Q&A with Rick Miller: Using Theatre to Tackle the Girl Issue

Kate Jongbloed | 6 years ago | « back

Rick Miller Because I am a Girl

Sticking with our theme of boys and men who have taken on The Girl Issue, today’s male supporter is Rick Miller, an award-winning theatre actor, voice actor comedian and playwright, as well as dad to two daughters.

Rick created All About Eve, a presentation that compares and contrasts a girl in Canada and a girl in a developing country.

The best thing about All About Eve is that you can download it, mash it up, add your own voice, and present it to your school or community as well to help raise awareness about girls’ rights! Join a Because I am a Girl Girls’ Club at planyouth.ca to get the download!

KJ: Can you tell me about the All About Eve program?

I was approached by a Because I am a Girl staffer who had seen Bigger Than Jesus, one of my solo shows. She especially liked that social issues were being raised in a multimedia performance and we talked about how it could apply to Because I am a Girl.

What emerged was All About Eve, a multimedia presentation co-created with my colleague Sean Lynch and illustrated by Crystal Lancaster. Both Sean and I have two daughters, and we wanted to find a way to communicate girls’ issues in an exciting way to a large audience.

KJ: Why is drama and theatre a good way to raise awareness about girls’ issues?

We are a culture inundated with information. One way to stand out and bring important information to life is to tell stories through drama.

Stories reach deeper because they tap into to our emotions. We want girls to take this live presentation and make it their own, adding their own words and ideas. I think most kids are natural performers and storytellers. And they love to talk about things that have substance and impact.

KJ: Why is it important for men and boys to get involved with girls’ issues?

This is about all human beings coming together to realize that our actions have concrete effects, and there are things we can do right now that will not only help girls in the developing world, but can have an impact on the global well-being of our species.

As a father of young girls, I am constantly urging my kids to look beyond themselves to a larger, interconnected world that desperately needs their empathy, compassion and love. The same applies to boys and men, perhaps even more so because those values are not traditionally encouraged in males.

KJ: What do you do to encourage your daughters to be globally minded?

My main message is that we have to take care of our home and its inhabitants. With my 5 year old this means talking honestly about emotions, feelings and how our choices affect others. With my 9 year old it’s more about global news and how fortunate we are to live in a relatively peaceful society where we have all that we need at our fingertips.

KJ: What’s your best tip for men and boys that want to support girls’ rights?

I would start with this big idea: we are all not only born of a mother, but we are all descendants of one woman who lived in Africa many generations ago.

Men and boys need to recognize that they can learn a whole lot from women and girls, because they have a unique ability to care for family and community. What boys typically have is energy and drive, and I would encourage them to apply it to an awesome cause like Because I am a Girl. It not only feels good, but it does good too.

For a chance to see Rick onstage, come see HARDSELL at the Factory Theatre in Toronto from Oct 13-23 2011. Girls’ issues aren’t just part of the performance – Rick is donating his salary to the Because I am a Girl campaign.

Have you ever used drama or theatre to raise awareness about an issue that you feel passionately about?

Kate Jongbloed | 6 years ago | « back