Born Ready/Pusha ManBorn Ready/Pusha Man
by Joseph Jomo Pierre
Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace
Directed by Philip Akin
As harshly realistic as today’s newspaper headlines, the play Born Ready affords us a rare glimpse into the realities of growing up poor, black and male in Toronto’s inner cities. The young Black men who make up the majority of the victims and perpetrators of violent crimes within our community must become for us more than a newsbyte, a depressing statistic or a lyric in a multimillion dollar rap song. Obsidian Theatre through the works of young playwright Joseph Jomo Pierre is giving a voice to these young men. To ensure that young people in the community are afforded the opportunity to see this important work Obsidian Theatre has arranged three community outreach performances geared towards youth and the communities in which they live.
Born Ready follows the lives of two Black youth from their childhoods in the projects to their almost inevitable confrontation. This story is told by the men themselves with insightful commentary provided by the lone female on stage – “the iconic Peggy Sue.” Powerfully, sexy and charmingly sweet Peggy Sue, friend and confidant is the eventual nemesis of the two young men.
“Born Ready continues a relentless investigation of certain male identifiers: from the thrill of crotch-grabbing to the semi-religious ecstasy at the sight of a naked female body to, tragically, the false comfort of the gun.” – Kamal Al-Solaylee, Globe and Mail ***
“Joseph Jomo Pierre has turned words into something of monstrous beauty… a collage of sadness and anger that defies us to look away even while it pulls us deeper…“a powerful and thought-provoking piece of theatre” – John Coulbourn, Toronto Sun ****