Stage Left is a Popular Theatre company of marginalized artists and non-artists/ community catalysts who collaborate on creative approaches to systems-change advocacy.
Popular Theatre is a participatory form of drama by and of "ordinary people", instead of professional actors, that speaks to oppressed communities in our own language and deals with social issues that are relevant to us.
Our artistic practice transgresses artistic norms and aesthetic expectations, by sharing compelling stories of oppressed people’s individual, cultural and socio-political realities, through different kinds of artistic activity:
1. Artist-Community Collaboration, via multidisciplinary Epic Theatre productions
2. Site-specific Pop-Up Social Justice Encounters, via Invisible Theatre spectacles
3. QueerCrip Physical Dance/Theatre, via interdisciplinary Performance Creation
4. Film Production, via DIY Digital Media
5. Applied Theatre of the Oppressed, via grassroots Collective Community Action
We've presented the work of over 1,000 professional Deaf/ Disabled/ Mad artists to new audiences in Calgary (and Edmonton!) at Balancing Acts – our annual Disability Arts Festival (closed in 2010).
We've commissioned and premiered original performance works from dozens of Canadian artists, including Kazumi Tsuruoka, Lyle Victor Albert, Rachel da Silviera Gorman, Alan Shain, Jan ("JD") Derbyshire, Elizabeth Hudson, Heidi Janz, Ruth Bieber, Vi Ann Diep, James Doyle, Tegan McGarty, Danny Watt, The ACTORvists, and others.
Training & Education
We run an annual summer training intensive in Theatre of the Oppressed techniques; develop and deliver (anti)master classes in aesthetic representation and non-normative production techniques; and facilitate arts equity training for allied agents of systemic change in the arts sector. We also provide arts-based social justice training for non-artists/ community-based catalysts of systemic change.
We've established ourselves as a leading contributor to Canada's Deaf, Disability & Mad Arts domain, a global Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed, a hub of arts equity education and advocacy, and a creative agent of systemic change.