The Monster in All of Us

Who are you when you don’t know who you are? That’s the question Sarah Waisvicz asks in Monstrous.

Created and performed by Waisvicz, we’re incredibly excited to be featuring Monstrous in FemFest 2020: Engaging Community. Monstrous follows the protagonist’s journey across continents, centuries, and musical genres as she sifts through the facts and fictions of her mixed-up, mixed-race family history. Integrating storytelling, multi-genre dance, music, song, projections, and audience interaction, it is a quest for roots, remembrance, and belonging; it is also a cutting, hard-hitting provocation about “multiculturalism” in Canada. Monstrous is a startling wake-up call that puts pressure on how accepting we think we are.

MonstrousPromoPhotoDoorOfNoReturnChrisSnow

Sarah is a playwright, dramaturge, and multi-disciplinary performer with training in dance and physical theatre (classical ballet, puppetry, acrobatics, stilts, West African dance styles). Her solo script to Monstrous, about the Afro-diaspora experience and mixed-race identity, was published in Alt.theatre 13.3 and the show has been performed in Montreal, Toronto, Philadelphia, and elsewhere. Sarah has been Artist-in-Residence at Great Canadian Theatre Company and at the National Arts Centre. Her most recent play Heartlines premiered to sold-out houses at Ottawa’s undercurrents festival.

“I was strongly moved by this piece — not leaving the studio with the same mindset I had upon entering… I found myself lost in thought about my background and place within this world. I felt as if I had also just explored my entire background and found a little more of myself in the process, too. If you are prepared for a deep, self-discovery performance — this play is a definite go see!” – Makinizi Hoover, Medium

MonstrousPromoPhotoPraiseGingerChrisSnowIn 2015, when Waisvicz began this project, she documented part of its development process. The full title was originally called Monstrous, or, The Miscegenation Advantage, and it was described as an “original 70-minute solo show: one woman, two races, four continents, and a suitcase full of secrets.” You can check out a video about the show’s development here.

“Waisvisc’s dynamic energy fills the minimalist set where music, projection and dance illustrate a global trek as stories, anecdotes, lies, hearsay and research are pulled from this trunk of family history.” Jennifer Cavanaugh, Apt613

In light of COVID-19, we’re excited to announce we’ll be moving forward with a virtual edition of Monstrous. Like previous reviewers, we know you’ll be moved by this show – no matter what part of the world you’re from. If you haven’t yet, be sure to watch the official Monstrous trailer and stay tuned on our website for the latest information on how to access FemFest programming.

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