.
Rania is an experienced anti-oppression, equity, inclusion and anti-oppression educator and consultant who is unflinchingly committed to decolonization and liberation as the ultimate goals of her work. She has worked extensively with contemporary arts institutions, STEM based enterprises, media organization, educational institutions and community/grassroots spaces. Rania is interested in transformative arts and community spaces and place making as a practice that inspire collaboration, community building and innovation. Rania's work in cultivating Toronto's vibrant cultural landscape is deeply rooted in a commitment to equity and anti-oppression.