No promises to change ‘Kanata’ after Robert Lepage meets with show’s opponents

MONTREAL- The executive director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal says Quebec director Robert Lepage hasn’t committed to including Indigenous performers in his upcoming show after meeting with community members.

Nakuset, who uses only one name, says she was one of about 40 people who attended a six-hour meeting with Lepage’s team on Thursday to discuss their concerns with the casting of Kanata, which will be performed in Paris by a French acting group in December.

About 30 people signed an open letter in Le Devoir last week denouncing the production, which claims to explore Canada’s history “through the lens of the relationship between white and Aboriginal Peoples” but won’t feature any Indigenous actors.

Nakuset says she would have been happy had Lepage agreed to include even one Indigenous actor or musician in the show, but the only thing he agreed to is another meeting.

The new controversy comes shortly after a run of Lepage’s play SLAV was cancelled in Montreal amid accusations of racial insensitivity because it featured a mostly-white cast singing slave songs.

Lepage’s production company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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