“Embodying and Reflecting upon Postmarginality on Stage and in Rehearsal Halls”
Speakers: Peter Farbridge, Diana Manole, Guillaume Saindon, and Yana Meerzon
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 investigates postmarginality as a theoretical concept and praxis that aims to integrate differences in/through the creative process and particularly in rehearsals.