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.

 


Sharon Pollock

I leave it to others to determine if my plays reveal a feminine perspective.

I am female in so far as I have produced ova and have had the ability to bear children. I don’t think of myself nor the majority of my personality traits as feminine; I think of myself as Me  (dare I capitalize it?) unbound by labels. I believe my perspective changes as a result of time and during the process of creating each of my plays and their production.

I don’t know whether there is some foundational biological ingredient in what makes up Me that reveals or dictates a feminine perspective, and if there is I would probably consider it a limiting factor if it’s to the exclusion of other perspectives.

I don’t choose stories or characters; they choose me. A thought, an incident, something I’ve read, something that happens, won’t leave me alone, and a character starts to speak to me, and keeps on till a creative compulsion takes hold and I have to try and make something out of it, try to make sense of it, even if in the end there is no sense to be made of it, and only a question remains. I find that anything that has an answer probably isn’t worth writing about.

I don’t know what stories need the most telling, and I suspect anyone or any body that says they do know what stories need the most telling. I would like to see opportunities and platforms for all kinds of playwrights and their plays, with all kinds of producers and theatre artists telling stories in performance in which they passionately believe. But that’s a far cry from someone or anyone deciding “what stories need the most telling,” which  sounds exclusive rather than inclusive, the decision as to the need being in the eye (and the agenda) of the decider.