Maryline Chery is a French creole artist of Haitian descent whose original works as a performer, dramaturg, and creator include ’Noire’ and ‘Afrodisiaque’. An alumna of Concordia University’s BFA Theatre program and Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program, professional stage credits since graduating include Tableau D’Hôte Theatre’s ’Blackout’. At the Montréal Fringe, she’s notably appeared in ‘A Dyke’s Guide to Fair Play’ and, most recently, in last year’s ’The Trophy Hunt’.
“It’s the effervescence and the energy of it,” Maryline shares on what draws her to the Fringe. “The festival gives a jump start for a lot of emerging artists in the city. I also appreciate that you can experiment and that there’s an audience for that. I’m always intrigued and impressed by what people can do in small spaces.”
On the kind of art that moves her, she expresses: “I want to be surprised. I like things that make me uncomfortable in a way that I can learn something. I also like everything that’s really electric. My family is from Haiti and I grew up in a colourful, vivid, loud household – maybe that’s why I enjoy clown and cirque so much,” she contemplates. “I like theatre that makes me feel alive.”
Deeper at the heart of Maryline’s work is her heritage and identity, which has led to theatremaking centred around Black feminism and West Indian culture. “A lot of what I do artistically is rooted in the idea of exposing injustices,” she explains, “and today we’re right in the middle of it.”
On current world events surrounding Black Lives Matter, she further reflects. “It’s terrible and inspiring at the same time. But I think the artist is a solider and an agent of love, and whatever is happening around us should be a fuel for what we’re going to create. For me, the idea that artists cannot be part of political conversations is ridiculous; we a have a platform to raise voices, and so it is our duty to bring that awareness. We have to find ways to educate and engage others in conversation so that we can learn and move forward. That’s what I hope to do with my art.”
FRINGE FIRE ROUND
Favourite Fringe show you’ve seen?
The Drag Races.
Annual Fringe tradition?
I spend a ridiculous amount of time on St-Laurent meeting friends. Is it a tradition or way of life? – I don’t know, but that’s what I do: looking fabulous with iced coffee on the curb between shows.
Most memorable moment at the Fringe?
At last year’s closing party, there was this song that came up – I don’t even know the name of it – and my girlfriends and I just took over the stage, and we had this moment. And it was amazing.