As a Québécois playwright raised in a minority culture and language, but now living in the U.S. and writing in English, I often find myself at crossroads – between languages, between cultures, between social classes. So I quite naturally take on the role of facilitator: I invite people who might not normally encounter each other to engage in meaningful conversation.
I also feel passionate about using theatre to bring environmental and social justice issues into the public discourse; I believe artists should have a voice in how we collectively shape our future. The creative and collaborative process makes us uniquely qualified to distill seemingly intractable problems down to human-size components. Given how polarized our society has become about climate change and other similar issues, narratives that can move us away from divisive politics and apocalyptic thinking are urgently needed.
The rate of change in the Arctic is greater than anywhere else. Already, we run the risk of losing incredible riches, both natural and human, before we can fully appreciate them. With the plays of The Arctic Cycle, I am trying to capture this moment in time, to acknowledge the transition, to bear witness to disruptions that are so massive that we will be struggling to comprehend them for years to come. Storytelling has always been humans’ way of understanding the world and themselves in it. Now that we are facing our biggest challenge yet, we need those stories to ground ourselves and propel us forward with an equal measure of purpose and compassion.