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Nov 15, 2019

Live theatre is one of the oldest art forms, but rather than fade away in the face of easy social media and instant entertainment, it is experiencing a resurgence. What is it about live drama that keeps filling theatres around the world? How are theatre directors keeping the form relevant, accessible and engaging? What are the cultural touchstones of the stage, and what makes it so much fun?

Ben is in Edmonton to chat with Daryl Cloran, Artistic Director of the renowned Citadel Theatre.

About the Guest

Daryl began his tenure with the Citadel in September 2016. He came to Edmonton from his role as Artistic Director of Western Canada Theatre (WCT) in Kamloops, B.C. Past chairman of the Citadel Board of Directors, Sheila Witwicky, has said of Daryl that “he has the special combination of vision, skill, experience and artistry that running a theatre centre like ours requires.”

Originally from Ontario, Daryl was at the artistic helm of WCT for six years and, in addition, is a nationally recognized director of productions across the country, including at the Arts Club, Theatre Calgary, National Arts Centre, Shaw Festival, Canadian Stage and Neptune Theatre. He was the Artistic Director of Theatrefront, Toronto, known for its unique international theatre collaborations in countries such as South Africa and Bosnia-Herzegovina, which played across Canada and internationally to much acclaim. He’s also the co-creator and director of DRUM! a musical celebration of the founding cultures of the Maritimes which features a large cast of dancers and musicians from Celtic, Acadian, African-Canadian, and First Nations origin.

Daryl is thrilled to be spending the next chapter of his career in a theatre town like Edmonton. “My passion as a theatre-maker and Artistic Director is community. It will be my job as Artistic Director of the Citadel Theatre to become a contributing part of Edmonton’s artistic community and to provide opportunities to local artists and train emerging artists from the region and across the country,” he says. “I believe the Citadel must maintain a high profile leadership role within Edmonton and continue to figure prominently as part of the national theatre scene. As Artistic Director, I will pursue partnerships and opportunities to showcase the Citadel’s work on national stages. I believe a theatre with the profile of the Citadel should be known nationally for its work, and while the Edmonton community will always be our primary audience, audiences across North America should see our fabulous productions.”

Growing audiences is a particular focus of Daryl’s. He’s keenly interested in having young people experience the magic of theatre, as well as in the importance of multi-cultural voices on Edmonton’s stages. WCT is a national leader in the creation of First Nations theatre work and the support of First Nations artists. Children of God, a musical co-developed at WCT about the residential school experience in Canada, premiered at the National Arts Centre in June 2017, and will appear on the Shoctor stage at the Citadel March 3 to 24, 2018.

Daryl also has a great interest in theatrical experimentation. At WCT, he created the annual High-Wire Festival, which challenged the relationship between artist and audience by exploring different theatre formats (micro-performance, immersive performance, interactive productions). Daryl intends to bring this desire for experimentation and attracting non-traditional audiences to the Citadel.

“I value theatre that asks questions important to its community; I value creative risks,” he says. “The Citadel is an incredible theatre company with a history of innovation, high production values and important contributions to the Canadian theatre landscape. I want to build on this success, honour its traditions and also take appropriate risks to lead the Citadel into the next phase of its artistic growth. My wife and I and our two young sons are excited to be calling Edmonton home.”

Learn more about Daryl or follow him on Twitter (@DarylCloran).

Mentioned in this Episode

The Quote of the Week

"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being."
- Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)