Envisioning Presence

Artists’ statement

What could a more care-filled future look like for the theatre sector? When we started thinking about this question, we talked a lot about the spaces we, as Black and East Asian designers, occupy. For the entirety of our careers, we designers lead spaces that are filled with talented and experienced theatremakers: props builders, stitchers, heads of wardrobes, heads of props, carpenters, technical directors, scenic artists, stage hands, and stage managers are just some of the amazing folx us designers get to work with. Yet in these spaces, across these roles, we rarely see IBPOC bodies like ours.

This series of images titled Envisioning Presence offers snapshots into an alternative vision for these spaces. We don’t have to question why folx like us aren’t (yet!) there. We invite you to see the potential to have more of us in these spaces.  

We know the value of diversity: diversity of minds, diversity of people, diversity in the stories we stage. We know there is an effort to evolve creative teams and production teams towards these values; we just also know the effort isn’t happening to the same degree off stage as it is on the stage. These bright and hopeful images are an expression of our optimism to see the continued effort towards diversity in all theatre spaces. This is one legitimate way that the Canadian theatre industry can take better care of us.

  • Rachel Forbes ©Eugen Sakhnenko
    Rachel Forbes
  •  ©
    Joanna Yu