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David Bateman: “Sky’s importance/legacy can be located in so many places”

Compulsive ActsAlistair Newton sat down with Compulsive Acts editor David Bateman to talk about his latest book as well as the author whose work the book explores: Sky Gilbert -the prolific artist, playwright, filmmaker, and radical.

“Oftentimes in Canada, we are reticent to lionize or indeed — do we dare? — canonize our own talent.” says Alistair Newton, “If one were to appoint oneself the task, occupying the all-important margins of such a canon of Canadian Arts and Letters would certainly have to be Sky Gilbert.”

Born in Norwich, Connecticut, Sky Gilbert studied theatre at York University in Toronto, and at the University of Toronto, before becoming the co-founder and artistic director of Buddies in Bad Times, a theatre company dedicated to LGBT drama.
“Sky’s importance/legacy can be located in so many places.” says Bateman, “He has nurtured younger artists, and peers working at the same time as him, and continues to give other artists the opportunity to work in theatre. He gave me my first opportunities in queer theatre in Toronto.” Although primarily a playwright, Gilbert has also published novels, poetry and an autobiography. He has also been a regular columnist for Toronto’s Eye Weekly.

Compulsive Acts explores the films, plays and personality of Sky Gilbert through the eyes of a handful of the people who have observed his work closely over the past two decades — as audience members and arts workers. Actors, academics, performance artists, journalists, filmmakers, playwrights, poets and his partner of many years tackle his immense output with a queer eye for the intricacies of a unique and astute aesthetic vision — a vision that has placed him securely within Canadian Theatre history as an iconic and consistently provocative dramatic force to be reckoned with.

To read the full interview, you can visit Daily Xtra at:

Compulsive Acts is available on the Guernica website at:

The book will also be for sale at the official Guernica book launch on December 7th at 4pm at The Supermarket:

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