An imaginative space where culturally and linguistically diverse artists can come together to experiment with various modes of theatrical expression, "In Sundry Languages" does not tell one story in a linear fashion. Instead of recreating stories on stage verbatim, it subverts reality by placing real stories in a realm of the seemingly impossible and conspicuously theatrical. It uses a multiplicity of theatre languages and genres: a soft-shoe routine, elements of tanztheater, improvisation with audiences, dramatic scenes, live videos, monologues, songs, poetry, and multimedia. It plays with the inappropriate and the "uncomfortable" asking the audience to constantly keep biases in check or think twice before laughing (or crying) over the show"s multilingual encounters. An immigrant actor keeps auditioning and fails to get any roles, unless taking roles ridiculing his own culture, language or accent. A refugee tries to establish a connection with locals but fails to penetrate the iconic and often superficial Canadian "politeness." A meeting of two recent newcomers to Canada results in a major misunderstanding and frustration as both reveal opposing beliefs and convictions. A phone sex conversation performed in the dark explores how the language of the "Other" can become nothing but a fetish. Each multilingual encounter ends in an impasse when the Otherness refuses to be harnessed.]


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pp. 31-39
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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