In the time of pandemic, new art emerges
Angela Sun and Vivian Or, two Toronto-based emerging artists, present a dramatic reading of two new plays on April 16th. The readings will be presented over Instagram Live at their respective handles @21sungelas and @vivianorelse.
please don’t tell my Dad, written by Or, is a dark comedy about two young Asian women (Agnes and Nariko) who are drifting apart. Their relationship is further strained by a federal lockdown in which they can only make video calls. Agnes claims to have experienced immaculate conception, possibly carrying the Messiah. Will the Messiah end the pandemic?
Arrivals/Departures, by Sun, combines storytelling and performance art. The piece incorporates Sun’s collected writings on her own family’s experiences of migration and reunion. Selections will include an #influencer confessional about landing as a newcomer at Pearson Airport, a monologue she wrote as a teenager about returning as a foreigner to your motherland, and a poetic eulogy for a family member who is an ocean away.
Sun and Or are both Asian Canadian artists, and bring these two new works partly in response to recent increased racial tensions toward the Asian community. Or’s play is a comedy revolving around the pandemic at hand, while Sun’s piece meditates on both connection and physical distance (with some moments of levity). Both artists strive to bring some humour, entertainment, and reflection in an otherwise tense moment in history.
This double bill is one of many projects funded by the National Theatre School (NTS) Art Apart program. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Art Apart provides $750 grants to artists who are financially impacted by it. Art Apart is one of several arts-based funding/relief programs targeted for artists as a result of the pandemic.
Other programs include the National Arts Centre’s Canada Performs fund, Toronto Arts Council’s TOArtist COVID-19 Response Fund, the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Emergency Relief Fund, and GladDay’s Emergency Survival Fund, among many others. CBC put together this comprehensive (and continuously updated) list of resources for emergency funding for artists. ArtScape also put together this document for artists’ survival during the pandemic.
Double the Fun Double Bill is one of many performances moving online at this time. Consider taking a break from Tiger King and checking out the work of local, independent artists who need our support more than ever right now!
- Angela and Vivian’s Double the Fun Double Bill takes place on April 16th at 6pm on Instagram Live @21sungelas and @vivianorelse
- You don’t need an Instagram account to view an Instagram Live story
- The event is free, but there will be an option to tip the artists after the reading
- Content warnings: sexual assault (please don’t tell my Dad), fat phobia and death (Arrivals/Departures).