Projects currently under commission by Theatre Calgary:
Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto, Adapted by Hiro Kanagawa
*please note this project is a co-commission with Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre
Forgiveness is Mark Sakamoto's family memoir of World War II. The book won the Canada Reads 2018 competition, and is currently being developed into a TV miniseries. This theatrical adaptation is particularly meaningful for Artistic Director Stafford Arima as he has a personal connection to the subject matter of the Japanese Internment.
“Theatre Calgary is thrilled to be collaborating with Ashley and the Arts Club on bringing Mark Sakamoto’s Forgiveness to the stage. I am excited to see how Hiro Kanagawa shapes these intriguing characters into a narrative for theatre.” - Arima
Mark Sakamoto is a lawyer by training, and has enjoyed a rich and varied career. He began his professional career in live music, working with several international acts. He has worked at a national law firm, a national broadcaster and has served as a senior political advisor to a national party leader. He is an entrepreneur and investor in digital health, digital media and real estate. He sits on the Board of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Sakamoto lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.
Hiro Kanagawa is an actor and a Governor General’s Award–winning playwright who lives in Vancouver. His distinctions include Jessie Richardson Awards for both acting and writing, an Asians on Film award, and numerous other nominations. His plays Tiger of Malaya and The Patron Saint of Stanley Park have been performed across Canada. His most recent play, Indian Arm received the 2017 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Drama.
MAUDIE book by Kent Staines, music and lyrics by Sarah Slean
Based on the original dramatic motion picture MAUDIE written by Sherry White and produced by Mary Young Leckie, Heather Haldane, Mary Sexton, Bob Cooper and Susan Mullen
"I fell in love with this beautiful film called Maudie, and the love-affirming, however complex, relationship between Canadian folk artist, Maud Lewis and a fish seller named Everett Lewis. Their story was meant to sing, and I'm so thrilled to be collaborating with Kent Staines, Sarah Slean, and Mary Young Leckie on this exciting new musical." – Arima
RUN by Lisa Codrington
Run is an exploration of why black people run. Whether it’s for fun, for work or for our lives; the play asks whether black people should keep pace, stop, or run even faster.
"Lisa Codrington is a thrilling force to be reckoned with. I am deeply moved by her ideas, thoughts, and mile-long investigations within this project entitled, RUN." - Arima
Lisa Codrington is a Toronto-based actor and writer. Her writing has been produced in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. Select writing credits include The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, Up the Garden Path and Cast Iron, which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. Lisa is a recipient of the Carol Bolt Award for Playwrights and the K.M. Hunter Theatre Award.
The F Word by Keshia Cheesman and Bianca Miranda
The F Word (the f word, in this case, being “fat”) is a piece that fuses song, movement, poetry, and narratives confronting fat phobia, diet culture, and celebrating Keshia’s and Bianca’s personal journeys towards body acceptance. Through this piece, they challenge audiences to re-define the type of bodies deserving to be seen or heard on stage.
"The F Word brings together a diverse treasure trove of theatrical delights through the incredible voices of Keshia and Bianca. These Calgarian artists have been willing and open to bare their souls, their lives, and their art within this unique piece" - Arima
Keshia Cheesman is a Caribbean-Canadian Calgary based creator, educator, and performer who is passionate about experiencing and creating performances rooted in the truth of humanity, and stories based on diverse and marginalized communities. In her work, she loves to combine her love for dance and movement with her passion for theatre. Recent Credits include: Unganisha (Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre) Trophy (High Performance Rodeo), invisible (Handsome Alice Theatre), In and Out of Love (One Yellow Rabbit), and Hamlet (Theatre Calgary's Shakespeare by the Bow).
Bianca Miranda is a Filipino-Canadian actor and theatre-maker based in Treaty 7 territory (Calgary, AB) and also the Artistic Associate at Handsome Alice Theatre. As an artist, she aims to authentically tell stories, elevate and support underrepresented voices, and continuously advocate for diversity and equity in the arts. Some of her favourite credits include: Itty Bitty Arts Day (Arts Commons), Trophy (High Performance Rodeo), inVISIBLE (Handsome Alice Theatre), In & Out of Love (One Yellow Rabbit), Little Red (Ghost River Theatre/ Major Matt Mason Collective), and Timmy, Tommy, and the Haunted Hotel (Pape & Taper).