Although the term may carry various meanings elsewhere, in theatre, “cultural intimacy” can describe a strategy to approaching and working with plays from or about cultures one may not be familiar with. In this respect, it is not dissimilar from Ybarra’s concept of “coalitional casting.” Specifically in terms of training institutions, Métis director, actor, and playwright Jani Lauzon suggests that actors must take great care to unpack and acknowledge the nuance and complexities present when attempting to portray stories they may not have experienced. This approach entails detailed research on the represented culture and demands respect towards potentially unfamiliar or marginalized experiences. For more, see Robinson and Marin, Stewart.

Sources and Further Reading:

Stewart, Marcel. “The Scarcity Mindset Has a Deathgrip On Casting.” Canadian Theatre Review, vol. 193, Winter 2023, In Publication.

Robinson, Jamie and Zoe Marin, editors. “The Artist and the Activist.” Canadian Theatre Review, vol. 193, Winter 2023, In Publication.