Jivesh Parasram talks to Yana Meerzon about Take d Milk, Nah?
In this video interview prepared for the Canadian Association for Theatre Research’s annual conference, playwright and artistic director Jivesh Parasram spoke to author and University of Ottawa professor Yana Meerzon about Take d Milk, Nah?, his recently published play.
Take d Milk, Nah? is a funny and skeptical take on the identity play that blends personal storytelling and ritual to offer the Hin-dos and Hin-don’ts within the intersections of all of Jivesh’s highly hyphenated cultures.
Jivesh spoke on the collaborative development process with his co-creators Graham Isador and Tom Arthur Davis, saying that it was an interesting challenge due to the personal subject matter.
“In some ways, working with my collaborators in that way, allowed it to be shaped into something that could still be pretty accessible to quite a lot of people,” he said. “And that accessibility I think is also really important from a cultural representation point because even if I went and got some codified knowledge of what we do back home, there are other people like me who grew up here so they don’t have access to that either, so there’s a point of explaining my own culture in some ways.”
To hear more about Jivesh’s development process, how the play connects to identity and community, how his work has adapted during the pandemic, and a short reading, watch the full interview:
About Jivesh Parasram
Jivesh Parasram is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist of Indo Caribbean descent (Cairi/Trinidad & Tobago). Jivesh grew up in Mi’Kma’Ki (Nova Scotia) before moving to Tkaronto (Toronto). In 2009 he co-founded Pandemic Theatre, through which much of his work has been created, often in close collaboration with co-founder Tom Arthur Davis. He is a recipient of two Harold Awards for his service to the independent theatre community in Tkaronto, including the Ken McDougall Award. Jivesh won the 2018 Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award, and was a member of the second cohort of the Cultural Leaders Lab with the Toronto Arts Council and the Banff Centre. In 2018, Jivesh took on the position of artistic director for Rumble Theatre. He lives primarily in the unceded Coast Salish territories (Vancouver, BC).
About Yana Meerzon
Professor Yana Meerzon teaches for the Department of Theatre at the University of Ottawa. She was appointed the president of the Canadian Association for Theater Research in June of 2020. Yana’s research interests are theatre of exile and migration, cultural, and interdisciplinary studies. She is the author of three books, with the latest volume Performance, Subjectivity, Cosmopolitanism published by Palgrave in August of 2020. She is also the editor of Scripting (Im)migration: New Canadian Plays and Theatre and (Im)migration (Playwrights Canada Press, 2019).
Want to read the play? Get your copy of Take d Milk, Nah? now!