Playwright and artist Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu was hired as artistic director of Toronto’s Obsidian Theatre Company in January 2020 with a full season of shows scheduled.
But by the time she took over in July, COVID-19 restrictions had cancelled or postponed them all. Tindyebwa Otu said she was left not only staring at a blank calendar, but also at daily news stories about protests against police brutality and a widespread reckoning with racism perpetrated against Black people.
With her own private work as an independent theatre creator gone, and as the new head of a theatre with the mandate of promoting Black voices, Tindyebwa Otu began thinking about a way forward.
“I was starting to think about Black futures within that context as I was coming in, just as a way to heal, as a way to imagine something different beyond the intensity of the moment that we were in,” she said.