Black & Rural

Black & Rural

Dates & Times

  • Wed. Apr 26, 2023 (7:30 pm)
  • Thu. Apr 27, 2023 (7:30 pm)


Live In-Person


Blue Circle Series


  • Adult (ages 25+) $32
  • Youth (ages 24 & under) $25

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Presented By: Sid Williams Theatre Society
Sponsored By: RLR Lawyers

Black & Rural is the story of a lone Black country woman struggling to defy the monolith of what matters to Black lives. Derived from dozens of real-life interviews with Black folk tucked away in the countryside across Canada, Shayna Jones weaves together a story of vulnerability, quiet triumph, and striking humanity.

Written, performed, and created by Shayna Jones
‍Directed by Richard Wolfe
Lighting Design: Brad Trenaman
Set Design: Cecilia Vadala
Stage Manager: Kayleigh Sandomirsky
Tour Stage Manager: Maria Zarillo

ADVISORY INFORMATION: Black & Rural is drawn from the true stories of Black Canadians, and explores their lived experiences with frankness and grace. This show features occasional strong language.

The culmination of Shayna Jones's multi-year theatrical and journalistic investigation, Black & Rural digs deep into the lives and hearts of Black Canadians living in the countryside. Led by playwright and performer Shayna's own experiences of small-town and remote living, Black & Rural intersperses the voices of real interviewees with music and generative mythology about Black life in agrarian communities.

With original music composed and performed by Rufus Cappadocia and direction from Pi Theatre's artistic director Richard Wolfe, the show weaves Afro-centric folklore - including new tales penned by Jones - with contemporary explorations of Black life in the countryside. Intermingled with Shayna's own story are recordings of her compatriots, spanning the nation and generations of Black Canadians building lives far from the roar of urbanity. Exploring everything from the isolation of being the only Black face in a White community to the power and autonomy derived from working with the land you live on,
Black & Rural illuminates a community separated by thousands of miles, but with an undeniable bond of shared experience and hopes.

Jones spoke to the goals and questions that sparked
Black & Rural: "Why do we live removed from the clamour of the city? Why do they, we, put up with being such an obvious minority? With skin so deeply colored, what does it mean to belong to this land, to our roots, to one another? And what is it to belong anyway?" - Broadway World

About the Artist

"I live in the rural mountains of British Columbia and have the privilege of being a full time mother to three incredible children. Motherhood is my deepest work. Though I often fail, I endeavour to live deeply, truthfully, simply, and beautifully. My work as a performance artist, and specifically as a Storyteller of African and African Diasporic Folklore, is woven into this endeavour. It is an extremely life giving, creative practice. Discovering, shaping and sharing tales keeps me steeped in the awareness of our common humanity; of our deeply threatened need for slowed-down, unplugged, heart to heart connection with one another and with the world around us; and of our inherent orientation toward something deep and divine. In short, as I experience it, Storytelling is a deeply spiritual act. It is not only a way of communing with others, it is a way of reaching out to God my Creator, to my ancestors, and to the Mothers that went before me. It is my way of coming Home. If I am so blessed, I will share tales until I am buried in the ground. And perhaps even thereafter. What a glorious thing that will be."

- Shayna Jones, we are STORYFOLK

"Shayna Jones…can only be described as a force of nature. She’s a river, pent-up behind a dam, that upon bursting leaves us devastated." - Lilian Jasper, Two Cents Two Pence Reviews

Cover Image by Keely O'Brien

Required Safety Protocols

There are no required safety protocols, but this is subject to change in accordance with BC public health and/or municipal guidelines.

Masks are not required, but we strongly encourage patrons to continue to wear masks during events, now optional, for the benefit of all in our community. We recommend the use of masks rated N95 or higher.