EVENTUALLY, I’d like to see a day where inclusion and respect are simply second nature to us all, and we cease sorting or labelling with prefixes like “gay” or “queer.” For now, though, these self-affixed identifiers seem a required part of an evolutionary process by which previously marginalized artists can claim their rightful place at the table. Hence, Intrepid Theatre is presenting its sixth-annual OUTstages, “a decidedly queer theatre festival,” founded by curator Sean Guist, who was recently appointed Intrepid’s co-artistic and marketing director.
Guist notes that when OUTstages began, there was a void of professional queer art and professional queer theatre in Victoria. “We recognized that, and created this festival to fill that void in that community…because there’s a hunger for it.”
Heather Lindsay, Intrepid’s artistic and executive director, says she is “so honoured to work alongside” Guist, and that OUTstages “is now recognized across Canada as a dedicated home for underrepresented and queer artists and community.” Intrepid’s website promises a festival “packed with theatre, music, drag, cabaret, soundscapes and a new local work in development!” Offerings will include:
Where the Two-Spirit Lives: One part confessional, one part drag extravaganza, and all parts celebration that explores what it means to be Two-Spirit in contemporary society.
eat your heART out Cabaret: Raucous cabaret numbers. Fabulous performance art. High camp. A queerly Valentines/Anti-Valentines Day featuring Salty Broad Productions.
Like Orpheus: A candid dive into queer club culture and the trauma of sexual assault. Winner of Best Aspect of a Production for “Technical Presentation and Direction” at the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival.
Play Reading: How To Build a Home: A new solo show from local performer/creator Emilee Nimetz that explores how to create a life for yourself when you’ve come from a broken home, and how broken stories move within our bodies.
Guist insists that exchewing the prefixes is an important translation for some. “Audiences who are looking at this and thinking: ‘The queer festival isn’t for me’—they are wrong. More than anything, it’s just really powerful, thrilling theatre.”
For information, tickets for all shows, and festival passes, go to Ticket Rocket’s new location, 1050 Meares Street (Mon - Fri, 10am-5pm), or intrepidtheatre.com.