Monday, November 2, 2009

Status Quo

I am sick to death of hearing this phrase (or some version of it): “Oh, well, it’s Vancouver, it’s just the way it is”. If I hear one more person take a deep breath and sigh and begin a sentence with “Oh, well, it’s Vancouver…” and end it with any of the following statements – “they don’t go to theatre” or “they prefer musicals” or “it’s the summer and no one goes to the theatre” – I fear I might hurt someone. No joke.

Just because it is, doesn’t mean it should be.

To me when I hear those words come out of someone’s mouth they might as well have a sticker plastered across their forehead that says “I’ve given up”.

If everyone in society just accepted the status quo as though it were fact and something they can’t change then women wouldn’t be allowed to vote, Martin Luther King wouldn’t have uttered the words “I have a dream”, Rosa parks wouldn’t have refused to give up her seat on the bus, same-sex marriage wouldn’t be legal in Canada and Obama would not be President of the United States. I could go on and on but I won’t. You get the point.

Yes, these are all examples of huge social movements and I’m not suggesting we compare theatre to the civil rights movement; however, the point I am trying to make is that any change in society begins with one person (or two or a handful of people) saying “Yes, I can” rather than “No”, “Can’t” or “That’s impossible”.

It’s not impossible. If I had listened to everyone who had told me “No” or “That’s impossible” I wouldn’t be where I am today but maybe that is just me. When I hear someone utter those words my gut reaction is to say (not necessarily out loud) “oh, yeah, well I’ll show you” because in my world anything is possible.

Maybe Vancouver (or any other city in the world facing the same problems we are) isn’t going to change overnight but it will happen. All we have to do is stop thinking “Oh, well, it’s Vancouver (substitute name of your own city), it’s just the way it is”. We may not have all the answers and we may stumble along the way but we’ll get there because I, for one, don’t care about the status quo or “the way it is”. All I care about is the way it should be and how we're going to get there.

~Sabrina Evertt
Artistic Producer

2 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more. Audiences, or rather potential audiences here are smart, discerning and loyal, and just waiting for impassioned people to offer them unique, original, truly cutting-edge experiences. This isn't a town that's made up its mind on what it's going to support, it's a town that's been forced to choose from a fairly narrow field for too long.

    Just putting up an adventurous production isn't enough. Not hardly enough. You have to follow that one with more, each one more progressive and informed than the last. And then you have to tell the city about it, and make it simple for them to be able to experience it.

    It's just going to take work. More work than we have been doing, at least from a marketing standpoint. And one day Vancouver will stop giving standing O's to actors for just showing up. They'll expect to be offered things they've never been given before.

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  2. I think we can sell anything, anytime. We just have to find the audience for that particular piece, and figure out how to market directly to them.
    But that's hard work... and it's exploring new ways of marketing.

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