Dearest Montreal English Theatre Community,
As we continue to navigate the 2020-2021 season, the METAs Committee has been reflecting on what role the METAs should play at this time, and examining the ways in which we can honour our mandate while we adapt to the current reality brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After much deliberation, the METAs Committee has decided that it will suspend METAs Jury responsibilities for the remainder of the season, while the Committee works to integrate sustainability models that allow us to better serve our cherished community.
We recognize that this pandemic continues to have lasting impacts on our ability to create and attend theatre. Many of us have had to re-examine our roles as artists, and many have had to adapt unexpectedly to new territory in terms of creative process. Creating art – any art – in these difficult times is an outstanding achievement unto itself. With theatre companies, artists and audiences in such varying stages of recovery and response, we do not feel that work can be evaluated equitably this year using the pre-existing METAs framework.
Additionally, we feel strongly that now is a time of reflection, as we continue to examine our standards of excellence, and what it means for our work to be outstanding. We also seek to ensure that the METAs process is an inclusive and equitable process, and that these values are supported and maintained responsibly, and sustainably.
Over the next few months, we will endeavour to create space and opportunity for community dialogue about the METAs, and to establish new policies that will help us celebrate and elevate our community as a whole, as we continue to grow and evolve.
We acknowledge that many of our peers have been working hard to continue creating and sharing work ever since our stages were first shut down in 2020. We also anticipate that new work in a variety of formats will be taking place as the season continues. We haven’t forgotten about you and we would love to honour these amazing achievements in some way. Instead of a traditional awards show this fall, we hope to create a community event (or series of events) where we can celebrate the resilience and creativity that exist in our community. This would allow us to not only collectively reflect on everything that has happened this past year, but also to look forward to what comes next.
In the meantime, if you have any thoughts you would like to share with us, you can reach the METAs Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org, for any questions or feedback.
The METAs Committee