Hi I’m Amanda and I work at Nightwood. I have medium-length, straight black hair and bangs and am wearing a black button down shirt.
Welcome to our website, and to the 2020 Groundswell Festival, which is taking place November 10th through till the 20th. This is our audio e-program, which will go over ways to engage with the festival, give a tour of our website, and later in the video, I will list all of the events taking place during the festival in more detail, including start times and accessibility options available for each event. All of this information is also available in text format as well, and I’ll show you where to find this during the website tour.
Although we’ve engaged many artists from across the country, Nightwood resides on the Dish with One Spoon Territory. We wish to acknowledge and thank the traditional keepers of this land: The Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Anishinaabe, the Wendat and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, as well as acknowledge the past, present, and future presence of this land’s many First Nations, Metis and Inuit people, recorded and unrecorded. In these most challenging times, we promise to listen, and translate our gratitude for your stewardship of this land into action.
The Groundswell Festival is usually a live, in-person festival, but this year has been transferred entirely online. Our offerings this year come in three forms: Five pre-recorded play readings, two pre-recorded conversations, and six live Zoom events. All of the pre-recorded play readings and conversations have the option for professionally-generated captioning. The actors and speakers will all give descriptions of themselves prior to commencing their reading. These pre-recorded readings and conversations will be broadcast live on our website. There will be a live chat to the right of our broadcast videos, so if you use a screen reader, you may wish to turn that off.
All of the live streamed events will have the option for auto-generated captions during the event, with cleaned-up transcripts offered in the week following the events. The two Playwright workshops, as well as the SPILL and Foremothers conversations will have live ASL interpreters. These events will be held on Zoom and you can register to attend in the dropdowns on the site. You will not be asked to turn on your camera or microphone during the webinar. There will be a live chat for all webinars, so if you use a screen reader, you may wish to turn that off. Any questions that come in through the chat will be read aloud. You can also engage with us and ask questions by emailing email@example.com during the event. These events will be recorded for future viewing, which includes the audio, video, captions, and chat text.
All of our offerings for the festival will be available on our website for ten days after their original screening – we encourage everyone to think of this as your opportunity to create a relaxed performance. You can watch it in whatever space and position is most comfortable, with the ability to pause and take breaks, make noise, dim the lights, or lower the volume, whatever feels best for you.
If you encounter any technical difficulties or have questions for our team during an event, you can always reach out to our tech support at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any accessibility requests prior to the festival, please contact Naz Afsahi at email@example.com, and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Our website is mainly Black and White with mustard highlights. There are pops of pastel colours that correspond to our “Consume Feminist Culture” campaign, as well as a motif of tearing through white paper. The Groundswell design is a textured navy blue painting.
[SWITCHING TO WEBSITE VIEW] Alright, so here we are on the Nightwood Theatre website, this is where you would land on the home page if you were to type in nightwoodtheatre.net into your browser. So from the home page to get to the Groundswell page, scroll over the second tab here, “ON STAGE,” then Groundswell Festival is just the second option right here. So you click that, and we’ll be taken to the Groundswell Festival page, which has all the information you’ll need on the festival. Right at the top, this is our Mainstage, so this video will display the event is currently happening, and to the right there is a chat that you can join to discuss with other audience members during the event. We scroll down, we have this lovely photo of our Write From the Hip participants as well as our Write From the Hip Director Donna-Michelle St. Bernard. And down here we have all the events listed as well as their dates and start times, and you can click each event to view more information about it, the accessibility options, and after the event is done and no longer live, the recordings will be stored in each of these drop downs for ten days after the event. So for example, if we clicked into this Playwright workshop on Wednesday, November 11th, there’s also a link to register for the ones that require registration.
[SWITCHING AWAY FROM WEBSITE VIEW] I will now list each of the events occurring in the 2020 Groundswell Festival in detail. This information is also available in text format on our website as I just showed, and running times will be listed online closer to the event date.
This November Nightwood’s Groundswell Festival goes digital, offering an invitation inside the creative process with readings of brand new works from our Write From The Hip playwright’s unit, led by Program Director Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, as well as opportunities to gather for provocative conversations and workshops. This season’s Festival, designed for Zoom by Michelle Tracey, will share new plays and conversations from Bilal Baig, Shelley M. Hobbs, Erum Khan, Rachel Mutombo, Pesch Nepoose and Phoebe Tsang, public conversations with Deaf-led collective SPiLL.PROpagation and national arts advocacy collective AD HOC Assembly, as well as free professional development opportunities for playwrights and artists. This year’s festival is completely free to the public, though we appreciate any donations you may be able to make over at our Canada Helps page. All events are viewable within 10 days of the broadcast date.
Kicking off the festival on Tuesday, November 10th at 6pm ET is a reading of Refusal by Shelley M. Hobbs, directed by Andrea Donaldson. This is a pre-recorded video with professional captioning. The cast is Dalal Badr, Diane Flacks, Armon Ghaeinizadeh, Carlos Gonzalez-Vio, Nancy Palk, Bahareh Yaraghi and Jenny Young.
A war correspondent has become overwhelmed by a career that she both loves and detests. She struggles to reconcile the unequal risks of who is telling what may or may not be the truth. Refusal seeks to address white and class privilege in reporting, its impact on those depicted in the reports, and the emotional costs of suppressed anger and grief in the tellers of “truth”.
On Wednesday, November 11th at 3PM ET is a Playwright Workshop titled “Time Well Spent, or, A Series of Exquisite Errors That Mysteriously Culminate in This.” This is a live webinar with ASL Interpreters. Playwright and Write From The Hip Program Director, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard explores the unexpected gifts, lessons and inventiveness that comes from “failure” in writing. Register on our website.
On Wednesday, November 11th at 6pm ET is a reading of Better by Rachel Mutombo, directed by Maiko Yamamoto. This is a pre-recorded video with professional captioning. The cast is Christine Horne, Melissa Langdon, Bria Mclaughlin and Emerjade Simms.
In this not too distant future, men have tightened the reins on their control of society. Sent to a sanctuary for misguided souls by their husbands, brothers or fathers when they’ve stepped out of line, five women navigate the harsh reality of a world that is no longer safe for them. This video can be viewed on our website.
On Thursday, November 12th at 6pm ET is a conversation with Erum Khan and excerpts from All my forgotten dreams, directed by Maiko Yamamoto. This is a pre-recorded video with professional captioning. The cast is Jani Lauzon, Joelle Peters, Beatriz Pizano, Heath V. Salazar and Arlen Aguayo Stewart. Marooned in the “after” with no idea when they’ll return to “before”, All my forgotten dreams shifts between characters wrestling with isolation, silence and restlessness in the wake of a new world. At once lush and sparse, this live theatrical hybrid film dwelling in a digital dystopia is a speculative future that mirrors our present moment with searing truth. This video can be viewed on our website.
On Friday, November 13th at 3PM ET is a Playwright Workshop titled “One Size Fits One.” This is a live webinar with ASL interpreters. Playwright and Write From The Hip Program Director Donna-Michelle St. Bernard examines structure and building a specific approach to the specific play you are writing. Register on our website.
On Friday, November 13th at 6pm ET is a reading of Death of a Father by Phoebe Tsang, directed by Andrea Donaldson and starring Allegra Fulton and Caroline Toal. This is a pre-recorded video with professional captioning. The ambitious mayor of a small coastal town sacrifices the safety and reputation of his teenage daughter for his political campaign. Twenty years later, his estranged daughter and her mother reconnect at his sparsely attended funeral. This modern retelling of an ancient Greek myth examines the consequences of domestic abuse and parental betrayal. This video can be viewed on our website.
On Monday, November 16th from 1-2:30pm ET is a talk titled Know What You Don’t Know with AD HOC Assembly. This is a live event with REV (machine-generated) captions available during the livestream, and cleaned up transcripts to be made available at a later date.
Cole Alvis and Yvette Nolan of AD HOC Assembly in association with Nightwood Theatre will lead a workshop to engage participants in their pursuit of equity within their arts practice and/or organizations. The focus will be on how to know what you don’t know in supporting Indigenous, Black and culturally diverse artists, audiences and communities. Register on our website.
On Tuesday, November 17th at 6pm ET is a reading of The Bridge by Pesch Nepoose, directed by Cole Alvis and starring Joelle Peters. This is a pre-recorded video with professional captioning. A young Indigenous woman grapples with loss, love, longing and loneliness in this personal and poetic one-woman-show. The Bridge offers a searching meditation on suicide and memory. This piece comes with a content warning for self-harm and suicide. This video can be viewed on our website.
On Wednesday, November 18th at 6pm ET is A Conversation with SPiLL.PROpagation. This is a pre-recorded event with professionally-generated captions and ASL interpretation. Founded in 2009 by a group of Deaf and not-Deaf artists, SPiLL’s mission is to infuse art practices with sign languages and to produce critical art and creative research. SPiLL’s work is rooted in a theoretical framework of the practice of deconstructing phonocentrism (decentralizing spoken and written languages in favor of sign languages and the visual experience). This video can be viewed on our website.
On Thursday, November 19th at 3pm ET is a Grant Workshop with Natalie Liconti and Naz Afsahi. This is a live event with REV (machine-generated) captions available during the livestream, and cleaned up transcripts to be made available at a later date. Join Naz Afsahi and Natalie Liconti as they facilitate an online workshop on Demystifying the Art of Grant Writing. The session aims to create an anti-racist, queer/trans inclusive, virtual space of exchange and education for participants to develop their confidence with writing arts grants. Register on our website.
On Thursday, November 19th at 6pm ET is a conversation Bilal Baig touching on their play blue eyes killed him without blinking. This is a pre-recorded video with professional captioning. Bilal discusses art, social justice and accountability through the lens of their newest work. This video can be viewed on our website.
On Friday, November 20th at 1-2:30PM ET is our Designer Think Tank Discussion. This is a live event with REV (machine-generated) captions available during the livestream, and cleaned up transcripts to be made available at a later date. Join Designers Beth Kates, Michelle Tracey and Echo Zhou as they share the discussions and discoveries that were uncovered in our recent Designer Think Tank. Explore topics such as ways to support designers through this tricky time and how to adapt scenic and technical skills to discover greater possibilities within digital platforms. This live stream can be viewed on our website.
Closing out the festival on Friday, November 20th at 6pm ET is A Conversation with Theatre’s Feminist Foremothers. This is a live event with ASL interpretation and REV- (machine-generated) captions available during the livestream, and cleaned up transcripts to be made available at a later date. Pioneering voices in the feminist theatre community come together to discuss the past and future of Anti-Oppression in the Canadian theatre ecology. Voices at the table include Margo Kane, Jani Lauzon and Diane Roberts. This video can be viewed on our website.
And that concludes our programming for the 2020 Groundswell Festival! We look forward to welcoming you digitally. If you have questions or additional accessibility requests for the festival, please do not hesitate to reach out to Nightwood on social media, or email Naz Afsahi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, and stay safe everyone!