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We Are in Tragedy

Updated: Jan 3, 2022

This article was originally posted on the CBC's Pandemic Diaries Series.


A few years ago, I was sitting in a seminar led by Canadian theatre director Peter Hinton, and we came to the topic of tragedy vs. hope. Peter was instructing on the strength of tragedy, the narrative genre that always concludes in total death and decay. I wasn't having it: Hope, capital H Hope, is the necessary antidote in a decaying world, I thought. Only hope — not tragedy. What use is there in submitting to utter defeat?

Engendered in my playwriting is Hope. Certainly, my characters confront the viciousness we see reflected in our world, but I feel I am doing a disservice if I am not planting a seed of hope in each narrative I cast onto the stage. And I don't mean a naive and uncritical hope. Hope, the capital H kind, is rigorous, disciplined, and activated. This is, by no doubt, informed by my work as an LGBTQ2+ inclusion educator.

Week six of the quarantine and let me tell you: hope, discipline, rigour, and activation have been thrown off the balcony into a rolling dumpster fire on its way to the sewers.

We are in Tragedy.


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