World Theatre Day! The State of Theatre in Vancouver

Dec 19 2017, 6:06 pm

Today is World Theatre Day! Here’s where we see the state of theatre in Vancouver’s thriving arts scene.

The International Theatre Institute has a compelling message for World Theatre Day 2014 on their website:

But, in this era in which so many millions are struggling to survive, are suffering under oppressive regimes and predatory capitalism, are fleeing conflict and hardship; in which our privacy is invaded by secret services and our words are censored by intrusive governments; in which forests are being annihilated, species exterminated, and oceans poisoned: what do we feel compelled to reveal?

In this world of unequal power, in which various hegemonic orders try to convince us that one nation, one race, one gender, one sexual preference, one religion, one ideology, one cultural framework is superior to all others, is it really defensible to insist that the arts should be unshackled from social agendas?

Brett Bailey’s address makes me think about the tenuous place that theatre occupies within Vancouver’s landscape. How public funding comes and goes. How the last-minute RSVPs of Vancouverites makes it hard for independent companies to find audiences and build traction. How we applaud starving artists in theory, but don’t give theatre companies enough of our time, wealth or resources.

It’s fantastic that Vancouver has come so far, with so many companies providing a diverse portfolio of work for all tastes. But on the flip side, audiences need to grow up, seek out new experiences, and become strong advocates of local theatre.

Ready to take the plunge? Join me and the rest of the Vancity Buzz team in exploring Vancouver’s theatre scene. Happy World Theatre Day!

Couple in theatre interior image via Shutterstock

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