November 3, 2020
Tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Randi – I’m a white settler who grew up mostly on unceded Secwepemc territory, a theatre artist, and an aspirational dog owner. My first loves in theatre are puppetry and collaborative producing practice – in my personal work, I love untangling traditional producing practice to let audiences and community members impact developing puppet pieces in a meaningful way.
Shiz – I am a second generation Japanese Canadian who grew up in North Vancouver which lies on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. I’m an interdisciplinary theatre artist with a focus on set design and puppetry, while dabbling in illustration, costume design, prop making, mask making, painting, directing, and others. I thrive in exploring new art mediums and am currently enjoying absorbing everything administration-related while working with the CTYP team in a wonderfully collaborative environment. I also love Japanese strawberry short cake, have a 14yr old Boston Terrier named Jackson, and am a graduate of Studio 58.
Why did you choose AudioPLAY as opposed to live streaming a performance?
Randi – My attention span for anything screen-based is so short these days, and if I’m struggling, I can only imagine the experience kids are having, with so much of their education and interaction with others taking place via a screen. I hope the audio plays will encourage audiences to look at one another, look at their surroundings, and build the story in their imaginations.
Shiz – I echo Randi! As much as I wish it wasn’t true, watching live theatre on a live stream video just doesn’t have the same effect as it does in person.. and I don’t think we can compete with the amazing abilities that the film folks have (not yet at least!) So I hope that using our listening skills will help to shut down our visual distractions, especially if you are able to just close your eyes or knit or eat or do something more simplified to satisfy/entertain us in a very different way.
What can audiences expect from AudioPLAY?
Randi – Audiences can expect to be surprised and engaged. While AudioPLAY is inspired by old-timey-sit-around-the-radio-family-fun, audiences will be able to do more than just listen (though the listening itself will be delightful). Alongside the audio, they can expect recipes, dancing, treasure hunts, and opportunities to use their bodies and their imaginations.
Shiz – To add to that, our AudioPLAYS will be streamed through a video link: yes, it will still be screen-free for the most part but we will be using it to instruct you on “how” to listen to the story, as well as have an ASL Interpreter visually tell the story for the Deaf or Hearing-Impaired. You will also have access to an Education Resource Study Guide to help you understand each AudioPLAY, with terminology in other languages, cultural references, etc to help you prepare for the AudioPLAY or answer any questions you might have about it.
Can you tell us a little bit about why you chose the lead artists you did?
Randi – The lead artists we chose are just a few of the many artists in the city that are creating work that we find really exciting, and we tried to choose lead artists with different types of skills – playwriting, theatre for young audiences, sound design, etc. We also wanted to choose some people that haven’t had the opportunity to share their stories with CTYP audiences. We wanted the audio plays to be surprising to our audiences and also surprising to us, and as the plays develop, I have been surprised again and again by the energizing ideas that everyone is pursuing.
Shiz – What she said!
How do you want to work with artists as Co-ADs?
Randi – I’m interested in how the work of a producer is the work of an artist. The development process is art. The rehearsal room is art. The budget is art. Every decision you make stems from what you think is most important. And I think that every person, every artist, and every audience member should have a voice. That’s what’s most important to me – and I try to produce in a way that creates space for people to speak. Working in a Co-AD model with Shiz has been fantastic – she’s always pushing us to explore more, involve more ideas, and reach higher with our goals, and I really appreciate that!
Shiz – I would like to take apart and reassess what we consider the “traditional” way of creating theatre. I want this to happen while we discover and continue to learn from each other what the best way forward is; losing a hierarchical system, practising transparency and honesty, respecting and intersecting our ideas, valuing our mental and physical health, and truly reflecting what we see in our community on to our stages and within our companies. As Co-AD, Randi keeps me on my toes and reminds me to continue investigating what we can do better. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner!
Anything else you’d like to share?
Randi – Thank you for coming along with us this year! We know it’s a shift here at CTYP, and we hope that you enjoy the leap into new territory. Reach out to us at any point if you have questions, concerns, ideas, or thoughts to share.
Shiz – We are very excited to share our new season and our new Carousel with you. But we are all about collaboration whether you are an artist or an audience member, so we would love to hear from you! Thank you for your patience and we hope we can bring some fun into your homes or classrooms this year.