Common Space: Toward a More Accessible, Equitable, and Imaginative Theatre Sector
Artists’ Legal Advice Services, Artists Legal Outreach and the National Network of Legal Clinics for the Arts invite you to join performing artists Angela Sun, Chris Dodd, Gaitrie Persaud-Killings, Riki Entz, and lawyer Lorin MacDonald for a panel discussion around accessibility, equity, and change in Canada’s theatre sector.
Topics to be addressed include, but are not limited to:
- Imagining a more inclusive and collaborative creative process
- Creating and enabling safe and accessible spaces for both artists and audiences
- The legal rights of artists and arts workers as these relate to accessibility justice
- Necessary advocacy work aimed at changing how Deaf, Mad, and disability arts are viewed and represented
Date: Monday, March 20th, 2023
Time: 5 – 6.30pm EST
Virtual via ZOOM
ASL interpretation and auto-captioning will be provided.
About the Panelists
Chris Dodd is a Treaty 6 based (Edmonton) award-winning Deaf actor, playwright, accessibility advocate and Governor General Innovation Award finalist. He is the founder and artistic director of SOUND OFF, Canada’s national festival devoted to Deaf performance. Chris holds a degree from the University of Alberta’s Drama program and has been working within Edmonton’s theatre community, and across Canada, for over 25 years. His play, Deafy, recently toured Ontario and was presented as part of Highwire Series at the Citadel Theatre’s 2022/23 season. The play was recently published by Playwrights Canada Press as part of the anthology, “Interdependent Magic: Disability Performance in Canada”. Notable performances include the role of Alphonse in Ultrasound at Theatre Passe Muraille. Recent film credits include the role of Odin in the upcoming feature film, Finality of Dusk. In 2019 he was the recipient of the Guy Laliberté Prize for innovation and creative leadership by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Riki is an artist. Riki likes to do different things.
Riki likes to:
- Write stories
- Write poetry
- Make crafts
Riki is different things.
- Uses a wheelchair
- Riki has more than one disability
- Is a white person
- Is non binary. This means Riki is not a man. Riki is not a woman. Riki is something different.
For over 30 years, human rights lawyer, disability subject matter expert, and accessibility advocate Lorin MacDonald has demonstrated exceptional leadership, passion, and commitment to inclusion, all informed by her lived experience as a woman born with profound hearing loss. Lorin is single-minded in her belief that Canadians with disabilities have an unfettered right to full participation and citizenship. She does not hesitate to disrupt the status quo if it is discriminatory.
Lorin is a changemaker of renown. The impact of her sustained advocacy across Canada has earned her recognition from her community, alma mater, province, the legal profession, and national disability and women’s organizations. In 2021, Canadian Lawyer magazine named her one of Canada’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in the Human Rights category, and the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) included her as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100. In 2022, the Law Society of Ontario presented Lorin with the Law Society Medal, its top honour, for outstanding service following the highest ideals of the legal profession, recognizing her work to make it more accessible and inclusive. In addition, Lorin was a 2022 inductee in the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame as a Builder in recognition of her extraordinary contributions.
Lorin’s impact as a change agent is remarkable given its cross-disability breadth: the arts, health care, disability legislation, post-secondary institutions, access to justice, community service, and accessibility awareness have all been beneficiaries of her dedication to an inclusive Canada.
A Tkaronto-based actor, Gaitrie Persaud-Killings is a theatremaker who develops facial expressions and body languages to bring deaf/hearing actors to work together on stage in physical theatre styles. Gaitrie continually seeks to challenge herself through new techniques and learning from her mentors who specialize in physical theatre styles.
She is the founder of Phoenix the Fire, a theatre and film hub that supports deaf artists to discover their talents and to provide ASL theatre and film interpretation services. She has been strongly active in the Tkaronto theatre community for almost 13 years.
She currently directs her play ‘Galaxy of Sitara,’ in collaboration with Theatre Direct.
Over the years, her solo performances and collaborations have toured nationally and internationally. Gaitrie has been involved in Nickelodeon Jr’s show Blue’s Clues & You (The Deaf Librarian Camila) and CBC Kids’ show Silly Paws (Simmi). She is also a news anchor with Sign1 News powered by CNN.
Angela Sun is a Mad/ Dis, plus size, settler actor, theatre creator, arts administrator and consultant of East Asian descent. Her multidisciplinary, multilingual artistic practice focuses on cultural dissonance and mental health. She is known for her advocacy for cultural diversity, size inclusivity, and access for the non-visibly Disabled community. Angela has worked with many emerging and established artistic organizations including: Theatre Passe Muraille, CBC Arts, Cahoots Theatre, Reel Asian, Workman Arts, ReDefine Arts, Political Movement, The Toronto Fringe, The Bentway, Factory Theatre, Gardiner Museum, Durham Art Gallery, and Broadleaf Theatre. She is currently the Community Engagement Coordinator at Theatre Passe Muraille and is working on a one-woman show about trauma, representation, and storytelling entitled The Glass Eye with support from Why Not Theatre, Volcano Theatre, and the Ontario Arts Council.
This events is being funded by Canadian Heritage and the Government of Canada through the Canadian Performing Arts Worker Resiliency Fund.
Ce projet est financé par le gouvernement du Canada.