ROBERT LEPAGE CANCELS CONTROVERSIAL KANATA PROJECT AFTER CO-PRODUCERS WITHDRAW

In a statement on Thursday, Lepage and his production company Ex-Machina say they are nixing planned presentations in Paris due to a lack of financial support.

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Canadian playwright says he's cancelling the upcoming stage show "Kanata" after North American co-producers withdrew their interest in the project. (SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO)

MONTREAL—Quebec stage director Robert Lepage says he’s cancelling the upcoming stage show Kanata after North American co-producers withdrew their interest in the project.

In a statement on Thursday, Lepage and his production company Ex-Machina say they are nixing planned presentations in Paris due to a lack of financial support.

Lepage and Paris theatre director Ariane Mnouchkine met for nearly six hours last week with more than 30 members of the Indigenous community who had previously signed an open letter in Le Devoir denouncing the production.

It was slated to be performed in December by French acting troupe Theatre du Soleil, but it now won’t go ahead due to a lack of funds.

The show, which claims to explore Canada’s history “through the lens of the relationship between white and Aboriginal Peoples,” did not include any Indigenous actors.

In the statement, the renowned Quebec impresario and the company say a broader, calmer discussion needs to be had on cultural appropriation and the right to free artistic expression.

Lepage and Ex-Machina says they won’t comment further on the cancellation.

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