This raw and passionate tale by exciting playwright Omari Newton digs deep into the lives of a hip-hop crew coming to terms, personally and professionally, with the police-shooting death of their DJ, Sammy. In the aftermath of the tragedy, this once-tight group struggles with grief in different ways. Do they carry on with canned beats? Or do they seek revenge? With seismic hip-hop beats and powerhouse performances, Sal Capone raises a mighty fist to the difficult issues of our time – prejudice, homophobia and injustice – with grace and wit.
The story follows the journeys of a group of friends and Hip Hop crew who are dealing with the fatal police shooting of their friend; a talented but troubled young DJ (inspired by true events that have occurred in Montreal, Toronto, New York, San Francisco and London, UK in recent years and many others that don’t reach mass media. This event irrevocably changes the lives of the three friends and puts the future of their once promising Hip Hop group in jeopardy. In various ways, the characters struggle to understand the tragedy, to reconcile their differences, and to salvage their dreams of a successful album launch and Hip Hop future.
Omari, the playwright, says that Sal is about “people your age chasing their dreams and fighting to survive some of the pressure associated with growing up.” It is also about the complicated relationship between youth and authority. The pressures the youth in this play face are wide ranging and include dealing with cultural and social difference (being black, being Asian, being gay, being Aboriginal). These “differences,” which are only differences in relation to an understood norm of being white and straight, have harsh and tangible consequences on the lives of these youth, but they also impact the youths’ sense of identity, community, and ambitions. Incorporating a diversity of characters and perspectives, the play seeks to portray a balanced approach to questions of justice, responsibility and cultural stereotyping.DOWNLOAD STUDY GUIDE
OMARI NEWTON / PLAYWRIGHT
Montreal-born artist Omari Newton is a professional actor, writer, poet and MC whose work can be seen on television, film and stage or heard on CBC and independent radio. His stage work in Québec has earned him a number of favorable reviews and awards. Some career highlights include a best supporting actor nomination for his work in the Centaur Theatre’s production of Joe Penhal’s Blue Orange (soirée des masques). The play also went on to win best English language production. He is a Graduate of Concordia University’s Communication Studies and the recipient of a DEC from John Abbott College’s Liberal arts program. Acting credits include Aaron in Vancouver’s Bard On The Beach Shakespeare festival. Television roles include Lucas Ingram on the Showcase hit Continuum, Larry Summers on Blue Mountain State (Spike TV) and Remy on CBC/ABC’s sitcom Sophie. His original Play Sal Capone has received critical acclaim and numerous productions, including this upcoming presentation at the National Arts Centre in 2018. He has been commissioned by Black Theatre Workshop to write a companion piece, Black & Blue Matters, a Hip Hop Musical that deals with police brutality from the POV of a black female police officer and her male Jewish partner implicated in the shooting of an unarmed black man.
DIANE ROBERTS / DIRECTOR & DRAMATURG
Diane Roberts is an accomplished director, dramaturge, writer and cultural animator, who has collaborated with innovative theatre visionaries and interdisciplinary artists for the past 30 years. Her directorial and dramaturgical work has been seen on stages across Canada and her reputation as a mentor, teacher and community collaborator is nationally and internationally recognized. Diane has directed for such companies as urban ink, Black Theatre Workshop, The Theatre Centre, Theatre Direct, The Company of Sirens, Frank Theatre, b current, Cahoots Theatre Projects, Obsidian Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts, Women in View Festival, The Sudbury Theatre Centre and The Stratford Festival. She is the former Artistic Director of urban ink productions in Vancouver (2007-2014) and former Artistic Co-Director of Nightwood Theatre in Toronto. She is also a founding member of Obsidian Theatre, Co-founder of backforward collective and founder and Artistic Director of the Arrivals Legacy Project. The Arrivals Personal Legacy Process, developed during Diane’s 7-year tenure as Artistic Director of urban ink productions, has birthed new Interdisciplinary works across Canada, throughout the Americas, in the UK, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. This work has allowed her to articulate, cultivate and realise a vision for theatre that encourages Indigenous ways of knowing as a stepping stone to creative expression. Upcoming ventures include directing Gerry Trentham’s interdisciplinary work The Apology Project produced by lbs/sq”; directing Nicola Harwood’s Buffalo Girls for Frank Theatre in Vancouver, remounting urban ink’s national touring production of Sal Capone at the National Arts Centre & an artist in residency at Concordia University.
TROY SLOCUM / SOUND DESIGN
Troy Slocum is an experienced and acclaimed sound designer, audio artist, and electronic music composer. His work been heard in film, television, live performance, installations, and theatres throughout Canada and beyond. His work was heard recently in the NFB Documentary Feature The Road Forward directed by Marie Clements which premiered at HOT DOCS2017, in the animated short Ghost Food directed by Bracken Hanuse Corlett. His work will also be heard in the upcoming Knowledge Network documentary Looking at Edward Curtis, as well as the Documentary feature That Higher Level, for the NFB. He has been nominated for a Soiree Des Masques Award for Best Sound Design, several Mecca and Meta Awards, and more recently won the Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for Outstanding Sound Design for The Pipeline Project.
ANA CAPPELLUTO/ SET & LIGHTING DESIGN
Ana is based in Montréal. There she has worked with many local companies most recently Les 7 Doigts de la Main as set designer on Cuisine & Confessions, Réversible and Vice & Vertu . Her designs have traveled to numerous international festivals including Londrina International Festival in Brazil, Singapore Arts Festival, Valencia International Arts Festival in Venezuela, and Le Festival d'Avignon in France. She has been the recipient of many awards including a ‘Jessie’ for Outstanding Set Design, Small Theatre, for Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis. She is a Professor at Concordia University in Montréal.
CANDELARIO ANDRADE / VIDEO DESIGN
Recent theatre credits include: Forget About Tomorrow (Belfry/Arts Club), Wilderness (Studio 58), Unité Modèle (Théâtre la Seizième), Hyperlink (Elbow Theatre), Foreign Radical (Conspiracy); Am/A; Hooker Monologues; Sal Capone, and Motherload. Cande has collaborated with companies such as: The Frank, Alley Theatre, Théâtre la Seizième, Arts Club, Patasola Dance, Urban Ink, Electric Company, Neworld, Mascall Dance, Boca del Lupo, Theatre for Living, Rimini Protokoll, and Pi. As a co-artistic director of Rough House, he has designed Tiny Apocalypse; A Last Resort, and Three Lectures on the North (With Theatre Replacement). He is an independent promo producer and editor at Knowledge Network.
SARAH HALL KAY / COSTUME DESIGN
Having left her mark in Montreal’s Urban Arts scene creating refreshing visuals for music videos, TV shows, concerts, advertisements campaigns, magazines and fashion short films, Sarah Hall-K has also designed costumes for Black Theatre Workshop’s Blacks Don’t Bowl, The Lady Smith and Raisin In The Sun. Her work has also been published in magazines such as Urbania and Applied Arts. All of the above combining her Visual Arts background with a degree in Theatre Design at Concordia University. She is now proud of building her colourful clientele working as a personal celebrity stylist and image consultant.
EMMMA TIBALDO / C0-DRAMATURG
In addition to collaborating dramaturgically on plays through her work at PWM, Emma has been directing new Canadian plays from Whitehorse to St. John’s including The Baklawa Recipe by Pascale Rafie, Refuge by Mary Vingoe, Falling Trees by Megan Coles, and Model Wanted by Step Taylor. Upcoming directing projects are Miss Kaitlyn’s Grade Threes Prepare for the Inevitable by Elena Belyea and SCUM: a manifesto by Sarah Grummett and Caitlin Zacharias. In 2005 she co-founded Talisman Theatre for whom she directed award winning productions such as That Woman by Daniel Danis, Down Dangerous Passes Road by Michel Marc Bouchard, and The Medea Effect by Suzie Bastien. In 2008 she became Artistic and Executive director of the national new creation centre Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal (PWM), where she has dramaturgically collaborated on numerous award winning plays. She is presently co-creating the performance piece Skin with Leslie Baker and her company The Bakery. Emma is a graduate of Concordia University’s Theatre Department and The National Theatre School’s Directing Program. She sings in the family band The Tibaldos.
YVON SOGLO / MOVEMENT CONSULTANT
Dancing since 1997, Crazy Smooth is one of Canada’s top street dancers, performers, choreographers, instructors, judges, and community leaders. He is the founder and artistic director of Bboyizm, an award-winning street-dance company that has been instrumental in the preservation and proliferation of street dance in Canada and internationally. He was the first b-boy to obtain a Canada Council grant to hone his art and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Diamond Jubilee Award (2012), the Urban Dance Generation Choréart Trophy (2008), the Most Valuable B-boy Award at Kings of New York (2006), and the Absolute Canadian B-boy Award at Cypher North (2005). He has performed, taught, coached, and judged competitions in cities and events throughout North America and Europe. In 2004, Smooth founded Bboyizm and the company has successfully brought authentic street dance into the professional theatre setting. Three of his full length creations— The Evolution of B-boying, IZM, and Music Creates Opportunity—have toured throughout Canada. The company has been nominated for a Dora award (2012), and won both the Atlantic Presenters Association Touring Performers of the Year Award (2013) and the Ontario Presenters Network Emerging Touring Artist of the Year (2012).
CONOR MOORE / PRODUCTION MANAGER & TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
Conor Moore is a Vancouver-based lighting, set, and projection designer with an MFA in design from UBC. Select credits include: The Competition is Fierce and The Pipeline Project (ITSAZOO), Peter and the Starcatcher, Bakersfield Mist, In a Blue Moon, 4000 Miles, Armstrong's War, and The Patron Saint of Stanley Park (Arts Club Theatre), La Bohème (Vancouver Opera), Senora Carrara's Rifles and Fourplay (Shaw Festival), Hamlet, Falstaff, Henry VI, Richard III, and The Merchant of Venice (Bard on the Beach), Gunmetal Blues (Vancouver Playhouse), Penelope, Indian Arm, and Tremors (Rumble Theatre), Rent and Jesus Christ Superstar (URP), Waiting for Godot (Blackbird Theatre), and The Night's Mare (Caravan Theatre). He is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada. www.conormooredesign.ca
CHRISTIE WATSON / PRODUCER
Christie graduated from the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London England in 2001 and has since played many roles within the cultural arena. In 2003 Christie returned to his hometown of Ottawa where he received a Theatre Ontario Professional Development grant to pursue his interest in producing and directing. Christie became involved with the Great Canadian Theatre Company and the National Arts Centre as an Artistic Associate and began producing diverse arts and culture events around Ottawa until Christie moved to Vancouver in 2008. Since the move Christie built a wide network in the Vancouver arts community that made it possible for him to establish Holding Space Productions in 2015. Christie was the producer for TBD: Liberation Through Hearing with RADIX, Sonic Elder with The Chop, Children of God with Urban Ink, The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards 2016 and 2017 and is currently the Interim Managing Producer for Rumble Theatre. Christie lives in East Vancouver with his wonderful wife Emelia Symington Fedy and his two very excellent boys, Arthur and Obie. www.holdingspaceproductions.ca
MIA PERRY / EDUCATIONAL LEAD
Mia is a co-founder of Boldskool, on the team since the early days as Educational Lead. She is also currently a senior lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow. She works between the arts and cultural production, public and community education, and research methodologies. She is interested in how the arts can mediate and materialise collective learning and action, particularly in relation to social, political, and ecological issues and Global North-South collaborations.
TRISTAN D. LALLA / FREDDIE SALAZAR JR. (SAL)
Career highlights include over 70 plays, musicals, and staged readings across Canada including: The Mountaintop, A Raisin In The Sun, Angélique (META nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor), and The Adventures Of A Black Girl In Search Of God (META recipient), as well as dozens of feature films and television shows (The Disappearance, 21 Thunder, Nine Lives, 19-2, Brick Mansions, Red 2, Quantico, How She Move), and over 20 video games (such as the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Watch Dogs, Deus Ex, and Far Cry). Tristan is a Dawson College Professional Theatre honours graduate. He was a member of the 2015-16 ensemble at Canada’s National Arts Centre.
LETITIA BROOKES / NAOMI SALAZAR
Letitia graduated with a BFA in Theatre from Concordia University in 2012. Before graduating she started her company, Nu Spyce Productions, in 2011 with the production of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange at MainLine Theatre, where she served as producer and co-actor. She also served as producer, director and co-actor in Nu Spyce’s St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival production of SINGLE BLACK FEMALE. Theatre credits include The Mountaintop (Black Theatre Workshop & Neptune Theatre), Twelfth Night, or What You Will (Repercussion Theatre), the original and remounted productions of Sal Capone: The Lamentable Tragedy of (urban ink productions/Black Theatre Workshop/Presentation House/Yukon Arts Centre) The Sound of Cracking Bones (Imago Theatre & Geordie Theatre Productions), Oroonoko (Persephone Productions), and To Kill a Mockingbird (Geordie Theatre Productions). Recent film and TV credits include The Gift, Zoe, Jack Ryan, 19-2, Being Human, The Will and A Stranger in My Home. Letitia was a member of Black Theatre Workshop’s 2013/2014 Artist Mentorship Program, and was honoured with the 2014 Gloria Mitchell-Aleong Award at BTW’s Vision Gala. She also completed a producing apprenticeship in Toronto through Obsidian Theatre Company’s Mentor Apprentice Program which had her working with Tarragon Theatre in 2014.
TROY EMERY TWIGG / MAC & SHA-NEY-NEY
Troy is Blackfoot from the Kainai Nation in Southern Alberta. An instigator of progressing First Nations arts in the country, he has worked for various arts organizations in various roles and responsibilities. He has worked as an actor and dancer but is primarily an artist in movement and choreography mostly creating his own works that have toured nationally and internationally including: Iitahpoyii; They Shoot Buffalo, Don’t They?; Dancing The Universe in Flux; Pulse; Static. He has recently performed in a workshop production Okotoks by Justin Many Fingers and the touring version of Omari Newton’s Sal Capone: The Lamentable Tragedy of. He co-created a new work for Prairie Dance Exchange called Still. Moving. Land. Acknowledgement. which has performed in Edmonton (Brian Webb Company) Calgary (Fluid Festival) and later in April in Regina (New Dance Horizons). Troy has also taught courses on Indigenous performing arts at the University of Lethbridge, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Centre for Indigenous Theatre, and at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
KIM Villagante / JEWEL DE LA REYAS
Kimmortal is an emcee, singer-songwriter, and experimental artist based on unceded Coast Salish Territories aka Vancouver, BC, Canada. Her work is influenced by her queer identity and her pilipino ancestry. Her unique multi-medium approach to music was featured on CBC Exhibitionists. In the past few years, she released her first album and self directed an animated music video which was featured in the Queer Women of Colour festival in San Francisco. As a community organizer and arts-based youth facilitator, she is interested in the arts as a tool for healing and decolonization. She has opened up for her favourite artists including Ruby Ibarra, Shad K, and Saul Williams. Her much anticipated second album will be released in May 2018. @kimmortalmusic // kimmortal.com
JORDAN WAUNCH / CHASE STAGNETTI (CHASE CHEDDAR)
A graduate of the Capilano University Acting For The Stage And Screen Program, Jordan is a Métis performing artist that has been involved in such shows as The Little Shop of Horrors, Three Sisters, Tony & Tina's Wedding, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. His involvement in the production of Sal Capone began with an opening in Montreal in 2013 followed by a Vancouver remount in 2014, and then a second remount in 2016 with shows in North Vancouver and Whitehorse. Jordan has also been an active member in Vancouver's Hip Hop community, sharing the stage with various artists such as Warren G, Swollen Members, Hopsin, Nelly, Lil' Kim, Kyprios, The Family Compact, and B-real of Cypress Hill. Most recently he has released his first solo album “Man in the Mirror”. As well look for Jordan in the Menendez: Blood Brothers, Britney Ever After, Almost Human, Animism: The God's Lake, and Guardians of the Power Masks film and television series. Jordan was also an artist-in- residence at the Skwachàys Healing Lodge, a Vancouver based Aboriginal artist co-op, hotel, and art gallery.
Boldskool Productions gratefully acknowledges the support of Black Theatre Workshop, Urban Ink Productions and Playwrights Workshop Montreal for the development of Sal Capone.