May 31st, 2021

Embracing More Inclusive/Diverse Practices

Panelists: Nina Lee Aquino, Kevin Hanchard, Marilo Nuñez, and David Yee

Moderators: Marlis Schweitzer, Cassandra Henry

"As an artistic director [at Factory Theatre], when I invite a director to come play in our season, to look at a script, one of the first things I’ll say, especially if it’s a BIPOC director, please please please read the script with all of who you are. I want you and your identity and your politics. I want it all seeped into the script. Marinate in it and then you tell me what you see, and the world that you see in this script."

The second panel focused on current trends of casting and representation we have been seeing in theatre institutions and the professional world more recently. Discussing current trends in Canadian training institutions, the panelists unpacked the roles and responsibilities that institutions have when selecting and casting their seasons. This includes breaking down ideas around “classic” theatre and what that means, as well as focusing on telling stories in different ways and letting marginalized voices take the lead.

"And a lot of people say, “Well, in theatre school, it’s the time to experiment, and you should be able to do anything and everything. And go for it,” and to some degree I agree with that, but I really strongly believe that we can’t deny the identities of these people. We can’t erase race. [...] Ya know, we live in a world where we are judged daily. When we walk out that door, we are looked at based on what we – what culture we are, what ethnicity we are."
"That’s what we need. People who cannot be contained, they can’t be controlled, and just have stories to tell and they’re going to tell them, come hell or high water. I think that’s what we need to be churning out in order to really start to turn the tide."