People of Georgian: Theatre director promotes safe 2SLGBTQIA+ spaces

Happy Pride Month!

To help celebrate, four Georgian College employees who are either members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community or allies are sharing their stories throughout the month.

Learn more about what Georgian’s doing to honour Pride Month, along with history, community resources, crisis support, and learning and allyship.  

People of Georgian: Meet Kaleb Sauve

I started doing theatre when I was nine years old.

I got into it with my uncle who was doing it in Coldwater, and I had already been singing for a couple years in the choir at our church. They were having auditions for their musical and he brought me along.

From that point, I did about 20 years solid with a theatre company doing various roles on and off stage.

A person takes a selfie in front of a Pride flag.
Kaleb has been active in local theatre since he was nine years old.

Now, I like being behind the stage. The last few times I’ve done shows, I’ve been the director. In April, I directed I’ll Be Back Before Midnight, and before that I directed a production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Opera House.

I always say theatre is a team sport; it takes a whole team to bring a show together. It’s super fun to start from nothing, and by the end of it you see this production that you’ve all created together through your different skillsets – building sets, designing costumes, acting, etc.

Once, I designed all the costumes for 35 actors for a production of Chicago. I was basically given free range to do whatever I wanted, so we did these cool harnesses, and everything was super fun and sexy and slinky.

Five actors in costume perform on stage during a play.
Kaleb designed the costumes for a local production of Chicago. Photo by Through My Eyes Photography by Deb Halbot.

Theatre ‘the one place where everybody gets to not be themselves’

But steering the ship as director and deciding what we’re doing and what we want it to look like is the fun part for me.

The theatre lends itself to being a safe space for queer people because it’s the one place where everybody goes to not be themselves.

As queer people, we’re so used to not being able to be ourselves, especially when you’re going through the process of coming out and figuring yourself out. In the theatre, you can blend in and put on a character, so it’s sort of an escape.

Queer people are typically inclined to be creative people, in my experience, so I think that allows freedom to truly express yourself in ways that you maybe can’t do externally in your own life.

It’s important we acknowledge that we have come a long way with the queer movement, but we are also not where we need to be. We need to create outwardly safe spaces because it’s not assumable that every space is safe.

Actors in costume perform on stage during a play.
Kaleb directed a local production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Photo by Through My Eyes Photography by Deb Halbot.

The importance of allyship, creating safe spaces

With some of the pushback that we’re starting to see now in the queer community, we have to be outwardly vocal about being a safe space because everybody’s at a different point in their journey and some people need extra reassurance that it’s OK to be themselves.

With the political climate we’re in, now more than ever it’s important to be vocal in support, and allyship looks different for everyone.

Whether it’s attending marches, donating to campaigns, or putting a Pride Month banner on your Instagram account – whatever you feel comfortable doing is where you should place your energy for the month of June.

Kaleb Sauve, full-time employee with Georgian’s Accessibility and Well-Being, Testing Services and part-time faculty at the Orillia Campus. He is also co-chair of Georgian’s Proud, Resilient, Inclusive, Diverse, Empowered (PRIDE) Employee Resource Group.

Our categories