Now More Than Ever

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Spotlight on our evening of Theatre & Politics

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of posts that spotlight the many different plays and events that will be part of TACTICS 2017. Read on to get the inside scoop on our programming!

I’m writing this post from Niagara-on-the-Lake at the end of the first day of rehearsal for Michael Healey’s new political satire, 1979, a co-production between the Shaw Festival and the Great Canadian Theatre Company. (I’m lucky enough to be assistant director to Eric Coates.) Both the Shaw Festival and GCTC are companies that are built on presenting theatre that provokes dialogue and examines our place in the world, so it’s a perfect fit for these two companies to collaborate on this new play looking at the end of Joe Clark’s very short tenure as Prime Minister of Canada. With the imagined words of Joe Clark, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Flora MacDonald, Brian Mulroney (and others) echoing in my mind, not to mention the current political climate that is simply impossible to ignore,  it only makes sense to turn our TACTICS Spotlight to Now More Than Ever, our evening of Theatre & Politics on May 1st.

Now More Than Ever: Theatre & Politics, Monday May 1

Is democracy in crisis? If so, what can theatre artists do to inspire, educate, and entertain in a new era of uncertainty? Laurie Fyffe (Evolution Theatre) & Bronwyn Steinberg (TACTICS) invite you to attend a reading of George Orwell’s 1984, followed by the fourth panel discussion in our series Theatre Matters, a community discussion between Ottawa based theatre artists on topics of interest to theatre professionals.

1984 Script

This special event begins at 6pm on Monday, May 1st with a staged reading of Michael Gene Sullivan’s adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984. I’m particularly excited for this event, as I will be directing the reading. This script is a harrowing adaptation of the classic novel (which recently completely sold out on Amazon—hmm, I wonder why.) It’s a highly theatrical adaptation, with the playwright/adapter specifying that as the actors play multiple characters and reenact scenes from Winston’s story, it should be without the use of video and projection. Sullivan explains that “the emphasis of this adaptation is not technology, but how humans become machines.” This text lends itself extremely well to a reading, and I’m excited to have a chance to dive into it with a cast of Ottawa actors.

Following the reading, we’ll shift into a community discussion, the fourth instalment in our Theatre Matters series curated by Laurie Fyffe and myself. We’ll invite several panelists and the community to respond to the play and also to expand the conversation to reflect on the role of theatre and art in our current “era of uncertainty.”

Both events will be Pay-What-You-Can, with all proceeds benefiting Refugee 613. You are invited to join us for either the reading, the discussion, or both!

And by the way, if you are interested in getting involved, either as an actor in the reading or a panelist/facilitator for the discussion, please send me an email at tactic.series@gmail.com for more information!

I’m so looking forward to this event, and to engaging with our community on these essential and timely questions. And in the meantime, I’m soaking up all the inspiration of being in rehearsal for 1979. Seriously, we need this now more than ever.