How to bring theatre to an increasingly multicultural Canada – The Globe and Mail

Good initiative in terms of recognizing the diversity, and richness of that diversity, broadening audiences and improving cross-cultural understanding and appreciation:

Enter the Gateway Pacific Theatre Festival. This August, Sy and festival producer Esther Ho will bring in three productions from Hong Kong and present them with English surtitles: The Isle, by leading Hong Kong playwright Paul Poon; Fire of Desire, a contemporary Chinese-language adaptation of La Ronde; and Detention, a “non-verbal physical comedy” by Tang Shu-wing.

And this festival is only a pilot project to measure the demand for what Sy plans to roll out in 2016 – the Pacific Series, a year-round, Chinese-language (English-surtitled) alternative to the Gateway’s subscription series of English-language plays.

Rupal Shah, a Toronto producer who holds the Cultural Diversity Portfolio on the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) board of directors, thinks Sy may be on to something. She’s been hired by theatres in the past to do community outreach to the South Asian community, but has given it up lately. She’s disappointed that producers will lure in new audiences to an individual play that may appeal to them, then simply cross their fingers that those new spectators will stick around for the Chekhov and Shakespeare to come.

How to bring theatre to an increasingly multicultural Canada – The Globe and Mail.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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