Announcing the FOOT 2019: Equity & Diversity in Performance

October 26, 2018 by Julie Phillips

The University of Toronto’s graduate Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies is proud to announce the upcoming student-organized conference, FOOT 2019: Equity & Diversity in Performance, February 15-17, 2019.

The Festival of Original Theatre (FOOT) is an annual conference held by the CDTPS led by graduate students. The theme of FOOT changes every year, according to the research interests of the new artistic director of the conference, but it’s main goal is to provide graduate students and the performing arts community an academic outlet to showcase, critique, review, perform, discuss, and analyze the changing world of drama, theatre and performance.

FOOT 2019: Equity & Diversity in Performance responds to industry changes in light of the #metoo movement, and asks the question: "What is the changing relationship of drama, theatre, and performance to practices which centralize equity through intersectionality?" The conference takes inspiration from the past Equity in Theatre Initiative from the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and the findings of its founders, Rebecca Burton and Laine Zisman-Newman, and lead researcher Michelle MacArthur. With over thirty years of research into gender inequity in Canadian theatre beginning with Rina Fraticelli’s seminal report “The Invisibility Factor” (1982) which revealed the 70/30 divide of men-to-women’s participation as actors, directors, and playwrights, little progress has been made in the representation of women in all major aspects of Canadian theatre production.

This year’s festival takes an intersectional feminist approach to exploring issues of equity and diversity in the arts. Intersectionality, (a term first coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in her 1989 paper “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics” which critiques the centering of white women in all waves of the feminist movement), which is the “theory that various forms of discrimination centred on race, gender, class, disability, sexuality, and other forms of identity, do not work independently but interact to produce particularized forms of social oppression” (Oxford Dictionary of Human Geography). The goals of the festival involve engaging in open discussion with artists and educators across the spectrum of Canadian performing arts about the changing role equity and diversity plays within the Canadian theatre ecology.

FOOT 2019: Equity & Diversity in Performance includes panel discussions with local artists and educators, scholarly papers and creative performance presentations from students and educators across the spectrum of critical inquiry, workshops with local industry professionals, and more.

For more information on the conference, please visit our websites at uoft.me/foot and foot2019.wordpress.com, or email the organizers at foot2019@gmail.com.

We look forward to engaging with you at FOOT 2019, February 15-17th at UofT’s Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance.

Sincerely,

Julia Matias
Sarah Robbins
Co-Organizers, FOOT 2019