We’ve had the honour and pleasure of working with the incredible Allan Morgan for over a year…a relationship which we hope continues forever. As we enter a completely different New West Pride week, Allan had some reflections on Pride and how his relationship to it has changed.
He did an amazing recording of the piece which we are happy to share with you, in addition to the script.
We hope it moves you as much as it did us.
Happy Pride New West.
THE JOURNEY THUS FAR
Whenever I go for a drive or a trip with a friend I enjoy following along on a map. Not necessarily navigating, but wanting a visual narrative perhaps to help me understand where we’re at.
I think it is much the same with life. As I get older I look back on this map of my life thus far and of the story which I have created that goes along with it. The path to Pride both personally as a gay man, and as a gay man in a community seeking radical liberation is a big part of my map, my story, my artistry. I write about my sexuality and pride and my life thus far in order to understand it a bit better and to help to shed some of the unwanted baggage gained growing up in a world where gay and proud were not anything to celebrate.
The first political action I ever did as a gay man, a proud gay man, was to march across from the church where Anita Bryant, a right wing Christian heading a campaign to deny rights to gays and lesbians was speaking in Scarborough Ontario when I was living in Toronto in 1976, and like many of us that political activity has never stopped since. How could it stop? Once I had accepted that I was gay, born that way, and that it was an intrinsic part of what makes me human I knew that society’s opinions and laws about homosexuality had to change.
The road to Pride has been long. For every victory there was a setback, for every setback another setback. Google it all. Scroll through year by year, check it out.
We lost a decade and far, far too many friends and lovers and artists and loved ones and brothers and sisters to the last pandemic, HIV- AIDS. We remember them and we lift up their names.
After that storm – eventually the rainbow, and the movement for gay & lesbian civil rights gained momentum here and much of the western world. Rights were enshrined and closet doors closed as community beckoned.
We can now marry and divorce, adopt and foster children and live our lives as full citizens in many countries of the world as a direct result of the hard work and bravery and conviction of so many who knew we were right and that more love is never a bad legacy. I am proud of these achievements and happy to experience the profound sea–change in the public perception of who we are.
Although Gay pride has become huge and ubiquitous with a season of gay prides in various cities throughout the world, our country and our province, I consider it an important and essential celebration. Well, I used to.
A few years ago cracks started to appear in the wall of Pride. Discussions and conversations began to appear, questions of who should be involved in our celebrations. At the pride parade in Toronto a few years back Black Lives Toronto stopped the parade with a counter protest.
A demonstration by mostly black women protesting the racism and exclusion of Pride and the parade, as well as the presence of the police in the parade.
That demonstration engendered a conversation not only within our community but across the country. Like many of us I had a firm narrative of Pride – the story I told over and over again about the events and politics that happened and how we got here from there and some fairly firm opinions about inclusion in our celebrations and, like many also felt my activism gave me a stake in these decisions and licence to opine about them.
Last year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, an event generally described as the beginning of Gay Liberation. As I read literature about the riots I began to realize that my story of Pride and our journey was incomplete, white washed. The role of black transgender women at Ground Zero of Stonewall was indisputable and indelible. I made edits to my map and began to look for more.
Which brings us to now. 2020. The year everything changed, the year of the pandemic.
As it was unknown territory there are no maps, nothing to assist us in navigating our way in a world unknown to us.
For many of us there was no work, we were to stay at home, wash our hands frequently, wear gloves, masks, not venture out trying to flatten a curve so as not to overwhelm the healthcare system and to protect those vulnerable among us. In one of the greatest act of solidarity and love in human history we did just that.
It became our new reality and the combination of no work amidst an event unprecedented in our lives we had time to think ( and bake bread, sew masks, spend quality time with our families, help neighbours and bang pots of thanks for those in harm’s way.)
We also became very aware at this time of the huge inequities in our society of the path walked by black, indigenous and people of colour as opposed to our own path. Here in Canada the need for reconciliation with the original indigenous Sovereign Nations whose land our ancestors appropriated from them with no recompense, grew bigger. Black lives matter both in the United States and here took to the streets to shout their outrage at the continuing systemic racism, and at the continued murders of black citizens by the police.
Cracks in the narrative now seemed to be happening everywhere, not just to Pride, but societaly as well.
We worried that the whole thing might collapse, but as Leonard Cohen says in his song ” Anthem” the cracks are where the light gets in.
Pride 2020 for the most part is a virtual celebration meaning that there are no huge parades,no blocks long shutdown as we have in New Westminster, no coming together in person because of the virus. So we have watched online celebrations and activism around the world. We have been able to see more clearly I think the plight of so many in our community around the world.
Personally I came to understand that my narrative, my map needed to be rethought, redrawn and retold. That liberation meant liberation for all, not just some of us. I also came to understand that there is much reading and listening and hearing and questions that need to be asked by us, that there is much work to do to be as inclusive as we can be, to help give ownership to others in the movement that have fought racism and hate and deserve to have their say in helping to move us all forward.
THE PATH FROM PRIDE
The future Has no map. We have to draw it. I don’t know where we go or how we get there oh, but I do know that my sense of “we” is different now. It has grown. We is now bigger, more diverse, more inclusive, more colourful and more powerful. That fuller definition of ” we” will be even more unstoppable and more undeniable. Within that “we” are many new leaders and people of vision who will take different roads different routes and I for one am looking forward to that adventure.
Happy Pride to everyone of you Beautiful Creatures, wherever you are on the gender River, and to all of us in our sexualities and our queerness and our colours, and to all of our allies that march with us.
Let’s put our maps together and find a new route, but let’s keep moving forward. That’s the only path that really matters.
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As a first step in re-opening the Massey to public activity, the Plaskett Gallery will be opened on a by-appointment basis. In order to maintain pandemic health and safety measures while maximizing the number of people able to experience the program.
You may now book 30 minute visits at the Plaskett Gallery with your bubble! Book conveniently ONLINE or by phoning our box office at 604.521.5050
Visits are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A maximum of 10 people will be allowed at a time. Your party will be asked to state that you have assessed yourself for Covid 19 symptoms before entering. You will all be required to provide contact information for the purposes of contact tracing by the government if that is needed for any reason.
Liminal Space is where transformation takes place.
It is the time between what was and what will be next. When one has the potential to act, but has not yet done so.
This process of waiting, not knowing what will become, is part of the process that we must patiently embrace – letting it form us.
This state of mind inspired the pieces in this collection. It chronicles the journey from the first steps to the other side, a new beginning…the anticipation of what is to come.
Show runs from June 9-June 30 Tuesday to Saturday from 1-5 pm by appointment only.
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Participation in the arts is dominated by communities who have historically received access and inclusion. The Massey Theatre is committed to increasing access and inclusion for Black community members and artists.
Seeing one’s self reflected in art, in story, in music; being empowered and applauded, particularly for youth and children, builds an important sense of belonging and of being valued.
Currently, violent acts against Black bodies circulate and dominate our view. In response, we offer the use of our physical and human resources to Black community members. Strengthen yourselves and these global social movements with these supports. Facilitate, connect, restore, speak your truths and be heard, we will assist you.
This week we are reengaging with members of BC’s Black artistic community to co-create opportunities which elevate Black voices and inter-connect communities. We invite Black community members and organizations to feed and inform this programming and we call on the community at large to learn and take action toward social change.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to be involved in supporting or developing these activities or if you have any questions or concerns.
Black Canadian artists embody the resilience and achievements of their ancestors, survivors of a brutal legacy and their work offers valuable perspectives. This collection of National Film Board of Canada films by award winning Black filmmakers, creators and allies is a mere tip of the iceberg of work created by Black artists in Canada. We invite you to watch and learn.
Giving Tuesday Now is May 5th. A day when Canadians are encouraged to give to their favourite charitable organizations. A day that highlights both the generosity of people and the powerful work and needs of incredible organizations across the nation.
Usually charitable organizations highlight the work they do and the challenges they are facing to ask for donations. Although Massey Theatre Society is a charitable organization, we have chosen not to do that.
Of course the theatre is going through challenging times this year. But this Giving Tuesday, we encourage you to give to Royal City Musical Theatre Society.
For three of the theatre’s six decades, April has been a month of exceptional musical theatre at the Massey Theatre. Community members and professional artists have joined forces for over thirty years to lift spirits to astronomical heights with sound, movement, spirit and song. Our theatre was filled with audiences, appreciators and artists. Each one of those hundreds of performances ended with thunderous applause and folks leaping to their feet. All because of Royal City Musical Theatre.
This April, all was dark. Absolute silence and stillness descended on our beloved theatre. A beating heart of our community paused.
For 30 magical years, they have brought Broadway to New Westminster. And like Broadway, this year, the show couldn’t go on. The production was cancelled after the budget was spent, only two weeks before the show was to load into the theatre and begin its ascent to the public performances.
Theatre companies like Royal City Musical Theatre rely on ticket sales to produce their shows. Without those ticket sales, their future is on the line.
Your donation on Giving Tuesday will help RCMT resolve the huge financial impacts of cancelling the production. It will help them begin to envision going on in the future and returning to production as soon as that is conceivable.
Giving to RCMT will bring back those magical and exceptional nights on the Massey stage. Nights when the restaurants are packed before the show and the streets are filled with local and visiting families and friends strolling to the theatre for one of the best nights out of the year, every year.
Please consider giving your tax deductible Giving Tuesday donation to Royal City Musical Theatre. Donations can be made online, by mail to Royal City Musical Theatre Society c/o Massey Theatre 735 8th Ave, New Westminster, BC V3M 2R2, by email at email@example.com or over the phone by calling the Massey Theatre Box office at 604.521.5050.
The show must go on.Read More →
As part of the Under the Rainbow LGBTQ2+ programming at Massey Theatre, we are presenting a series of play readings of fantastic Canadian Plays. These plays have been curated by our artist in residence Allan Morgan and Roy Surette, Artistic Director for Touchstone Theatre.
All plays will be presented as staged readings, performed by professional actors. Plays contain mature content and may not be suitable for young audiences.
FREE and welcoming and accessible for all!
Hosanna by Michel Tremblay
January 20, 2020 @ 7:30 pm Plaskett Gallery
The heart-rending and often hilarious Hosanna by seminal French Canadian playwright Michel Tremblay shines light on the fear of change, identity, and the reluctance to release the illusion of self. Aging drag queen Hosanna, a man wanting to be a woman, wanting to be Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra, with her live-in partner Curiette, a going-to-seed leather stud, faces a Halloween night feeling like an outsider in her own skin.
Hosanna, was first performed in French at Théâtre de Quat’Sous in 1973 and in English at Toronto’s Tarragon in 1974 and is set in an exotic world of nightclubs and gay bars on the main of Montreal in the seventies. Written during the social and political tumult of Quebec’s Quiet Revolution, Tremblay’s political allegory about the authenticity of self resonates just as much today.
This reading of Hosanna is a features the actors from the recent UBC Theatre presentation, Frank Zotter and Joey Lespérance and is directed by Stephen Heatley. Translated by Bill Glassco and John Van Burek.
Lilies by Michel Marc Bouchard
April 8, 2020 @ 7:30 pm Plaskett Gallery
The play is set in 1952 in the church of a prison where it has been arranged that the jailed Simon Doucet will make confession to his old friend Bishop Bilodeau The play’s English translation by Linda Gaboriau was published in 1991.
This reading will feature members of the cast from the Jessie Award winning joint production of Touchstone, Arts Club and Pi Theatres, including Allan Morgan.
Swollen Tongues by Kathleen Oliver
June 8, 2020 @ 7:30 pm Plaskett Gallery
Written entirely in rhyming couplets, Swollen Tongues is a contemporary take on Restoration comedy – with a twist!
Thomas and his sister, Catherine, are both instructed in the powers of poetry by Dr. Wise. While Thomas is more prolific than skilled in his praise of his beloved Sonja, Catherine is strangely mute. The problem? Catherine is in love with Sonja too, and has taken the liberty of effectively improving her brother’s verses and giving them to Sonja under an assumed name, Overripe. When Thomas discovers that he has been plagiarized, Dr. Wise suggests a challenge of poetic skill. The ensuing flurry of disguises, tricks, and revelations includes a visit to Sapphic hideaway, closer to home than anyone might have imagined. Here, the characters discover that no one is without secrets, and that poetry can unlock the door to love in unexpected ways.
Massey Theatre is a safe space for LBGT2+ people and allies where we promote the notions of love, mutual consent, empathy and understanding. Homophobia, transphobia, sexism, any type of bigotry or violent conduct will not be tolerated. Don’t hesitate to approach us if anything should alert your concern.Read More →
The arts bring community together. Through shared experiences, stories and space. This season, we’re introducting ‘Under the Rainbow’, a series of community events, programs, shows and more celebrating expression, identity, and connection, with a particular focus on LGBTQ2+ stories and artists.
A featured component of this programming is the participation of our artist in residence Allan Morgan.
Massey Theatre is proud to welcome veteran Canadian actor, and more recently playwright Allan Morgan as our 2019-2020 Artist-in-Residence. As part of our Under the Rainbow series, Allan will be developing and leading a number of events and programs, including a run of his solo play “Pride: for the young gay, the un-gay, and the jaded queen in all of us,” a storytelling program for gay seniors, a play reading series, and more. Allan will also be writing a blog for the Massey website about his residency, and will be present at the Theatre throughout the year to work on new projects and get the community excited about arts and Pride.
Here’s a teaser of some of the programming coming Under the Rainbow
September 20th -September 22nd
Pride-For the young gay, the un-gay and the jaded queen in all of us- writtten and performed by Allan Morgan on the Massey Theatre stage
September 28th to November 30th
Let me Tell you a Story Nobody Ever Told to Me- Gay Seniors project in the Plaskett Gallery
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the Movie: Drag Queen Singalong in the Massey Theatre
The Flame NW the LGBTQ2+ edition- Plaskett Gallery
Colette-Last Monday at the Movies with the Arts Council of New Westminster in the Massey Theatre
November 1st to 30th
Love Out Love Exhibition in the Plaskett Gallery
Gay Seniors Project Sharing & Celebration in the Massey Theatre
Fire Song- Award winning contemporary film from indigenous film maker Adam Garnet Jones in the Massey Theatre
Play Reading in the Massey Theatre
The Wiard of Oz the Movie: Drag Queen Singalong in the Massey Theatre
Rainbow Families Family Day Gathering-activities and performances in Massey Theatre and Plaskett Gallery
Rafiki-Last Monday at the Movies with the Arts Council of New Westminster in the Massey Theatre
March 13th and 14th
New Performance showcase in the Massey Theatre
Dance Party in the Massey Theatre
Play Reading in the Massey Theatre
May 1st and 2nd
Hot Brown Honey in the Massey Theatre
Play Reading in the Massey Theatre
Want to be kept up to date on Under the Rainbow and other programming? Email us and we’ll keep you in the know.Read More →
We’ve long been of the opinion that a perfect night out often includes dinner and a great show. The Massey Theatre can always help provide access to the show, but dinner remains a challenge for us.
This month, we have a solution!
We are tres enchante to be hosting Royal City Musical Theatre’s Cabaret. The show runs from April 12th to 29th.
Since opening on Broadway in 1966 the show remains a devastatingly relevant work of art and continues to be both entertaining and unsettling.
Based on a book written by Christopher Isherwood, Cabaret is set in 1931 Berlin in the seedy glamour of the Kit Kat Klub. It’s bawdy Emcee, hard living entertainer, Sally Bowles and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd and leave their troubles outside. This decadent nightlife takes place during a disturbing time with the collapse of Weimar Germany and the rise of the Nazi Party.
Come hear some of the most memorable songs in theatre history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time” along with dance numbers, a love story, and with an overwhelming wake up call and a reminder to be vigilant, that things can change so quickly that suddenly without you knowing, you’re in a scary world.
Come and leave your troubles outside – life is beautiful at the Cabaret – follow your heart while the world loses its way.
And the dinner.
We’re thrilled that Wild Rice is offering ticket holders of Cabaret 10% off their food and non alcoholic drinks bill during the run of the show. Simply present your ticket or ticket stub at Wild Rice during the run of the show to receive the discount. Kung Po and Cabaret anyone?
This offer is only good from April 12th-29th.Read More →
This Saturday, February 10th is the first ever Massey Madness Family Arts Festival
In addition to some incredible shows being performed (tickets available on TicketsNW),
All Day FREE Activities (12:00pm-5:00pm)
New West Craft – Lobby/Hallway
New West Craft is a handmade market hosted by the Arts Council of New Westminster. New West Craft aims to provide a welcoming environment for crafters, artisans and makers to share their work with the community.
Tinypreneurs Info Booth/Registration – Lobby/Hallway
The Tinypreneurs event is a unique, innovative, philanthropic, and educational experience, for children as young as 7 years old to be exposed to the world of an entrepreneur. It will allow children and their entire family to explore and embrace the benefits of entrepreneurship from an early age, as well as showcasing their talent and creativity.
At Massey Madness, children and families will have a chance to learn more about Tinypreneurs, and sign up for the 2018 Spring Break Tinypreneurs workshop to take place at Massey Theatre.
Arts Council of New Westminster brings their fantastic interactive arts and crafts table for kids. Explore! Learn! Enjoy!
SCHEDULED FREE ACTIVITIES
Pow Wow Dance Lesson with Shyama-Priya- Massey Small Gym
Youth Music Showcase– Massey Theatre Lobby
Artist #1: 12:15-12:45 Jazz Ensemble
Youth Poetry/Storytelling Showcase– Massey Theatre Lobby
Young writers share their work.
Culture Conversations– Massey Theatre Lobby
Session 1: 12:00-1:00 – Aaron Pietras, Chelsea McPeake, Alan Hill
Culture Conversations is a human library style event where you can talk to fascinating people from the community and learn about the varied ways that arts and culture have impacted their live, and how they live their most creative life. Conversation partners include professional artists, arts workers, and arts lovers from all sorts of backgrounds. Each session will feature different conversation partners, so come back and talk with all of them.
Youth Music Showcase– Massey Theatre Lobby
Artist #2: 1:30-2:00 Emma Toth
Culture Conversations – Massey Theatre Lobby
Session 2: 1:30-2:30 – Eddie Lam, Susan Grieg, JJ Lee
Culture Conversations – Massey Theatre Lobby
Session 3: 3:30-4:30 – Stephen O’Shea, Candice James, Cassius Khan/Amika Kushwaha
Pow Wow Dance Lesson with Shyama-Priya – Massey Small Gym
Magic by Travis Bernhardt – Massey Theatre Lobby
Travis Bernhardt proves that Magic isn’t only fun for kids. Experience the wit and magic of this 2017 Pick of the Fringe winner up close and personal before seeing him perform on the Massey stage in the evening. Travis moves through the crowd performing for small groups, drawing people together, creating a buzz—breaking the ice between strangers and giving friends new stories to tell.
Youth Music Showcase – Massey Theatre Lobby
Artist #4: 6:15-6:45 Allie Melchert
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Imagine accepting that each moment is a chance to start over.
Imagine being unhindered by memory. Imagine not being able to think, but only to imagine. It would be a bit like dreaming.
And what is it that counts in our dreams?
What can we take with us when we die?
It’s something that aging, and even dementia, can’t take away. It’s those moments of communion that we have known, with creatures, gardens and gods…otherwise known as love.
Living isn’t easy, and neither is dying, but it is all interlaced with moments of great richness…little victories. Victoria savors every moment. I was glad to find a bit of myself in her-I hope that you will too.
In the work Victoria, Montreal’s acclaimed Dulcinea Langfelder is all at once an actor, dancer, mime and storyteller, incorporating physical theatre, music, multi-media.
Victoria is a wheelchair-bound 90 year-old suffering from the loss of memory, autonomy and just about everything else, Langfelder melds tragedy with humour. This multi-disciplinary work dazzles audiences with its humour and compassion while addressing old age, vulnerability, loss and death. She and her creative team sought to open dialogues and change attitudes towards old age, others’ as well as our own. Victoria proposes a positive image and reassures people who feel excluded, be it by aging, solitude, illness, handicap… socially or politically.
Show runs Saturday, October 27th at 7:30 pm and Sunday, October 28th at 2:00 pm.
Tickets on sale now: Tickets are $35 adult, $25 senior, $15 children and youth up to aged 18
Group rates are available. Bring family, friends or colleagues for this powerful performance that touches us all.Read More →