Jajube Mandiela

Jajube Mandiela

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Hey, my name is Jajube Mandiela, I am an actor, director and artistic director of bcurrrent performing arts. This is my thought, number 1. So… I have recurring dreams and recurring nightmares, one of the ones that’s awkwardly more pleasant, in a certain sense, is one where I am performing in a dance or a play and I have forgotten the script, I’ve forgotten all the lines, directly correlates to my actual fear of never being able to learn all the lines when I start a new play.

Hey I’m Jajube: thought number 2. So I’m a person who has you know like some liberal views and some conservative views and I’ve never liked nudity onstage but recently I was talking to someone who… she’s a big advocate for it and was like we need to get used to people’s bodies just being nude and what I realized in that conversation was what I don’t like is when it’s used as a gimmick, for shock value especially or when it’s just used too extensively, so I can dig it, I can dig nudity when it makes sense with the story and it’s nonchalant

Hey, I’m Jajube: actor and artistic director of bcurrent. To festival or not to festival? So…I was going to talk about like, why, why they exist, but I realize that is really obvious they exist to experiment, take risks, to get picked up for future mountings and then I was thinking what do I love about music festivals? They’re. for me, rare, huge, great vibes and I’ve never been but I think Edinburgh must be like the musical festival of all theatre festivals.

Hey, I’m Jajube this is thought 4. So, on Sunday night I went to RiseUp! It was an event featuring Indigenous and Black artists, sharing theirs joys and their rage and their solidarity between the two communities and all the proceeds from that event went to Black Lives Matter Toronto. And it made me think: Hey! Solidarity between those two communities is also solidarity between different artistic disciplines. It featured poetry, it featured theatre, it featured singing and it was so beautiful for it to just be a night of everything, and I, I was just really inspired and want to see more of that.

Hey, I’m Jajube Mandiela thought 5. Instagram. So I’ve been on social media – all kinds – for about two to three years and my favourite is Instagram. I like to be a bit of a voyeur then post every once in a while then post every once on awhile and comment every once in a while with people I know and people who are out there in the world that I don’t know at all…and organizations. But when it comes to theatre companies on Instagram, it’s bugged me, I find so many posts, photos of the rehearsal process but not the production stills and there is something that…that live element that just doesn’t work for me as a medium, there’s something, I want more, like I want, I want, I don’t know what I want

Hey, this is Jajube Mandiela thought 6. Hip Hop Theatre. So back in 2104 at bcurrent we co-produced a show called Brotherhood the hip-hopera by Sebastien Heins, and uh, recently at that event that I went to on Sunday… I was speaking about in thought… 4 Donna Michelle St Bernard did some hip hop and it just got me thinking about Hamilton about In the Heights obviously about Brotherhood the hip-hopera the musical we did, and how much this genre is growing and budding and changing becoming a staple of theatre and I am really excited about it.

I’m Jajube. Thought 7. Woke. On Saturday I had a very brief conversation about the term “woke”. I came across it about a few years ago and I really love it because it makes me think of Plato’s philosopher’s cave…where there are people who think that the shadows on the wall is reality…but actually there are other people creating those shadows…and only a philosopher king can wake these people up to the reality outside, to the light outside the cave. And that same night I was going to go somewhere on my phone and I noticed an old one from a year ago called “think plus stay woke”

Hey my name is Jajube Mandiela. Thought 8. Pool hopping. I live in Toronto and pool hopping is a thing. Public, public pools late night after dance, after bar, whatever…especially on heat wave nights. And I am thinking… ”What if there was like late night theatre hopping, what if there was late night street performance or public intervention, like just something really underground and cool and wonderful and successful?”

Hey I’m Jajube. Thought 9. Public intervention. So this fall we are bringing our first show ever that launched the entire company 25 years ago… “dark diaspora… in dub”. But…it’s going to be a public intervention show called “diaspora Dub” with parading imagery and, uhhh, we have toyed with what if we don’t use the word public intervention? What if we use street theatre? But people associate sometimes with amateur and what if we use immersive? but it’s not quite immersive. Yet, when I think of public intervention I think of the [tv] show “Intervention” and alcoholism.

Jajube Mandiela. Thought 10. On Bios. So, I really enjoy writing bios for myself to include in programs as an actor and as a director, but it’s something that I have started to enjoy over time as my resume builds. And then I will come across people who either sometimes have good resumes or are really, really budding in their careers, and they hate writing bios. And then I came across a note that I wrote recently that says: “Bios, know thyself, praise thyself or be repulsed”.

Hey I’m Jajube Mandiela. Thought 11. Genres. So, in theatre, I find, there’s mostly just the big, big genres like musical theatre and like drama and like indie theatre but like those don’t always help. I often want more nuance, at least at the indie level I find we don’t tend to codify or use the genre system and in comparison with like film at both the mainstream and the indie level they do and me, even being in the industry, sometime I just want to know what I am in for.

Hey I’m Jajube Mandiela. Thought 12. Dub Theatre. This past summer I realized that Dub Theatre is a home grown Canadian theatrical form. Dub poetry originated in the Caribbean, and then in the 90’s is when the first dub poetry script was ever staged by our founding artistic director, ahdri zhina mandiela, and yes, it’s also been done in England after that, I don’t know much of it…if it’s been done in America but Dub Theatre continues to this day, done by several people and it’s a thriving, growing, Canadian genre.

Hey, I’m Jajube Mandiela. Thought 13. It’s a secret. So. Two years ago I joined snapchat, and I was doing a show on the farm, and I had a lot of free time, I loved to send snaps and watch snaps, and there was something about it, it made me, and it reminded me of theatre that’s so live, it would disappear, it’s not meant to be kept, other than screen grabs, but I won’t get into that, but, but it – it was that element of it’s only there when you watch it, then it’s gone. And it’s got me thinking of – that since then, ever what if there is a new genre of theatre and was snap chat theatre? They merge together. Don’t steal my idea.

Hey, I’m Jajube Mandiela. Thought 14. VR (virtual reality). So I don’t know much about VR. I have, one time, put on those goggles and experienced something that was like a video game, 360-degree camera style, and been like “what’s happening?!” and then I have also seen a VR music video I thought that was really cool. But this whole virtual reality, I’m thinking, is TV, though, really going in the direction of being so real that it’s just reality? We already have theatre, isn’t that as real as it gets?

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About the Author

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Jajube is an actor, director and Artistic Director of b current. Some of her favourite stage performances: Blue Planet and El Numero Uno (Young People’s Theatre), two productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage’s Dream in High Park), Wrecked (Roseneath Theatre) and the lead role in Binti’s Journey (Theatre Direct) which both garnered Dora Award nominations. On screen, Jajube is best known for several seasons as Chantay on Degrassi, and the voice of Pristine on Teletoon’s animated series Crash Canyon.
She found her love for stage direction while training in the b current rAiz’n Ensemble. Soon after, she assisted b current’s Founding Artistic Director ahdri zhina mandiela on who knew grannie: a dub aria (Obsidian Theatre Company & Factory Theatre) and the Dora Award nominated hit Obeah Opera (b current & Theatre Archipelago). Recently, she assisted Ravi Jain on Salt-Water Moon (Factory Theatre), Lynda Hill on Sanctuary Song (Theatre Direct at the National Arts Centre), and Nina Lee Aquino on Sister Mary’s A Dyke?! (Cahoots Theatre Company). On her own, she directed and co-produced All of Him (in between in association with b current at SummerWorks & Femfest), the hit family comedy TICK (Toronto Fringe and Best of FringeKids!), Princesses Don’t Grow on Trees by Andrea Scott (Solar Stage), short film Let Go (Mouthful of Fireflies), and co-voice directed the animated youth short film Bee & Julie-Julie (ReelWorld Film Festival, Montreal & Toronto International Black Film Festivals, Brighton Youth Film Festival).