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.

Emma Tibaldo

So I grew up in St. Michel, a very working class Italian community. Rights for women were never discussed. But my dad would very often say: “Get an education. Learn to speak. People will otherwise take advantage”. Learn to speak stayed with me. My dad is not a feminist but he taught me I had the right to speak. And I hold it dear.

So I love when women yell, get messy, speak their mind. I look for women that demand change or cause change or despair for change. Women who are not an appendage or secondary to the story. When I consider a project I ask: Is this something the twenty year old me was starved for? Does it leave me wondering or uncomfortable? Does it make me consider the world in a new way? Is it off center enough for my mind to engage?

I am a feminist. For me, that means I look for female characters with full voice, full stories. I choose female playwrights that express their full voice through their fully embodied characters, whether female or male. I choose male playwrights who fully consider female characters essential to the telling of their story. It is hard to put into words, but if I love the complexity of the characters, if I feel I can get behind the telling of the story, if I know the world may understand something differently by being present at the telling….well, then I am compelled.