Ethnic and cultural diversities II: Representation in contemporary Canadian theatre

Ethnic and cultural diversities II: Representation in contemporary Canadian theatre

Naila invites us to explore three plays as a way of engaging contemporary diversities in Canadian theatre: Where the Blood Mixes by Kevin Loring; Angélique by Lorena Gale; and Yichud by Julie Tepperman. Each of these texts approaches human difference in nuanced and meaningful ways that underscore the urgency and importance of dealing with such difference in an ethical and egalitarian way.

Representation in contemporary Canadian theatre, Naila Keleta-Mae, University of Waterloo

Dr. Naila Keleta-Mae

Dr. Naila Keleta-Mae is an associate professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Waterloo where she researches gender, critical race, and performance studies. Her scholarship appears in publications including Theatre Research in CanadaCanadian Theatre ReviewCanadian Review of American Studies (forthcoming), andWhy Theatre Now (forthcoming) edited by Kathleen Gallagher and Barry Freeman. Dr. Keleta-Mae has been awarded a Canada Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC), a Mary McEwan Award for Feminist Scholarship (York University), an Abella Scholarship for Studies in Equity (York University), and a New Scholars Prize (International Federation for Theatre Research). She is also a poet, playwright, and director who has performed in Canada, France, South Africa, and the United States of America. Her art has been published by The Toronto Star, Playwrights Canada Press, and Fernwood Publishing, it has been produced by bcurrent, Black Theatre Workshop, and the University of Waterloo and it has been released as two full-length albums.





  1. In what ways has the notion of ‘co-opting difference’ had a reductive effect on other than-white-bodies in Canadian theatre and storytelling?
  2. How have the realities of dominant languages influenced the telling (or indeed the ‘not telling’) of stories from non-dominant cultures in Canada?
  3. How have the realities of viewership (ie, who has access to resources and to culture) informed the types of plays produced in Canada?
  4. Take a canonical text (one recognized as being a ‘central’ or ‘significant’ Canadian play). Provide examples of ways in which it might portray and work through realities of human difference more ethically and effectively.
  5. Why should audiences be aware of ‘contradictory’ stories when watching theatre or receiving information that presents itself as ‘true’? How might being aware of such contraditions influence the ways in which audiences interact with and respond to theatre?


 Gale, Lorena. Angélique. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 1999.


Loring, Kevin. Where the Blood Mixes. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2009.

Tepperman, Julie. Yichud (Seclusion). Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2010.

Lorde, Audre. “Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference”. Sister Outsider:

Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde. Freedom: The Crossing Press, 1984: 114­123.



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Please see our acknowledgements page to learn more.