NEWS
12/28/2018 13:52 EST | Updated 12/28/2018 13:52 EST

Robert Lepage Says Previously Cancelled Play About Black Slavery Has Been Reworked

"SLAV" was cancelled following a brief run last summer during the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canadian playwright, actor, film director and stage director Robert Lepage speaks to reporters at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on November 10, 2010.

MONTREAL — Renowned Quebec director Robert Lepage says his previously cancelled play about black slavery has been rewritten and reworked before it is presented once again on stage next month.

Lepage published a long public letter today in which he acknowledges what he calls his clumsiness and misjudgments in his early production of "SLAV," which drew the ire of black activists for its alleged racial insensitivity.

The play included a mostly white cast picking cotton and singing black slave songs and was cancelled following a brief run last summer during the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

Invited an activist to rehearsals

Activists protested outside the theatre and accused Lepage of appropriating black pain for profit.

Lepage says in his letter that he met the group of activists and opened an important dialogue about the concept of cultural appropriation.

He says he invited a member of the group to rehearsals of SLAV to witness changes made to the show before it is remounted across Quebec in 2019.

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