Venue: Everyman Theatre
As part of their mission to bring BAME artists into the spotlight, BlackFest are working with a group of 10 actors of colour to bring the Hear Me Now audition monologues to life and showcase these artists in this one night special performance.
Hear Me Now is a unique collection of monologues performed by BAME actors, pulled from an original book of over 80 audition pieces written by and for actors of colour. Conceived in 2016 by Tamasha Playwrights in collaboration with writer-producer Titi Dawudu, Hear Me Now brought together playwrights and actors in creative workshops to generate better audition material than the stereotypical characters currently on offer. In each workshop, an actor developed a new character they knew they could play, but would never get seen for. The writers would then write a three minute speech in the voice of that character.
From this simple idea some truly wonderful characters emerged: from a cross-dressing imam, to the first black Prime Minister, to a devout Christian hit woman. It confirmed that if we can empower actors of colour with powerful, fresh, funny, stereotype-busting audition material, we could increase their chances of being considered for roles outside of those they are usually offered. In time, this might change the nature of the representations of diverse communities we see on our stages and screens.
BlackFest is a grassroots Liverpool Black arts festival founded in 2018. It showcases an eclectic mix of work from Black creatives, across community spaces and established venues. The 2019 program includes dance, visual arts, music, film, spoken word and theatre. The Festival answers a crucial need in the city’s cultural offering, celebrating Black arts and bridging the gap between institutions and the marginalised communities they represent. BlackFest highlights work by, and creates new platforms for anyone who is marginalised for their race or ethnicity.