Canadian Stage's Season Announcement Receives Diversity Criticism

News   Canadian Stage's Season Announcement Receives Diversity Criticism As a lack of diversity in the arts continues to spark controversy, critics have spoken out against Canadian Stage's 2016-17 season announcement this week. Among them are The Globe and Mail's theatre critic J. Kelly Nestruck and theatre producer Derrick Chua.

"Given the diversity to be showcased in Spotlight: Australia, it stands out that – in contrast – all the Canadian directors, playwrights and choreographers announced as part of Canadian Stage’s 2016-17 season are white," Nestruck pointed out in a news story Jan. 26. He then goes on to say that Matthew Jocelyn, Canadian Stage's artistic and general director, has defended the season's slate by assuring diversity will be reflected in other ways. "I think you’ll see a lot of the diversity of our casting," Jocelyn told The Globe. Similarly, Jocelyn told The Star that the organization has a long history of inclusion, noting Cara Ricketts' staring role in Hedda Gabler and the upcoming production of Tempest. According to The Star, he has labeled the criticism as "parasitic."

Chua was another public voice of disappointment. "Some fabulous artists... but is there any Canadian involved as writer, director, translator, choreographer in Canadian Stage's season that's NOT WHITE??? Anybody???" read his public Facebook post.

Canadian Stage will celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary with 18 shows during 2016-17. The season will kick off in the fall with Jordan Tannahill's Concord Floral, beginning Sept. 27. Other works included in the slate are All But Gone, short plays by Samuel Beckett; Nick Payne's Constellations; Bill Coleman's Dollhouse; and Daniel MacIvor's Who Killed Spalding Gray? For the full season line-up visit CanadianStage.com.

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