Tanisha Taitt is a theatre artist, singer-songwriter and arts educator from Toronto. She’s Producer of V-Day Toronto and currently directing the Canadian premier of the play Emotional Creature for V-Day Toronto 2014. It will be performed February 22 and 23 at Young People’s Theatre, proceeds of which will benefit METRAC’s programs and work.
Tanisha explains that Emotional Creature is about “the fascinating being that is the adolescent female” and “how she differs and is the same around the planet”. It is based on discussions that author Eve Ensler had with girls around the globe – including Bosnia, Los Angeles and Nairobi – to learn who they were and what “girlhood” meant to them. She penned I Am An Emotional Creature: The Secret Life Of Girls Around The World to relay those accounts, and the book formed the basis for the play.
As an artist, Tanisha is well-known for her work addressing violence against women and girls. “I am a survivor of violence,” she says. “I know what it does to a woman, a girl, a family, a future – when sexual assault ploughs into your world.” She says that “to be raped or beaten feels like receiving a dishonorable discharge from your own life” and that “the road back is incredibly lengthy and painful and long after the body has recovered, women need all the support they can possibly get to put the fragments of their lives back together.”
But Tanisha’s analysis extends further. “Tackling violence against women and girls is not just about helping those who have already been victimized. It is about educating young people who are still learning how to cultivate and navigate relationships, and confronting the topic from the perspective of prevention as well.” She notes, “The fact that METRAC incorporates educational workshops for youth into their work, along with everything else that they do, is a huge part of why they are an organization that I truly believe in and support. They take a wholistic approach to addressing violence against women, which is very much in line with my own philosophy about how this issue needs to be approached.”
Find more information about the play and how to purchase tickets by visiting Young People’s Theatre’s website.