the Future of Art, and of Our World, is Reflected in Cultural
- Conversations with artist
Amir Ali Alibhai, anthropologist Pierre Anctil, and philosopher
and communicator Aïda Kamar
with students at the school (Abdu Bedward, Jessica Chang), and
visiting professors (Judit Csanadi, Alexandre Marine and Sipho
for the New World
Portrait of a culturally diverse theatre scene in Toronto with
Nina Aquino, Sally Jones, Elyne Quan, Alyson Sealy-Smith, Jovanny
Sy and Marcus Youssef.
by Sandra Oh (Acting, 1993)
by Anita Majumdar (Acting, 2004)
Anita Majumdar in Anosh Irani’s Bombay Black,
directed by Brian Quirt, presented by Cahoots Theatre Projects
at the Toronto’s Theatre Centre
in January 2006. © John Lauener
Our society is growing rapidly thanks to immigration. A large number of newcomers belong to visible minorities, which made up 6% of the population
in 1986 and which will represent 20% of Canadians in 2017. Believing that art does not let itself be confined by boundaries, the team behind
nts magazine looked at theatre creation as a stage for fostering productive intercultural relations, for both artists and audiences.
Interculturality enhances two-way exchanges between cultures. It presupposes on-going relationships where society’s institutions receive
and accept new contributions that will transform them. There is therefore a progressive evolution towards a new state of society and a new
state of culture. While an intercultural approach promotes at once social inclusion and cohesion, it also enables new sensibilities, creativities,
and talents to be highlighted and expressed through original artistic activities that are the result of true diversity. As a collective and
living art form, today’s theatre must be especially open to the influences and contributions of creators and audience-members of all
But what is really happening? Do the artists, creators, and designers who are either immigrants or who belong to visible minorities have
access to our theatre training, creation, production, and presentation institutions? And if so, how do these institutions contribute to their
evolution? How, in theatre, is the creative cohabitation and collaboration between artists from here and abroad experienced? Is it utopian
to believe in the coming of shared cultural journeys? Is a plural, open theatre not healthier than a practice which seeks only to perpetuate
itself by shifting its focus inward?
We candidly put together this issue based on the following premise: interculturality can be at once a springboard for artistic creation
and an engine for transforming our way of teaching, doing, and presenting theatre. We called upon our curiosity, openness, and determination
to explore these new, uncharted territories, with the avowed hope of really advancing theatre practice. Pre-conceived ideas and prejudices
would have been as unwelcome here as those tired, politically correct discourses which undermine the quest for true intercultural exchanges.
We would like to think that we have not offered up commonplace arguments in this magazine!
Many contributors (philosophers, anthropologists, artists, professors, and students) collaborated to make this issue a “must-read.”
Inspired by their personal backgrounds and journeys, they share in its pages their dream for a better reality. We salute them and thank them
for every step which will lead us to the theatre of tomorrow.
The nts magazine team
Andrée McNamara Tait
National Theatre School of Canada
5030, rue Saint-Denis
Montreal (Québec) H2J 2L8
Phone. : 514.842.7954
Toll free: 1.866.547.7328
Fax : 514.842.5661
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