By Natasha Greenblatt with the company Jennifer Brewin, Qasim Khan, Anand Rajaram, Yolanda Bonnell, Courtenay Stevens with Georgina Beaty
Upcoming: Banff Playwrights Lab 2018 & Workshop Production Spring 2019
During the federal election of 2015, Jennifer Brewin enlisted Natasha Greenblatt, Yolanda Bonnell, Qasim Khan, Anand Rajaram and Courtenay Stevens to volunteer on five different election campaigns across the province, and commissioned them to document their experiences. They campaigned for Liberal, NDP and Conservative candidates in rural, suburban and urban ridings.
The company members come from Ojibwe, Jewish, Polish, Tamil and Pakistani backgrounds, identifying as straight, queer and bi-sexual. Their identities informed their experiences in ways that were challenging and surprising. Some of the creators were politically engaged before the election, others had never campaigned before; everyone became emotionally invested in the process.
In 2016 lead writer Natasha Greenblatt was awarded a two-week residency at the Banff Playwrights Colony to shape the written work and oral recordings into a first draft.
Over the 2016/17 season, we held a series of workshops for The Election. We added actor/writer Georgina Beaty to the process. In the summer of 2017 Natasha wrote a second draft, which we will continue to develop and shape into our performance.
This theatre project is the second in a series of works about public engagement in Canada. The first work Common Boots created for the series was The Public Servant, a play developed from extensive interviews with federal employees.
A workshop production will be performed in Toronto in the spring of 2019.