#71 – Greg Carruthers of EveryBODY On Stage: Fatphobia in the Theatre Industry

In This Episode

“People are dying from your fatphobia and that’s wild. We are so hung up on the way theatre has looked forever that we can’t change our perspective enough to literally save people’s lives.” 

TW: Discussion of eating disorders.

I found Greg on TikTok. Greg is the founder of EveryBODY on Stage, which aims to break down stigma and fat-phobia in the arts. There is such multi-layered dialogue when it comes to each person’s experience. Being a CoVid long hauler changed my body by gaining weight – and even when I find the positives and self love when it comes to myself, my body, and the industry, it’s rooted in privilege. 

And when it comes to weight and age – why is it that a bigger body in educational theatre equals playing someone older or someone not worthy of love? How does that affect someone in their formative years?

Why is it we are praised for losing weight, even when it’s done in an unhealthy way? Greg and I breakdown how fatphobia dominates the theatre industry, while shedding light on the people who are doing their best to fix this. Plus, we also get into how Funny Girl on Broadway battled responses based in fatphobia and anti-semitism and how as an industry, we need to move forward by communicating with kindness. 

Please note – the group I talk about in the episode who’s name slips my mind is The Industry Standard Group (TISG) who are innovating Broadway by finding new pathways toward equitable representation in commercial theatre.

Also, use the code “MULTI” at the EveryBODY on Stage store for a discount at https://www.everybodyonstage.com/

“There is this narrative that a fat body is bad and ugly and gross. I’m done with that. I don’t care if other people find me attractive because I don’t need that anymore. I am happy in my body and I deserve to take up space in this body. So, like, I don’t know… get into it society.” 

Greg Carruthers (he/him, she/her) is a Toronto-based choreographer, actor and body-positive activist (@EveryBODYonStage). Hailing from Bradford, Ontario, Greg studied Music Theatre Performance at St. Lawrence College which recently nominated him for an Ontario Premier’s Award. Greg has choreographed for Theatre Sheridan, Hart House Theatre, Canada’s Wonderland, The Madinat Theatre (Dubai), and the July 1st ceremonies at Queens Park (Toronto). As a performer, Greg was most recently seen on the 1st National Tour of ‘Trey Parker’s Cannibal the Musical’. As the Artistic Producer and Founder of EveryBODY on Stage, Greg has produced projects for Musical Stage Co’s “Musical Moments” and Buddies in Bad Times “Queer Pride Festival”. With funding from the Canada Council for the Arts, Greg conceived, choreographed and produced a short film titled “Cell Block Tango: Reimagined” which was screened as part of the Toronto Outdoor Picture Show. Greg is very excited to be choreographing “Into The Woods” at the Grand Theatre in London this fall as well as developing a new queer musical and a dance film. www.everybodyonstage.com 

Instagram: @gregcarruthers 

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