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Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series

Who Are We Now? is an initiative from Theatre Alberta that brings you editorial perspectives from a variety of Albertan artists, educators, administrators, and technicians about the ever-changing world of live theatre. We hope you’ll find them useful as you process your own evolving reality.

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Richard Beaune

Love and Chance in Central Alberta By Richard Beaune As I write these words, I’m sitting in the Scott Block Theatre in Red Deer, taking a short break from rehearsing The Games of Love and Chance.  This classic play is being rediscovered by an ensemble of artists who are living

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Postmarginal

Postmarginal Edmonton – Reflections of a Year By Shrina Patel, Soni Dasmohapatra, and Lucy Lu A little over a year ago, 40 artists, scholars, and cultural workers gathered at the Fringe Theatre Arts Barns in Edmonton to tell stories, dialogue, move, and practice together. Led by Walterdale Theatre with funding

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Althea Cunningham

Hate Based Crimes in Relation to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Unless I am casted as a killer in a play, murder is not a part of my career of job description. Until then, I am not a murderer. However, for people in positions of power such as the police, murder

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Sara Campos-Silvius

Frission, or the Unbearable Virtue of Molecules Gathering I wanted—needed—the show to happen in person this year. The profound connection that we form by physical presence in theatre, in partnership, in place, to be together as humans was an experience sorely, painfully missed. What does it mean to be in

Kijo Gatama

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Kijo Eunice Gatama

Curiosity Liberated The Cat Kijo Eunice Gatama Curiosity didn’t kill the cat, I think it actually liberated it and gave it the satisfaction of learning something new whether that was pleasant or not. Hello, I am Kijo, and I am a huge cat lover and so this play on the

Smiling Woman With Black Glasses and Cool Dark Hair in Two Buns With Chunks Framing Face And Neon Pink Crescent Moon Necklace Standing in Snowy Park

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Simone A. Medina Polo

The Artwork and Its Compassions Simone A. Medina Polo When I had an opportunity to write the first essay for this year’s run of Who Are We Now?, I was considering how my own position as an arts manager is symptomatic of a number of concrete socio-political conflicts – something

Savanna Harvey headshot

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Savanna Harvey

Three years ago, I started writing a show called Wastelands. In creating that piece, I studied the plastic waste and climate crises. I went in feeling that we were in trouble, that was the reason for writing the show, but as an artist I didn’t see what I could do. This was a job for policy-makers, scientists, and industry. My skills weren’t useful here.

Nikki-Loach-headshot

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Nikki Loach

I feel like I have experienced a sort of winter in our industry. Where some things must die so that new growth can emerge. I saw the sudden death of my frantic schedule. A full stop that was pleasant at first, but soon challenged our ‘the show must go on’ sensibility to ‘I guess the show doesn’t have to go on… can’t go on” sobriety

Amena Shehab_headshot

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Amena Shehab

We are children of the wind, we are children of the water, the fire, and the light. These are the things that make us who we are. Our voices sing the memories. The sound of mahbash – coffee ground by a father’s hand and the smell of khubz – bread kneaded with a mother’s heart.

Sofia Huarte Aguilar

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Sofia Aguilar

The following essay was brought to our attention by University of Calgary School of Performing Arts Sessional Instructor Léda Davies. We’re thrilled to get this insight into what post-secondary theatre students are thinking about, researching, and writing about right now. Thank you Sofia Huarte Aguilar for sharing this excellent essay!

White Man With Sort Hair Looks at Camera

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Chris Dodd

MOVING TO A BIGGER STAGE – Chris Dodd Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses

White Human With Curly Hair and Glasses Smiles and Looks Into Camera

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Kathryn Smith

WHAT I WOULD LEAVE AND WHAT I WOULD KEEP I’m a designer during a pandemic. I’ve been trying to write an essay about the experience of designers, technicians, and production staff during COVID, but admittedly (and unsurprisingly) it’s not easy. There is no succinct phrase or line of dialogue to

Lebanese Man With Goatee Smiles and Looks Into The Camera

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Luay Eljamal

LOOKING TO THE PAST TO SEE THE FUTURE: A LEBANESE-CANADIAN MANIFESTO – Luay Eljamal The following essay pulls from research I conducted in 2016 for a paper entitled “The Manipulation of Collective Memory Through Art in Post-Civil War Lebanon”, which can be read in its entirety here. When I first

White Woman With Red Hair Smiles and Looks Into The Camera

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Suzanne Hermary

FORGING A NEW PATH – Suzanne Hermary The thoughts herein are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations with whom I work. I’m fairly new to the Board of the group I work with, so most observations are coming from the perspective of a community

Black Woman Wearing Red Smiles and Looks into the Camera

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Lebogang Disele

WHO ARE WE NOW, AND WHERE ARE WE GOING – Lebogang Disele Pandemic Round 1: Nextfest goes online. I submit my performance in the form of a video excerpt. Pandemic Round 2: Antidote to Violence as Care, a collaborative project led by Brandon Wint, shifts from a live performance to

Woman With Dark Hair and Glasses Looks Up and Poses For the Camera

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Sue Goberdhan

FACING FORWARD, LOOKING BACK A Letter To (and From) Sue Goberdhan, for you Well Homeslice, we made it. 28. Holy shit. Almost don’t have the audacity to believe it, but we’re here. When you really stop and think about it, it’s kind of a miracle, isn’t it? Our dumb ass

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Simone A. Medina Polo

IT IS NOT JUST TO HAVE A MESTIZO TRANS WOMAN IN POWER – Simone A. Medina Polo At the beginning of October 2020, I took on the role of Festival Producer for the Nextfest Arts Company. Though it is most certainly exciting and a significant personal achievement, it is not

Metis Woman With Long Dark Hair Glasses Beadwork Necklace and Jean Jacket Smiles and Looks Into The Camera

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Jacquelyn Cardinal

FROM THE DESK OF AN APOCALYPSE DOULA – Jacquelyn Cardinal One of the clearest varieties of memory I have of my childhood were the nights when Hunter, my younger brother, and I were treated to myth-sharing by our Dad. Rather than reading the usual storybook chosen from our shared collection,

Woman With Dark Hair and Pinkish Shirt Smiles and Looks Into the Camera

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Jenna Shummoogum

TURNING TOWARDS – Jenna Shummoogum   As I look around at what appears to be the second wave, the highest numbers of COVID cases in Alberta ever, new restrictions looming and medical doctors sounding the alarm, all I can see is grief.   I’m pretty familiar with the messiness of

Lebanese Man With Glasses and Short Brown Hair Looks Down and To His Left

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Makram Ayache

THE BEST MAN FOR THE JOB – Makram Ayache When a friend of mine shared the news of the new Alberta Artist in Residence on social media, they were understandably leery of the decision. The current government hasn’t exactly been discreet about some faith-based motivations underlying their legislative decision making. 

Black Woman Wearing Blue Smiles and Looks Into The Camera

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Makambe K Simamba

21 QUESTIONS FOR THE WHITE MAN IN PONOKA – Makambe K Simamba It was the summer, and I’d found myself at the County Fair of Ponoka of all places. I was there by circumstance, not choice. I’m a theatre artist, so between gigs, I do wacky jobs to help make

Teenage Girl With Short Brown Hair and Glasses Smiles and Looks to Her Right

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Nalyn Tindall

COVID-19 AT 17 – Nalyn Tindall When schools across the country were put on hold last March, I had no idea that this is what life would become. I did not picture entering my high school classroom masked each morning, coating my hands in sanitizer after each doorway I step

White Man Wearing Pink Shirt and Glasses Smiles and Looks Into the Camera

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Daryl Cloran

THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE – Daryl Cloran The numbers don’t lie.   At the Citadel Theatre we spent the summer collecting data on the composition of our artists, staff and board from over the past 10+ years. Executive Director Chantell Ghosh and I have worked closely with our incredible Associate

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Inside Out Theatre

Our next essay comes to us courtesy Inside Out Theatre’s Point of View Ensemble with contributions from Meighan Wong, Jennifer Stewart, Mike Keir, and Damon Lawson, and support from Jeremy Park and Michelle Brandenburg. SCATTERED BUT STILL THERE – The Point of View Ensemble | September 2, 2020 In Mid-march,

Deanne Bertsch photo

Who Are We Now? Theatre Alberta Essay Series – Deanne Bertsch

COVID has undoubtedly marked our work indelibly, both in terms of practice and philosophy.  This new, short-term initiative from Theatre Alberta brings you editorial perspectives from within this change written by a variety of artists from our province.  We hope you’ll find them useful in your own processing of this

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