Presented in conjunction with I Am Black History by Donna M. Paris and David O. Zapparoli as part of Missing Pages, an online exhibition guided by BRIDGE Centre for Architecture + Design and Cambridge Art Galleries | Idea Exchange.
Leslie McCurdy, critically-acclaimed actor, playwright, dancer, choreographer, singer and mentor, eloquently portrays: Marie-Joseph Angelique, a slave who was said to have burned down "half" of Montreal from whom we have the first slave narrative in North America; Rose Fortune, the first "policewoman" in North America who helped "freedom seekers" settle in Annapolis Royal Nova Scotia; Mary-Ann Shadd, educator, publisher, and abolitionist: the first North American woman to publish and edit a newspaper and Viola Desmond who refused to give up a seat to segregation well before the celebrated Rosa Parks and who is the new face of the Canadian $10 bill.
For over 21 years Leslie has toured across Canada with her one-woman play, Things My Fore-Sisters Saw. The play, about which noted Nova Scotian historian Graham Reynolds, author of Viola Desmond's biography says, "put more history into an hour than what I have in my whole book", is an excellent way to educate audiences on the Canadian history that led up to Viola Desmond's brave act. Wanda Robson, Viola Desmond’s sister said the performance is “awesome”.
About the artist:
Recipient of the 2014 Elizabeth Havelock Grant from the Windsor Endowment of the Arts, and the 2014 and 2000 Mayor’s Awards for Artist of the Year and Outstanding Performing Artist of Windsor, Ontario respectively, Leslie McCurdy has performed internationally as an actor, dancer/choreographer, and singer. She has several stage film and TV credits but is most famous for the one-woman plays that she writes and performs. The Spirit of Harriet Tubman, her first play, was a finalist for a Canadian Chalmers Award for Best New Play for Young Audiences and was performed at the 2010 Los Angeles Women’s Festival, the 2011 National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina, the inaugural Living Legacy Series of the DC Black Theatre Festival Washington, DC in 2012 and the inaugural Paul Robeson Art is a Weapon Theatre Festival in London, England. Her second play, Things My Fore-Sisters Saw, was filmed for TV and was premiered on the Bravo Network in Canada in February 2006. She is lauded for the brilliance of her works and the messages of social consciousness that are instilled through them. Leslie is the subject of a documentary film entitled On the Money, depicting her work as a performing artist/social activist, that is currently playing on the CBC Gem streaming service under the Absolutely Canadian program.
Image courtesy of Leslie McCurdy.
This program is delivered through Zoom. You only need to register once per viewing device