Messy: a Chaotic Black Femme Rage Musical
Written by Kitoko Mai
Directed by Sedina Fiati
Starring Alia Ettienne, Maryan Haye and Djennie Laguerre
Stage directions read by Jahnelle Jones
Readings and events are entirely free. If you have the capacity, please consider making a tax-deductible donation in support of the future of feminist art.
Messy: a Chaotic Black Femme Rage Musical is a musical, a play, a scavenger hunt, a concert, and a group therapy session playing with ideas of mental health, lineage, queerness, and public persona. As the piece continues to develop, Kitoko is asking questions about form and content, playing with social media to interrogate the role of the audience and further blur the lines between fiction and reality, character and autobiography.
A note from the playwright: click here to watch LETSGETMESSY on Vimeo. Music by Onglish, lyrics by Messy.
About the playwright
Kitoko Mai (Kit for Short) (they/them) is a Black, Non-binary, disabled emerging multidisciplinary performance artist, media artist, and community artist. They’re a graduate of the Theatre/ Film studies and Multimedia studies at McMaster University (which they both love and regret) and the APT program at Generator (currently no regrets). Kit’s primarily interested in creating performance-based work that challenges the notion of binaries, and explores lateral violence and power dynamics within marginalized communities. Their work is rooted in social justice, anti-oppression, accessibility, #femmeaesthetics, and the pursuit of messiness. It’s best described as a chaotic poetic collage.
About the director and cast
Sedina Fiati (she/they)
Sedina Fiati is a Toronto based performer, producer, director, creator and activist for stage and screen. Proudly Black and queer, Sedina is deeply invested in artistic work that explores the intersection between art and activism, either in form or structure or ideally both. Sedina holds a BFA in Music Theatre from the University of Windsor and has been active as a theatre artist for over 15 years. Favourite and recent artistic projects: Children’s Peace Camp (Children’s Peace Theatre, director), Every Day She Rose (Nightwood Theatre, co-director), Switch: The Village (collective member, QTBIPOC street performance, Buddies in Bad Times 2018 & 2019), Feminist Fuck It Festival (multidisciplinary festival, co-creator and co-producer). Upcoming projects: Switching Queen(s) (devised street performance), Last Dance (a web series). Sedina is also a facilitator and panelist in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion. Recent work: Nightwood Theatre’s Feminist Unconference (facilitator), Toronto Fringe (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Audit Co-Facilitator), Stratford Symposium 2019 (panelist), Reel World Film Festival 2019 (panel moderator), Making Space for Conflict with the AFC (facilitator), CTV’s Your Morning (panelist), Woke 2.0 Social Justice Workshop series (creator and facilitator).
[Image description: A brown skinned woman of African descent against a grey textured background. Hair is braided and piled to one side. She has brown eyes, is smiling, mouth closed, wearing a maroon-brownish lipstick. She is wearing a tan coloured, collared blouse, open, with a white shirt underneath.]
Alia Ettienne (she/her)
Alia Ettienne is a theatre writer, actor, performer and facilitator from Toronto, ON. Ettienne is of Afro Caribbean descent which often influences her performances and writing. Initially, she studied Performance at Sheridan College, moving on to explore Creative Writing and Arts Marketing. Her first solo piece, YellowZoned, premiered in The 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival, remounting in Hamilton,ON on two separate occasions. This led to her being featured in Hamilton’s View’s Magazine. Her creative wellness program, Chill N Do Art, has been running for a total of four years. This workshop series then inspired her to start the Creative Coping Kits Initiative, which attracted the attention of Toronto blog She In The City. Currently, she is most focused on The Creative Coping Kits Initiative, and writing her second full length piece Allow For Release: The Xiety Complex.
[Image Description: a Black women with natural hair standing in front of a large open window. She is wearing a blue skirt and white t-shirt.]
Maryan Haye (she/her)
Maryan Haye is a Somali-Canadian writer and actor from Toronto, Ontario. A new WGC member and recent graduate of the RTA Media Production program at Ryerson University, she is excited to work on and create stories that will highlight underrepresented voices in authentic and nuanced ways. She was a 2018 ReelWorld E20 Program participant, has taken part in writing workshops at TIFF and the CFC, and is an alumnus of the OYA Emerging Filmmakers Program. She just wrapped up a being a participant in the Blank Canvas TV Writers Mentorship program and has completed her first preschool script for television. As an actor, she has worked on various short films and webseries by fellow Toronto creators and hopes to continue to take part in thrilling projects.
[Image Description: A photo of a young Black woman with long, loosely curled dark brown hair, wearing a blue denim jacket over a yellow sweater. She stares into the camera while smiling against a dark, half grey half brown backdrop.]
Djennie Laguerre (she/her)
Djennie Laguerre is an actress, writer, and storyteller. She graduated from Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting and has a BA from Ottawa University. She is a film, tv, and theatre performer. Her theater credits are The Imaginary Invalid, Les Zinspirés and Les Zinspirés 3D (Théâtre français de Toronto), Seventeen (Anonymous), Women (Infintheatre). She is proud of the ambitious tour of both English and French versions of Rendez-vous with Home/ Lakay with the iconic Black Theatre Workshop 2018-19 a play she wrote and performed. She is also the writer and performer of Manman la mer/Mother Sea (Catapulte Theatre, Ottawa), which premiered in February 2020 in Ottawa before being presented at the MASA Festival in Ivory Coast (March 2020). The show won – Production of the Year and Performance of the Year- at the 2020, Prix Rideau Awards. Djennie received the Spotlight Award at the SummerWorks Festival in 2008 for Rendez-vous with Home. Dora Award-nominated for The Zinspired 3D, in the categories of Outstanding Performance – Individual and Outstanding Performance – Ensemble and a Best Actress nomination at the 2018 METAs Awards for Rendez-vous with Home. For the past 15 years, Djennie has been an artist in schools with the OAC. Your children know her as the storyteller and dancer Madame Bonheur at MiniTFO/CBC.
[Image description: cinnamon black skin woman with dark brown eyes and curly dark brown hair. she is wearing a bright yellow shirt and standing in nature where the green of the trees and bushes mix with the yellow of the sun.]