Then I thought about how artists are filled with determination. How artists make something out of nothing. How artists are among the most curious and compassionate in our society. And then I thought… I bet we could do it.
At 29 years old I began the process of ‘stopping’. I was so frayed by a life on the run, spinning out of control, longing for a home to replace the one I had left at a very young age.
Petroleum is in everything! We burn it, Play with it, eat it, wash with it, wear it, drive with it, sleep on it, War with it, fly with it, ship it, text and send emails with it, breath it, fuck it. Everything we do in this modern industrial technologically saturated world is made possible only by the wondrously complex hydrocarbon chains we call oil.
I had a moment when I saw the logos of the festival’s major sponsors. It reminded me of a moment I’d had several months earlier while attending the premiere of my husband’s play Butcher at Alberta Theatre Projects. A group of us were attending a Q&A session with Butcher’s director and playwright. Upon arrival, attendees were given welcome bags, and lanyards to wear.
When the NORTHBOUND 63 collective sits down to talk about this show, there is a lot of talk about “IT”. What is the “IT” that we wrestle with when contemplating the question of how to stop, or even reverse the path global capitalism has committed us to?
As Canadians, it is no longer enough to explore and critique the art and expression of Indigenous people, while remaining ignorant of the multi-generational and systemic complicity in their life outcomes. We are at the dawn of a new frontier in our relationship and one that is filled with possibility. If we have the courage to use it wisely, we can change the path we have been on.
The Study / Repast was an opportunity to dig deeper into the roots of Indigenous theatre in Canada by bringing Indigenous theatre students and recent graduates together with a professional acting company and other seasoned Indigenous performing artists, including Monique Mojica, Daniel David Moses, and Muriel Miguel. These artists were often present during the creation and production processes of the work we were exploring, and so could offer insight into the rumblings of Indigenous theatre.
I had heard this history, but until I heard the stories and was moved by those stories, I did not know the history. I’ve never had the power to physically punch out. I dropped out of debating club because I got called Olive Oyl at a tournament. I wish I was a fighter but I’m not. But we, you and I in the theatre, in TV and in film – WE have the power to teach. We have the power to reach people.
“Many now question the feasibility of requiring artists to incorporate as stand-alone organizations in order to receive public and private funding, and seek alternative models to sustain their practice. One of the alternatives that has been proposed to address this challenge is shared charitable platforms.”
Every year, hundreds of theatre productions happen across Canada, mounted by PACT member and other professional companies, touring productions, Fringe shows, independent productions in store front theatres and pop-up venues. (I can’t even begin to conceive of the number of community and amateur performances.) So there must be thousands of individual performances. And, given the limitations of our data collection and the underfunded nature of the sector, we simply lose the information.