Posted by: theplaywright | July 24, 2009

What have I been up to?

First I must thank everyone who participated in the email campaign last summer. I’m really hoping that it leads to some really substantial change at the Shaw festival.

After that campaign, I decided to get to work on producing a workshop of the play that they turned down. I decided that the best thing to do was to not give up, and so the workshop is happening here in Toronto at Theatre Passe Muraille. I’ll throw up the flyer or something here in a few days.

After the workshop, I want to gather some people together to start an organization to encourage diversity in the arts, but only after I’ve finished work on my art!

Posted by: theplaywright | June 24, 2009

Interesting shift in law…

That speaks to the changes in attitudes around race.

Posted by: theplaywright | June 12, 2009

An interesting report on diversity from the Toronto Star…

I just read a very interesting article, I’ll paste the link to it below. It lists Canada’s best diversity employers. I want to see Shaw on that list one day!

Posted by: theplaywright | June 10, 2009

There is even diversity in Robert Munch…

Last night, as I was reading ‘Something Good’ to my daughter, she pointed to the main character and said ‘Daddy, her skin is like mine.’ And it suddenly struck me how important that is. For a child to see characters that represent their skin colour. It’s important for adults too. Watching Yana Macintosh play Lady Macbeth filled me so so much pride I can’t tell you. Her sleepwalking scene was mesmerizing.

I wonder what she could do with Major Barbara. Hmmmm.

Posted by: theplaywright | April 27, 2009

Well, I was hoping for more…

I’ve just had a quick glance at the Shaw Festival brochure, and I have to say I’m dissapointed.

Posted by: theplaywright | November 9, 2008

Post election Euphoria…


I honestly never thought I’d live to see the day.

When Barack started running, I thought, ‘Hmm, seems like a good guy, health care platform seems naive, and white America will never elect a black person as president.’

Turns out I was wrong on the last one.

Even though I still have problems with his health care proposals, (or lack thereof) it’s a stunning event, and one that has reverberations in every aspect of society in America and here in Canada.

Really, if Americans can see a black person as president, then why not on our stages? Is there any reason not to explore diverse casting, and hire incredibly talented people in great positions?

In the future, there will come a day when actors of every colour will perform in my work. And I welcome it. I know I’ve had some actors say to me that time hasn’t arrived yet, and only black people should perform in Riot, but I welcome the day when that barrier is broken and there are no more racial barriers in any play in any theatre in this country.

Posted by: theplaywright | October 17, 2008

Post Election blues…

Well, it’s a good thing that Harper has a minority. It’s a good thing that the Liberal party is looking for ‘renewal’. But it’s a bad thing that I’m more excited about the election in America.

I’m almost giddy that the US might have a black president. Named Obama. Wow. I really never thought I’d see the day.

And I honestly always thought that Canada would have a diverse Prime Minister before the States would have a black president. I honestly did. I honestly believe that the vast majority of Canadians would vote for a person of colour if they felt they would make a good Prime Minister. Am I naive? I don’t think so. I think deep down, we’re a good people, and we know what’s right.

I really wish that there were some serious contenders for the diverse Prime Minister spot, but I don’t see any.

Hell, I think that Sheila Copps should have stuck it out and run for leader, I think she would have done better than Dion, that’s for sure!

Posted by: theplaywright | October 9, 2008

The Mighty Q

Turns out Jian wants to talk to me next week. Ah CBC radio. I will keep you up to date as to when the show will be on.

Posted by: theplaywright | September 30, 2008

And so Shaw has announced their new season…

It’s interesting that they’re doing Noel Coward. I love Coward, so I’m chuffed as the brits would say. My hope is that when they cast, they do something brave. I would love to see some diversity in ‘Still Life’. A really lovely play, and a great opportunity for any actor. I also noticed that they’re reading ‘Top Dog, Under Dog’, a great play, but very… daring. I think it’s absolutely amazing that they want to introduce the play to the Shaw audience, and I think it would be stupendous if they produced the play, but there are diverse plays that would be more in their comfort zone of the Shaw audience. Before you can throw Mahler at a music audience, and you should, but there’s nothing wrong with a little Eina Klina Nacht Music.

Posted by: theplaywright | September 21, 2008

Okay, about the arts cuts…

My big opinion is this… most artists understand that in harsh economic times we can get by with less. We get that. Generally most artists are grateful for the pittance we have and have appropriately low expectations. However I don’t get the impression that the cuts are inspired by fiscal crisis. The impression we get is that the Prime Minister doesn’t believe in government support of the arts, and has a problem with some of the art that has been created by Canadian artists. I don’t know if this is true, but that’s what I perceive. I think if he said just once ‘Hey, I’m proud of Canadian artists. Unfortunately due to a looming fiscal crisis, we need to scale back many govt programs, but we will find a way to ensure that the world gets to see the best of what this country has to offer.’ If he said that, then I might listen. But he isn’t saying that. Nor will he.

Part of embracing diversity is taking pride of the talent we have in this country, but it is disconcerting when the Prime Minister won’t take pride in the talent we have in this country.

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