Theatre and Canadian Political Identity: A Study of contemporary First Nation Plays

Dr. Madhura Mukhopadhyay


The dilemma that seems to haunt the Canadian theatre audiences and makers alike has been the ever-pervading sense of national consciousness and identity whereby both the theatre going audiences and that of the theatre producing ones are grappling with the duality inherent in the subjective identity of their own. Theatre has been intricately connected to the notions of identity and selfhood within the ambits of national identity. While on the one hand they have been the mediums of highlighting a national identity, on the other hand they have also been seen as tools for propagating social and political changes in Canadian society. The theatrical stage become another source and space for subjectivising the natives in the mould of the colonizer, namely, the French and later the British in Canada, especially during the later cultural skirmishes for a bilingual and bi-national identity. This paper aims to study the notions of race, colonization and marginality in contemporary Canadian perspective. It was seen that that from its very inception Canadian theatre can be thought of to be as political theatre of protest against the other dominant culture while at the same time also as a tool by the said cultures to entrench nationalistic fervour and values espoused by the state.


Canadian Theatre, National identity, colonization

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