In addition to working for the Hamilton Arts Council, I'm also an active playwright and theatre creator in Hamilton. I've written before, most recently in the HAC Theatre Guides, about the changing state of theatre in this city. Much of my focus here has been in emphasizing the great diversity and growing surge of theatre in Hamilton. It's a focus I've often heard echoed in the community and never more so than in the last few years.
But I remain convinced that if these positive factors are to be capitalized then Hamilton theatre must make some decisions soon. Or at least have a discussion on how to move forward with the abundance of talent and resources we increasingly find in our midst.
Hamilton stories, and the importance of seeing these stories onstage, go to the heart of the Renaissance we're seeing in this city's arts sector. But it also represents a profound challenge to the theatre scene. How do we build a stronger and better theatre culture here? Who is responsible for the future of theatre and what does it even look like? These are important questions that haven't been asked yet or haven't been discussed in earnest. The Hamilton theatre scene is vibrant but oftentimes the biggest challenge we face is ourselves and our ability to talk to one another.
That's why I'm very excited about the Hamilton Fringe Festival's upcoming Stage Directions event. Produced by the Festival in partnership with the Hamilton Arts Council, Theatre Aquarius and CoBALT Connects, this event is a unique opportunity for Hamilton theatre creators across the spectrum to gather in one place at one time to ask the questions that need answering. Hosted at the historic Players Guild of Hamilton, Stage Directions will encompass an entire day of discussions and creatively engage participants as much as it informs.
Hamilton Fringe Festival Director Claire Calnan has modelled the Stage Directions event as an Open Space meeting to address some of the challenges facing the theatre community. Sometimes referred to as unconferences, Open Space meetings have no set agenda and no one person leads or lectures. It's up to those in the room to decide upon and discuss what matters to them. For more information on how Open Space works, I encourage you to check out this LINK or do your own search online. There's a ton of information to be found.
It is going to be a fun yet busy day. But it's what's needed now more than ever. Personally, I've wanted to participate in a discussion like this since moving to Hamilton four years ago and I can't wait to hear what people have to say. I hope to see you there.
To get involved in the conversation at Stage Directions, register as a participant on EventBrite.