Seeing through adversity

Photo courtesy of the City of Surrey

With humour, wit and a talent for storytelling, Canadian multidisciplinary artist Stéphanie Morin-Robert highlights her struggles of growing up with a disability in her award-winning one-woman show Blindside.

The show will be held in the evening of March 3 on Centre Stage at Surrey City Hall where audience members will be able to laugh along with Morin-Robert as she recounts her memorable third year in elementary school with a bit of a magical twist.

With a little help from a cat

When Morin-Robert was two years old, she was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a type of cancer that soon took her left eye. She has been living with a glass eye ever since and retells her experiences with bullying, managing insecurity and building resilience in her various works, including Blindside.

Blindside tells the story of a little girl with a prosthetic eye who is forced to change schools because of her prospector father’s diamond discovery. The protagonist struggles to adapt to her new life, and, as her family becomes distracted by their now lavish lifestyle, the hardships she faces at school go unnoticed. She is bullied for her disability by her classmates and cannot seem to stand up to them on her own. Fortunately, her cat and her discovery of her superpower allows the protagonist to gather the courage, confidence and strength needed to ward off the bullies once and for all. Above all, she learns to come to terms with her disability and accept herself for who she is, a lesson Morin-Robert has carried with her throughout her entire life.

Blindside has received a handful of distinguished awards, such as ‘Most Outstanding Production’ from the London Fringe Festival and ‘Best of Fest’ from the Ottawa Fringe Festival. It has also received countless glowing reviews and recommendations, similar to her past works. Other performances of hers have won awards such as ‘Best Cast’ in London, ‘Best Choreography’ in Montreal and ‘Best Physical Theatre’ in Victoria.

Forging a multidisciplinary craft

Morin-Robert graduated from Concordia University with a degree in performance and contemporary dance. She was acknowledged for her clever methods of combining comedy with the art of dance, her innovative perspectives on choreography and her overall natural charm when it came to entertaining and moving an audience.

Morin-Robert was recognized for her considerable artistic talent during her high school years, when she went on a four-year tour with Tout Feu Tout Flame, a Canadian musical theatre company. As a young adult, she played numerous leading roles for more than 24,000 audience members, a time which she now looks back upon fondly.

Since then, Morin-Robert has taken part in many well-reputed festivals, directed various five-star works and performed for Canadian audiences all across the country. Her vibrant and creative performance styles are praised by many, and she has everyone on the edge of their seat in anticipation for her upcoming show, Blindside.

Audiences can expect the same level of comedy, authenticity and warmth in Morin-Robert’s future works, as well as look forward to watching her broaden her horizons with international shows. She recently received an American 0-1 visa, a nonimmigrant visa for individuals with remarkable ability in certain fields, one among them being the arts.

Audiences can also anticipate Morin-Robert diving deeper into serious themes in the future and creating a safe environment for them to be discussed in, as demonstrated by Blindside with themes of bullying and the at-times difficult path to self-acceptance.

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