Read all about our Community Theatre Project, proudly supported by Canada 150 and the BC Arts Council, "Welcome Home?" here. Scroll to the bottom of the page to watch the entire play devised by the Revelstoke community.
Director's Comments, by Anita Hallewas
Welcome Home? began as a spark after reading a survey in the Revelstoke Review that stated 51% of locals did not want a newly sponsored Syrian family to come to Revelstoke. It is true that this statistic is not scientific, and we cannot be sure how many people even participated in the survey.
However, the problem with the statistic making its way into the media is that it sits there for people to absorb, feed-off and comment on in social media. If nothing else it suggests Revelstoke is an unwelcoming town, with a fear of change. Could that statistic in a news article shift the opinion of a community member who wasn’t quite sure about the idea of sponsoring a family? Perhaps. Could it put off a newly migrating family choosing Revelstoke as their new home? Maybe.
As a new immigrant to Canada (and the child of a refugee) who was welcomed so warmly to Revelstoke just nine years ago, this statistic didn’t seem like the expected response from my new home-town. But the conversation had been started and it seemed like a great opportunity to explore, through theatre, how and why Revelstoke was welcoming towards newcomers both in the past and present. Through a series of applied theatre workshops across the community between October and December 2016 we explored these themes relating to the refugee crisis that was unfolding across the globe. Each conversation, discussion, concern or opinion triggered the next workshop until we had collected enough information to begin devising a play.
Devising added more ideas and more points of view and by the time we held auditions we had attracted a team of 21 performers who were eager to finish the journey to devise and rehearse to perform the play Welcome Home? This piece is still a “work in progress” and we hope for more feedback and discussion to add more voices and opinions to make this play a truly Revelstoke production – researched, devised, written and performed by the Revelstoke community. I want to thank everyone who has participated in this project over the past five months, a total of 156 people, as without them the performance Welcome Home? would not exist.
If you would like to learn more about the process we took in creating this community play, consider ordering the showbook for $15. The book is a high quality, 48 page colour book including photographs, documentation of the whole process and includes the final script used in performance. Email Heather for more information: [email protected]
Directed and produced by Anita Hallewas
Photo credits: Keri Knapp & Jason Keerak
Videography: Laurent Gagné, Julian Hartmuth, Christophe Gagné