2017, 58:10 minutes, colour, English
Monsters “Here be monsters”, ancient maps are said to have warned unwary travelers venturing too near the edges of the unknown, and there were monsters indeed at the 2017 performances of Monsters, an original transdisciplinary musical theatre work by MISCELLANEOUS Productions.
The monsters in question were those, real and imagined, encountered by a cast of Vancouver youth as they explored the concept of "monsters" as found in culturally diverse, historical, pre-modern, Indigenous and traditional storytelling, as well as futuristic monsters in popular culture. Monsters integrated these stories with the performers" personal experiences of bullying or being bullied -- the monsters they had encountered, and the monsters they found within themselves.
Loosely based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Monsters was a strongly anti-bullying, anti-violence, anti-racism play designed for young audiences aged 12 and older, and performed by youth, exploring how and why a community creates and supports a "monster", how collusion functions and how people are often attracted to individuals with loud, brash, forceful or aggressive personalities but are unaware of how incredibly damaging they can be.
The initial participatory research for Monsters, working with Kaspar Saxena, a Canadian academic expert on monsters and mythical creatures, focused on art and literature from diverse international cultures, contrasting and juxtaposing these monsters with the youth participants" own "monster within." This served as a catalyst for discussion and a search for creative solutions to racism, bullying, violence, discrimination and hatred.
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