Christina Parsons, Logistics Coordinator

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChristina completed an M.A in History in 2013 from Carleton University and is currently completing an M.I.S. degree at the University of Ottawa.  As a firm believer in the power of storytelling and showcasing histories, she is thrilled to return to volunteer for the second year of Staging Our Histories, this time as the “behind the
scenes coordinator”!.


Meet Our Volunteers: Matthew Moore

 IMG_0460My passion for history has always stemmed from a desire to tell, hear, and share stories. For me, history has always been about telling a story as much as it has been about recording events and getting the facts straight. As a graduate student studying history, and more specifically the postwar story of Canada’s Second World War Merchant Navy, I have had the privilege of critically engaging with the past in both an academic and professional setting. Work at the Canadian War Museum, Historica Canada, and at Carleton University have all helped me better understand the complexity of doing history in public and academic spheres.

As a historian I have often found myself contemplating the limits of historical discourse; the practical constraints that conventional history has brought to bear on the transference of what can conservatively be called a narrated record of human existence. As I undertook my own performative project as part of my studies at Carleton University I came to appreciate the challenges and rewards that performance based history presents. During my performance I managed to converse with the past on stage in front of an audience, and as a result, was pushed to consider the ‘facts’ I was presenting as well as my mode of delivery as a historian from a fresh perspective, one that added richness and complexity to the story I told.

I believe that historical performance enables us to connect with the past in interesting ways. It allows us to get at issues that are difficult to convey using text alone and permits critical engagement with sources and methods that often get overlooked in more conventional forms of history. Staging Our Histories offers a unique platform for historians, artists and performers to share, hear, and discover new stories about the past. It is my belief that the collaborative nature of the event will enable a richer understanding of the past, one meant to be inclusive, insightful, and innovative.

DEADLINE EXTENSION! Submissions now due: Jan. 21st

GOOD NEWS for dancers, poets, musicians, film makers and history students just returning from holidays: we’ve extended our submission deadline to better accommodate your detailed proposals.

Your submissions will now be accepted until January 21st, 2015! If you haven’t already started your written or recorded proposal that outlines how you would perform history off the page and on the stage, now is the time to get the ball rolling. More detailed information on what we are looking for in proposals is available here.

Prospective performers that submit early are welcome to seek more detailed feedback and guidance from our co-directors. We’d love to hear from you!

Meet Our Volunteers: Kathryn Boschmann

BoschmannI decided to purse History because of a long standing love for stories about the past, but I never thought my fondness for chatting with people about their lives would turn into a degree. Questions of how we remember, what stories we choose to tell, and how those stories shape our sense of self and the world around us have always fascinated me. I have chosen to explore these interests of mine through oral history.

My research centers on post-World War II Irish Canadian immigrants living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, drawing primarily on oral history interviews. In other words, a major part of my research is drinking tea with lovely people and chatting about their lives and thoughts. My thesis will examine the experience of migration and various ways this group has sought to “be Irish” within the context of a Prairie city (and my home town).  I am particularly interested in relationships to space and landscape, as well as the ways in which people connect with and process the past. I also want to explore performance and the doors it opens for us to express emotional ties and transfer knowledge about our sense of history.

Each chapter of my thesis will be accompanied by an online exhibit in order to keep the aurality in oral history and to make my research easily accessible to the public. This will also provide me with the opportunity to be creative in how I present my interviewees’ stories and to build upon the storytelling skills I have learnt in my graduate studies. I am very excited to be working with Staging Our Histories and am looking forward to seeing the performances the participants create for this event!

ANNOUNCEMENT: Adrian Harewood Hosting Staging Our Histories

The Staging Our Histories team is very excited to announce that prominent local journalist and broadcaster Adrian Harewood will join us as our moderator and host on May 31st, 2015. Mr. Harewood will facilitate short talk-back sessions between the audience and performers that encourage contemplation and active discussion regarding the themes and questions raised on stage during the evening.

Audience members and performers are invited to a reception after the event to informally continue the discussion!

If you want to share our stage, submit your performance proposal by January 9th, 2015. Storytellers, dancers, musicians, playwrights, filmmakers, and poets are all encouraged to submit. We are looking for diversity in both subject matter and performance styles, and pieces that will catalyze a greater understanding of how we remember, forget, and tell stories to make history. Get all the details and the proposal guidelines here.

If you are more interested in securing a spot in our audience, more information will be coming in the new year regarding tickets!

The co-directors of Staging Our Histories would like to thank Adrian Harewood for joining us for our first year, and for continuing to be an advocate and supporter of social conscience and culture in the Ottawa community.

NEW: January 9th Deadline to Submit to Staging Our Histories

Do you do history off the page? Do you want to share untold narratives on the stage? We’re looking for dancers, storytellers, musicians, comedians, filmmakers,  playwrights, actors, animators, composers,  puppeteers, students, historians, poets and maybe YOU! 

SUBMIT YOUR PERFORMANCE BY JANUARY 9th, 2015! Until that date, we are happy to accept informal descriptions of your concept for feedback.

Staging Our Histories will select  5 – 10 diverse original performances to be part of our inaugural event in Ottawa (taking place the last week in May/first week of June, 2015). Both individuals and groups/troupes are welcome to submit.

Performances must

  • present original work (script, choreography, etc.) created by the individual or group submitting
  • centre around the themes of history, memory, and/or doing history
  • run 5 to 20 minutes**

**If your performance is better served by a shorter or longer running time, please indicate this in your proposal. Performers are welcome to present an excerpt or selection from a larger work.

Professional and amateur performers are welcome to submit video auditions or written proposals. Performers are encouraged to be reflexive and critically aware of the narratives they create, or to focus on the process of narrating histories itself.

Proposals can be in writing (max 1.5 pages) or video/audio (5 mins max). In your proposal, please outline the subject matter and logistics of your idea, your performance style of choice, the estimated length of your piece and the equipment/support you would require. To help us make our selections, please also attach your piece (poem, video, script) if possible or a detailed breakdown/description (in the case of choreography etc. if not filmed). Please include the names and contact details of all of your members if you are submitting as a group. 

We understand that our talented performers will likely be practicing, perfecting and reworking their pieces before Spring 2015 and these performances may therefore change and evolve between January and May, but we require a comprehensive idea of what you’ll be bringing to the stage in order to make our selections.

Please send your auditions / proposals to by January 9th, 2015.

Have questions? Between now & the January 9th due date, please feel free to contact us with your questions, or to send informal proposals for feedback. & Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We look forward to taking your stories to the stage!