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To that end, says Tai Amy Grauman, the three artistic associates decided to commission five teams of underrepresented artists and task them with creating a mini-play from a prompt — Where Are Your Stories.
“It seemed like a great jumping out point for all these artists who are from completely different places,” says Grauman, 25, a Métis artist now living in Edmonton who was born in Fort McMurray, raised on a farm near Ardrossan, and graduated with a bachelor of fine arts from the University of British Columbia.
The prompt was inspired by a book by J. Edward Chamberlin called If This is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories? Grauman says all 14 artists involved are from diverse backgrounds, but have been given the same challenge — to come up with a 10-minute play based on their own origin story.
“All these artists are from such different places,” says Grauman. “My stories come from where I am from, and I think other people’s do, too.”
On each night of the two-night run, 100 people wearing masks will be admitted to the 681-seat Shoctor Theatre, which will be sanitized as per Alberta Health Services regulations. The tickets are free, but must be reserved in advance at citadeltheatre.com, or by calling the box office at 780-425-1820. Attendees are encouraged to donate to the Citadel’s BIPOC Artist Fund.
Cloran says the Citadel will continue to take a series of small steps — “cautiously and safely” — that will see some shows opening over the fall and winter. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.