A Stage for Rebellion

A Stage for Rebellion

Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery at Concordia University

January 9, 2024
A Stage for Rebellion
November 18, 2023–January 27, 2024
Guided tour with curator Julia Eilers Smith: January 20, 2–3pm
“La nuit juste avant le feu”: January 23, 5:30pm, Reading of a play by Olivier Marboeuf and Zakh Turin
Workshop by Ange Loft: January 27, 3–6pm
Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery at Concordia University
McConnell Library Building, ground floor
1400, De Maisonneuve Blvd W
Montréal Quebec H3G1M8
Hours: Thursday–Friday 12–6pm,
Saturday 12–5pm
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Curator: Julia Eilers Smith. With artists Wingston González, Clara Ianni, Onyeka Igwe, Amol K Patil, Bouchra Khalili, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, The Living and the Dead Ensemble, and Ashes Withyman.

A Stage for Rebellion brings together contemporary artists who look back on the grassroots and radical theatre traditions of the twentieth century that served revolutionary struggles. By echoing their political demands and revisiting plays and actions that have faded from history, the artists draw into the present the emancipatory project of these theatre movements, examining it in the face of the political issues of our time.

This exhibition brings to light a range of groups and instances of protest theatre, from the militant performances of São Paulo’s Arena to traveling medieval troupes as precursors to contemporary radical street theatre. We also find the Arab Workers Movement’s agitprop in France, a university theatre group during the civil war in Guatemala, theatre serving anticolonial movements in the UK and working-class resistance in India, and, finally, an artists’ collective in Port-au-Prince taking hold of theatre to amplify their cries of revolt. Not simply performing or representing rebellion, these different movements instead inscribed their struggles into reality at the very moment that it took shape.

To resurrect these dissident voices from the past, the artists in A Stage for Rebellion meet with protagonists of the time, exhume archives when they exist, visit the places where their ideas and actions were born, or fill in—through rewriting and imagination—the gaps in official history, time, and memories. The works presented in this exhibition also renew the poetic and subversive scope of political theatre, reactivating methods of resistance, protest, and consciousness-raising to rethink today’s collective struggles.

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Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery at Concordia University
January 9, 2024

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