21 Black Futures
What is the future of Blackness? Obsidian Theatre presents twenty-one versions of it.
In 2021, Obsidian Theatre engaged twenty-one writers to create twenty-one new stories about imagined Black futures. Twenty-one to celebrate Obsidian’s twenty-first anniversary in 2021. Each playwright was tasked with scripting a ten-minute monodrama in response to the question “What is the future of Blackness?” To counter the intense early-pandemic isolation and the trauma of witnessing heightened violence toward Black bodies, Obsidian’s goal was to give as many opportunities to as many diverse Black artists as possible and to bring new voices together from both theatre and film. It was a grand experiment to create a rich tapestry of possibilities and to uplift Black artists in the process.
A radical offering in unprecedented times, newly appointed Obsidian artistic director Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu’s curatorial aim was joyful, aspirational, and empowering: come together in this moment and create something communal, unapologetically Black, and with the Black gaze at its centre—art as the architecture for creating those futures. Includes plays by Amanda Parris, Cheryl Foggo, Shauntay Grant, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Lawrence Hill, Djanet Sears, and many others.