Reclaiming Hope is the new project from Theatre for Living
In its 35th year of working to build bridges between unlikely communities and affect policy in the Lower Mainland, Theatre for Living's (formerly Headlines Theatre) new project Reclaiming Hope, is currently being toured around various Vancouver community spaces. But before we work to build hope, we must shed light on fear, which is something artistic director David Diamond is very good at drawing out of people.
Last Friday evening I went to the Reclaiming Hope performance in partnership with The Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House. It's a testament to David Diamond that he can focus a performance out of an end-of-the-week tired, rain-soaked crowd, as we were on Friday. My view of the event is skewed, as unexpectedly, a personal story of mine was worked out on stage for most of the evening. And by worked out, I mean "given to the room," so it wouldn't be my story any longer.
While my view from onstage wasn't the same as most in the audience, I could recognize several things from my slightly elevated seat: David has a finely tuned eye for an epiphany, and his sense of separating real human emotion from performative emotion made Reclaiming Hope unpredictable at every moment, and exciting for those who were involved.
I was drawn to Theatre for Living after hearing about what they had accomplished in 2014 when the Vancouver School Board began updating their policies around homophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation. Their project Voices of Love wasn't an attack on the right wing, conservative groups pushing back against the updated policies, it was about creating mutual respect, and empathy. And, as much of the work they do is, it was policy based because creating real change has always been the goal, though David said during Reclaiming Hope on Friday that they'd "also like to be entertaining."
I encourage you to make a reservation for one of the remaining performances which end on April 2nd. Reclaiming Hope ends with a day of action planning, which will use the issues brought up from the performances to work on as a group and propose solutions to bring back to our communities. I also encourage you to get up on stage and take the opportunity to work out a piece of your history with David, because as he said on Friday, as I'm sure he will say on every night of Reclaiming Hope: "hope is a thought process based in struggle."
-Sydney from The Media Democracy Project
Vancouver Events - March 15-29