The concept is simple: 12 questions sent to ARTISTA’s artist mentors and guests. They answer, you read, you find out some random but facinating things about them, and you get a sneak peak into their upcoming projects. Sounds pretty good, eh? Follow the links within the post to learn more about…
1. What is your song of the moment?
I’m into this song at the moment:
But the one that plays through my head on a regular basis is Your Next Bold Move, by Ani Difranco.
2. What is your favorite place to grab coffee in Montreal?
In my hood (NDG, or “the deeg”) it would be Shaika.
3. What is the first image that comes to mind when you think of the Harper government?
It’s not an image that comes to mind, but a feeling – a sickening sinking in my stomach, like the hope is being sucked out of the world slowly and without protest.
4. Which artists, dead or alive, would you wait in line to meet?
The people that come to mind are philosophers, leaders, politicians. I feel like most artists that I love, I’ve gotten to “meet” them through their work, so I can’t really think of someone I want to know more personally or informally… You know what, I would wait in line to meet Shakespeare. I have some questions for him.
5. What is your number one travel or escape destination?
I would go back to Costa Rica in a heartbeat, and I find Cuba endlessly fascinating. But I think I need to save up for a Europe trip – Barcelona, Provence, Paris, Greece, Italy, Scotland… Hmm, I may need to break it up into a few trips.
6. What has been your favorite performance over the past 10 years anywhere in the world?
Trying to list my favourite performances from here in Montreal is too hard, so here are the ones from elsewhere: The Dash Arts production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that I saw at the NAC a few years back; a show called 7 Important Things by STO Union (written and directed by Nadia Ross); a really cool theatrical event called The Hive 2 that was part of MagNorth in Vancouver; and an amazing Butoh dance/theatre piece by a company called Sakai Juku.
7. What first turned you onto theatre?
From the time I was little I was always trying to get my friends to “put on a play” with me, and I honestly don’t know where that came from. But in grade 3, I was one of a few students from my class at school whose stories got to be part of a project that Geordie Productions created called From You to Us to You. My teacher at the time, Mr B, took us to see the show and we loved it. Afterwards, he said “You know, we could do that” – and we did. We created our own version of the show, with monologues, scenes, and songs, and performed it for the school. We even invited Geordie, and they were so impressed that they asked if they could use our title for their next show. That whole experience really marked me. It all felt so natural and exciting, and it was the first time it ever occurred to me that people actually did this kind of thing for a living.
8. If a friend is visiting Montreal, where is the first place you take them?
In summer: To drink sangria on a terrasse, ideally on St Laurent during one of the street sales. In winter: to the Biodome, because then we can pretend it’s not winter.
9. What is your upcoming project?
I’ll be spending the year at Concordia as an artist-in-residence where I’ll be doing some teaching, and directing Tony Kushner’s brilliant play, Angels in America.
10 What excites/scares/inspires you most about the project?
Well, teaching is always scary/exciting because it forces me to wrestle with what I Know and what I Don’t Know, and it’s always inspiring to work with students who tend to be pretty passionate, eager and driven. As for directing Angels, it’s a play that is so beautifully written, so broad and deep in its scope, so personal and political in the ways that I love most, and means so much to so many people that I just want to do it justice, and to give the students involved a great learning experience.
11 Where and when will your piece be staged (if you don’t know yet, skip)
End of November at the DB Clarke theatre.
12 What image or piece of music comes to mind when you think of the piece? (state name of song or attach the photo)
Images of Jacob wrestling with the Angel