There’s been a lot going on in the past few days, have you noticed?
Maybe you were celebrating Canada Day, or Independence Day. Maybe you were marching with PM Trudeau in the Pride Parade. Or maybe you were exercising non-violent civil disobedience and sitting-in with the Black Lives Matter protesters. Or maybe you fasting for Ramadan. Or waiting by the phone to hear that loved ones are safe after multiple attacks in Baghdad, Istanbul, or Bangladesh.
I’m sorry, did we just go there? This is a magazine about theatre, after all. Do we need to talk about ISIS attacks?
Yeah. Yeah, we think we do.
People – all people – do things because they believe in things. And yes, yes, we don’t all believe in the same things. And yes, yes, killing is bad. And so is racial profiling and racism. The TYA show in my gym in grade six taught me that ages ago.
So what does this have to do with theatre, again?
From where we’re sitting here at #cdncult, we see our community of theatre makers and supporters working hard to grapple with legacies of colonialism and prejudice. And we are proud of those who are asking the hard questions, and those who are trying – sometimes failing – to answer those questions. And those who embrace the multiplicity of answers and perspectives that make up a healthy and vibrant community.
US President Barack Obama says that the world needs more Canada. Well, we say that the world also needs more Canadian theatre and the many overlapping and interlaced voices it represents.
In this edition, Toronto playwright and actor Andrea Scott reflects on the how African-Canadian voices and stories have emerged within Canadian theatre; Vancouver director Milton Lim calls on us to make room for a diversity of form, as well as experience; and Jillian Keiley, Artistic Director of English Theatre at Canada’s National Arts Centre responds to the recent allegation that Canada doesn’t have a national theatre.
If “more of Canada” means making room for more voices, more ways of doing, more ways of seeing, then yes, the world could use more of Canada. Canada could use more of Canada, too.