Street closures around the NAC during Ottawa Race Weekend

NAC English Theatre Brings Together Artists and Audiences to Reimagine Theatre for Tomorrow

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© Photo: Jessica Wittman

As part of its response to the escalating climate crisis —and in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic— the National Arts Centre hosted an extraordinary three-day/three-country digital experiment to explore how artists and arts institutions can rethink their practice and programming in order to reduce their environmental impacts, promote sustainability and social justice, and invest in the wellbeing of our planet. The event, titled The Green Rooms: The Earth is Watching… Let’s Act, took place in June 2020 and featured 120 participants — artists, leaders and scholars.
This latest  initiative  concludes a trilogy  of research initiatives dating back to 2014 created by NAC English Theatre Associate Artistic Director Sarah Garton Stanley.  The Green Rooms  was co-curated by Stanley and playwright and artistic director of The Arctic Cycle, Chantal Bilodeau in partnership  with artists and leaders from across the country. Each in-depth investigation seeks to gather practitioners around big ideas and, in theatrical terms, engage with the concerns of our contemporary society.

Thanks to incredible donor support, the NAC has had the opportunity to explore two previous cycles – both which have already had a tremendous impact on Canadian Theatre:

  • The Cycle on Indigenous Performance (2014–2015) explored the depth and breadth of Indigenous work in Canada and directly led to the creation of the NAC Indigenous Theatre.
  • The second Cycle on Deaf, Disability, Mad Arts and Inclusion (2016–2017) led to new networks and a much wider web of accessible performance practices spread across the country.

The goal of the final cycle  and in particular The Green Rooms: The Earth is Watching...Let's Act is to build on the momentum of the previous two, to collectively reimagine the ways in which theatre companies and artists alike think about the social justice and environmental impacts of their work, and to discover new ways of making theatre that is regenerative rather than extractive.

Thanks to donors like you, the NAC English Theatre is able to convene and engage in these important and relevant conversations. Your support is helping to shape the future of Canadian theatre.

See an overview of the event here.

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