“Imagine a world without music, without poetry, without books, without paintings on the walls, without photographs, without legends, without the movement and the energy of dance, without theatre, without cinema, without the kind of imagination and creations which would force us to live only the realities of day to day life, the economy, the politics… Arts and culture are the fourth dimension we need to be humans: a country without arts and culture would be a country without a soul and a nation without identity.”
A safe space to discuss art and censorship
Can Sook-Yin Lee bring some sanity to the vigorous online debate over threats to artistic freedom, or lack thereof, by taking it offline and into the theatre?
Unsafe, a new live “hybrid documentary-performance” created by and starring the filmmaker, radio host and former MuchMusic VJ which opened at Canadian Stage March 12, 2019 is billed as “an investigation into the censorship of art and the art of censorship in Canada.”
Lee is not particularly interested in what she calls “capital-C censorship” of art by the government, which is rare these days, but rather all the “micro and macro” ways that “silence, exclusion and censorship” currently impact the creation of art in this country.
Canadian Stage is one of the country’s leading not-for-profit contemporary performing arts organizations. The company produces, presents, commissions, and collaborates with multiple partners on cross-disciplinary work with a focus on performance styles that integrate theatre, dance, film, visual arts and more. Sharing innovative and vibrant performance work from Canada and around the world, it stages performances at three Toronto venues: The Bluma Appel Theatre at Civic Theatres Toronto; The Berkeley Street Theatre; and the High Park Amphitheatre.
Over the years, Canadian Stage programming and aspirations have focussed on the contemporary in aesthetic, technology or theme, the multidisciplinary, and the international. Over the more than 30 years of its history, Canadian Stage has employed thousands of artists, developed and produced hundreds of new productions, been awarded and nominated for Canada’s most prestigious literary and performing arts honours, and provided outstanding education and outreach programs cultivating a diverse audience demographic.