Natalie Ulloa | On Diverse Narratives

By May 4, 2019News

Storytelling can be considered a strong and necessary human instinct since the beginning of time. As a race, we enjoy seeing our lives reflected in one art form or another. Throughout history, the means through which stories are told and the actual stories that are being told, have changed drastically. Theatre is a special way in which this tradition of human kind is preserved. Different art forms can inspire people and cultivate more storytelling by reflecting the world around us. This makes the narratives that are seen on stage, relatable to the audience that is exposed to these stories. However, a lot of the time, this tradition of storytelling only serves a very particular group of people. This has a lot to do with the people who produce plays and operate theatres, because they tend to put out content that is relatable to them but not always to underrepresented communities. It is extremely important to tell the stories and share narratives of people from all different walks of life and cultures because if not, those who aren’t represented cannot experience theatre to the extent that they should be able to. The showcasing of different stories and narratives helps expose people to different perspectives and cultures that they may not have been aware of, otherwise. One of the most beautiful parts of storytelling is being able to visualize yourself in the position of those in the story and apply the lessons or morals from a story into your own life.

Growing up as a woman of colour, I very rarely saw myself in the characters I saw on television or in theatre. As I’ve been exposed to more theatre and narratives in art, I have been able to see characters that I see bits of myself in. Without this, I wouldn’t have known the difference and importance in a relatable narrative versus one that isn’t. In a time where art is becoming more progressive and inclusive, it is exciting to be able to see the emerging talent in this industry. Theatre has come a very long way from its origin and still has much work to be done in order to equally represent creatives on and off stage. There are now theatre companies and venues that aim to spread the stories that people in the past have resisted to tell. Omnibus is one of the many venues that is in alliance with these underrepresented communities, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ+ community. Seeing the work that has gone on here has given me insight and a greater perspective of theatre and the potential that it has to become a safe space for everyone. The future of art and theatre in particular is an exciting one and it will continue to reflect the world around us, especially as an emphasis on diverse narratives becomes a bigger priority for people to see.

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