Your Name: Jivesh Parasram
Your Production: Daughter
Your Role: Co-Creator
Tell me a bit about your show:
You know those friends you have? Pretty nice guys… but something’s just not right. Daughter is about a guy like that. He’s done so many bad things in his life, and gotten away with it. But he loves his Daughter, and just wants to do right by her. But so what? Does that mean he’s changed?
Despite all the privilege men maintain – do they actually need to change? Where are the consequences for not changing? Boys will be boys, right?
We stopped asking the question – why is this a thing? Focusing more on how is this a reality?
What else are you excited to see at this year’s festival?
There’s a lot. Certainly I’m biased on Situational Anarchy by Graham Isador, which Pandemic is co-producing and I’m collaborating with Tom Arthur Davis on the Direction.
Gabriel Dharmoo’s Imaginary Anthropologies. Absolutely must see. I saw this at PuSh this year, and it was 100% my Jams.
Keith Barker’s This is how we got here put on by Continuum and New Harlem – Keith is a phenomenal writer when it comes to speaking with real heart.
Andrea Scott’s piece Don’t talk to Me Like I’m your Wife – A piece about Mata Hari, plus I’m always interested to see Andrea’s work.
Bleeders – This is a big collaboration including d’bi young & Waleed Abdulhamid (who both worked Emancipation of Ms. Lovely with Ngozika & Pandemic last year)
Mr Shi and His Lover, this is the first Mandarin performance at Summerworks. Super psyched for that. I’ve yet to get to see Njo Kong Kie’s composition work yet, despite the fact that we run into each other literally everywhere.
Extremophiles, Georgina Beatty’s new piece. I heard the concept. Read the concept. It’s amazing.
Two Indians by Falen Johnson – I saw an early version of the idea at Wrecking Ball a while back. It was awesome then, so as a full play I can’t wait.
The Unbelievers by LACE productions. I’ve had a chance to check out a couple early workshops and it was great then. Shadi Shahkhalili is performing in it, and I had a great time working with her while we were workshopping They Say He Fell at Canadian Stage.
Naked Ladies – again, I read the concept. I loved it. I’ve heard amazing things about this show.
4/12 ignoble truths – Great subject matter. Great team. We were joking with them that based on the promo image he should join up with us and we can have 3 shows covering every bodily fluid possible.
In UTERO OUT – I saw some of the images from these folks. It’s some stellar shadow work. And I LOVE shadow work.
And a lot of the ancillary stuff that Joe Recinos and SLIP is putting on. A lot of it is very forward thinking. The Pecha Kucha in particular.
Did I list everything? There’s a lot. Those are even just the ones off the top of my head. I’m making my full list tonight. It’s really a solid line up.
One of the great challenges of the independent performing arts is arguably to reach and engage the general public. If logistics and budget weren’t a consideration, what would be the craziest scheme you could think of to attract new theatre-goers?
Well if we wanna get full out unbridled – it would be a travelling cart and pony show. All the time. I remember when I was a kid in Trinidad, this South Asian Dance company rolled in and put on this amazing Ramayana performance with just flood lights and these massive cut outs as props. I loved it. My family very much has been in the thick of that style for a while, though not for theatre per say. More as Pandits and religious singers. I think if I could have a ton of cash I would focus on just that. The art, and the ritual of art, should ideally be free or as accessible as possible – so, I’d bring it to communities. Roll up with the necessities and do the show in a courtyard. Or backyard. Or side of the road. Wherever, really.
But if we’re talking not unlimited money, I’d dedicate a lot of the time to finding like minded organizations working on organizing around the themes we’re exploring. It’s kind of like what we’re doing with the White Ribbon Campaign on Daughter. Ultimately we were against just fundraising so we wanted a portion to go to an organization that was proactively doing the vital work that we can only touch on through the art. We’ll be continuing to collect for them throughout the show.
Further to the ideal though. We’d wanna work with them to find the right times to do it, and provide necessary transport and accessibility options. Next time hopefully, since this is still a workshop production, so I’m glad that Adam Lazarus has started the conversation.
Summerworks pieces are often socially and politically minded. If you had to write a musical about Donald Trump but could not include any part of his name in the title, what would it be called?
I’d rather not even throw that guy any more attention than he gets. But if I had to, I’d probably go with something like Xenophobic Ignorant Neoliberal Contradiction: a musical tragedy