Embodying and Reflecting upon Postmarginality on Stage and in Rehearsal Halls

“Embodying and Reflecting upon Postmarginality on Stage and in Rehearsal Halls”
Organizers: Soheil Parsa, Peter Farbridge, and Diana Manole
Contact: Diana Manole (dianamanole@trentu.ca) and Peter Farbridge at ​(peterfarbridge@moderntimesstage.com)

Call for proposals
Deadline: 4 January, 2019

The Postmarginal project, initiated by Soheil Parsa, the co-artistic director of Modern Times Stage Company, has been exploring for the last two years the creative potential of interweaving different cultures, physical abilities, and gender identities in the rehearsal hall through a mixture of laboratory and symposium, now called Laborarium, organized in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver (forthcoming). According to co-chairs Natalie Alvarez and Ric Knowles, the first Postmarginal Symposium started from “the simple assumption that diversity is a Good Thing [and] the very basis of the creative process.” The “post” in “postmarginal” aimed to move the discussion beyond theoretical debates, by exploring effective rehearsal strategies when working in culturally diverse groups. In 2018, Modern Times continued this project with Montreal’s symposium, Postmarginal: La différence au cœur de la pratique théâtrale, along with Subject and Creation acting workshop in Toronto. The latter’s main objective was to explore how the artists’ diverse cultural backgrounds and performance traditions could enrich Canada’s theatre vocabulary, challenging not only potential personal prejudices and/or essentialist tendencies, but also tokenism as a “skin-deep and ineffective, but tentatively celebratory, version of politically correct multiculturalism” (Manole, “Multilayered Diversity as Creative Asset,” alt.theatre 14.3/2018).

This panel invites participants to investigate postmarginality as a theoretical concept and praxis that aim to integrate differences in/through the creative process and particularly in rehearsals. The papers may consider but are not limited to the following questions:

  • How can we become aware of our hidden biases and/or prejudices?
  • How can we share our differences and our cultures with respect/self-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?

The panel welcomes a large range of methodologies, from critical analyses and interdisciplinary approaches to auto-ethnographic discussions of practitioners/academics.

Please send paper proposals of no more than 250-300 words, accompanied by a 50-word abstract and a short biography to Dr. Diana Manole at dianamanole@trentu.ca and Peter Farbridge at peterfarbridge@moderntimesstage.com. Proposals are due on or before 4 January 2019.

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