Playwright insults Canada while asking for donations

The Laramie Project associate writer Stephen Belber has raised the ire of some with his recent remarks about Canada.

In sending out a pitch to potential donors, Belber wrote: “More often than not, you are reminded of why you live in places like New York, rather than deserted strips of land in northern Canada: because you like being part of a dialogue, of a community that speaks amongst itself with idea of figuring out our problems.”

Belber was plugging for donations to MCC Theatre where his latest play Don’t  Go Gentle was produced.

One Londoner who travels to N.Y. to take in theatre sent a note to MCC suggesting he may not attend that theatre again.

“You expect Canadians to donate after a cheap shot like that? And the next time I am in New York and I have a decision to make on what production to attend, you have helped me with that choice.”

Another Londoner also emailed to the theatre: “Open country, even cold and snowy, give a nation a sense of potential, and while so much in the USA seems to be a push to recapture the illusive and restrictive past, we’re still moving forward.”

I too decided to express my disappointment with Belber’s comments. I took exception to the suggestion that N.Y. has dialogue to solves its problem … unlike Canada.

This is what I wrote: “We do have dialogue in Canada and I think our country has figured out its problems a lot better than many others. Besides, there is a beautiful spirituality to be found in the North Country that is absolutely inspiring.”

Anything to add to Mr. Belber?

Or maybe we’re just too darn sensitive?


4 thoughts on “Playwright insults Canada while asking for donations

  1. OK. Well much of it is, especially at this time of year. But think of the West Coast where there’s hardly a snowflake? And in Southern Ontario, our winters have certainly lost their icy grip. Look at last winter. Some people think we have snow and ice year round.

  2. “..strips of land in northern Canada.. dialogue of a community that
    speaks amongst itself with idea of figuring out .. problems.”
    Sounds like a good description of how life is lived in our North and Far
    North. Never heard of this gentleman before, but sound like he needs
    a map of the east coast of North America to see how close that city
    is by latitude to lower southern Ontario. Perhaps he’s only read old
    poetry like ‘Our Lady of the Snows’..

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