Rosebud (Citizen Harper)

David Craig is Artistic Director of Roseneath Theatre, which is Ontario’s largest professional (Canadian Actors Equity) touring theatre, as well as Ontario’s largest disseminator of Theatre to Young Audiences. David resides in Toronto. This note was a direct response to the Harper arts funding cuts and proclamation that “ordinary Canadians do not support nor care about art or artists in this country.”

Much is being said about Prime Minister’s Harper’s comments depicting artists attending “galas” on taxpayers money, whining about their grants.  I don’t know what artists Mr Harper is referring to.

Astrid Van Wieren, who is playing Louise in Danny King of the Basement is 43 and is being paid $700 for a 50 hour week. She says she loves acting.  She describes it as the air she needs to breathe. 

Young Zarrin Martin Darnell, who is playing Penelope, has just graduated from the National Theatre School and has a $13,000 student loan.  She was in the hospital last night, but is performing the play this morning.  She loves playing Penelope and is excited to have her first professional job.

The biggest supporter of the arts are the artists. Their output represents 7.4% of the gross national product, none of which can be outsourced.  All of us here are disappointed that the Prime Minister is so out of touch with these realities. 

On the bright side, at our preview performance last Friday, a teacher said Danny King of the Basement was the best presentation he had seen in thirty years of teaching.

Have a great weekend. As ever, David