Contact: Colleen Ostoforoff, Executive Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2018
SATP Respect & Equity committee
Statement Addressing Saskatoon’s Theatre #metoo Movement
Saskatoon, SK, March 14, 2017–Saskatchewan Association of Theatre Professionals and its Respect & Equity Committee members announced today its statement in response to the International #metoo Movement and Saskatoon’s changing landscape for professionals working in theatre and the live performing arts community.
“The #metoo movement uses social media to help expose the widespread sexual assault, misconduct and harassment that occurs in the workplace. As a member driven organization, the Saskatchewan Association of Theatre Professionals (SATP) is responding to the needs of the Saskatoon theatre community members as they are articulating them to us,” said Jennica Grienke and Skye Brandon, co-chairs, SATP Respect & Equity Committee.
Saskatoon’s first #metoo discussion was held January 8th within Saskatoon’s theatre community to explore ways to prevent or stop sexual abuse or harassment in the theatre or rehearsal hall. The evening’s open forum was hosted by Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan and 25th Street Theatre Centre, and facilitated by Heather Pocock from the Saskatoon Sexual Assault Centre.
Intended for Saskatoon professional and emerging theatre practitioners of all backgrounds and disciplines, the conversation was aimed at creating a stronger, healthier, safer work place for all in regards to consent, harassment, and power.
Heather Pocock framed the discussion by providing definitions, clarifying where sexual harassment fits on a spectrum, stressing the importance of communications, respect, reporting, and accessing support. In the subsequent discussion, members articulated that a lack of effective reporting options is a major factor that drives unchecked sexual misconduct in the workplace.
At that first meeting, it was suggested that SATP take the lead in Continuing The Conversation. On February 12th, SATP invited all its members and the theatre community to the next session to consider what is missing in our dialogues. This event was facilitated by Regina based facilitator Heather Fox Griffith, a Registered Counselor who uses a narrative approach in her writing and her counseling practice. Heather's professional area of specialization is in Victimology based, expressive life-writing and storytelling with expertise in Law and Courts, Social Policy, Adult Education.
While the evening addressed issues specific to the theatre community, SATP recognizes that sexual harassment and sexual violence do not occur only in the workplace, and that members who come to Continuing the Conversation bring with them their life experiences, and the work of creating safe space for everyone extends beyond the walls of the theatre or rehearsal room.
“We believe that change requires us to build connections between people and our communities so that all of us have a strong, prosperous and equitable community.” Jennica continued, “We hope that we as a theatre community will come up with a way that we can support ourselves and our organizations.”
In response to needs expressed by the community, SATP’s Respect and Equity Committee will host its next conversation specifically for women called Women Wanna Talk, scheduled for April 11th. SATP will provide a safe space for members and theatre practitioners to engage in an open and meaningful dialogue.
On September 16 & 17, SATP will offer two workshops regarding best practices for intimacy direction on the stage. The first workshop is Intimacy for the Stage for Facilitators & Directors. The workshop is a result of best practices for workplace health and safety and sharing of common language for intimacy on the stage and screen through the Canadian standards for Canadian Intimacy for Stage and Screen (C.I.S.S.). The second workshop is Intimacy for the Stage for Performers which provides specific techniques for accessing actors’ vulnerability in a dramatic context, resulting in powerful chemistry between characters without compromising personal boundaries. Discussion topics include: consent, boundaries, psychological safety, best practices and working conditions. For more information or to register for the workshops online visit: https://sasktheatreprofessionals.ca/news/ .
Saskatchewan Association of Theatre Professionals supports the development, creative practices & production of Saskatchewan’s theatre professionals.
# # #
For more information on events regarding #metoo, follow SATP on our social media platforms https://sasktheatreprofessionals.ca/ and on face book https://www.facebook.com/SaskTheatreProfessionals/ .