S6E35: Iso-Sterlings — Season Finale

Paul and Fawnda take in the Sterling Awards remotely, and reflect on the shortened theatre year in their season finale episode.

The winds of change keep blowing. What’s next for Edmonton’s arts scene? Will we start another podcast while we wait for performances to resume? Have you washed your mask lately?

I Don’t Get It is a member of the Alberta Podcast Network.

S6E34: Iso-interview: Natércia Napoleão

Actor Natércia Napoleão has shared a number of public letters that call attention to the lack of BIPOC representation in Edmonton’s theatres. Photo by Brandon Hart.

In the form of open letters on social media, actor Natércia Napoleão has been asking Edmonton’s theatre companies directly what their BIPOC representation looks like not only onstage, but off as well. In this chat we cover how social media can be used to call in — not necessarily call out — and how Edmonton theatre companies are responding to public questions about representation in their casts, staff, boards, and otherwise.

Links
Makram Ayache’s post about the Sterling nominations
Sterling Nominations Full List
Internal Analysis of Inclusion & Diversity in The Sterling Awards report
• Natercia’s letters to the Sterlings, Citadel Theatre, Theatre Network, Teatro la Quindicina, Grant MacEwan Theatre Arts, and Freewill Shakespeare Festival
The 3.7% Initiative in Edmonton (hosted in Edmonton by Concrete Theatre)
Natércia’s Stuck in the House video (with Balki!)
Globe & Mail article on a wave of Black female Artistic Leadership in Canadian Theatre

S6E33: Iso-Interview: Glass Bookshop

A selection of books by Black writers discussed in this episode, including Christina Sharpe, NASRA, and Dionne Brand. Photo by Jason Purcell.

We’re starting with something different this week. Off the top you’ll hear the voice of NASRA, an artist, poet, and producer in Edmonton, which was recorded live back in February. Listen up.

The guests on this episode are the founders of Glass Bookshop: Jason Purcell and Matthew Stepanic. In this chat we cover what they wanted to achieve in opening a bookstore, what it means to hold space when physical space is not a feasible option, and what you should be reading and doing to support Black artists now.

The events of the past days must be followed with continued action. Anti-Black racism is a terrible reality, and it is not spoken about enough, especially in white communities. Now is the time to listen, to educate yourself, and to take action.

Here’s the reading list discussed on the show (buy them here):
A God Dance in Human Cloth by NASRA
This is How We Disappear by Titilope Sonuga
An Autobiography of the Autobiography of Reading by Dionne Brand
In the Wake: On Blackness and Being by Christina Sharpe
Policing Black Lives by Robyn Maynard
The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Indigenous Rights by Chelsea Vowel
Fifteen Dogs and Days By Moonlight by Andre Alexis

Links
Glassbookshop.com
Glass Bookshop’s Reading & Resources
Black Voices Podcast Playlist
APN’s From the Archive: Listening for our Time
What’s The Tsismis? episode with Gina Puntil
Sterling Awards Nominations full list

I Don’t Get It is a member of the Alberta Podcast Network, powered by ATB.

S6E32: Iso-Interview: Ellen Chorley

Ellen Chorley (centre) enjoys a typical night at Nextfest.
This year’s festival goes online June 4-14. (Photo by Mat Simpson)

This year’s Nextfest—its 25th anniversary—goes entirely online. We caught up with Festival Director Ellen Chorley to talk about her career path and the wonders of the beautiful, multidisciplinary beast that is Edmonton’s festival for emerging artists. We also cover how she and Fawnda met a decade ago on the dancefloor at one of the legendary Nextfest nite clubs.

I Don’t Get It is a proud member of the Alberta Podcast Network, powered by ATB.

Links discussed in this episode:
Nextfest.org
Ellen Chorley at Playwrights Guild of Canada
Send in the Girls Burlesque

S6E31: Iso-Review: TRACKS

The entry image for Tracks, by Vena Amoris Productions

It’s been a while, but we actually caught a local show to review! Vena Amoris Productions offered an online choose-you-own-route experience with Tracks. Fawnda and Colleen take the trip together—virtually, of course.

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S6E30: Iso-Interview: Vern Thiessen

Along with the rest of us, playwright Vern Thiessen has been a lot of baking bread lately.

Vern Thiessen published an open letter to the nation’s professional theatre associations last week, encouraging them to seriously consider what they could be doing during the Great Pause, including reassessing their collective agreements and lobbying for changes to the Status of the Artist legislation. We cover his letter, the meaning of these agreements for working artists in Canada, and what post-pandemic theatre could look like for the foreseeable future (likely, it’s “G” houses). The Governor General Award-winning playwright also offers some advice on letter-writing—which we should all be doing more.

Links discussed in this episode:
• Vern Thiessen’s publications at Playwright’s Guild of Canada
EPL’s Writer in Residence Susie Moloney
Tracks, the final show of Fringe’s Off Season series, running May 19-24
The Georgia Straight profile on Canada Council CEO Simon Brault 
• The Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA, is busily planning a summer season of live theatre with substantially reduced seats, no intermissions, audience face masks, and one-person shows. 

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S6E29: Iso-Interview: Nisha Patel

Nisha Patel is Edmonton’s current Poet Laureate. (Ye Fan)

YEG Poet Laureate and PoFest Executive Director Nisha Patel chats about taking literary events online, her #CanadaPerforms stint, the realities of being an artist and festival producer in the gig economy, and emerging standards for compensating artists for online content.

Links discussed in this episode:
• Nisha Patel’s website
• Moon Jelly House, publisher for diverse chapbooks
• Vena Amoris Projects are taking their show Tracks online from May 19-24
• The Globe and Mail talked with several Fringe and festival organizers on the impacts of this summer’s cancellations
• Found Festival has issued a call for proposals for the 2020 festival
• The Revisionist History episode where Malcolm Gladwell slams golf courses

Don’t Get It is a proud member of the Alberta Podcast Network, powered by ATB.

S6E28: Iso-Interview: Alexis Hillyard

Alexis Hillyard on the set of the web series Stump Kitchen. (KTB Photography)

While the rest of us had to get used to this new era of online connecting when the pandemic was declared, Alexis Hillyard was already an internet star in her own right with her Youtube series, Stump Kitchen. In our chat she covers favourite pandemic meals, how artists can leverage putting their work online, and bringing authenticity to digital space—plus, how a stump comes in handy in the kitchen!

Links discussed in this episode:
Stump Kitchen on Youtube
• The Avocado Pie Episode
The Lucky Fin Project
• Alexis’ advice for massaging kale
• Paul’s go-to recipe for buns
• The Stage on what we can learn from South Korea’s theatres, which remained open throughout most of the lockdown
• NY Times on how theatre has to think small after the return
• Shumka’s Isolation Hopak

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S6E27: Iso-Interview: Trevor Schmidt

A scene from Confessions of A Reluctant Caregiver, Northern Light Theatre’s final show selection of the season, cancelled due to COVID-19 complications. Pictured left to right: Davina Stewart, Cheryl Jameson, Brian Dooley. Photo: Ian Jackson/Epic Photography

What week are we in again? Seven? Seventeen? Artistic Director of Northern Light Theatre Trevor Schmidt expands on the acceptance of this Great Pause, impacts on small versus large theatre companies, sucker-punch play structure, and staring down a summer without the Fringe.

Links discussed:
Northern Light Theatre
• Mile Zero Dance’s 3-hour online Dance Blitz for International Dance Day
• Gurdeep Pandher’s Youtube channel of joyful Yukon Bhangra goodness.
• Freewill Shakespeare Festival announces Dave Horak as artistic director
• Stratford Festival is running an online Shakespeare on Film Festival

Don’t Get It is a proud member of the Alberta Podcast Network, powered by ATB.

S6E26: Iso-Interview: Peter Brown

Peter Brown (top) captured in-improv with Die Nasty cast members
Stephanie Wolfe, Jesse Gervais, and Mark Meer. (Photos by Jana Hove)

Week five of no live shows, and we’re all still commiserating about it. Funnyman Peter Brown talks with us about the nature of laughter, improv online, creative feelings, and unique uses for toilet paper rolls. Enjoy, all. Stay well!

Here are your links referred to in this episode:
• Die Nasty’s weekly radio show: https://www.dienastyimprov.com/
• Hop on Die Nasty’s facebook page on April 27 at 4pm MT for a live stream recording as part of National Arts Centre’s Canada Performs
• Peter Brown’s website, where you can see what he’s up to (and hire him!)

 Don’t Get It is a proud member of the Alberta Podcast Network, powered by ATB.