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A New Play Idea – G20, here I come!


I’ve been reading and looking at the mass of G20 material that was generated around the recent international summit in Toronto at the end of June. I’ve been going through mainstream and independent media, plus all the material posted by individuals, including bloggers and the long list of people responding to the articles, videos, etc. There is a plethora of images and videos I’ve looked at. All points of views are there, from the conservative to the revolutionary.

My interest is in writing a play around the tensions created by the G20, but what should such a play be about?  I’m not yet sure. I don’t as yet have a particular axe to grind, and who knows, maybe there will be a number grinding in the end.

There is a lot to consider:

The play will have docudrama aspect to it in order to get the necessary info established and the different points of view represented. The story, however, will be focused on particular individuals.

In our culture that embraces illusion over reality, emotion over thought, money over equality, power over sharing, what can and should I write about? 

My general view is that the world is going in the wrong direction and we will pay more and more for our common problems. Yet our apathy is rampant and deepening. How do we turn apathy into action before it’s too late, that is the challenge. Maybe the story will be about ‘the making of a protestor’, about how and why he or she moved from apathy to understanding to commitment to action.

We sit as Rome burns, because we do not understand that Rome is us, in fact, lots don’t even know our ass is on fire, and if they do, they don’t know where they put the fire extinguisher.

On the Monday following the summit weekend in the streets of Toronto, I attended the protest against the illegal police actions. I went primarily because my partner Wendy was going; I, however, also supported the protest. Was I a real protestor as I walked the streets with thousands of others?  Not really. At times I joined in with the chants, but felt more comfortable on the sidelines taking pictures, being the observer rather than the participant. Is that my reserved nature, my conservative upbringing, my anti-social steak, my apathy, my fatalism, all of the above? 

Most of us don’t believe in protesting, do not understand it, and possibly do not have strong enough beliefs to act on them. The involvement with ‘me’ is so profound, so pervasive, so nurtured by our culture, that the idea of protesting seems insane to many of us. We are very busy ‘declaring our personal identity’, as someone said on the radio recently, but declaring to a world that is crumbling before our very eyes.

If the play turns out to be the making of a protestor, then it is inspired by my need to care enough in the right way to do something – such as writing a play. Hmm.

Your response is always appreciated: p9@interlog.com

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