Wednesday, March 14, 2012
BRANDON, MB — A play about Afghanistan, written by Brandon University Drama Professor James Forsythe, will be performed in Montreal. He has established a script development agreement with Teesri Duniya Theatre, in Montreal, to workshop his play script entitled “Safer Ground”. This work is based on the first-person accounts of Canadian military personnel and their families along with those of Afghan Canadians.
“Gathering this material involved building a bridge of trust with these two communities. Neither believes they have had their stories fairly told,” Forsythe said. “When people tell you things about the loss of friends and loved ones in war involving a sacrifice I can barely comprehend, to make life better, I have no choice but to feel privileged to be able to honour their words. I was given these stories. They were and are a gift. They deserve telling.”
This project builds on the success of “Soldier Up”, Forsythe’s 2008 production of military stories that combined and juxtaposed the voices of both communities. For this new play, Forsythe interviewed Afghan Canadians in Montreal, where he was teaching a course in Oral History and Performance at Concordia University, while on sabbatical in 2011.
“Projects such as “Safer Ground” have a pivotal role to play in educating ourselves and our communities about the critical issues facing us in Canada,” said Rahul Varma, Artistic Director of Teesri Duniya Theatre. “By highlighting stories of new Canadians through the prism of oral history and community-engaged theater, our project will be uniquely positioned to examine complex issues that will bring a critical consciousness to bear on some of the most troubling realities of the changing global environment.”
Teesri Duniya Theatre is dedicated to producing socially and politically relevant dramatic works, creating theatrical styles based on the experiences of culturally diverse communities in Canada. Multicultural diversity and intercultural interaction are defining features of the troupe’s work.
“I will be working with gifted artists on a project that I created,” said Forsythe. “I am thrilled and very lucky to have this opportunity.”
The script development workshop will take place in Montreal during the last week of April, culminating in a public presentation on April 29, 2012. This project has been facilitated by grants from the Manitoba Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.
For more information, please contact:
Teesri Duniya Theatre
Joanne F. Villeneuve
270 – 18th Street
Brandon, MB R7A 6A9