On October 10th, our team met for the first time. We introduced ourselves, our roles in the project, and discussed the background of Lynn Hutchinson Lee’s story. Lynn, a multidisciplinary artist and writer, talked about her father’s Romanichal family who left England to settle in Tillsonburg, Ontario around 1910. There they worked as tobacco pickers, builders, and travelling entertainers. The historical and cultural context she provided inspired the written script that drives this performance ethnography project.

We read through the script together, spending time discussing our initial impressions, thoughts and questions about the piece. We discussed prominent themes, details and imagery that arose for us – noting how these ideas might connect this project’s primary research question more broadly.

As we continue exploring this text through embodied and ethnographic performance practice, we will continue to investigate how performance can serve as a strategy for thinking about absence, memory, imagination, as well as assumed and/or alternative or differently imagined futures.

A photograph image of a single fully-bloomed dark pink peony with green foliage in the background