Founded in 1990 and registered as a charity in 2006, b current has been developing artists and their works since its inception. The company came into the Toronto theatre spotlight in the summer of 1991 with the Fringe Festival workshop production of Founding Artist/Writer/Director ahdri zhina mandiela's dark diaspora... in dub. This was the first 'dub theatre' piece Toronto and the world had ever experienced. The fall of that same year saw a launch of the first published dub theatre script in a jam-packed blues dance affair, hosted by the company and SisterVision Press.
In the winter of '92 b current did a renegade mount of this production at the Beaverhall Artists Coop Gallery, amassing an eclectic group of black women artists, and igniting the trend of embedding spoken word/movement amalgam which is now commonplace in theatre round the city and cross the country. That same year b current added video documenting as part of the company's work; at a time when archival video was almost non-existent in the Black theatre scene. mandiela's seminal documentary film, on/black/stage/women emerged out of this push.
b current now operates with a small staff out of our Studio/Office facility at the new Artscape Wychwood Barns. Our Artistic Director provides full-time visioning on all artistic work including the company's focused development of new scripts and new artists. In addition, she directs or leads outside projects with other artists, groups, and organizations.
'Always b current' continues as the only professional company on the Canadian performance scene which focuses its main artistic energies and programming on developing original theatre works rooted in, and reflecting voices from the Canadian Black diasporic communities. Our annual rock.paper.sistahz festival has introduced scores of new works and new artists from within the city, across the province and the nation.