JUL 10, 2020 at the InFrinGinG Dance Festival (Nanaimo, BC)
Awkward and Embarrassing Conversations is part performance and part participatory workshop. Working with the idea of nurturance, it invites self-identified groups (social, work-related, political, recreational) to ask questions and speak about subjects that normally feel too risky to voice publicly.
Performed and facilitated by Sarah Garton Stanley and Marcus Youssef. Directed by Chelsea Haberlin. Produced by Neworld Theatre. Development support by Farnham Maltings and Volcano Theatre. Presented by Lakefield College School and Crimson Coast Dance Society. Image of Sarah Garton Stanley & Marcus Youssef by John Lauener.
How we got here
In 2016, we were asked by the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance to do a presentation on “diversity”. (Actually, Sarah was asked to do something on collaboration so she asked Marcus to join her and suddenly we were tasked with talking about diversity – awkward and embarrassing.) We were both hesitant because of our own frustrations and dissatisfactions with many of the diversity conversations and workshops we had participated in. So, we decided to try something different. We each chose three personal experiences related to diversity and the theatre that we felt reluctant to speak about in public, experiences in which our own behaviour or feelings made us feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. We agreed to talk about those experiences in front of an audience and let the other person ask questions about what happened. Chelsea saw our presentation at the GVPTA conference and thought it would make a great show. We agreed. And here we are. –Sarah Garton Stanley & Marcus Youssef
- June 2016, GVPTA Annual Conference: Making a Scene, Vancouver, Canada: Diversity in Vancouver Theatre
- August 2017, Volcano Conservatory, Toronto, Canada: Professional Theatremakers in Toronto
- December 2017, Canada House / Farnham Maltings, London, UK: Inclusion in the UK Cultural Sector
- July 2018, Volcano Conservatory, Toronto, Canada: Professional Theatremakers in Toronto
- February 2019, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival Assembly: Industry Series, Vancouver, Canada: International Performance Festivals
- October 2019, Lakefield College School, Lakefield, Canada: Private school Grade 11 students & boarding staff