Grade 8 is a heartwarming story of a father’s love. Told with charm, wit, and vulnerability, Grade 8 is a roller coaster of emotions, that will leave you holding on tightly to those you love the most.
A Toronto Fringe Festival hit, Grade 8 looks at what it means to be a black father today, and the role men play in young girls lives as they grow up and become woman.
Told through spoken word, this one-man show is part beat poetry and part urban lyricism.
Grade 8: written and performed by Up From The Roots founder, Dwayne Morgan.
Dwayne Morgan – Playwright
Dwayne Morgan began his career as a performer in 1993. A year later, he founded Up From The Roots entertainment, to promote the positive artistic contributions of African Canadian and urban influenced artists. Morgan is host and producer of his own TV show, Poetically Speaking, on the AfroGlobal Television Network. In 2014, he received the Renaissance Planet Africa Award for Career Achievement, and was acknowledged by the Ontario Black History Society as a Community Trailblazer, following up on his 2013 Scarborough Walk of Fame Induction. Morgan is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, a 2012 National Team Poetry Slam Champion, and four-time runner up. He has received both the African Canadian Achievement Award, and the Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in the Arts, and is the winner of 3 Canadian Urban Music Awards (2001, 2003, 2005). In 2005 he was recognized as Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Vancouver. In 2008, Morgan’s contribution to the Arts and Canadian society were recognized on the Legacy Black History Month poster. Morgan has published 8 books, and has collaborated with Driftwood Studios to film Three Knocks, a ten-minute film based on his domestic violence poem of the same name, which premiered in Toronto’s Reel World Film Festival.
In this bonus episode, we interview the award-winning spoken word artist behind “Grade 8”, Dwayne Morgan. Dwayne speaks about becoming a poet, his struggle to overcome being an “extreme introvert”, and how the birth of his daughter inspired his play.