Curatorial Statement – Katrina Dunn on Night
December 04, 2013
Canadian plays should run the gamut of our country’s experience, but so often they are confined to specific cultural groups in a few urban centres. What I love about Human Cargo’s Night is that it takes us north – FAR north – into Canadian spaces that many of us have little experience of. The company’s process is extreme – they invest in their subjects by living in, with and for the people they are profiling, and it results in a product with a depth and integrity rarely found in this bio/geo/graphic style of work. Their company vision is unabashedly agit-prop: “The effect of Human Cargo’s theatre is overt. We want to instigate social and political change”, but the style if the work is something more haunting, more deeply human.”
Night tells the story of a Torontonian museum worker who, at the request of an individual in a northern community, has taken it upon herself to return something of value to that community. Her effort is an attempt to reconcile a historical crime, but her naivety results in a series of culture shocks that call into question her entire project and, by extension, the reconciliation efforts of other southerners. What began as an exploration of life in 24 hour darkness has finished as a complex and penetrating look at our relationship with our North.
Building on the tough questions Night asks, PuSh, Touchstone, Full Circle First Nations Performance and the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance are presenting a Panel Discussion mapping the changing landscape of producing and presenting Aboriginal Performing Arts in Canada. Titled “Into New Territory” the panel will take place at 11am on Saturday January 25th Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre. Join leading Aboriginal artists and some of Canada’s key presenters and producers for a consideration of some new inroads for Aboriginal performing artists, and how producing and touring organizations can work together to foster best practices in the face of change.
Artistic Director, Touchstone Theatre