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Wednesday, April 14, 2010


why can't this happen here

iberamericano opens - bea, originally uploaded by plastictaxi.

This is a shot of the opening parade for a theatre festival in Colombia - the Iberamericano. No movie stars, no dignitaries from anybody's government. These people are swarming in the streets because of THEATRE. Who loves Bogota? I love Bogota. So should you.

However: I wasn't there. This is Bea's picture. I was in Toronto at the time, skidding over an ice slick with my bike and smashing my elbow into a pulp (no bones broke, but I can't lift more than five pounds with my left hand). She was at the festival, making international connections and such.

This picture makes me embarrassed for how I watch theatre in this town. The audiences here - this includes me - are positively tepid compared to a place like Bogota. There people are strenuously absorbing a performance, can discuss it at length afterwards, and appreciate the proposals within shows, distinct from their execution. When we presented a workshop piece there in 2008, we felt like we were in conversation with intellectuals - that such a class of creatures existed, wild and free, and that we were part of their world.

Here those minds exist, but the culture around them is undernourished and underappreciative. I am trying to avoid thinking that appreciation is a biproduct of having actual time to think, and that time is the scarcest resource in Toronto's artistic / intellectual ecosphere.

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