In modern discussions of queer and trans politics, an oft-repeated narrative is “Look how far we’ve come!” But in the grand sweep of history, queer and trans people have long been welcomed at the least, if not revered. Only recently (for the last 500 years or less) have we been scorned and discarded. To help answer the question — what the hell happened?! — Gein Wong, co-curator of Insatiable Sisters, says that her new stage show means to explore, first and foremost, “When did my ancestors lose their magic, and how can I get it all back?”
Formerly titled Strange Sisters, Insatiable Sisters has been given a new life by Wong and her co-curator, Kim Katrin Milan. They have kept the women-and-trans-people focus of the evening and its home at Buddies and focused the night on work that Milan describes as “inviting artists to look at themselves like they are made of magic and see what kind of stories would get told.” The evening will feature a wide slate of up-and-coming Toronto artists, including many emboldened to present work in new forms.
Both Milan and Wong bring a strong politic of putting black, indigenous and of-colour theatre artists at centre stage, and both are multitalented artistic visionaries whose combined tonnage of accolades could fill an entire page. Even still, their commitment to transforming the artistic landscape leads them ever into new paradigm shifts. This year’s Insatiable Sisters will not only include interpretation into American Sign Language for deaf audience members, but (through the support of the Toronto Arts Council and Community One) has had ASL-integrated rehearsals and will feature deaf artist Sage Willow performing in ASL with interpretation into English, a rarity on mainstream stages.
Milan says that they encouraged creators to “take big risks and reap big rewards,” and Wong — imagining the audience — likens Insatiable Sisters to “that concert you went to that changed your life.”