Ottawa Tonite likes it when people create things. When creative people make books, poems, art, or music then the rest of us get to enjoy the fruits of their labours. Unless… their work is censored. And that happens a lot.
According to the Book and Periodical Council, which organizes Freedom To Read Week in Canada every year, more than 100 books in Canada have been censored or challenged in the last few years alone. And those books range from what you might expect to be challenged — queer literature, books dealing with the Israel-Palestine conflict — there are also some you might not expect to ever be the victim of censorship: Of Mice and Men, Harry Potter, or Wallpaper magazine.
In recent days, a version of Huckleberry Finn that deletes the “n-word” and the censorship of the Dire Straits song “Money For Nothing” have been in the news.
So, since Ottawa Tonite believes that each person should get to choose what he or she consumes, we’re organizing a cabaret of censored and challenged works. Come to Censored Out Loud at the Raw Sugar Café and join a motley crew (no, not Mötley Crüe) of writers, actors, and musicians as they celebrate Freedom To Read week by bringing some scandalous — and not so scandalous — works to life. Everything you’ll hear will have one thing in common, whether it’s Donna Summer or Margaret Atwood: the work has been censored or challenged.
Some of the people reading and playing on stage will be: Lisa Poushinsky, Nichole McGill, Jesse Dangerously, Megan Jerome, Jessica Ruano, Mike Essoudry, and many more. It’s gonna be fast-paced, fun, and a great way to celebrate the power of creative expression and the freedom to offend.
The show takes place Wednesday, February 23, 2011, starting at 8:00 pm at the Raw Sugar Café, 692 Somerset Street West. There’s a cover charge of $10 or what you can afford to pay and proceeds are going to go to PEN Canada, an organization that fights for the right to create and read.
We guarantee at least ONE thing to offend EVERYBODY. Spread the word. Loudly.