A taxpayer-funded Canadian theater announced it will host a show that is only open to “black-identifying” audience members next month.
In observance of Black History Month, Canada’s National Arts Center (NAC) is advertising a “Black Out” performance of the play “Is God Is” at Ottawa’s Babs Asper Theatre.
“Inspired by an event created in the fall of 2019 for Jeremy O’Harris’ Slave Play on Broadway, Toronto theatre companies Canadian Stage and Theatre Passe Muraille created similar events for their audiences,” an announcement from the theater said. “Experiencing the power of these evenings, NAC and Black Theatre Workshop welcomed the opportunity to schedule Black Out performances for both curated shows this season.”
The announcement also told potential attendees that the show will be a chance for “Black audiences to come and experience performances with their community.”
It added, “The evenings will provide a dedicated space for Black theatregoers to witness a show that reflects the vivid kaleidoscope that is the Black experience.”
Aleshea Harris’ “Is God Is” will run in the Canadian theater from Feb. 9-18. Non-black audience members will be able to attend every showing except for the “Black Out” on Feb. 17.
According to a Fox News report, the play is about 21-year-old twin sisters who have had serious burn scars on their bodies since childhood. After the sisters receive a letter from their mother, who in the play is nicknamed “God,” they find out she too has burns on her body.
Just before her death, their mother tells them that their father, nicknamed “Man,” is responsible for their scars. Her dying wish is that the girls kill him and his new family.
“Is God Is” is not the only “Black Out” performance being sponsored by Canadian tax dollars.
Azireli Studio is supposed to host a black-only showing of Kit Brookman’s “Heaven” in May, per the New York Post.
A spokesperson for the theater told podcaster Jonathan Kay people will not be turned away at the door if they aren’t black.
“If someone self-identifies as a non-Black person and demands to enter the room, a member of our staff will be present to chat with this person,” the theater said per Theatre Pass.
The announcement of the “Black Out” shows sparked outrage on Twitter.
One user called the performances “Cultural Apartheid.”
“Cultural Apartheid. The identitarian left proudly appropriates an oldie but goody. Canada is starting to make the USA seem like Hungary,” the user wrote.
Cultural Apartheid. The identitarian left proudly appropriates an oldie but goody. Canada is starting to make the USA seem like Hungary.— davidrieff (@davidrieff) January 24, 2023
Is God Is introduces the first NAC Black Out night | National Arts Centre https://t.co/H31gQHicfg
Another asked if the theater plans on doing a “whites only show,” too.
“So given that the National Arts Centre now does single-race-only shows, are they planning on doing a whites only show?” he wrote.
So given that the National Arts Centre now does single-race-only shows, are they planning on doing a whites only show?— Ian Prittie (@thereds8) January 25, 2023