Postmarginal Edmonton

September 12, 13, and 14, 2021

Westbury Theatre, Edmonton AB

What is Postmarginal Edmonton?

Postmarginal Edmonton will bring together a diverse group of 40 theatre artists, academics and cultural workers to explore how differences of gender identity, ethnocultural backgrounds, and physical and mental dis/abilities can be a source of creative inspiration in the theatre. Enriched by experiences in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, the three-day event responds to the specific context of the host city through storytelling, dialogue and physical workshops.

As we reignite our theatre communities, Postmarginal Edmonton is a chance to envision the future of theatre and rethink how inclusivity can be central to the creation process.

When: September 12, 13 and 14, 2021

Where: Westbury Theatre, Fringe Theatre Adventures

Postmarginal Edmonton Partners

An Experiential learning event

To begin creating in an inclusive manner, we need mental, online, and real-life spaces where dialogue about identity and artistic freedom can take place in meaningful and respectful ways.

Postmarginal retreats were launched in 2018 as a new physical space for rethinking inclusivity in theatre. Part workshop and part think-tank, the main objective of a Postmarginal retreat is to discover, test, and propose new work ethics and creative strategies for exploring differences in the rehearsal hall.


For Three Days in Edmonton

In a meeting that is passionate, presencing, and courageous, the group is invited to share experiences through storytelling, discussion and physical activities to co-construct a new inclusive theatre.

Day 1 | Space to Give and Receive

Sunday, September 12, 2021 – 9am to 5pm

A day of mind and body encounters. We create the physical and mental space to speak freely, clearly and with compassion. Nine local theatre and performance artists share stories of intercultural experiences to generate collective understanding of the retreat’s central questions.

Day 2 | Embracing the Complexity

Monday, September 13, 2021 – 9am to 5pm

With the invitation to enter into a multilayered discussion about the creative potential of working across cultural differences and perspectives, the group travels between community-specific and collective discussions. Two practical workshops suited for all levels of experience will examine the dynamics of understanding and accessing our differences in creation.

Day 3 | Forward into Creation

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 – 10am to 4pm

Participants are invited to bring the learning from the retreat into their organizations or artistic practice, and join with other artists and cultural workers to create concrete projects.


In a collective, design thinking, approach

We learn through stories...

Indigenous theatre practice North & South

Indigenous theatre practice from the North and South

How can Indigenous relationships from distant lands reflect positive ways of creating art?

with Todd Houseman and Lady Vanessa Cardona

Artistic resilience and sovereign spaces

Artistic resilience and sovereign spaces

How can marginalized bodies create sovereignty inside colonial spaces?

with Josh Languedoc

What are you afraid of...?

What are you afraid of…?

How can we overcome our fears of working across differences?

with Jesse Del Fierro

Bridging value systems in creation

The Lioness: Bridging Value Systems in Creation

How do we move beyond cultural borders and embrace the values of different worlds?

with Shrina Patel

Marginalized bodies and the rehearsal hall

Marginalized bodies and the rehearsal hall

How can marginalized and non-marginalized bodies share space in the context of racial violence?

with Mũkonzi Mũsyoki

Breaking the silence between us

Breaking the silence between us

How can Deaf and hearing actors make space for each other?

with Chris Dodd


Empathy & change in rehearsal process

Empathy & Change in Rehearsal Process

How can working with disability create new pathways of understanding the rehearsal process?

with Brooke Leifso and David Horak


We learn through action

« Le Besoin d’être mal-armé » : Creating Multilingual Dramaturgy

In this workshop, mono-, bi- and multi-lingual artists will be invited to co-create dramaturgical material through experimenting with and in various languages: verbal and non-verbal, spoken or written, known and unknown, living or dead. The goal of the workshop is to introduce the concept of multilingual dramaturgy, i.e., dramaturgy that resists translation as its main tool, challenges the hegemony of dominant languages and attempts to create multi-layered meanings intended for multilingual and multicultural audiences. Participants are encouraged to bring their own stories, monologues, poems, improv exercises or any other genres (in any of the languages they speak or are currently learning) as the basis for further devising.

Art Babayants/Արտ բաբայանց, stage director

Art Babayants is a multilingual artist-scholar who lives and works in what is now called Canada. His training combines the Stanislavsky school of acting (as taught in Russia), Meyerhold's Biomechanics and Indian kalaripaiattu.

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Art's directing credits include musicals Share and Share Alike (2007), Seussical (2009), Gypsy (2011), Godspell (2014), Spring Awakening (2019), contemporary Canadian drama Couldn’t We Be (2008), The…Musician: An Etude (2012 and 2014), Wine&Halva (2020) and multilingual performance In Sundry Languages (2015-2019), collectively devised by Toronto Laboratory Theatre (published as a script by Playwrights Canada in 2019). He runs Quebec’s first Musical Theatre program (at Bishop’s University, Sherbrooke) and publishes on the issues of stage multilingualism, diasporic/immigrant theatre, queer dramaturgy, applied theatre and contemporary musical theatre. Art has also co-edited scholarly volume Theatre and Learning (2015) and the special issue of Theatre Research in Canada/Les recherches théâtrales au Canada (Fall 2017) dedicated to multilingual theatre in Canada. With the support of La Troupe du jour (Saskatoon), he is completing work on his first multilingual play Bros/Les gars (2021).

At the Limits of Self and Other: A Somatic Exploration

In Somatic Workshops with Meryem Alaoui, we will use a body-based approach, focusing on our sensations in the moment and on our presence in our body. We will explore principles and questions in an embodied experiential way through movement, touch, voice, and play, around the possibilities of creating connections within our self and between each other, especially in a socially distant environment. Together, we will learn from our own experiences and use our curiosity and our desire for discovering, uncovering or rediscovering as our guide.

Meryem Alaoui, dancer-choreographer

Meryem Alaoui is a dancer-choreographer, somatic movement educator and embodiment coach from Morocco, living in Toronto, Canada.

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Her choreographic work is often an invitation towards a softer, more contemplative and sensorial experience of dance, which she uses as her act of resistance to the louder and more dominant voices and discourses in the field. Through her workshops and coaching practice, she guides people to lean into the wisdom and profound knowledge of their body to find their own answers and embody who they are fully. She’s been studying Body-Mind Centering® since 2016, with support from the Ontario Arts Council and the Dancer Transition Resource Centre. For more info: |

Register today

To register, please click the Register button. Thanks to the support of the Edmonton Community Foundation, participants will be paid an honoraria of $100 for each day of participation. As we have a limited number of spaces available, and in the interest of having a strong representation from the different communities embraced by this project, we regretfully cannot guarantee a spot will be available for every individual. For any questions concerning registration, please contact Eric Rice ([email protected]).

Postmarginal Edmonton will monitor public health guidelines as reopening takes place. We are prepared if necessary to conduct the event in a manner that is physically-distanced, where all physical interaction closer than 2 metres (6 feet) will require the wearing of face masks. Our venue, the Fringe Theatre Adventures is fully accessible for all patrons and participants.

Accessibility features can be found here. We ask everyone to be courteous of their fellow participants and to avoid the wearing of perfume, cologne and other scented products. For wheelchair users: if you require a reserved wheelchair space, please note this in your letter of motivation. Please also note if you will be with an attendant that you wish to sit with. ASL interpretation will be provided throughout the three days of the retreat. Please help us prepare by noting at time of registration if you will be using this service. Participants with specific needs are welcome to contact Eric Rice ([email protected]) in advance of their attendance to discuss arrangements to ensure their comfort and access. Advance site orientation visits for attendees can also be arranged.

Participant Handbook

Special Thanks:

The Board of Directors and members of the Equity Committee of Walterdale Theatre Associates, especially May Kharaghani, Monica Roberts, David Owen, Mary-Ellen Perley, Kristina De Guzman, Pedro Rodriguez, and M.J. Kreisel for their input and dedication.

Jessie van Rijn from the Citadel Theatre and Keri Mitchell from Theatre Alberta for their rock-steady partnership.

Members of the Edmonton theatre community who joined us in planning sessions: Jordan Campion, Sue Goberdhan, Darrin Hagen, Brooke Leifso, Mukonzi Musyoki, Patricia Darbasie, Chris Dodd, John Hudson, Dr. Heidi Janz, Vanessa Sabourin, and Amena Shehab.

Members of the Postmarginal and Modern Times team who supported and guided the planning process: Peter Farbridge, Soheil Parsa, Gia Nahmens, Anne-Laure Mathieu, Crystal Chan and Ez Bridgman, Lisa Ndejuru.

This project was made possible through the Edmonton Arts Council and their Connections and Exchanges program, as well as the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Strategic Initiatives, and the Toronto Arts Council’s Open Door program. We thank the Edmonton Community Foundation for their gracious support of artist honorariums to attend the workshop.

© Postmarginal 2021 | Photos of Postmarginal Montreal (2018) by Freddie Arciniegas

Webpage Design: Jessika Digital