Anne-Marie Woods Achieves a Dream With Two of Her Plays About to Hit The Stage

 

1 Playwright With 2 Plays On Stage in 2 Canadian Cities

Anne-Marie Woods Toronto based award-winning playwright, womanist and multi-disciplinary artist achieves a dream with a play on stage in Ontario and another in Quebec for Black History Month

Toronto (January 25, 2019) – Activist, playwright, director, producer, poet, lyricist, creative consultant and composer Anne-Marie Woods aka Amani is a true renaissance woman making her mark on the world stage.

Woods pens African Canadian history for young audiences in two separate productions. Scotian Journey – tells the history of African Nova Scotians with her main character Sierra Carvery, heading home for the Africville Reunion and The Three Friends teaches us about race relations through live performance and a heated debate between her three main characters.

Scotian Journey is the second one of Woods’ plays to have a World Premiere at Black Theatre Workshop Montreal (BTW) – the oldest Black Theatre in Canada. As part of BTW’s 48th  season, the World Premiere of Scotian Journey runs Feb. 2 – March 4, 2019 with a public showing on February 16, 2019 – 3pm at Centre Culturel Georges Vanier 2450 rue Workman. Woods’ main character Sierra Carvery from Africville, Nova Scotia sings, raps and tells the history of African Nova Scotians aided by two other charters in the play Sebastian and Vanessa. Woods’ other play The Three Friends, will have it’s second showing in two years at Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts on February 20, at 10am and 12:30pm as part of their Education Series. Woods not only directs and co produces this play but she also stars in it as Black Student Advisor Ms. Akuba. The Three Friends teaches youth about the importance of race relations in Canada and African Canadian history through the eyes of three students on the fictitious Jean Augustine University campus. Eric from Guysborough, Nova Scotia, Jasper from Atlanta, Georgia and Maggie from Gravenhurst, Ontario take the audience on a guided tour through History, Fiction and Fantasy.   Black Lives Matter, the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and our Canadian Sheroes Viola Desmond and Jean Augustine are explored through a show within a show that uses the hashtag #BlackHistoryisWorldHistory.

“Growing up in Nova Scotia has had a huge impact on my life says Woods. It is the source of my creativity and the place that nurtured my love for arts and culture.” As a storyteller/playwright Woods’ plays always have original songs, and poems embedded in the scripts. Her new plays are no different with a Jamaican dub poem in Scotian Journey in the section that tells about the Jamaican Maroons’ tie to Nova Scotia to her Viola Desmond, acapella folk song that tells the teaches young people howViola Desmond fought for Canadian Human Rights in 1946 in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia by refusing to sit in the Black section of the theatre.

And Nova Scotia is still a part of Woods’ journey because on October 16, 2018, her singing group Four The Moment was asked to reunite and open up for Dr. Angela Davis, Activist and Scholar at the Dalhousie Belong Forum.

For the last year and a half Woods worked full time for the City of Toronto as a Cultural Outreach Officer with the Department of Economic Development and Culture. She realized she could not do much performing or producing while working but, she could still write. Still identifying as self-made artpreneur she has always had to create her own opportunities and produce shows on her own or find unique ways of marketing her work. All her years of hard work and perseverance are finally paying off. Scotian Journey was originally written in 2001 when she was a Playwright in Residence at Young People’s theatre, where she also taught senior theatre for years.  18 years later it will tour over 30 schools in Montreal, Quebec and reach over 10 000 students. Her play, The Three Friends will be performed for over 700 students at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.

“Anne-Marie Woods is a talented writer. It was a wonderfully collaborative experience when we produced her play She Said/He Said back in 2016, and we are looking forward to touring local schools in Montreal with Scotian Journey a beautiful piece on the history of Black Canadians in Nova Scotia.”

BTW’s Artistic Director – Quincy Armorer

“The Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts is honoured to present The Three Friends as part of the 2018/2019 Education Series. The feedback from the first presentation in February 2017 was so overwhelmingly positive, which was the primary factor to present the show again next season. In addition, Imani Enterprises has been a joy to work with to make these presentations happen. The RHCPA will gladly work with Anne-Marie Woods of Imani Enterprises on future projects, if invited to do so.

RHCPA Theatre Manager – Michael Grit

Woods credits learning Black History and the performing arts with changing her path as a troubled youth. “I will continue to write the history that is not in the curriculum,” she says. “I can remember the day a presenter, Robert Upshaw came to speak to us at Dartmouth High, his presentation changed my life.” Woods included the same part of his presentation in her play The Three Friends, and has seen this section of the play have the same impact on the students in the audience.

Presently she’s working on a new play, Why Black Women Whisper and fresh off the stage from producing and performing in her spoken word and live music show Jazzetry. Her City contract came to an end just in time as Woods is getting ready to run rehearsals for The Three Friends then pause and head to Montreal to see the last three rehearsals and first two school shows of Scotian Journey. All of this while waiting to hear back from the two full time jobs she applied for in November.  “I don’t know what’s next for me, I want to work full time and keep on writing but that’s what I want, the universe may have something else in mind,” states Woods.

Anne-Marie Woods aka Amani is an award winning multi-disciplinary artist. A womanist, arts educator, producer,  playwright, director and creative consultant with roots in London, England and Trinidad and she spent her formative years in Nova Scotia.  Her life and career has always challenged boundaries and blended multiple genres or styles. In 2001, she held the honour of being the first African Canadian to have a featured play Waiting to Explode at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina. Voted as one of 100 Black Women in Canada to Watch and the 2013 winner of a BBPA Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in Entertainment, she has performed and presented in the UK, Trinidad, and the World-Famous Nuyorican Café in New York City. In 2016, her Theatrical Rhapsody She Said/He Said was the first one of her plays to be produced by Black Theatre Workshop where it had a very successful World Premiere at the MAI. Her other new play, The Three Friends that focuses on African Canadian History and race relations was originally written for Black History Month Celebrations for the City of Barrie in 2017. It will be on stage as part of the Education Series at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing arts as part of their season. Woods has a lot on her creative plate. Her future endeavours include finishing her new play Why Black Women Whisper and completing her first poetry manuscript and a motivational book for young women. www.imaniartsbiz.com for more information.

Songs and lyrics for Scotian Journey and The Three Friends composed by Anne-Marie Woods

World Premiere of Scotian Journey Black History Month School Tour

Written by Anne-Marie Woods, Directed by Jamie Robinson,

School Tours Feb. 2 – March 4, 2019

Public Presentation – Feb. 16, 2019 – 3pm (suitable for grades 4 and up)

Centre Culturel Georges Vanier 2450, rue Workman  Montreal, QC

Contact: BTW for School Tour Bookings in Montreal or for tickets to the public show Tel: 514- 932-1104 info@blacktheatreworkshop.ca

The Toronto Presentation of The Three Friends

Written and Directed by Anne-Marie Woods

February 20, 2019 – 10 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. (Grades 6 – 12)

Contact: Ashley Van Eysinga, Education Coordinator for school or youth groups to attend the shows E: ashley.vaneysinga@richmondhill.ca Tel: 905-787-8471 ext. 228

Press Contact: Imani Enterprises C/O Anne-Marie Woods Tel : 416-706-7694 E: imanienterprises@rogers.com

-####-