When art exposes ignorance.

Dear friends,

If you pick up a copy of today’s Toronto Sun, you will see that the Homegrown story is ON THE COVER??!!

I am both amazed and saddened by this cover story, which is neither worthy of a cover story in this context, and also the worthiest cover story the festival has received in that is has shown me a kind of cry for censorship that i’ve not really experienced. Is this now becoming a trend in our city? Is this post-G20 Toronto?

The sad thing is that nobody has yet even seen this play, most especially this journalist. He can bet that people certainly will now, and has single-handedly contributed to what will likely be a sold-out run of this play.

How truly truly bizarre of this man to go after this play and the festival.

In a follow up article, linked below, Peat goes after our Heritage funding, calling on a federation who is against “festivals of all kind”??

Perhaps the great lesson to come from this is that art does matter, and is a powerful tool for exposing ourselves unto each other … as it has with this piece, and as it does in Homegrown–which is a play that neither condones or rejects the behaviour of this man–but rather offers us a window into his experience–a perspective that asks us to see him as a human, rather than a name in a newspaper connected to a crime. Not to condone, but to try to understand why and how this happens in our country.

When we silence a voice, it does not go away, it just gets angry.

Let us engage with these questions together. They belong to us all.

Full Story can be found here. Rife with deeply disturbing comments.

http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2010/07/30/14883921.html

and the follow up article.

http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2010/07/31/14888666.html

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6 thoughts on “When art exposes ignorance.

  1. I find the headline is so inappropriate. I think we have so much to learn from hearing that story, even if it scares us. What an opportunity to face fear that has swallowed North America since 9/11, and be in direct contact with a side of the story that the media will never be able to publicize.

  2. I have been shaking my head at the Toronto Sun’s divisive, juvenile, shameless cover stories since the damn paper was founded back in the early 70s. This is exactly more of the same. I believe this “newspaper” should be shut down for breeding ill-informed violent discontent amongst the citizens of our city — all for the sake of profit. I don’t know how the opportunistic and mean-spirited editors of this rag sleep at night.

  3. I have to wonder at the above comment that posits that the Sun should be shut down for the good of our citizens, when the Sun is saying that the play should be shut down for the same reason. How about this – how about they both exist and we make sure that folks understand how to use critical thinking to determine for themselves what is true, what is right and what is art.

  4. Dear Michael Rubenfeld and The SummerWorks staff:

    I was walking by a newspaper box today and saw the the front page of The Sun. First of all, I’m not a frequent reader of this “news” paper but I was compelled to fork over a dollar to read this article. I’m glad that you mentioned that Don Peat hasn’t read or seen the play yet. I knew he hadn’t seen it because it hasn’t opened yet! The fact that he hasn’t read the play speaks volumes to his lazy journalism.

    As someone who identifies himself as a local theatre artist I find it constantly amazing that some politicians (and “journalists”) continue to attack the creative arts as immoral, indecent and inappropriate.
    I think the purpose of art is:
    1) To challenge
    2) To provoke
    3) To educate
    4) To inspire
    5) To entertain

    I would like to say that without having seen nor read this play yet that the “to challenge and to provoke” part have been achieved already!
    I hope you, SummerWorks, Catherine Frid (the playwright – who I don’t personally know) and the entire creative team behind Homegrown see this attack for what it really is, nothing more than stupid noise from a politician who thinks he speaks for the majority of the citizens of Toronto and a journalist who in my humble opinion isn’t qualified to write ads for the back of matchstick covers.
    Mr. Peat seemed to imply that Passe Muraille was producing this play. The last time I checked they do a season from Sept. to May and I know that SummerWorks rents the space from them. I highly doubt that Mr. McKim and company would be too upset by this because it really has nothing to do with them and their artistic choices. This is being produced by an indie company whose play was selected by The SummerWorks jury.
    Mr. Peat should get all his facts straight before his article goes to print.

    Rest assured I will be sharing my opinion with Mr. Kelly, Mr. Peat, and The Sun’s Editor and will try to write to them in a more eloquent and calculated fashion then I have shared with you.

    I wish you the best for a successful festival.

    Sincerely,

    Tom McHale

    P.S. It’s a pretty stupid headline too, isn’t it!
    “Bomb At The Box Office”

    It’s probably the best possible publicity for this show. I guess I’ll have to get my ticket for Homegrown quick because it’ll probably be the hottest show of the festival!

  5. For Peat’s sake! Thanks for bringing our attention to this Michael – though it was hard to miss, screaming from the cover as it was. Shoddy journalism to be sure but dangerous too. Still, nice to have a catalyst to dialogue even if it is crude and overtly provocative. We’re doing what we can to get people talking on FB, Twitter and our blog (http://www.studio180theatre.com/blog/fifth-blog) and hope that folks don’t take it sitting down.

    Nice promotion though.

    Break legs to all.

  6. Pingback: Summerworks Interview: Keith Barker [Homegrown] | The Panic Manual

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