For the past five months, a group of emerging and non-professional Vancouver theatre artists have been working together as part of Screaming Weenie Productions‘ All The World’s A Stage project. The result of this collaboration is Screaming Weenie’s brand-new play, “Chasing Home“, directed by Sean Cummings and Pedro Chamale, playing March 15, 16, and 17 in the Vancouver Playhouse Recital Hall.
From Screaming Weenie:
Home is more than a place you sleep and keep your stuff, it’s often a community, a feeling of belonging, a sense of security. What is home to someone who is an immigrant to Canada, or a refugee from a war-torn country, or someone who has been disowned by their family for simply loving someone of the same gender?
Chasing Home is a creation piece that explores the theme of ‘home’ from the viewpoint of cultural outsiders, immigrants, refugees, and others who have been forced to flee and create a new life for themselves in Vancouver.
To gain more information about the show and the All The World’s A Stage project I decided to ask co-Director Pedro Chamale (who is also the co-artistic director of Rice & Beans Theatre and my good friend) a few questions:
Tell me about the “All The World’s A Stage” project. How did you get involved?
ATWAS is a Screaming Weenie project that is giving non-theatre/emerging artists an opportunity to be mentored by professionls and then given the chance to develop and produce their own show. I was invited by Screaming Weenie to participate as an emerging artist, and upon hearing about the opportunity to gain more experience as a director and to collaborate with new people I jumped on board.
Who are the cast/company members in “Chasing Home”? (Are they students/ professionals/ emerging artists, etc.)
The cast members for Chasing Home are Christopher Casillan, Evelyn Chew, Jeremy Leroux, Damian Rumph, and Sheryl Thompson, who are a wonderful group of professional actors .The crew of our show is a great mix of professionals, emerging artists, recent immigrants–all the way to a first generation Canadian like myself. We are: Sean Cummings and myself (directors), Carolyn Yu (stage manager), Nicole Holas (lighting designer), Esta Mun (props & outreach coordinator), Hanno (set and costume designer), and Stacey Sherlock (technical director).
For how long/how often were the “All the World’s a Stage” participants meeting? Can you describe your training/creative process?
We started meeting back in October. Back then we would meet bi-weekly, and at first we were focusing on the mentorship part of the program. We were partnered with our professional counterparts who were working on Screaming Weenie’s production of Falling In Time. We volunteered with the production’s run and observed a professional show being put up. After Falling In Time closed we then shifted the focus of our meetings to what kind of show we would like to do.
What, in your mind, were the core impulses that led to the creation of “Chasing Home”?
“Chasing Home” came from common themes that occurred during our discussions and meetings and one of the prevailing themes was the idea of what is home. All of the other participants were born in another country, and I was not born here in Vancouver. So a lot of our talks were about what it was like to be in a new city and culture. We each came in and presented things we would like to see in our show and also we told stories of our lives, which in turn inspired the play.
Venue: Recital Hall, Vancouver Playhouse at 601 Cambie Street
Admission: $10* | Tickets available at the door or on-line at:
*no one turned away for lack of funds
Other Important Notes
While it has (sadly) come to my attention that at a press conference this afternoon, the Vancouver Playhouse announced that it will be closing its doors after the run of “Hunchback of Notre Dame” is complete, I have, as yet, received no information indicating that “Chasing Home” will not be performed as planned in the Recital Hall.
Disclosure: In return for helping spread the word about “Chasing Home” (via any social media means I so chose), I have been offered a ticket to the opening night performance on March 15. I am happy to help create buzz around a project such as ATWAS, and the idea to interview Mr. Chamale was mine. As always, I remain the sole author of my content.