In these turbulent times, I’ve been asked a few times why no one has crafted a really significant hit play about Trump himself. I believe it’s because the truth is so much more dramatic and improbable than anything we could create, no playwright would even bother. One of the starkest consequences of this unprecedented political climate has been the calamitous, escalating polarization of the American social arena.
In Canada, while our left/right political divide hasn’t been quite so extreme, it’s undeniable that we too have become more dramatically polarized. Canadians on both sides tend to reject any damning evidence that is inconsistent with the side we’ve chosen, and attack those on the other side through social media when we feel righteous. We are just as susceptible to bias as any American.
In Porte Parole’s The Assembly, it is the partisan voters and the passionate public who take the mics. The creators demand that we ask how those who form the bottom rows of the pyramids of power on both sides can truly connect with each other. When was the last time you really talked about politics with your far-right uncle, or your too-left neighbour? When did we stop arguing it out and just start arguing?
I chose this project especially for the Ottawa audience; the constituents closest to the seat of federal power. I want to ask these questions of you: How much do you genuinely listen to the other side? Is it possible you might be more biased than you thought? What would it take to change your mind?
We are building The Assembly one episode and one performance at a time, upon the conviction that we must assemble, in person, as often as possible in today’s world in order to demystify the human behaviour which makes us so polarized. You, our audience, are an important part of this process. By being present in this space, you signal that you still value the live encounter. By choosing theatre as a medium of entertainment, you express your appetite for witnessing people face off against one another before your very eyes. Perhaps most importantly, you expose yourself to the unnerving fact that human beings can don a political perspective as if it were a role they were playing in the theatre. All of these daring positions make you ripe for the experiment that is The Assembly. Thank you for the simple act of being here.
Alex Ivanovici, Annabel Soutar and Brett Watson
The Assembly – Montreal
By Alex Ivanovici, Annabel Soutar and Brett Watson
Director: Chris Abraham
Assistant Director: Marie Farsi
Lighting Designer: Luc Prairie
Sound Designer: Antoine Bédard
Producer: Line Noël
Scenic Designer: Simon Guilbault
Stage Manager: Isabel Quintero Faia
Video Technicians: Guillaume Arseneault and Amelia Scott
Head of Wardrobe: Dominique Coughlin
PORTE PAROLE’S TEAM
Artistic & Executive Director: Annabel Soutar
Administrative Director: Thérèse Ghobriel
Producer: Line Noël
Development Director: Sophie de Fouquières
Development Coordinator: Francine Proulx
Consultant: Joël Richard
Communications Officer: Rana Alrabi
Administrative Assistant: Sophie Morisset
Technical Director: Normand Vincent
Associate Producer: Guillaume Cyr
Porte Parole would like to thank the following organizations for their support:
The R. Howard Webster Foundation, the Gail Asper Family Foundation, the John Dobson Foundation, the Eric T. Webster Foundation, the Birks Family Foundation, the Brian Bronfman Foundation, the Rossy Family Foundation, the Zeller Family Foundation, the Chawkers Foundation, The Cole Foundation, The Conan Charitable Foundation, Hotel Le Cantlie Suites, Ratuos ULC, Pembroke Private Wealth Management, Oceanpath, Power Corporation of Canada, 28angle, as well as its many individual donors and in particular the members of its Donor’s circle (Artistic Director’s and Producer’s Circle), Helgi Soutar, Annabel Soutar, Sheryl and David Kerr, Paul Lowenstein, Tullio Cedraschi, Chris Abraham, Royal Govain, Joan Ivory, François Prénovost, Matthieu Sauvé, Sébastien Savage, Lillian Seymour and Scott Taylor.
Make a statement by supporting documentary theatre
For almost 20 years, Porte Parole’s plays have entertained audiences as well as stimulating reflection and discussion. Thanks to your support, Porte Parole’s reach extends beyond our borders, and our shows are now touring the United States and Europe! We still need your help to create impactful and engaging documentary theatre!
• 65% of Porte Parole’s budget comes from the generosity of engaged citizens, private partners and independent sources of revenue.
• 100% of the funds contributed by individual donors is used to research, write, produce and promote our documentary plays.
Thank you for your support!