Theatre News Roundup

Alienating Our Audiences Early by Mia McCullough

There’s definitely a perception (not entirely unfounded) that theatre is an incredibly inaccessible medium both to attend and produce (this doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s the most beautiful thing ever! Don’t @ me please!) and here Mia looks at the high school level. How and why teens are introduced to theatre (ie, being forced to read plays about interpersonal problems of affluent families and/or bourgeois ennui against their will) doesn’t exactly leave them hungry for more.

Montreal theatre on a budget: how to save on tickets and see shows for less by Camila Fitzgibbon

Great item over at Montreal Theatre Hub! How to save money on theatre admissions in Montreal. Becoming a member of QDF is one of those ways! If you’re cash-strapped (’tis the season!) but still want to take in some of the wonderful theatre, there are ways to make it happen, captain! (via Montreal Theatre Hub)

Stop including weight, height and chest size on resume, Halifax director urges by Emma Davie

Do you know any performers who still put their height, weight, size, etc on their CV? I’ve got my height on my CV, but this article just convinced me to take it off. I put it on there because I’m above average height – and I just realized that has zero bearing on my abilities as a performer.  Glad to see this issue addressed out in the open over in the Maritimes!

Infinithéâtre’s PIPELINE reading series to showcase 2017 WRITE-ON-Q! playwriting contest winners from December 8-10 by Camila Fitzgibbon

The results of Infinithéâtre’s Write-On-Q! contest are in! Congrats to all the winners, and huge kudos to, Micheala Di Cesare, QDF board member, who took home the big prize for her play Extra/Beautiful/U. You can attend a reading of the play at the Pipeline, Infinithéâtre’s playreading series, on Sunday, Dec 10, directed by Eda Holmes.

Why Canadian playwrights are big in Japan by Trevor Campbell

Here’s a happy little news item about Toyoshi Yoshihara, who has been translating Canadian plays and bringing them to his native Japan. He’s translated the likes of Hannah Moscovitch to George F Walker. It’s good Friday reading. (via Now Toronto)

CALQ answers Sprung and Varma’s combative words about diversity in Quebec theatres by Jim Burke

Here is CALQ’s presidente-directrice-générale Anne-Marie Jean speaking to Jim Burke regarding the concerns brought up by Rahul Varma and Guy Sprung. Hopefully these very public conversations can bring about real structural change that creates a level playing field for all! (via Montreal Gazette)

Quebec Students Gear Up to Fight Against Unpaid Internships by Miriam Lafontaine

Students at UQAM are organizing themselves to put an end to unpaid internships. Some programs there, including the theatre program, only approve for-credit internships if they’re unpaid – that’s the rule. Unpaid internships are a feature in a lot of arts and arts related fields (marketing is a big one), and they are by nature, exploitative and unfair.  Read about these plucky students who have had enough! (via The Link)

Canadian Indie Music Icons Are Turning to Theatre
by Graham Isador

Two rather successful Canadian mucisians are branched into theatre last month. They suggest that audiences at concerts are to preoccupied with their phones and that a theatre audience will really listen to them. This is so fascinating to me. Don’t they know how hard it is to produce theatre? Don’t they know theatre is dying (this is a joke seriously don’t @ me)?!  I guess they are insulated from the classic butts-in-seats conundrum, since they already have a significant following. Anyway, the show was not well reviewed, but it’s interesting to get a first-time perspective from these two. (via Montreal Gazette)

Content warning for linked article: domestic abuse, violence against women, misogyny, patriarchal violence, rape.

Forgive the drawn-out alien metaphor in this article. The point is: in Canada we produce a great deal of work that depicts graphic violence against women on stage, the justification being that the piece only reflects the real situations women find themselves in, and wants to “challenge” the misogynistic attitudes that contribute to those real-life instances of violence. Here’s a rebuttal I find apt:

The “holding a mirror” argument is something you hear a lot when violence is depicted in art and it’s one that I’m officially sick of hearing. In her book The Art of Cruelty, American writer Maggie Nelson argues that all depictions of cinematic rape are not only gratuitous, but they’re also coercive in the sense that there’s a metaphor between the lack of consent in watching rape on film and the lack of consent in being a victim of it in life.

You might be able to suggest that plays like Streetcar are searing indictments of patriarchal institutional violence, and that men in the audience will now take pause before brutally abusing their sisters-in-law and shipping them off to a sanatorium. But what’s the takeaway lesson for women in the audience? That level of violence might happen to you, probably by someone you know and trust, and you should be frightened? (via Globe and Mail)