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Photo by Preston Schwartz

Dear friends of Neworld,

For almost 30 years, Neworld Theatre has created a broad range of new plays exploring who we are through different perspectives, privileges, and lived experiences. Part of that work is ensuring that the people we’re aiming to talk to are in the audience, that they know about our show, feel welcome and have access. This is at the heart of my ask here today.

This past Spring, we produced the world premiere of Fat Joke by Cheyenne Rouleau at The Cultch in East Vancouver. A fusion of stand-up comedy, storytelling and unapologetic fact-blasting, Fat Joke thrusts fatphobia into the spotlight. Cheyenne surgically dissects this seldom-discussed subject with a razor-sharp wit that leaves the audience confronting their assumptions. 

Our target audience for this show was people with fat bodies. Unfortunately, current systems can make fat people feel uncomfortable and often humiliated when attending the theatre because of the small size of traditional theatre seats and the prejudice they face in theatre spaces. Our Community Development Consultant, Layla Cameron, told me this story:

“At a show, I went to a few months ago, there was a fat person sitting to my right and to my left, and we all had this awkward moment of solidarity and acknowledgment where it was like, ‘okay, my hands are going to be in your lap, and your hands are going to be on my lap, and we’re going to get to know each other really quickly.’ So it’s about who’s on stage and who we’re seeing, but it’s also about whether or not we’re even welcomed in. This has led a lot of people in fat bodies to assume that theatre is just not a place for them.”

We need your help to keep making theatre a place for people of all sizes and creating a space in the theatre that is comfortable, dignified and relevant for people in fat bodies.

Any donation, no matter how large or small, will help us keep this work going.

Thank you – for your time, your consideration, and your support. It truly makes a difference as we seek to make the theatre an inviting, fun and accessible place.  

Sincerely,

Sincerely from all of us at Neworld,
Chelsea, Alen, Angelica, Raes, and Brianna.

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