The Coming Out Episode

The Coming Out Episode


Welcome to Volume 2: the coming out episode.

I am fairly certain that Volume 2 is a mostly meaningless appellation as there was no Volume 1 when we started SpiderWebShow. But here we are, at the dawn of a new volume and so we called it Volume 2: the coming out show. Actually “The Coming Out Episode” part is my addition to the edition. More on that soon.

There are a bunch of changes to make the new volume meaningful.

Like Neworld Theatre has come onboard as producer for the show. Like Adrienne Wong is heading up research for the Experiments, and she has joined SpiderWebShow as Artistic Associate. Like we are launching the Thought Residencies. Like we are looking forward to University Ottawa giving us some #CDNtheatrethrowback and, like, a whole lot more.

10 brand new editions of Volume 2: the coming out episode are getting ready to reveal themselves between now and March 21, 2014. Basically, a lot of new. In case you were worried, there is just as much – if not more – that is coming back from Volume 1. Phew!

But because we trade in story, I think I am going to tell you one here.

This is the Story of the birthing of a Second Volume of The SpiderWebShow: the coming out episode. Within the story, I have placed a paradox because most good stories hold conflict or, at the very least, obstacle.

The Story of a Second Volume of The SpiderWebShow begins with a desire to connect in greater number and in more substantial ways with Performance Minds in Canada. We want to make things more visible and celebrate more fully the potential that SpiderWebShow has, for being the place where theatre can find its home online. This is something we want to do.

To this end, Volume 2: the coming out episode, arrives at your digital doorstep with change; since you last saw it, the episode has done some growing up and is negotiating a few more followers than it had way back at the dawn of Volume 1. It also comes with an unmasking: hence my subtitle.

The SpiderWebShow is a shared initiative between NAC English Theatre, Praxis Theatre and Neworld Theatre. Most people like getting their name out there, but this Artistic Director (newly minted) of The SpiderWebShow has reservations about you all knowing that NAC is involved in this venture. Praxis Theatre? Sure! Neworld Theatre? Absolutely! NAC? I worried! I worried that you would not be as interested. That you might think we wanted something from you. That you would not accept our voice as readily as you might accept the voice of others. I am forever trying to come to terms with the tall poppy paradox.

The tall poppy story, like so much of the inception for The SpiderWebShow, began in a non-verbal space. Apparently it is the story of a lesson taught without words or specific commands. There are two characters in this story. Person A and Person B.

Person A gets invited to go for a walk in a field with Person B, a person for whom Person B holds great respect. While in the field, Person A starts casually lopping the tops of the highest wheat, or poppy, or corn, while Person B awaits the words of wisdom they anticipated receiving from this specific invitation. Person A, however, never speaks and Person B is left to conclude that the most eminent people must be cut down. Person B leaves the field and sets out on an adventure of terror and destruction, all in the name of social control and equality for all.

The genealogy of the story traces back to Herodotus – was picked up by Aristotle – and has kept repeating through the centuries ever since.

I expect people who unquestioningly subscribe to this story also follow the belief that leading by example is the golden rule and that following without examination is its obvious corollary. In keeping with the coming out episode subtitle, I must confess that I am constantly coming up against my own apathetic will to simply believe, rather than question. I mean, really, who has the time?

The tall poppy story has plagued me my entire career. Wanting to reveal, while all the while being terrified that the revelation will be deemed incorrect. Knowing that this very thought is unproductive, but nervous that to believe this will place a limit on my sense of security. I am pretty sure I am not alone here. It is incredible how certain things stick.

So, Volume 2; the coming out episode, comes with a challenge.

I want to know more about what holds us back as artists in today’s clime. What are the barriers that mitigate our capacity as artists to report exactly what we see? What stops us from seeing? How can we see better? And how, can we support one another when we see it?  Volume 2: the coming out episode is about taking on the tall poppy paradox.

It’s about being dazzled (because we must be dazzled), it’s about being humble (because we must be humble), and finally it’s about our shared mission: The SpiderWebShow is a theatrical space where Canada, the Internet and performance minds intersect .Volume 2: the coming out episode aims to peel off a layer, get stronger (the web must support), get taller (because if we are looking at the sun we are going to grow) become more adventuresome (traditions are good until they aren’t) and be true.

The SpiderWebShow Volume 2: the coming out episode, is produced by Neworld Theatre in association with Praxis Theatre and English Theatre at the NAC. Welcome to The SpiderWebShow. Hit it Diana!