Well, what play do you want to do?
Are these words every actor's dream? For me, they were. I brought four plays, and said pick one. But let me take you back...
I first met Cristiana through a former acting teacher and director of mine who had reached out to me to do a read-through of a play with a friend of hers by the name of Cristiana Ripeanu. They had gone to grad school together, and now, over a decade later, were planning to produce a show together. The character I was reading for played the ukulele at one point in the play, and I (wanting to make the best first impression) practiced non-stop. The read-through was a success, but there was one problem: the playwright did not want us to gender-bend one of the characters (mine), and would therefore not grant us the rights to produce the play.
Cristiana and I, though, had hit it off. But I want to work with you, I thought. I still want to work with you, Cristiana said to me while we were at one of those actor-schmooze events. And then those magic words: what play do you want to do? Though I mostly work in film and television these days, I keep a mental bucket list of plays. I handed these over to Cristiana, and she said yes to my favourite.
That play, which is yet to be announced, will be coming to audiences in 2024. For now, Cristiana and I are co-producing her adaptation of The Emigrants, which was lucky enough to be selected for the Vancouver Fringe Festival in September 2023. The story of two emigrants living a nameless existence in an unknown country, the play hooked me from the first read with its humour, risk, and relevance to contemporary society. I hope the play will connect with immigrant communities and non-immigrants alike. I can't wait to see the show and I look forward to seeing you there!