This post is part of a series for our Her Side of the Story encounter, May 13-14 2016 located at the National Theatre School of Canada. We invited theatre artists from across Canada to reflect on how their work in theatre is influenced by their perspective as women. Are they conscious of promoting a “feminine perspective” or is it something that is intuitive? Imago Theatre would like to thank all of the artists who responded to our questions for their thoughtful, insightful responses. We will be sharing these responses on our blog for the first two weeks of May. We will also be creating a publication of selected quotes, which will be available for free at the Her Side of the Story readings, long-table discussion, and cabaret.
What stories need the most telling?
As far as I’m concerned, we need to tell way more stories about poor brown people. I say this because so much of the theatre I see is about rich white people. I would like to say that those stories are being portrayed mostly on the mainstream stages that get almost all of the resources out there, but I do have to say that some of the independent theatre I see is also about rich white people. I mean like, really? At this late date – it is 2016, after all, in a country where fifty percent of the major urban centres are made up of people of non-European descent, and where most people are not rich – I feel that we should be embarrassed about having this conversation. But there you go. I’m willing to cut a little slack: when I say rich white people, I don’t just mean the elite. I mean the middle class. I mean the upper middle class. I’m lumping all of those under my rich white people umbrella. I’m really tired of talking about this, but I would really love to see a play about the Vietnamese factory workers I had the privilege to work alongside many years ago when I worked on the assembly line of a tofu weiner factory in Vancouver, or the old Chinese lady who goes through my recycling bin every week, or my Kurdish threader, or all the friends I have in the Latinx community who walked here from Central America and Mexico. Those are some examples of stories I’d like to see told on our stages. I try to address this in my own work by writing about anything but rich white people. That is all.