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Daily Dose — Shayna Jones Illuminates Black and Rural Lives

Ari Lord
By Ari Lord
April 4th, 2024

Shayna Jones, an Argenta-based performance artist and Afrocentric storyteller, is performing at the Capitol Theatre on April 11th.

Jones’ show, Black & Rural is presented as part of the Capitol Season and is based on the artist delving deeply into what matters to Black people in the countryside.

“The experience of being Black and rural is as diverse as there are people to interview. There is great variability in the stories and experiences. And yet there were several common threads, and some of those are teased out in the Black & Rural production happening at the Capitol,” says Jones.

Jones is an award-winning actor, playwright, folklorist, and multi-disciplinary spoken-word artist specializing in traditional oral storytelling of African and Afro-diasporic lore.

As a professionally trained performer, vocalist, and fine mover, Jones has crafted numerous performances nationwide featuring Afro-centric folk history, folklore and lived realities.

In ‘Black & Rural,’ Jones uses lessons learned and direct quotations from dozens of in-person interviews with Canadian Black rural folk.

“It was deeply meaningful to interview Black rural folk about their experiences, because in my lived context, I don’t have a lot of rural black folks in my life to immediately draw upon. And so the opportunity for me to hear their story was deeply meaningful,” says Jones.

This show brings vulnerability, quiet triumph, and striking humanity to the forefront.

Jones is known locally and beyond for her one-of-a-kind storytelling voice. In this show, folklore is woven into the data sourced from interviews in a poignant way.

“It was a joy to create the Black & Rural production using folkloric and poetic devices. I chose to have the Black & Rural storytelling piece be far more introspective and soul-searching as a means of a revealing what was at the heart of my own inquiry in having these interviews,” says Jones.

The show, created, written, and performed by Shayna Jones, will be put on with the support of a large team.

Jones says her preparations for the show at the Capitol are going well. She had the opportunity to remount the show in Victoria from March 21st to 23rd at Intrepid Theatre. She is in a week of rehearsals which will be followed by three more performances in Victoria, then Oliver, Cranbrook, to get ready for Nelson on April 11th, a show that Jones is very much looking forward to.

The show will travel across Canada all the way to Toronto.

“I encourage the community to take a leap, come see the show with an open heart and mind, and discover how the story of Black & Rural can personally touch and move them,” says Jones.

This show features strong language. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to

Learn more about Jones and her work at:

Another Capitol Season event happening at the theatre this month is ‘Emurgency! Revisited,’ by Amai Kuda et Les Bois on April 20th. This unique boundary-breaking musical performance group refers to themselves as “a movement.”

Led by Kuda, their shows and albums involve calling upon ancestors,and spirituality is woven throughout their music, which includes acoustic ballads, electronic beats or alt-rock-hip hop-infused political tracks.

Kuda is a singer/songwriter, Sangoma (traditional healer of Southern Africa), and a community educator. Check out Amai Kuda and Les Bois.

Check out the month’s events and buy tickets.

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