Obeah Opera

brooksObeah Opera is an ambitious work using music, words and dance to explore some aspects of the 17th century Salem witch trials through the eyes of enslaved African women.  It’s being presented by Nightwood Theatre and Culchaworks Arts Collective as part of the New Groundswell Festival.  The central character is Tituba, a traditional healer and practitioner of Obeah; a traditional religion or system of magic.  The narrative takes us through the transportation of the women from Barbados to be sold in Salem and their lives as domestic servants to the pivotal point where Tituba saves the life of the sick daughter of the local minister and is accused of witchcraft.  Along the way we get some very high energy action from the large cast, especially where African themes are explored.  It’s an all female cast and the music is all sung a capella.  This was also a workshop of a work in progress intended for the arts festival at next year’s Pan-Am games so last night did not represent the finished product.

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