(Re)Tired Magical Black Man – Program

World Premiere – IN PERSON – 2022 Ottawa Fringe Festival

Image description:

Artistic portrait of Velvet's face in blues and tan. One eye has an outline of the African continent, the other has a peace symbol
Image description: Artistic portrait of Velvet’s face in blues and tan. One eye has an outline of the African continent, the other has a peace symbol.
Credit: Velvet Duke Productions

In any heist, members of the ensemble have different capabilities and roles. This magical caper is no different.

CharacterDescription
dJerald(zhair’uhld) Newly retired Djinn; gregarious and generous but still unlearning colonial thinking. A Black Fat non-binary magical person. Role: The (Magical) Bank
Asase(Ah’sah’sey) Accomplished Black woman (community minded advocate, lawyer, biologist) working to save her communities. A Black female puppet with braided hair, a red jacket, white top, and khaki pants. Role: The Brains
Chawn(Chawn) Accomplished Influencer and Hacker. A Purple furred non-binary puppet with white horns. Role: The Mary Sue
Clark(Klahrk) Antagonist. Oligarch. Brilliant megalomaniac, CEO of DBLSPC (Duhb’uhl’speys). A Black male puppet with gray hair, a khaki suit, white shirt and red bowtie. Role: The Mark
Lt. Baddy(Loo’ten’uhnt Bad’ee) CIO-Henchman at DBLSPC; a real YES puppet. A Lavender furred puppet with a blue nose. Role: The Lynchpin
CameoDBLSPC AISentient AI.
CameoJudge JudgySentient gavel. Judicious, opinionated, loves her pets. A real gavel with googly eyes. She/Her
CameoPremier ProfitSentient shovel. Second rate politician, shoveler of political expediency. A plastic shovel with googly eyes. He/Him
CameoLt. GovernorSentient pen. Rich, old, colonial figurehead. Likes the Judge Judgy show. A pen with googly eyes. She/Her
CameoCrows, Fluffy the DogSentient animals. Paper outline on marionette string. She/Her
CameoNarratorProviding some setting queues, and some sass. A disembodied baritone voice. They/them

Bios

Velvet Wells

Velvet Wells (they/he) is a proud Black, autistic, queer, disabled, velvet-voiced creator, and an award winning professional devised theatre artist living in Ottawa. Velvet created Velvet Duke Productions, a transmedia company to feature their devised theatre pieces in live and virtual spaces. Velvet toured “Personal Demon Hunter” (Toronto & Victoria Fringe Festivals, 2019). Velvet created virtual experiences: “Boldly Blerd Trek” (Orlando Fringe, 2020); “Djinn Joint” (The Primetime Festival, Toronto Fringe, 2021), and Velvet Duke’s Family Friendly Comedy Concert (Queen West Arts Crawl, 2021). Velvet presents “(Re)Tired Magical Black Man” (Ottawa Fringe, 2022).

Troy Arsenian

Troy Arsenian (he/him) is an Ottawa-based stage manager, and an alumnus of the University of Ottawa’s Department of Theatre. When not in a theatre, he works in administration at the Ottawa Hospital. He is very excited to be involved in his fifth production at the Ottawa Fringe Festival, after stage managing “Worldly Women” (2019, Jury’s Choice winner), “I Am the Most Unfeeling Doctor in the World” (2019, Best of Fest winner), “Something About New York” (2021), and directing/co-writing “C A M P” (2018). Select other credits include: “Godspell” (9th Hour Theatre, Performer), “War of Two Worlds” (Great Canadian Theatre Company, ASM), “Death Trap” (Classic Theatre Festival, ASM), and “Antioche” (Théâtre de Licorne, Régie).

Andie Wells

Andie Wells (they/them) is an Ottawa-based creator and designer. Andie created the Angel and Demon props, and designed and created Velvet’s pants, for Personal Demon Hunter. For (Re)Tired Magical Black Man, they designed dJerald’s costume and the set design. https://andiewells.studio/

Al Val

Despite the pandemic, Al Val (she/her) has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the Canadian comedy scene. In the three short years since Al came out as trans, she has made appearances at Just For Laughs, JFL NorthWest, Off-JFL/Zoofest, and has taped stand-up sets for CBC Gem (“New Wave of Standup”) and Crave TV (“The Stand-Up Show with Jon Dore”). Host of her own weekly solo stream-of-consciousness podcast “PodGis”, graduate of Second City’s Conservatory Program, and one part of improv-rock musical duo “Overdude”, there’s no wonder this multitalented whirlwind was voted by her peers as 2020’s “Breakout Comic of the Year” (in the ‘male’ category, no less – really stickin’ it to the fellas!). Al helped develop some of the musical arrangements for Velvet’s original songs in Personal Demon Hunter and (Re)Tired Magical Black Man.

Carmelle Cachero

Carmelle Cachero (she/her) has been involved in the performing arts her whole life and believes art is the reflection of the soul, humanity, and the world. Her approach, when interpreting for theatre and performing arts, is one of collaboration with the Deaf community and believes in the importance of working with Deaf Interpreters, ASL Coaches, and consultants in the process. As an ally to the Deaf community, she supports Deaf artists and continuously advocates for accessibility to the arts. https://carmellecachero.ca/

Playwright’s Vision

As a member of many marginalized communities, it is easy for me to rail against colonialism and capitalism — just take to social media, and you’ll see its true. But my joy in writing shows comes from focusing my social justice feelings into unique perspectives, opportunities for audience engagement, and for original and parody songs. Here are two ways (Re)Tired Magical Black Man is fun for me.

1) It retires the “magical negro” trope by subverting it — the magical powers to help marginalized communities; there are no “white” characters in the show, though dJerald and Clark are both steeped in capitalism. While magical abilities benefit the caper, they are a detriment for dJerald in comprehending community care and personal accountability.

2) When audiences take in a heist show, they get to experience schadenfreude for the big bad villains getting their comeuppance. A magical caper, like Aladdin meets Oceans 11, means we can finally find the solution to the impossible problem of achieving World Peace in our lifetime. Magical solutions and puppets lets the audience experience the adventurous fun and perhaps a little self-reflection on the theme.

Spoiler: the true caper is in wresting dJerald away from the colonial mindset and rugged individuality so they can become magical with the community, not in service to it.

To discover the other ways (Re)Tired Magical Black Man is fun for me, check out the show.

Awards, Bursaries, and Grants

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Velvet Duke Productions acknowledges funding support through the Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators (recommended by Ottawa Fringe and Tangled Art + Disability) from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario #ArtsAddValue

Velvet Duke Productions acknowledges a production bursary through the “Our Own Table” program from OPIRG-Carleton, in support of Ottawa community Black Event Producers

(Re)Tired Magical Black Man (Velvet Duke Productions) received a production bursary from Ottawa Fringe’s Open Doors Mentorship program. Thank you Alain, Lydia, and Ted for the mentorship and support!

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