InTalksWith: Corrina Hodgson

"Art that gets labelled as political is art that refuses to participate in further marginalizing... its creator"

What’s your story? I am a fat, queer, disabled woman. This informs my daily life and my daily practice. It influences how I tell stories, how long I can tolerate sitting, and how I perceive my place in the world. My battle with chronic pain and mobility issues has had a profound impact on my practice in the past decade because, as a playwright, so much of our practice and outcomes takes place in the evenings, when my pain is peaking.

What are your current projects? We are about to launch The Rose Festival: A Celebration of Montreal Queer Theatre. This year, it’s a weekend of readings of plays by queer playwrights, living, working and studying in and around Montreal. I have produced it along with Emlyn van Bruinswaardt, Liam Lett and Justine Orbovic. We are delighted by the response to the festival by the participants, and are committed to expanding it and hopefully seeing it become a full-fledged queer theatre festival.

What does ‘political art’ mean to you? I think, for me, all art is political. I mean, art that you go see at a mainstream theatre is political. The latest Disney film is political. You just don't notice its politics because they're part of the hegemonic norm. Art that gets labelled as political is art that refuses to participate in further marginalizing or excripting its creator. So, I suppose, you could argue that queer theatre is political because it puts forward an agenda of queer politics, but straight theatre is political because it puts forward its own agenda of straight politics. And asking me, as a queer playwright - or as a woman, or as someone with a disability - to further participate in my own marginalization or the excription of my own voice through the production and participation in straight theatre is asking me to perpetrate violence upon myself. That, to me, is both political and unacceptable. I'd rather be in a political place that allows me to flourish and celebrate my humanity through my art.

Imago Theatre