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  • Liam Salmon

Artist Statement With WWPT

I think it’s fair to say that the world is in an interesting place right now. Although, I feel like that’s something that could be said of the world at any given point. I think if there’s one thing that has been a consistent realization of mine it’s that I don’t know the things I know.

This unknowing is where I try to situate my work – questioning things, our positions in things, our assumptions, our understandings, our ways of working. Maybe this comes from a generational struggle as a millennial, maybe it came from growing up gay, maybe it comes from navigating my way through gender and finding myself somewhere on the masculine zone of nonbinary, or maybe it’s none of those things. Maybe it’s all of those things.

One thing I’ve always held true is that I hope we’ll never forget that theatre is about empathy. Theatre is about finding the words writ large and small on every contour of our bodies, finding the words between our muscle fibers, between the spaces in our ribs, the strings in our necks. Theatre for me is in the body – the deep emotions, the ligaments and sinews that tie us all together in fantastic, disgusting, complicated balls of emotions.

Each play I write differs widely in form and it often means I’m constantly researching, developing and implementing new workshop processes, writing processes. During this residency, this means working and experimenting with the intersection between live performance, live and recorded video, and projections as elements of story and character. It also means questioning what it means to be a prairie queer, and the political responsibilities I think come along with that.

If I were to encapsulate my goals, hopes, or dreams for theatre it would be: to find my space, to help others find their space, and to continue and grow to foster empathy. That muscle of empathy is something I think makes better people of us all. And if we can tell a great story while doing so? Then – honestly – ten out of ten.


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