The Person
The Artist

Rochelle Richardson is a Canadian-Caribbean multidisciplinary theatre artist, writer, producer and advocate for Black, Queer, Mad/Mentally Ill, and disabled communities. Rochelle returned to Toronto after completing her studies in Theatre and English at the University of Guelph, and pursued additional theatre training in several excellent programs with reputable companies.

Rochelle is the Co-Artistic Director of Low Hanging Fruit Productions, a new company born out of the desire to make theatre for queer folks of different abilities that experience mental and chronic illness, and have varied gender identities. They are a new Toronto based theatre company that creates, produces and (re)develops works by marginalized artists. To champion under-served artists, prioritizing those who have faced social, institutional, physical and financial barriers to accessing arts opportunities. LHF has spent a lot of time considering how they want to centralize and provide care for their audiences, making accessibility a priority. Rochelle’s involvement with the company consistently includes promoting and developing opportunities for discussion about how these identities exist alongside race, primarily those from the black diaspora, and continuing the conversation to cover the complexities of intersectionality and allyship.

Image Credit: Henry Chan

Rochelle’s writing and performance work often explore the use of magic-realism in the development of performance. She is delving into subjects about race/cultural identity, sexuality, gender, social change, mental illness, and fantasy. Primarily, she aims for her work to feel like a rejection of western ideologies or at minimum, a challenge to them. Mainly, the underlying motivator in all of her work can be summed up by the word “Resilience” – the resilience of others and within herself. For Rochelle, resilience is found in her intersecting identities, seen in her communities’ experiences.

Image Credit: Headshots By Andrew

Roe Daycious, Rochelle’s Burlesque Alter-Ego, has many of the same values and attributes as the artist, but expresses herself a little bit differently. She is not afraid of showing a little bit of skin. Rochelle received Burlesque Training from the fabulous Toronto Burlesque Diva, Belle Jumelle.

“As a Producer, I want to create spaces for artists where they can have their stories heard. To develop programming that provides opportunities for a range of emerging artists, that ensures accessibility and care for performers, artists, audiences and crew members. I have had to remain ignorant of my race, culture, size and sexuality in the past while working and studying theatre, compromising my artistic voice. But now, I refuse to erase my own identity any longer.

As an Artistic Producer, I want to be a driving force for theatre that deconstructs the concepts of ‘normal’. Theatre that actively considers who gets invited to the conversation, and who we are intentionally or ‘unintentionally’ leaving out. We need to create spaces where the choice to be or not be equitable is always intentional.”

Image Credit: Headshots By Andrew