Title of Research Output

Decolonizing Toronto Theatre

Faculty

Arts and Humanities

Supervisor Name

Kim Solga

Keywords

Decolonization, Indigenous, Anti-Racism, Toronto, Theatre, Equity, Inclusion, Reconciliation

Description

This research project, “Decolonizing Toronto Theatre,” examines how Soulpepper, a mainstream Toronto theatre company, and their collaboration with Native Earth Performing Arts are contributing to the equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization of Toronto theatre through their recent Indigenous productions: Kamloopa and Where the Blood Mixes. We watched, read, and analyzed both plays to explore how these two productions transform and redefine the intellectual, political, and artistic conventions of Anglo-Canadian theatre. Our analyses of these plays are informed by the various texts centred around Canadian Indigenous history and Indigenous theatre. We also used an ethnographic approach by talking to people involved in both productions. We conducted interviews with the playwrights, the associate artistic director at Soulpepper, and some artists involved in both plays. These conversations with the people involved allowed us to understand these plays beyond their content: the inner workings of how a production comes to fruition. The conversations also allowed for a reflection on the similarities and differences between the creative approaches the artists involved took as well as the positive impacts these productions have had on Toronto theatre. Finally, by applying our ethnographic findings and our analyses of the plays, we composed a journal article that compiles the analyses and research conducted over the course of the internship.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the Faculty of Arts and Humanities as well as the USRI program and staff for providing this opportunity. I would also like to thank the artists and creative members involved in the Soulpepper and Native Earth Performing Arts rendition of Kamloopa and Where the Blood Mixes for sharing their knowledge and experiences with me. And I would especially like to thank my supervising professor, Kim Solga, for her fantastic support and incredible knowledge that she generously provided as she guided me through our project.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Document Type

Paper

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Decolonizing Toronto Theatre

This research project, “Decolonizing Toronto Theatre,” examines how Soulpepper, a mainstream Toronto theatre company, and their collaboration with Native Earth Performing Arts are contributing to the equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization of Toronto theatre through their recent Indigenous productions: Kamloopa and Where the Blood Mixes. We watched, read, and analyzed both plays to explore how these two productions transform and redefine the intellectual, political, and artistic conventions of Anglo-Canadian theatre. Our analyses of these plays are informed by the various texts centred around Canadian Indigenous history and Indigenous theatre. We also used an ethnographic approach by talking to people involved in both productions. We conducted interviews with the playwrights, the associate artistic director at Soulpepper, and some artists involved in both plays. These conversations with the people involved allowed us to understand these plays beyond their content: the inner workings of how a production comes to fruition. The conversations also allowed for a reflection on the similarities and differences between the creative approaches the artists involved took as well as the positive impacts these productions have had on Toronto theatre. Finally, by applying our ethnographic findings and our analyses of the plays, we composed a journal article that compiles the analyses and research conducted over the course of the internship.

 

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