The Frank Theatre presents a reading of Diaspora: an interdisciplinary, devised performance created by queer refugees and immigrants. This collaboration between the Frank’s Artistic Director, Fay Nass, and an ensemble of immigrant artists and community members explores the challenges and freedoms that come with living in exile. Through text, video and physical theatre, it asks audiences to look beyond the Western perception of LGBTQ+ identity, towards diverse notions of gender and sexuality. The personal stories in Diaspora reveal how language and culture shape queerness, and how many queer newcomers leave their country in search of community, only to be excluded from Western queer subcultures. Artistically innovative and emotionally authentic, Diaspora will move audiences and incite cultural exchange.
Jesse – An ASL Opera is a workshop reading by Landon Krentz, Heather Molloy & Paula Weber resulting from a two-week experimental process that gathered Deaf and Hearing artists to explore how poetry, music, English and ASL intersect. Bi-cultural and bilingual, this experience reflects a creative process that was both riveting and uncomfortable.
“You have failed the hearing test”.
No apologies required, it is fact. You look around seeking validation and a sense of belonging but you know that this result will never change. You will always fail. With both hands tucked beneath your buttocks, you feel the world closing in. You can’t remember the last time you felt warm and safe. It hits you, how strained and lonely it is inside this black box in the audiology department.
Jesse – An ASL Opera is about one man’s journey of self-discovery as he navigates Deaf culture, queerness and the rhythms of being human. The opera explores how language is seen, heard and understood by combining the movement, rhythmic structure and meter present in all ASL poetry and music.
In the midst of another all-too-frequent trip to the audiologist’s office, Jesse can’t help but wonder: when does it end? Jesse is a young man who has no choice but to navigate the hearing world as he explores the inner world inside his mind. This tension between his inner and outer worlds begin to manifest into an signed opera. The story inside him becomes more and more real as his mind wanders and fuels his desire for communication.
In 1911, 146 people were killed in a fire at the factory of the Triangle Waist Company in New York. The highly contentious trial that followed spurred the public to demand workplace safety reforms and became a touchstone for radical and progressive political movements. At the time, people swore that the victims and the fire would never be forgotten.
Three actors – from another country and century – are tasked with reading from the massive trial transcript as quickly as possible. Despite the speed, they must communicate the key points and central conflicts, while giving insight into the 1911 events and their resonance with the world of today. Can they beat their best time? Can they surprise us? Can they help us remember?
Presented by Surplus Production Unit.
DaPoPo Theatre presents a staged reading of a new play by Thomas McKechnie.
“So what do we do in divided, fearful times? What do we do with the howling, hopeless, yellow tinged guts in our frail little bodies?”
Winnipeg, 1919. Massive unemployment and inflation. In the wake of the Russian Revolution, workers, many of them newcomers to Canada, unite and effectively shut down the city. Thousands of women act as strikers and strike-breakers. The Citizens’ Committee, representing the city’s ruling class, along with the police, respond with force.
Toronto-based theatre artist Thomas McKechnie, known to Halifax audiences from A Wake For Lost Time and 4 1⁄2 (ig)noble truths, asks us to remember Canada’s landmark strike and consider the price of state-sanctioned violence and systemic oppression.
Halifax actors Madeleine Tench and Kristi Anderson lend voices to the over 40 characters in a staged reading of this rousing new play directed by GaRRy Williams and Keelin Jack.
Growing Room: A Feminist Literary Festival is Room magazine’s annual literary festival, a celebration of diverse Canadian writers and artists which takes place every March on the traditional, unceded, and ancestral territory of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish peoples (Vancouver, British Columbia).
Red Gate Revue Stage, 1:30pm – 3:30pm
Punch up at the patriarchy with an afternoon of witty poetry and prose featuring some of the most incisive and hilarious writers in the country—Ivan Coyote, Molly Cross-Blanchard, Jo Dworkshack, Eden Robinson, Hana Shafi, and Lindsay Wong. Hosted by Jocelyn Tennant.
Tickets for Funny Feminists
The Vast Inscape: Writing About Mental Health
Native Education College, 4:30pm – 6:30pm
To write is to reflect and ruminate, to follow the twists of one’s inscape and mine its vulnerabilities—this can be healing, but it can also intensify the wounds. Four writers—Meghan Bell, Amanda Leduc, Shazia Hafiz Ramji, and Lindsay Wong—discuss the complexities and challenges of writing about mental health: how it can be both a source of inspiration and one of the greatest barriers to a writer’s “productivity” (ugh), how the ways we talk about “mindfulness” and “self-care” in popular culture can do more harm than good, and how to write responsibly about mental health in a culture that stigmatizes, marginalizes, and gaslights people who are struggling to stay “sane”—if there can be such a thing—in our mad and maddening world. Moderated by Lydia Kwa.
Tickets for The Vast Inscape
Body & Soul
Native Education College, 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Join us for the launch of Body & Soul, with featured readings by contributors Sharon Bala, Betsy Warland, Meharoona Ghani, and Amanda Leduc. Edited by Susan Scott, the anthology invites women from marginalized or misunderstood communities to speak to faith, practice, religion and ceremony, to confess our sublimely unconventional modes of spiritual yearning. It’s about asking those who have been so often excluded from conversations about spirituality, to step up, to lead, dare to ask those questions and break that silence. Hosted by Susan Scott.
Tickets for Body & Soul
Presented by Winnipeg’s Poet Laureate Di Brandt and the Winnipeg Arts Council. An evening of traditional poems, representing poetry in many languages from around the world. Featuring poetry, music, and refreshments.
Last March, Winnipeg’s Poet Laureate Di Brandt, conceived of and hosted World Poetry Day: Poetry in Many Languages. The event featured seventeen Winnipeg citizens reading their favourite poem in the language of their heritage. There were readings in English, French, Ojibwe, Cree, Ukrainian, Mandarin, Icelandic, Filipino, Spanish, German, ASL, Swahili, Nigerian and other languages. The evening was a great success and we look forward to another wonderful event this evening.
Please come out to support Winnipeg’s innovative poetic celebration of the rich multicultural traditions and languages flourishing in our city. Bring your friends and families – this is a community friendly event!
6:30 PM: Guest Talk
Zoe Whittall – On Writing Comedy
7:00 PM: Readers
Aparna Kaji Shah
Q&A with the writers afterward. Books and refreshments are available for sale.
Will you be my friend? It’s such a simple question. A work in progress play will explore the areas of dating relationships, deaf and hearing people. “Are YOU really listening?” It’s not how we listen. It’s not how we see. A rare diagnosis, forced her to give up one of her goals in life. From Hollywood to Toronto, the magical place of the movieland to today’s world.
Performer: Catherine Joell MacKinnon
Staged reading. Nathan Jesper has flown in for his big talk and is desperately late. Upon arriving, he launches into his speech but things are soon found to not be what they seem. Part storytelling, part comedy, part tragedy, “Deafy” is a play with captions.
Performer: Chris Dodd.