new school


WRITERS & DIRECTORS/ DEBBIE DEER AND NICOLE PEÑA

CHOREOGRAPHER/ DEBBIE DEER

Technical Director/ NICOLE PEÑA

CAST: TIRAH THOMPSON/KIAN WARREN/VASILIOS FILIPPAKIS/ SHADRACK JACKMAN/JULIANA ROMAN

 

NEW SCHOOL (REMIX YOUR THOUGHts) multimedia play

African Heritage month 2016


Debbie Deer Productions was thrilled to present our exciting play 'New School' (Remix Your Thoughts) in association with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) for the 2016 African Heritage Month celebrations in February! The trans-media play 'New School' (Remix your thoughts) is about 5 ethnically diverse high school students (Tyler, Allison, Sydney, Nick and Iman) who receive an assignment questioning whether or not we are living in a post racial society. Each student has their own ideas of race and the play explores how they interpret and examine their own experience and belief systems. As a multicultural city, Toronto's youth have to navigate a multitude of issues related to race and 'New School' creatively addresses many of these issues by depicting characters that identify with youth in our city. Our characters include 'Tyler' and 'Allison' an interracial couple battling with differing experiences and ideas of racism. 'Sydney' a bi-racial and bi-sexual young woman who identifies as black but looks white and reflects upon her experiences from this perspective. 'Nick' who is the mutual friend of the group who also questions issues of racism for example when he asks 'Iman' (a young African American man) about the appropriateness of using the 'N' word as a 'reclaimed' and 'empowered' word for black people. The play also highlights the significant contributions that people of African descent have made historically and currently in areas of entertainment, sports, politics and science. The play challenges youth to 'remix their thoughts' in both an entertaining and educational manner and we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from teachers, students, TDSB equity members and trustees. Writers and directors of 'New School' Debbie Deer and Nicole Peña were commissioned by the Toronto District School Board to present 'New School' as part of the African Heritage Month 2016 celebrations in 8 Africentric schools for February 2016 (see a list of the complete schools and event schedule for African Heritage Month 2016 below). Debbie and Nicole are currently in the process of partnering with the TDSB and their sponsors the Ontario Black History Society to extend 'New Schools' run and to make it an independent theatrical production. 

Photo Credit: Dee Kofri / deekofri@gmail.com / @rebelqi

Writers and Directors of new school

Debbie Deer and Nicole Peña


'New School' was written and directed by Debbie Deer and Nicole Peña in 2014 for the 2015 African Heritage Month celebrations for the Toronto District School Board. Debbie and Nicole have been working together professionally for the past 4 years. In 2013 Debbie Deer staged her first multimedia play 'Exmas' at the iconic Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto and asked Nicole Peña to come on board as the Executive Producer and Stage Manager of the show. 'Exmas' was a satirical; multimedia play that focused on a group of exes from different cultures and sexualities that begrudgingly attended a Christmas dinner.  The dinner party resulted in a humorous and insightful exploration into modern day multicultural and multi-sexual relationships, that begs to ask the question, can you really be friends with your Ex?  'Exmas' was met with critical reviews and helped launch Debbie and Nicole's respective careers in the production arts. After the success of 'Exmas', Debbie and Nicole were inspired to create a captivating, multimedia play that presents relevant and critical discourse surrounding race and multiculturalism for Toronto's youth. They came up with 'New School' an innovative and topical multimedia play that challenges youth to 'Remix Their Thoughts' about issues of race such as interracial relationships, cultural appropriation, the use of the 'N' word and positive historical and current achievements of persons of African decent.

As artists of colour who constantly seek creative ways to create and depict art, it was important for Debbie and Nicole to present a production that connects with youth from both an educational and entertaining standpoint and they succeeded with doing this though 'New School'! Together, Debbie and Nicole artfully combined film, dance, music, drama, poetry and an interactive mobile app that makes 'New School' a unique and engaging, one of a kind production. As an avid lover and student of the dance arts, Debbie choreographed the energetic and eclectic dance pieces in 'New School' exploring genres such as Hip-Hop, Dancehall, Contemporary, African and Jazz. Nicole and Debbie are honoured to have been asked to present 'New School' for the 2016 African Heritage Month celebrations for 2016 and are looking forward to expanding and further producing 'New School' in the near future.

 

 The NEW SCHOOL (REMIX YOUR THOUGHTS) Cast

AFRICAN HERITAGE MONTH 2016



Gold Sponsors


 
 

NEW SCHOOL (REMIX YOUR THOUGHTS) EVENT SCHEDULE

AFRICAN HERITAGE MONTH 2016


  • 1) DOWNSVIEW SECONDARY- FEBRUARY 18, 2016          Showtime - 12:30pm & 1:30pm

  • 2) WEST HUMBER COLLEGIATE - FEBRUARY 19, 2016    Showtime - 1:55pm

  • 3) WESTVIEW Centennial - FEBRUARY 22, 2016      showtime - 10:25am

  • 4) North Albion Collegiate - February 23, 2016  showtime - 10:00am & 11:15am

  • 5) WINSTON CHURCHILL COLLEGIATE - FEBRUARY 25, 2016  showtime - 2:00pm

  • 6) Bill Crothers secondary sch. - february 26, 2016  SHOWTIME - 1:00PM & 2:05pm

  • 7) LOUIS ARBOUR COLLEGIATE - FEBRUARY 29, 2016  showtime - 12:30pm & 1:35pm

  • 8) CW JEFFERY'S COLLEGIATE - MARCH 1, 2016          showtime - 2:00pm

  • 9) THISTLETOWN COLLEGIATE - MARCH 2, 2016        showtime - 10:20am

  • 10) KIPLING COLLEGIATE - MARCH 4, 2016                  showtime - 10:30am

 


NEW SCHOOL (REMIX YOUR THOUGHTS) Images depicting MULTIMEDIA ELEMENTS: FILM, DANCE, POETRY AND INTERACTIVE MOBILE APP

 

Photo Credit: Dee Kofri / deekofri@gmail.com / @rebelqi