Notes on Myth-Making

By Alison Cooley and Daniella Sanader

C magazine

Summer 2016

“MONOMYTHS, a performance series structured around Joseph Campbell’s text The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), launched at Toronto’s Theatre Centre in February of this year, as the beginning of FADO Performance Art Centre’s year-long program. Campbell’s concept of the “mono- myth” – the so-called universal hero’s quest that has informed a seemingly global array of myths, beliefs and stories – sees the archetypal figure enacting his journey in seventeen stages across three distinct acts (Departure, Initiation and Return). With this singular narrative as a guiding principle, curators Jess Dobkin and Shannon Cochrane enlisted artists from across Canada, the United States and Mexico, revising the heroic structure with a decidedly anti-linear approach. Each performance represented a stage from the first act of the hero’s journey, refusing the narrative’s reductive authority by enacting alternative (and deeply politicized) modes of storytelling.”