“Laborarium: Praxis Session”

Facilitators: Cassandre Chatonnier, Peter Cockett, Peter Farbridge, Diana Manole, Soheil Parsa, Mathilde Perahia, Guillaume Saindon

The polemic generated by Robert Lepage’s “Kanata” and “SLAV” in 2018 has demonstrated the need for greater peripheral vision when creating theatre that addresses marginalized communities, but also the need for both mental and real-life spaces in which discussions about cultural appropriation and artistic freedom can take place in secure, equal, and respectful ways.

This praxis session will address some of the underlying questions:

  • How can we become aware of our hidden biases and/or prejudices?
  • How can we share our differences and our cultures with respect?
  • How does the tension between cultural appreciation vs. cultural appropriation affect professional relationships in the rehearsal hall?
  • How can we avoid and/or challenge tokenism and essentialist tendencies in Canadian theatre?
  • What rehearsal strategies and approaches would facilitate a more comfortable and more effective interweaving of different training systems, theatre traditions, abilities and cultures?
  • Where would it lead us to think of culture as practice and of artistic identity instead of the majority-minorities sociopolitical construct?

This 90-minute participatory workshop, which incorporates demonstrations, acting exercises, somatic experiences, and design thinking strategies, intends to bring citizens (audience) and artists together to rethink how to address challenging issues in the arts, in particular those related to inclusion.

The workshop will engage participants in the praxis of Postmarginality, whose main objective is to explore how to inspire creation through differences in the rehearsal hall. The session will conclude with a group self-reflection and discussions on rethinking the contemporary theatre vocabulary to reflect increasingly globalized cities and regions in Canada and all over the world.

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