Arts featured Inclusion Racism

The Reversal of Peter Dawson – New play builds community

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – The Reversal of Peter Dawson, a new play that premieres later this week will make you laugh, guaranteed.

But it’s more than just a comedy. The play is the result of a unique cooperative effort in that both cast and crew duties are shared between professional theatre people and clients of Stepping Stone, the organization that supports women, men, and transgendered persons currently and formerly involved in the sex trade.

“This is very much a community collaboration,” says Wanda Lauren Taylor, who wrote the play and is the Executive Director of Stepping Stone.

Wanda Lauren Taylor. Photo Twitter

“We took some of our clients, who would never have an opportunity to be involved in something like this and matched them up with theatre professionals in all areas of theatre production. Some worked on props and set design, some learned about costumes, and some will be making their debut on stage, mentored by the professional actors,” says Taylor.

“I always say we are redefining what it means to be part of a community. Everybody is discovering these talents they never knew they had,” says Taylor.

Although the play tackles the grim topic of anti-Black biases, it is at its core a comedy, says Taylor, who apart from being a social worker is also the author of both fiction and non-fiction works, the excellent Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children being one of her more recent books.

The main character in the play, Peter Dawson, is a middle aged man, set in his way and with lots of preconceived notions`about people who don’t look like him. When his daughter dies her two children come and live with him. It isn’t until the children arrive that he finds out that the kids are bi-racial, that the father is Black.

How the new family adjusts and works through these challenges is what the play is about, says Taylor.

“The play itself is a lesson in acceptance, and then the collaboration on the stage is an exercise in acceptance as well,” she says. “You’ll see people from the African Nova Scotian community, people from First Nations communities, people who live with disabilities,from the LGBTQ community, and they’re all on stage, and behind the stage as well.”

The play is directed by Taylor and presented in association with Ships Company Theatre. Among the professional actors are Julia Williams, Shawn Duggan, Jacob Sampson, and Micha Cromwell.

To purchase tickets click here

February 2 at 7 PM
February 3 at 2 PM and 7 PM
February 4 at 2 PM

Alderney Landing Theatre

If you are unable to attend the performance, consider purchasing tickets to go to individuals who otherwise couldn’t afford to attend!

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