"It would be an incredible opportunity to meet again like this, consistently, with the same folks and new ones, to keep building. A retreat like this once a year would be amazing. There are too few opportunities for artists of colour to share space, strategize and create like this."
"I feel like we would need more of these meetings to build a better vocabulary as a group to really feel safe with what each of us needs to say."
Written by Valerie Sing Turner
It’s 1988. A family gathers to discuss what to do with Esther, a Chinese-Canadian WWII veteran, as they can no longer ignore her growing dementia. She keeps talking to Victor, her beloved brother, whose death she blames on the Japanese when he volunteered to serve in the Pacific arena during World War II. Her husband George, an Aboriginal WWII vet, was Victor’s best friend. Their son, Gary, arrives with his Caucasian wife, Joanna, and their 21-year-old daughter Lucy, who is Poh-Poh’s favourite. Things are already tense when estranged elder daughter, Nancy, shows up with husband, Ken, and their two daughters Denise and Andrea, who have never met Esther and George because Ken is Japanese-Canadian and Esther refuses to acknowledge his existence. But the real fireworks begin when Prime Minister Brian Mulroney announces his plan to apologize to the Japanese Canadians and their families who were interned during WWII. Will the weight of Canadian history tear them apart?
Currently in development.
National Arts Centre, English Theatre Collaboration - Visceral Visions
National Arts Centre, English Theatre 2016/17 Artist in Residence - Valerie Sing Turner
Those were the final words in an essay I wrote entitled, The Danger of a Single Story, which appeared in the Winter 2016 edition of the Canadian Theatre Review, at the invitation of guest editors Rebecca Burton and Laine Zisman Newman (co-organizers of the EIT initiative) for an issue devoted entirely to the notion of "Equity in Theatre". The title was inspired by and borrowed from the remarkable 2009 TED talk by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and as noted in the magazine's contents page, I argue that "the danger of the single story is that people fail to see the possibility of other stories that have been ignored and erased from history" - a pretty crucial matter for a cultural sector, the theatre, that is all about telling stories.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the latest group of Mini-Intensives with David Smukler during the week of January 16-22, 2017. From our very first collaboration with UBCP facilitating a two-day workshop for voiceover members, to our first time working out in the East Studio at The Post at 750 every week-day evening (a fantastic and fantastically-run space we'll definitely be using again), to our return to the glorious PAL Theatre Studio for the weekend, the feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic, with the most common comment being, "When is he coming back?!"
Well, we're working on that. So stay tuned!
Since 2005, Visceral Visions has offered professional development workshops and mini-intensives with master voice teacher, David Smukler, for Vancouver-area performers and teachers. Sign up to receive updates about future workshops with David.
Featuring Artists of Colour in Lead(ership) Roles