A Complex Day In Montreal

DSC01271Yesterday, we went to Montreal, a marvelous, if notoriously inaccessible, city for the day. We had planned to be in a workshop focused on using puppetry for working with businesses. Montreal is about two hours from here, so we were up early, aiming to leave by 6 o’clock. We finally made it out of the house about 6:30. The drive up was uneventful, and traffic in the city was delightfully negligible.

Usually we can find our way around Montreal with relative ease; yesterday, perhaps because we were already feeling a bit crunched for time, we were unable to find the workshop site. Even using a map, our destination proved illusive; we found ourselves driving around in circles, passing old haunts, and running into newly one-way streets and, this being the season, construction. Continue reading

Andrea Stephenson on February’s Doubts

Andrea Stephenson’s writing and photography are grounded in place, and in her deep and abiding sense of spirituality. In this post, February’s Doubts,  she considers the light and shadow that is February, and reflects on creativity in difficult times. I am grateful to her for allowing me to share it with you.

February is the fag end of winter.  Though I love this season, this is the point when I’m ready for spring, for light, for warmth.  This is the point at which the cold and dark tires me and I trudge through the days simply surviving.  When it is no longer as easy to connect with that self I find in the rich, dark dreaming.  I have woken up, but rudely.  February is the alarm that wakes me when I’m not ready to wake, interrupting a peaceful sleep.  It is the truculent moment when I haul myself out of bed before I’m ready, to a day that I’m not looking forward to.  A transition time, but not the lazy transition of summer into autumn, or the barely perceptible change from autumn to winter.  February is hard work. Read more!

Reblog: Daily Struggles of a Disabled Woman

Visual Storyteller Gaia Calcagni Merlini is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From project ‘Anna‘. Earlier this year, probably around February, a friend told me she was working as a carer for a lady met on the street. I was instantly interested in meeting this woman. I can’t […]

via Daily Struggles Of A Disabled Woman In Hackney, London — Edge of Humanity Magazine

Reblogged from Gaele Sobott:“I Think of Dance as My Most Honest and Purest Form of Expression . . .” An interview with Christelle Dreyer — Gaele Sobott

Christelle Dreyer is a freelance graphic designer and dancer who lives in Brackenfell, Cape Town. She took up competitive ballroom and Latin dancing in 2004, then moved onto contemporary dance in 2010, performing in Dance Joint produced by Jazzart Dance Theatre and choreographed by Jackie Manyaapelo, Infecting the City, choreographed by Tebogo Munyai, and Unmute Project, […]

via “I Think of Dance as My Most Honest and Purest Form of Expression . . .” An interview with Christelle Dreyer — Gaele Sobott

Raise your banners — Shoddy exhibition

Political banners, with their traditions reaching back through the labour movement, have something in common with the Shoddy exhibition. Being fabric-based is the obvious connection, with a skillful use of embroidery, appliqué and painting to convey a strong message. Banners often carry a message of protest or resistance, but are as often about identity, pride, […]

via Raise your banners — Shoddy exhibition

Being Atypical at London’s Southbank Centre, 6th September 2016 — kaiteoreilly

AWe need more of this! Thanks, Kaite! (The photo is from Kaite’s post!)

I love a good chat, so am delighted to confirm I’ll be in conversation on 6th September at Southbank Centre, with the London launch of my selected plays Atypical Plays for Atypical Actors. The event is part of the Unlimited Festival 6-11 September 2016: “a festival of theatre, dance, music, literature, comedy and visual […]

via Being Atypical at London’s Southbank Centre, 6th September 2016 — kaiteoreilly

Brief Interviews with Native Playwrights!

Jason Grasl Lying with Badgers by Jason Grasl (Blackfeet)A Blackfeet man faces his troubled relationship with his late father and his culture when he returns to his estranged family’s remote mountain home.Jason GraslWhat is your favorite thing about playwriting? The idea of ultimate creative freedom in any directionWhat is your least favorite thing about playwriting?The realization of the…

via Meet the Playwrights – Festival of New Plays — Native Voices @ the Autry

Reblog: Broadway’s Race Casting Controversy

Asian American actors and performers have gathered forces to figure out the meaning behind a slew of statistics. Data revealed in a 2012 study has found the smoking gun — that Asian American performers are not part of “the trend toward more inclusive casting” in New York theater.

via BROADWAY’S RACE CASTING CONTROVERSY | Why are Asian Americans invisible on NYC stages? — in the culture of one world

Reblog: In the culture of casting equality

According to the new statistical report, “MCC Theater was the only theatre studied that hired no minority actors at all this season,” the report said.

via THE BEST AND WORST | In the culture of casting equality, NY’s MCC Theater gets a thumbs-down — in the culture of one world

Reblog: People love stories: An interview with Amit Sharma

Back  in December Gaele Sobott published an interview with Amit Sharma on her blog, Gaele Sobott:Writing, Culture, Social Justice and….

The post was entitled:

People love stories: An interview with Amit Sharma

The conversation is about a play he recently directed, The Solid Life of Sugar Water. The play centers on relationship, sexuality, and disability, hot topics for most of us. I hope you will visit Gaele’s blog and read the entire interview.

Sobott introduced the director thusly:

Amit Sharma has been the Associate Director of Graeae Theatre Company, London, since 2011. He recently directed The Solid Life of Sugar Water, a Graeae Theatre Company and Theatre Royal Plymouth production, gaining unanimous acclaim at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, leading to a 2016 UK tour including a run at the National Theatre…..

Here is a brief excerpt from the interview:

GS: The audience are looking down on the bed but they are also being spoken to directly by the characters. It is not possible for the audience to position themselves as just observers. They have to participate. What are your thoughts on this?

AS: That’s the good thing about theatre. You can set up a convention and then just totally break it. So whenever the characters were on the floor, that was like the wall of their bedroom but it became less about the bedroom, it was the post office, the bridge, even though the bed was always present. As a creative team we wanted it to be subtle, so yes the bed was always in the background because there was always that big question of them trying to have sex.

GS: There are many disabled artists and directors who feel there is a need to explore sex and disability, for various reasons including societal attitudes, the infantilisation of disabled people. What is the importance of sex in disabled art? What is the relation of this play to the exploration of sex and disability?

AS: The most interesting thing coming out of Sugar Water is that question has not been asked. It has not been unpacked. What the play does is almost normalise that very question of sex and disability. It is such a huge topic for so many different reasons. Perhaps it is because of the performers, one performer is Deaf and one performer has a physical impairment, but not to the extent where it impacts on their sex lives. What I mean by that is that if, say, one of the characters was a wheelchair user who had 24 hour personal care then that dynamic shifts. I was reading an article today about the Independent Living Fund and this guy saying how it can be difficult to live independently for example to go out and chat up girls because you’ve got someone else there all the time. So you have to negotiate that relationship. This play doesn’t go there. People have picked up on the element of communication between the couple, but the sex element not so. I also think it is because of how Jack as a writer was playing with the idea of sex. There’s a lot of comedy with some really graphic descriptions.

GS: Well yes there is comedy and there are very serious moments, a fine line.

Read More!