2020 IBPoC New Play Commission recipient:
by Rachel Mutombo
Wake is an exploration of traditions around mourning, grief, the awkwardness of death and the secrets that come with it. In this piece, a Congolese-Canadian family gathers for the first time in many years for the funeral of their patriarch. The reunion is awkward. Most of them don’t want to be there, but they have to be – because it’s family. Everyone just wants to make it through this reunion unscathed, that is until an unexpected guest’s arrival changes everything.
“I am incredibly grateful to Persephone Theatre for giving me this opportunity. It is a privilege to have the support of an established theatre company while I am still early in my career. I can’t wait to share this story with Persephone’s audience (and to visit The Prairies for the first time!)”
About the Artist
Rachel Mutombo is an award-winning actor and writer. She is an acting graduate of John Abbott College’s Professional Theatre program as well as the National Theatre School of Canada. Some recent theatre performance credits include Antigone (Young People’s Theatre), School Girls; Or the African Mean Girls Play (Obsidian Theatre/Nightwood Theatre) and Selfie (YPT). She is also featured in the recurring role of Darby Gruss on Freeform’s The Bold Type.
As a freelance writer, Rachel has had essays and articles published by CBC, Intermission Magazine and ByBlacks. She is currently part of the 2020 cohort of The Bedrock Creators’ Initiative at Factory Theatre developing her play Vierge. Vierge was recently awarded the Kevin award for first place in Infinitheatre’s annual playwriting competition. The award is named in memory of Kevin Tierney. The jury for the prize stated that Rachel is “…one of the most exciting, original voices to come out of Canadian theatre in many years.”
Rachel’s newest play 6X10 was a part of Studio180’s INDEVELOPMENT season for 20/21 and is now in its next stage of development through the support of Bcurrent theatre’s Playwrights incubation program.
The selection committee also decided on a short list of artists. The short list is the Selection Committee’s way of acknowledging and offering formal support for development to certain projects that were close to receiving the commission, even though we won’t be offering it a full commission.