#CdnCult Times; Volume 7, Edition 2: SEXUALITY AS ACTIVISM

#CdnCult Times; Volume 7, Edition 2: SEXUALITY AS ACTIVISM

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When we started working on this edition, it was about activism and the ongoing question posed by those who use theatre for social change: does this even work? Then this funny thing happened. The discussions about making positive social change converged with conversations about the body. Sex.

The body is a political site. We know this. But how politics play out in relationship to the body — and what the body even means — changes depending on the community you are in. Who one has sex with, that one might receive money to have sex, or that one even has sexual desire are, arguably, private details of one’s life. But these private aspects can be publicly leveraged to access resources, challenge legislation, or change assumptions of ability or capacity.

Each of the artists writing for this edition are engaged with how elements of their own or others’ sexuality. They consider how the act of staging aspects of sexuality, sex work or dating proposes alternatives to conventional narratives. Because this is often connected to who they are as people, does it then mean that they are in fact activists by staging this work?

In this edition Darrah Teitel explores her relationship to her sexuality and her past in her writing, Alan Shain discusses how theatre can upend conventional narratives about disability, and Marisa Smith recounts how a show about sex work in impacted her own artistic practice. Cumulatively they allude to how much bravery and honesty this work requires.

Adrienne Wong and Michael Wheeler
Co-Editors: #CdnCult V7

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About the Author

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Michael is Artistic Director of SpiderWebShow, which he co-created with Creative Catalyst Sarah Garton Stanley. He was previously Executive Director and Transformation Designer of Generator, where he led the transition from a fee-for-service model named STAF, to the current capacity-building model it operates on.
Since 2003, he has run Toronto-based Praxis Theatre, with which he has directed 14 plays and curated several festivals while writing for and running performance-based websites. He teaches regularly at The National Theatre School and Queen’s University, where SpiderWebShow is currently in residence.