(they / them)


Photography Credit: DISSRUPTIV THEATRE


chadia (they/them) is a Burundian, queer, agender, neurodivergent multidisciplinary artist currently based in Tiohtià:ke.

Originally starting as a performer, chadia continuously found themselves in stories that positioned them in a minstrel performance that fit a “respectable” or palatable version of blackness. Trying to survive as an artist has become about either paying the bills and succumbing to these transgressions against them, or taking the financial risk of investing their time into writing the underrepresented narratives. Narratives that chadia would love to perform as a black, queer, neurodivergent actor. They want work that challenges societal norms and their own values, instead of work that consistently has them teaching the “black experience” for the benefit of mostly white audiences. chadia realized that in order to work in an environment where they could thrive, be well paid, and create with artistic liberty appreciated for the complexity of what they had to offer, chadia had to create it for themselves. They established their "one person company with no money" DISSRUPTIV THEATRE. In 2022, they wrote, produced, directed, designed and performed their show "NIGGAS IN PONTREAL" at Montreal Fringe. The cast was led by ALL Black femmes.  chadia is focused on creating, collaborating, and supporting works that instigate conversations and challenge societal norms.

Why do I write?

I write because... I think it's my only way/chance to taste or experience "freedom". Writing has always been a tool for me to explore and shape my thoughts, my feelings, my opinions. Coming out of high school, and going into my 1st year of CEGEP, I was in a space where the goal wasn't to nurture our writing and our minds, it was about stripping away the voice of the writer, so that whiteness could be at the forefront. At 17, that trajactory, the ambitiousness, the CREATIVITY of my writing-- traumatized me and I stopped writing for pleasure altogether. For 8 years, I didn't share my writing with a single soul. Even writing in my journal became difficult because my sense of self WAS BROKEN. Gone. And, I focused on performance. I graduated university in 2019 studying theatre-- specifically performance. And, as an actor I was not fufilled. I continuously found myself in stories that positioned me in a minstrel performance that fit a “respectable” or palatable version of blackness. It wasn't until I read Esi Callender (a biracial Black, queer, nonbinary playwright, performer, dramaturg)'s play, "Libation" in 2020, where I found myself EATING their work as a performer. I connected, and truly felt myself doing relevant work that was also REAL. Since then I've been on a journey to heal my 17 year old writer's heart. As a neurodivergent artist, I not only create non-traditional, but I also present my work in non-traditional ways.  My work disrupts respectability politics- politics in general. It’s about creating content that has the foundation base of de-stressing and aiding black artists to thrive and easily survive against a system that is actively working to have us, black artists, to fail.

chadia is currently completing their residency with LASERRE & Playwrights Workshop Montreal. And, they will also be bringing their workshop that began in BC and will now come to Montreal in April of 2024. This workshop challenges and answers the question of, "can you separate the art from the artist?", and the answer is NO. I mean, you could... but the 'art' isn't really that good. 



INSTAGRAM/TWITTER: @dissruptivtheatre, @chadiaisdissruptiv