Victorian, Justin Carter, is mounting his first ever one-man show at this year’s Uno Fest. Son of Africville tackles tough themes including adoption, mental illness, racism, and drug abuse.
Take a ride from Vancouver to Halifax and beyond with Justin Carter in Son of Africville, an autobiographical story of an adopted son reuniting with his birth mother after 20 years apart.
“I was adopted at 8 years old. I had really fond memories of who my mother was as a person, and when I had this one week time with her, we just picked up right where we left off and I finally got a sense of ‘OK this is why I am the way I am.’ I’m really lucky that it was a positive experience,” Carter says.
Carter’s biological family once lived on the tip of the Halifax peninsula in a place called Africville— Canada’s oldest and largest black settlement, which was bulldozed by the city in the 1960s. Carter researched the settlement’s story on his journey by listening to stories from his aunts and uncles.
Africville serves as the backdrop for this show, with the themes of adoption, reuniting, drug abuse and schizophrenia woven in.
“I tried to keep it fun. People have cried, but there are a lot of jokes—that was part of her nature. I try to keep it like life,” Carter says.
Son of Africville features Carter’s original music, which he performs as part of the show.
“My mother was a musical person and when I was writing the play I could see there should be a song here. It’s worked well, the lyrics are true and honest and there’s a gospel element as well because of where she came from,” he says.
“This is my first one man show, and first monologue that I’ve done. I’m looking forward to people’s reactions to the material. So far it’s been really positive and people have connected to the material. Otherwise, there’s no real reason to do it. As much as I like the attention, there has to be a reason behind doing this and I’m hopeful that people will see that no matter what you go through in life, you can still pick yourself up and go on.”
Son of Africville
By Justin Carter
Dramatic Monologue, original music
PG14+, Adult Themes
Tuesday, May 24, 8:30 p.m.*
Wednesday, May 25, 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 26, 9 p.m.
Intrepid Theatre Club