Angela Chalmers

Angela Chalmers

Angela is an arts maker white settler living on Treaty One territory. She works as a documentary film and podcast producer/director, performer, writer/playwright, arts educator/facilitator, and relaxed performance consultant. 

A proud advocate for and member of the Disability Arts community, she is Artistic Associate of Sick + Twisted Theatre. As producer for her film company, As It Happened Productions, Angela captures the stories of women and other under-represented groups. The podcast, Disability Stage Right, is a collaboration with SWAK Productions and is the newest disability focused theatre podcast in Canada. She is the author of three teaching manuals, an educational book, various visual support guides for the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. As an arts facilitator, Angela works with local and national organizations including MTYP, Frontier School Division, MB Storytellers Festival, MCIC and the Adoption Council of Canada. She specializes in teaching film development, devised theatre, inclusive artmaking and the adaptation of existing programming for young people both living with a disability and in remote communities.

Her passion project, You Are Her(e), is being turned into an augmented reality app with the help of BCIT and Sick + Twisted Theatre. Angela is thrilled to begin her work on this new iteration of You Are Her(e) through the support of a Young Lungs Dance Exchange Research Residency.

Recent producer credits include Shining Armour, the Margaret-Ann Armour story with WINSETT and the series Beyond Sound with Deaf Arts Manitoba. Recent stage work includes cabaret performances in Sick + Twisted Theatre’s Sex & SexAbility and Hamlet in Echo Theatre’s Hamlet (the rest is silence).

In addition to her facilitation work, she is currently working with the Interlake Tourism Association building an interactive app with 37 short films, with Sick + Twisted to present an inclusive online cabaret performance this May and with Frontier School Division to bring film training to remote communities in the north. She continues to adapt her one-act play, You Are Her(e), to a part live performance part augmented reality app as an inclusive presentation with a near-zero carbon footprint. Angela is a co-collaborator with the INVITATION – a socially distant performance installation group, bringing safe live performance experiences to communities across Manitoba.

Proposed Research

You Are Her(e) was originally created as a live performance piece exploring the relationship between the perceived imperfections in my body and the more laudable imperfections that one finds in the natural world, and which are described as “natural beauty.” This research will directly influence my next steps in furthering You Are Her(e) – re-envisioning the project as an Augmented Reality app.

The pandemic’s forced pause on this work has provided me with time to become curious around the bigger themes and ideas posed in this work – the role of eco-feminism and how colonialism has affected the way we speak about and interact with both land and women’s bodies; how crippling the creation process affects our relationships to each other, to the work and to our self; when colonial land stewardship practices and Indigenous knowledge are presented side by side, how do we, as artmakers, embody this information and allow it to affect our personal storytelling? Finally, I have made a commitment to making work with a low to no carbon footprint. I believe this research is integral to the creation of an interactive app that can engage users without the need for travel, sets and tickets!

In this exploration, I also hope to affirm that the physical differences which the fashion and beauty industries try to fix and change are in fact the key important elements in our individual personal beauty. Using my personal story of reclaiming my body as a positive thing through the metaphor of national parks and natural beauty, I want to explore adding the stories, ideas and personal experiences of other female identifying folks to create a collage of personal histories where we are encouraged as a community to embrace our own and others’ unique personal beauty.

Photo Credits: Moe Mugz (@shotbymugz on Instagram)