5 questions about Gravity 2: A Celebration of Art and Politics

Gravity 2: A Celebration of Art and Politics

What: A Cabaret of Arts and Politics investigating the “gravity” of the situation we currently find ourselves in.
When: April 3rd, 2017, Doors at 6:00PM, Show at 6:30PM
Where: Metro Cinema at the Garneau Theatre, 8712 109 St
Tickets $15, Available at the door or in advance: www.metrocinema.org

An interview with Heather Inglis, Artistic Producer, Theatre Yes

How did Gravity come about?

Last year Mike Hudema from Greenpeace Edmonton asked me if I wanted to help create an ad hoc, one-night-only, profit-share event celebrating art, politics. He wanted to seed more political art in Edmonton by creating a platform for artists and audiences. It was an experiment that we thought might be a one off. But we had over 50 artists who wanted to participate who performed improv, spoken word, sketch comedy, cabaret, dance, performance art acts that ranged from earnest to outrageous about issues and themes that were, well… as broad as you might expect from 50 artists who just showed up. And then 300 people showed up to see it. It was the fall before Notley or Trudeau and at the time I of kind of wondered if the event would still be relevant into the future. Boy I was wrong. So here we are a month and a bit into Trump and I feel like GRAVITY is more important than ever before. We need local political dialogue – we need to come together and share our concerns.

Why present this show now?

Well, the short answer is 45. Trump and his crew have changed everything for us in North America but also all over the world. Things are being turned upside down. At issue are not just differences of political opinion but rather attacks on basic human rights and dignity, the denigration ethics, the collapse of even the façade of truth as a guiding principle of public life, misogyny, racism, carelessness, lack of respect, lack of empathy and hate in the name of corporate autocracy. It is a nightmare. And it is hard to deal with day to day. It is hard to want to keep up with the news – and I’m a news junky – because every day seems to contain another horror story of someone else who will be hurt by this man and his cronies. This is something I can do. I can organize artistic events. Art brings us together, it encourages thought, empathy and community all of which stand in opposition to all the 45 is.

How did you go about choosing the acts that are part of the show? Why was it important to you that the evening feature a variety of different artistic mediums?

We did an open call for submissions and then we invited some additional artists to join us after that. The first year it was all just word of mouth – this year we wanted to open the doors a little wider to include people who we weren’t necessarily connected to. There are so many great artists in Edmonton and it is easy to get stuck inside of our own disciplines and not look outward to the larger community. We wanted this reflect the full diversity of Edmonton and so a great way to do that is to include not just theatre but everything we can accommodate. We have improv, dance, film, spoken word, installation, hip hop, sketch comedy, blues, burlesque, performance art all in one place. How exciting to have artists from all those disciplines united by the fact that they want to talk about ideas that are important to them, issues that are important to all of us? This is an important opportunity for us to reach beyond our traditional boundaries to get to know new artists while we offer something truly unique to Edmonton audiences.

What are some of the topics that will be covered in Gravity?

Some of the issues you can expect at Gravity include immigrant experiences, disability access, gender identity, indigenous culture, gender identity, women’s equity, the alt-right, overconsumption, climate change and artists who have a thing or two to say about Trump. There are a few of those.

What do you hope audiences will talk about after seeing Gravity?Anything else you want audiences to know about Gravity?

This is going to be an irreverent, bold, funny, toe-tapping, not-to-be-missed evening where art forms, issues and community come together to in a synergy that is uniquely Edmonton.

Gravity 2: A Celebration of Art and Politics is at Metro Cinema April 3 (doors at 6:00, show at 6:30). Tickets are $15 at the door or www.metrocinema.org. 

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