Tuesday, August 22, 2017

UNSETTLED - Post Performance Sentiments

On August 11th, the Youth Theatre Group performed their original play, “Unsettled”, in front of a live audience at CultureLink.  Excited to share their work with friends, family and the community, the group was blown away the crowd with their talent, dedication and ability to tackle many of the issues immigrant families face.  In their own words, here is what the Youth Theatre Group had to say about their work:

Post performance group shot - (from top left) Amina, Fatima, Lisa, Austin, Jacob, Ankita, Asal, Zhiwei, Subrana, Begonia, Tafriha & Khalida

Over the last 6 week, we worked alongside local artists to write and produce, “Unsettled”, a play centered on mixed identities and cultures. During this time, we engaged in a number of collective creation activities which included improvisation games, word association, and character development activities.  These activities inspired the central ideas behind many of our scenes – including our infamous cat scene.  

We developed the characters to reflect the diversity of Toronto and the various difficulties that come with immigrating to Canada. We addressed topics such as intercultural relationships, racism, parental expectations, and language barriers.

Theatre group performing scene on parental expectations from both the child and parent perspectives.
Speed dating scene, address topics such race, religion, sexuality and political views.

We also wanted to showcase the passion and talents of our group and incorporated elements such stand-up comedy, dancing and singing.  We even rewrote the lyrics One Direction’s “Story of my Life” to reflect the immigrant experience.

Fatima performing her monologue, using humor to discuss mixed-identities and cultures.

One of the challenges we faced creating the scenes was developing an engaging conflict. But, thanks to the suggestions of various cast members, our amazing theatre coordinator, Ankita Kumar-Rata and local artist Paula Wing, who also help co-direct the show, we were able to transform the scenes into engaging and interactive acts.

This program allowed us to develop our leadership abilities’, foster our love of theatre, create new friendships and share our perspectives as the youth growing up in immigrant families in Toronto. We look forward to the future of “Unsettled” and are excited to share our performance at CultureLink’s AGM in October.

This project was made possible, in part, through the Youth Theatre Training Program of Theatre Ontario, funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, Canada Summer Jobs and Focus on Youth Toronto. 

Written by Youth Theatre Group

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