Monday, October 15, 2018

the wolves | meet the cast

There is an incredible cast taking the stage for THE WOLVES! With a handful of former PT apprentices and a number of new-to-us artists, we are so thrilled to introduce you to the cast! Read below to get a little insight into what their personal connection is to the play or why they were excited to be a part of this production.

Kim Larson: "The interactions on stage feel very real to me. The hurricane of nervous energy that is involved in being a teenager (or human) is something I still feel."

Amanda Sum: "I think it is a gift to revisit material. Having set it down for a good year and a half and picking it up again, there's so much more to bring to it. We're all in a different place than we were last year. I know I've grown as an actor and an artist and I think we can add a freshness to the show while still keeping its big heart from our first time."

Danielle Klaudt: "Although I was never on a soccer team, despite my parents' best efforts, these group dynamics are so relatable. I've definitely been in friend groups like this one- whew getting along is complicated!"

Georgia Beaty: "This show is such a gift! The authenticity of the the text, the playful energy, and the complexities of these teenage girls is what I love about this play and these characters.
I am also SO thrilled to be able to work with this group of artists!"

Jalen Saip: "I have played competitive sports for 26 years. This play is like a snapshot of my teenage years in ice hockey and fast pitch."

Ali Watson: "I do feel a lot of connection to my character, #13. She is the weirdo of the group and totally walks to the beat of her own drum. I have always identified as the weird girl in my friend group and I enjoy every second of having that title."

Monsterrat Videla: "I am interested in the gap between where we are and what we are taking in. What are we processing and how? Who are we within our social circle? Simply put, I am invested in these girls for their chaotic, nuanced lives."

Shona Struthers: "I played on a field hockey team at my high school for 4 years and this play is so eerily similar to the conversations we'd have, but I was absolutely never the captain. Our former captain went on to play for HARVARD!"

Paige Louter: "This remount is a dream come true, and I can't wait to take audiences on the journey of this play with us."

Tanja Dixon Warren: "I am jazzed about working with a pack of young up and comers / emerging artists who are full of talent, ideas and passion. I love the poetry and complexity of the script! I love that it has a young voice - which even I can remember having and relating to!!!"

Friday, October 12, 2018

the wolves | flashback

THE WOLVES started as an apprentice project produced by Paige Louter and Danielle Klaudt two seasons ago! Here's a throwback to the original Wolves crew - some of them are back this time around, and some aren't, but they are all wolves! Photos by Catchfall Photography.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

the wolves | promo photos

It's time for THE WOLVES to move into the theatre! This show is fast, fierce, and powerful, and we cannot wait to bring it to our audience. Here are some promo photos by Riun Garner.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

the wolves | first read

The team for THE WOLVES has already been hard at work, getting ready to follow KIM'S CONVENIENCE (closing this weekend)! Here are some shots from their first read through of the script a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

kim's convenience | jessie liang q&a

KIM'S CONVENIENCE has been our first time working with a number of performers, including Jessie Liang. In her final year at Studio 58, we wanted to give you a chance to get to know her a little better. Here is a Q&A with her about her relationship with Ins Choi's hilarious and touching story.

Audiences of the CBC show will have an idea of Kim's Convenience, how will the stage production distinguish itself from the TV show? 

I feel the story told on stage delves deeper into the matters of family, legacy, and sacrifice than the CBC show. Of course, the TV show is also important and hilarious, but I think we are accomplishing different things in these individual mediums. I believe playwright Ins Choi once described the story for the stage as being the soul of the series on TV, and I 100% agree.

What did you find most exciting about the character Janet? Are there traits you share? Are there differences? 

The most exciting aspect of Janet is how real she is. She is not a cute, clueless, or victimized woman - definitely not a "Manic pixie dream girl" type. Nor is she any other kind of cliché we typically see females of color commonly represented. Janet is grounded, determined, and smart. Just as much as she loves her family, they also often drive her up the wall, which makes her so darn relatable. Coming from an Asian family myself, I constantly found myself in a battle of wills. Performing what was expected of me and for the greater good of my family, but desperately wanting independence and the chance to pursue my dreams as an artist. So Janet and I are very similar in that aspect, although I do think she's more cheeky and clever, as well as stubborn and proud than I am!

Was there something about the process of getting the show on its feet that surprised you? 

Every show is a journey: with different stories, casts and crews come different challenges. What was unique about working on Kim's Convenience was how welcoming, patient, and generous every single person has been towards each other. From the first audition to the first read through, to these last rehearsals before opening, everyone has been incredibly supportive, respectful, and accommodating. Our director, Kaitlin Williams, is so gracious and thoughtful, she really created a safe space for us to explore the text, try new things (without letting us fly off the handle), and keep challenging us to go deeper every rehearsal to enrich the world and the lives of our characters. I can say with confidence that I feel spoiled. This will be a hard experience to top and I haven't even graduated theatre school yet!

What was the most challenging part of the show? 

I related so much to this play, the Kim family, and Janet that it was challenging for me to separate myself and my own history and experiences from what's going on in the show. My family immigrated from Taiwan to Brasil and the majority of my family were store owners, with hopes and dreams that my sister and I would become successful doctors or lawyers. There are almost too many parallels between my family and my personal life with Choi's play to count. So, both Kaitlin and Soran helped guide me in finding who Janet is and create a clear distinction between us.

What is the one thing you hope audiences take away from this play? 

I hope people are moved by the story as much as I was when I first read it. Whether they laugh or cry, I'd like people to take the story and it's themes home with them. And as a bonus, that they think about continuing to support the work of diverse and marginalized artists like the ones involved in this production of KC.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

kim's convenience | theatre that matters

We've made a series of videos with this season's artists, sharing what matters to them about the plays they are working on. First up is Maki Yi, discussing KIM'S CONVENIENCE.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

kim's convenience | photos

Here are some of the production photos for KIM'S CONVENIENCE!

All photos by Jalen Laine Photography, featuring the cast: Jimmy Yi, Jessie Liang, Tré Cotten, Maki Yi, and Lee Shorten. Set by Carolyn Rapanos. Props by Coralee Draginda. Costumes by Jessica Oostergo. Lighting by Jonathan Kim. Sound Design by Chengyan Boon.

Monday, September 17, 2018

kim's convenience | meet the crew

We had an incredibly talented group of artists creating the world of KIM'S CONVENIENCE. Here they are, along with the things they were most excited about with this show.

Kaitlin Williams - Director

"The story of this family is small, but the themes and struggles are universal. As is the hope. No matter what brokenness in which we may find ourselves, love is a force that calls forth restoration."

Jessica Oostergo - Costume Designer

"Working with a cast and design team that I have never worked with before, which includes artists from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds."

Soran Nakai - Assistant Director

"I love the way Ins Choi brings the rawness of intracultural conflicts to a place where many people of different backgrounds and ages find themselves nestled in. I am also excited about the way we will put on this show within the unique space at the Pacific Theatre."

Linnea Perry - Assistant Stage Manager

Linnea is a current apprentice at Pacific Theatre and is so excited to have Kim's Convenience as the start of the next chapter in her artistic career.

Chengyan Boon - Sound Designer (not pictured)

"It really, really hammers home the point that no matter what views and identities people have, people are people and can all be treated with kindness."

Carolyn Rapanos - Costume Designer

"I'm excited to be working on a Canadian play that examines the lives of an immigrant family with such effective heart & humour! And I'm always grateful to be a part of a creative, hard-working, collaborative team like this one!"

Maria Zarillo - Stage Manager

"I am excited to be a part of a show that is as big of a hit as this one. I love theatre that brings the work and stories of different backgrounds to the Canadian stage and I'm looking forward to the way this piece will look into PT's alley theatre."

Coralee Draginda - Props Manager

Coralee is happy to help tell this heartwarming family story.

Jonathan Kim - Lighting Designer

Jonathan thanks Ins Choi, Pacific Theatre, and the entire cast & crew for this dream come true project.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

kim's convenience | responses

"Kaitlin Williams’ fabulous Pacific Theatre production of the hit play that gave rise to the successful CBC-TV comedy is gut-bustingly funny with a huge heart.”
- Jerry Wasserman, Vancouver Sun

Easily the funniest show I’ve seen all year. [James] Yi’s confidence and comic timing drive the action."
- Darren Barefoot, The Georgia Straight

"Carolyn Rapanos’s set is perfect and perfectly particular. From the Ontario Lottery Gold decal above the door to the Toronto Now newspaper in the rack, it’s a remarkable re-creation of the familiar corner store."
- Darren Barefoot, The Georgia Straight

"This production succeeds in no small part to a stellar performance by James Yi as the central character, Mr. Kim.”
- John Jane, Review Vancouver

"As I bawled and laughed at the most inappropriate moments (being bilingual means you can understand dick jokes in two languages!) I saw other people in the audience shed a tear, laugh, and become invested in this family.”
- Jessica Kim, UBC Players Club

Monday, September 10, 2018

kim's convenience | opening night

What a fantastic opening weekend for KIM'S CONVENIENCE! Thank you to everyone who joined us and congratulations to the cast and crew for their victorious launch!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

kim's convenience | meet the cast

We have an amazing cast for KIM'S CONVENIENCE! Here's a little more about them and how they connect with the story.

Jessie Liang - JANET: The similarities between my life and this play are endless, which makes this story so personal to me. Although I was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, my parent’s family immigrated to my home country over 40 years ago. My grandparents and their children were all business owners with hopes that all my cousins, my sister and I would someday become successful lawyers, doctors, or accountants. Much like Mr. Kim, my father sacrificed his own dreams to provide us with opportunities he never had himself. Lo and behold, my sister pursued music and I became an actress. All this to say that reading Choi’s script was like reading a play about my family, except it’s set in a different country and with a different ethnic background.

Lee Shorten - JUNG: It's a powerful play that explores family and culture, with humor and grace. Seriously, the ending still makes me cry. I'm always interested in telling inclusive stories and I'm excited to be working with our director, Kaitlin Williams.

James Yi - APPA: This show really makes me feel proud of my heritage but what excites me even more is that the theme of family and redemption resonates with people of all color and background.

Maki Yi - UMMA: Best combination - my favorite play at my favorite theatre!

Tré Cotten - VARIOUS: I’m exited to be working on this show because the story is so universal. Whether it be a convenience store, barbershop or coffee shop... we can all relate to it. There is a connection to family that speaks volumes, but it also addresses issues of businesses moving into a community and local businesses having to sacrifice because of that. The story gives a peak into the life of a family trying to keep there family traditions in tact while adjusting to the changing of times and settings. This is s shoe that speaks to the hope of families in a new country. I can relate to that as an African American because my culture is still in search of the roots that were once there before being brought to the United States. This show hits you in so many different areas and levels. Brave, brilliant and inclusive writing!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

kim's convenience | first read

Yesterday was the first read of KIM'S CONVENIENCE by Ins Choi! It was the perfect way to begin our 2018-2019 season, sharing laughter and tears with friends old and new. Here are some pics from the reading.

Friday, August 03, 2018

meet the apprentice | rick colhoun

This season we have FOUR apprentices, and last (but never least), we want to introduce an apprentice who may be a familiar to some of our PT community: Rick Colhoun!

Rick Colhoun - Director

Rick has served as Music Director on shows including Christmas Presence, Hunger Games: The Musical and Holy Mo: A Christmas Show. Sound Design credits include Common Grace, It’s A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, A Good Way Out, and The Christians. He wishes to thank his Family at home and his Pacific Theatre Family too. He is the world's oldest apprentice.

What did you spend the last year doing?

Producing records and making theatre.

What are you most looking forward to about being an apprentice?

Learning how to tell great stories.

What is your favourite theatre experience to date?

Really too many to list. Every time I'm lucky enough to be a part of a show I feel so blessed.

What is your non-theatrical specialty?

Music Production

If you received 1 million dollars that you could not spend on yourself, what would you do with it?

I'd buy you a green dress...but not a real green dress. That's cruel.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

meet the apprentice | kira fondse

Next up in our apprentice introductions, Kira Fondse!

Kira Fondse - Actor

Kira is a storyteller through music and theatre from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She recently completed a Bachelor degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Manitoba, and frequently performs in musicals, operas and co ncerts. Kira desires to bring joy to people in Canada and around the world through the sharing of stories, art and culture, and she dreams of empowering young people to do the same. Kira is seeking new ways of starting conversations, asking difficult questions, and helping to speak out for those whose voices have been silenced. She cannot wait to discover and grow as an apprentice with Pacific Theatre this year.

What did you spend the last year doing?

Finishing my music degree, performing, teaching, and going for long walks when it's not 40 below.

What are you most looking forward to about being an apprentice?

Being immersed in theatre, challenging myself in new ways and learning from others.

What is your favourite theatre experience to date?

Performing The Dream Catchers with the Charlottetown Festival's Young Company last summer, and taking the show on tour via bus from PEI to Vancouver Island. The people, the places, the was an experience like no other, and an inspiring project to be a part of.

What is your non-theatrical specialty?

Making music that's good for the soul, and food that's good for the body :)

If you received 1 million dollars that you could not spend on yourself, what would you do with it?

I think I'd split it up! Donate to local causes such as human trafficking awareness, pregnancy support centres and non-profit organizations such as the Tusarnaarniq Sivumut Association that provides musical instruments and training as positive creative outlets for Inuit youth in Nunavut.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

meet the apprentice | shelby wyminga

The next season apprentice we have to introduce you to is Shelby Wyminga - meet Shelby!

Shelby Wyminga - Actor

Shelby is a graduate of TWU's School of the Arts Media and Culture with a BFA in Theatre. Some recent acting credits include the role of Gloria in Shelby's original play It's A Glorious Wonderful Life (Vancouver Fringe), Ensemble in Still the Kettle Sings (Plan Z), Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Canada), Lucy Steele in Sense and Sensibility (Metro), Feste in Twelfth Night (SAMC) and Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew (Stone's Throw). Recent design credits include The Miracle Worker (costumes, Gallery 7), Enchanted April (set, G7), and Frankenstein 1945 (costumes, Nebula). Shelby is unbelievably excited to dive into her apprenticeship at Pacific Theatre and plans to soak up every single opportunity to learn from the exceptional artists here. She is particularly drawn to Shakespeare, modern spins on classic tales, the supernatural and stories of heroic women, and she can't wait to see what new paths present themselves over the next year!

What did you spend the last year doing?

I've spent the last year going project to project acting, writing and designing both set and costume. When I'm not working on a show, I've been fulfilling my 6 year old self's dreams by working as a princess and superhero for a children's events company called Pacific Fairytales. I've also been working as the company's admin assistant so I spend a lot of time planning parties, styling wigs and fixing ballgowns!

What are you most looking forward to about being an apprentice?

I think I'm mostly looking forward to simply being around other theatre artists, constantly surrounded by creative energy and process. And of course I'm already going manic with ideas for the projects I want to work on. I'm both excited overwhelmed and by the freedom to just go wild and create while connecting with other emerging artists!

What is your favourite theatre experience to date?

I can never pick just one favorite! I think one of my tops would doing William Gibson's The Butterfingers Angel while I was still in Uni. I played a super sassy, punked-out, traumatized version of Mary the Mother of Jesus. She made me face every single one of my biggest fears and to this date it's still one of the most challenging roles I've ever taken on. Other favorite would be touring high schools with Romeo and Juliet last year! Just a wonderful cast and an amazing opportunity to help kids discover a love of Shakespeare!

What is your non-theatrical specialty?

I don't know if this counts but I'm a HUGE Harry Potter nerd. My trivia knowledge is fierce and I'm a proud Slytherin!

If you received 1 million dollars that you could not spend on yourself, what would you do with it?

I think some would go to my parents to help pay off their homes. Most would go to providing clean drinking water to Aboriginal communities. The reserve where I grew up has had high levels of arsenic in the tap water for years and nothing has ever been done to fix the problem. If I could somehow build a new system in even one community that would be something.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

meet the apprentice | linnea perry

It's almost time for our 2018-2019 apprentices to begin! They will begin their training next week, and so in the meantime we want to make sure you get to know a little something about who they are. These theatre artists and administrators are all on the verge of professional careers in theatre, and we are thrilled to help transition them from training to industry. First up, is Linnea Perry!

Linnea Perry - Stage Manager and Administrator

Linnea is an interdisciplinary artist whose passion for the arts began the second she was able to paint. Since then she never stop creating and has worked with several companies including Ballet BC (Program 2: 2017), TooFly Production (Robin Hood: Prince of Tease, Little Miss Glitz), PlanZ Theatre (Still the Kettle Sings) and Rice&Beans Theatre (Starstuff, Small Town Hoser Spic). Recently, Linnea completed her BFA at SFU School for the Contemporary Arts in theatre production and is so excited to being the next chapter in her artistic career.

What did you spend the last year doing?

This last year I have spent it finishing up my degree! Lots of sleepless nights and stress when into earning that piece of paper but now I have it and no one can take it away from me! Other than that I've been working on shows here and there. I did my last show with SFU in April, stage managing the grad dance show which was very emotional. Some of the dancers and I started at the same time so it was odd looking back on the last four years and seeing how far we had all come together. Before that I was working on Little Miss Glitz and really diving into the process of creating a new canadian musical. It was a amazing process and I got the chance to work with some really amazing people, and there is something about doing a big musical that is just so much fun.

What are you most looking forward to about being an apprentice?

I'm looking forward to growing as a artist and learning all the little bits that go into companies like Pacific theatre. I really like working in a office environment, so I'm really looking forward to being able to get more experience with the day to day office work that comes with the apprenticeship. I'm also looking forward to trying to push myself creatively as to what I am capable of doing since I tend to always fall back into stage managing and though the internship I am hoping to also work on design and maybe some script writing. I want to make the most out of every last little thing that will be offered to me!

What is your favourite theatre experience to date?

Opening night of Still the Kettle Sing. Still the Kettle Sing was a devised piece with a cast and crew entirely made of woman. The stories in the show came from the woman in our lives who inspired us and to us it made total sense. But the nature of devised work can lead to it making sense to the people inside the process but not those outside of it. In the lead up to opening there was worry that maybe people wouldn't get what we were trying to say. So it was the most amazing experience when opening night came and to see the reaction of the audience, to hear how touched they were by the work. To date it is still one of the best devised experiences I have been apart of and one of the best shows I think I have ever had the honor of working on.

What is your non-theatrical specialty?

Probably writing, novels and short stories and things like that. I also love scrapingbooking and playing the ukulele!

If you received 1 million dollars that you could not spend on yourself, what would you do with it?

I would give part to my grandma so she could move back to Barbados. I would donate some a charity, preferably one that is finding positive ways to tackle the opioid crisis in our city. I would give some to my parents and then put the rest in a saving fund till I could think of more things to do with it. Also because collecting interest is a good thing.

Friday, July 20, 2018

2017-2018 season retrospective

We are about ready to start rolling out our 2018-2019 season, but first, we wanted to take a moment to look back over the amazing year we had together in 2017-2018. Thank you to all the artists who worked with us and all of you for joining us!