MAR 29 – APR 17, 2016 Bluma appel Theatre
by Lucy Kirkwood # c sCh i m e r i c a
A CA N A D IA N S TAG E A N D R OYA L M A N ITO B A T H EATRE CE N TRE P R O D U CTI O N
MARY CHANG/MICH E LLE /DE NG
JOE SCHOFIE LD
SET AN D COSTU M E DE SIG N
LI U LI/J E N NIFER LEE
VIDEO DE SIG N
BARBARA /DOREE N/MARIA
LIG HTING DE SIG N
TE SSA KE N DRICK
SOU N D DE SIG N
THOMAS RYDER PAYNE
PAU L KRAM ER /DAVID PARKER / PETER ROU RKE
DIALECT DESIG N ER
MAN DARIN CHIN E SE DIALECT COACH
PAUL SUN-HYUNG LEE
DR. YUAN LIU
ZHANG WEI/ WANG PE NGSI
FIG HT DIRECTOR
M E L STANW YCK
STAG E MANAG ER
FRAN K /H ERB/DRUG DEALER
ASSISTANT STAG E MANAG ER
FE NG M EIH U I/MING XIAOLI
APPRE NTICE STAG E MANAG ER
B E N NY/ YOU NG ZHANG LIN
This production runs approximately 190 minutes including an intermission Chimerica is presented by special arrangement with Casarotto Ramsay & Associates Ltd. Chimerica was first performed at the Almeida Theatre, London, on May 20, 2013 and transferred to the Harold Pinter Theatre, London, on August 6, 2013. Special thanks to Studio Theatre, Washington D.C., Matt Torney, Sivan Battat, Jan Wong, Patrick Brown, Greg Wilkie (Solotech, Toronto). For Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre: Steven Schipper, Artistic Director, Camilla Holland, General Manager
SYNOPSIS In 1989, rookie American photojournalist Joe Schofield is sent to Beijing on assignment to cover the student protests in Tiananmen Square. The day after hundreds are massacred by the People’s Liberation Army, Joe sees an unknown protester confronting a tank and takes a photo that goes on to become one of the most iconic images of the 20th century. Twenty years later, the impending election forces US-China economic relations into
the political spotlight, prompting Joe to convince his editor to let him try and find the “Tank Man” from his famous photo as a human interest piece. Working from a mysterious notice in a Beijing newspaper that potentially places the Tank Man in New York City, Joe reconnects with an old friend from China to uncover the truth, and launches into an investigation that threatens to jeopardize his career, his relationships and his personal ethics.
CHIMERICA BEYOND THE STAGE Canadian Stage is partnering with Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) to explore the role and practice of photojournalism in Chimerica. JHR is Canada’s leading media development organization, training journalists to report on human rights and governance issues in their communities.
PRE-SHOW CHAT: BRINGING CHIMERICA TO LIFE
POST-SHOW TALKBACK: IN CONVERSATION WITH SHENG XUE
Friday, April 1 6:15 – 6:45 pm
Sunday, April 10 Following 1 pm matinee
Guest: Dr. Yuan Liu, Mandarin Chinese Dialect Coach
Cast member Diana Tso moderates a discussion with Sheng Xue, award-winning journalist, writer and human rights advocate.
PRE-SHOW CHAT: WORLD EVENTS, MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND CULTURAL MEMORY
Free Student Event: MEET A PHOTOJOURNALIST
Friday, April 8 6:15 – 6:45 pm
Wednesday, April 13 10:30 – 11:30 am
Guest: Dr. Nikki Cesare-Schotzko, Associate Professor, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto
Photojournalist panel moderated by Rachel Pulfer, Executive Director of JHR
For additional Chimerica events and information, visit: canadianstage.com/online/ chimerica 2
PRE-SHOW CHAT: ETHICS OF PHOTOJOURNALISM IN CHIMERICA Friday, April 15 6:15 – 6:45 pm Presented by JHR
artistic director’s note I spent May and June, 1989 in a French prison. I was co-creating a theatre project with a number of inmates of France’s Fleury-Mérogis detention centre as part of the cultural celebrations of the bi-centenary of the French Revolution - in 1789 - and the iconic storming of the Bastille prison. Our creation period delved into what “freedom” meant to each of these inmates, what the Bastille represented to them, personally and as a national icon, and what “storming” it might entail in today’s world. It was from this window, surrounded by inmates reflecting on the nature of freedom, that I watched, that we all watched the events unfolding in Tiananmen Square. The growing tides of resistance, the collective call from students and workers alike for a different form of governance and decision-making, the palpable if short-lived thrill of empowerment in the collective voice - all of this made its way with particular urgency into our rehearsal room our rehearsal room halfway around the world, so infectious was its strength. And then it was over. On June 3, 1989, the Chinese army began to move its heavy artillery towards Tiananmen Square, and in the early hours of June 4, bulldozed its way into the Square itself. No storming of the Bastille, this, but a quick and brutal resurrection of the walls of power, of the very system the students, in their own liberty-driven way, had hoped to alter. The number of dead will never be known. British playwright Lucy Kirkwood was 5 years old when these events were shaking China and the rest of the world. And she has written a startlingly sophisticated, multi-layered drama that brings into focus, a quarter-century later, not only the nature of the plight endured by so many hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens, but also the disparities between how North American society and Chinese society have developed in the aftermath thereof. Under the guise of a suspense story - who was the Tank Man of that iconic photo reproduced in the world press on June 5, 1989, and if he survived, where is he? - Lucy Kirkwood leads us on a voyage between Beijing and New York and back again (and again) in which the mystery that is unraveled reveals itself progressively to be a window onto the cultural battle between hubris and humility, between entitlement and resignation. Between a nation bred on the idea that it has never had a Bastille to be stormed, and another whose Bastille seems still so solidly in place. I am immensely proud of this co-production with our friends and colleagues at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, and of this work which, under the scrutinizing and artistically inspired eye of Chris Abraham and his equally demanding and inspired team, assembles a cast of twelve of the finest talents in our country. This is epic theatre at its best. Enjoy. And debate. Debate. And enjoy. Matthew Jocelyn Artistic & General Director, Canadian Stage 3
“Images transfix. Images anesthetize”
- Susan Sontag
Note from JOURNALISTS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS Ask any photojournalist working in conflict or hot zones around the world and they can likely recall a time they have been asked the question as to why there? Why take a photo of a man in Tiananmen Square when a few blocks away it was peaceful? Are you trying to destroy the image of this country? Was photojournalist Jeff Widener being subjective by capturing the image? Would capturing the calm 300 metres away make him objective? Great images transcend time and place. The Tank Man captured a moment in time. It also captured something timeless: Man vs. Oppression. This play ponders the need for photojournalists. The average person is a thumb-tap away from capturing history on their smartphone. Think of a car crash. Investigators take witness statements. Does this make the witness a journalist? No. Why then, would a witness who took a photo of that crash scene be considered a photojournalist? The witness is not obligated to ensure the image and its context are accurate. The photojournalist is, both ethicallyand legally. Photojournalism is just as impactful as it was 20 years ago. The war in Syria has been raging since 2011. What forced Canada to suddenly accept 25,000 Syrian refugees in 2015? Turkish photojournalist, Nilüfer Demir snapped an image you’ve likely seen; the lifeless body of a three-year-old Syrian boy on a beach. The family sought refuge in Canada. The image ignited public fury, demanding action. Would an “objective” shot 300 meters down the beach have done the same? Grant McDonald, In-Country Program Manager, South Sudan at Journalists for Human Rights / jhr.ca 4
Paul SunHyung Lee
cast & creative “It is a fact there was a Tank Man. It is a fact that photographs were taken of him. Beyond that, everything that transpires in the play is an imaginative leap” – Lucy Kirkwood, playwright Lucy Kirkwood
Thomas Ryder Payne
Dr. Yuan Liu
- Playwright In 2007, Lucy graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh. Whilst there she wrote her first full-length play, Grady Hot Potato. Lucy’s next play, Guns or Butter, was produced at the Terror 2007 Festival at the Union Theatre, London, and was subsequently broadcast by BBC Radio. In 2008, Lucy’s play Tinderbox was produced by the Bush Theatre and in the same year Hedda, her adaptation of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, was produced by the Gate Theatre, London, to wide critical acclaim. Lucy’s play Psychogeography was produced as part of the Terror 2009 Festival. In the same year, Lucy’s play It Felt Empty When the Heart Went at First But it is Alright Now was produced by Clean Break Theatre Co. at the Arcola Theatre. The play was nominated for an Evening Standard Award for Best Newcomer and made Lucy joint winner of the John Whiting Award 2010. Lucy’s stage adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, co-devised and directed by Katie Mitchell, was performed at the National Theatre as their Christmas show in 2011. In the same year, her play Small Hours (co-written with Ed Hime) opened at the Hampstead earlier, and her play Housekeeping was performed as part of Theatre Uncut season at Southwark Playhouse. NSFW premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, starring Janie Dee and Julian Barrett, in 2012. Her recent success, Chimerica, premiered at the Almeida Theatre in 2013 and subsequently transferred to the West End, earning Lucy the prestigious Best New Play at the 2014 Olivier and Evening Standard Awards. In 2014 Lucy also collaborated with Lost Dog on a Brighton Festival co-commissioned dance project, Like Rabbits, adapted from Virginia Woolf’s short story Lappin and Lapinova. Lucy also writes for television, and has written for Skins (Company Pictures), and more recently created and wrote the new series The Smoke (Kudos/Sky 1).
- Director Chris Abraham is currently the Artistic Director for Toronto’s Crow’s Theatre. In 2017 Crow’s Theatre will open the doors of its first permanent home – the city’s first east-end arts centre and cultural hub. Chris has directed the highly lauded Stratford Shakespeare Festival productions of For The Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, The Little Years, The Matchmaker, Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2014 and returns in 2015 for The Taming of the Shrew. In 2003, Chris directed the film adaptation of Kristen Thomson’s award winning hit I,Claudia for which he won a Gemini Award. The film was also named one of 2004’s top ten Canadian films by the Toronto International Film Festival. A graduate of the National Theatre School’s directing program, Chris later served as Co-Director of the school’s renowned directing program (20062010). Chris is the recipient of the John Hirsch and Ken MacDougall awards and the Siminovitch Prize for Directing in 2013, as well as the Siminovitch Protégé Prize in the award’s inaugural year.
ELENA ANCIRO - Mary Chang/Michelle/Deng Elena Anciro is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg’s Department of Theatre and Film. She was last seen in the National Elevator Project: The Club (Theatre Yes/Sarasvàti Productions), Coriolanus (Mad Cows Productions/ Winnipeg Fringe), Fallen Angels (Tara Players/ RMTC’s Coward Fest), and Fefu and Her Friends (Sarasvàti Productions). Recent onscreen appearances include Siberia (NBC) and the NSI Drama Prize winning Short Film, Chopin’s Heart. Elena is thrilled to be making her first appearance at Canadian Stage with the amazing cast and crew of Chimerica. She would like to thank and send love to her mom, aunt, and best friend for travelling all the way from Winnipeg to see the show a second time!
- Joe Schofield Theatre credits include ten seasons with the Stratford Festival, including: title role in The Adventures of Pericles, Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, Edgar in King Lear, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet; four seasons with the Shaw Festival; Macbeth (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Lenny in The Homecoming (Royal MTC); Aragorn in Lord of the Rings, We Will Rock You (Mirvish); Art (Canadian Stage); Bloodless: The Trial of Burke and Hare (Theatre 20); Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Soulpepper); Peter and the Starcatcher (WCT). Film/TV credits: Reign, Saving Hope, Bitten, The Listener, Haven, Nikita, Warehouse 13, Copper, The Adventures of Pericles, King Lear, Brainwashed, Skating to New York. Evan is thrilled to be in this company with such great artists working on this epic piece. Thank you to Alex and my folks for so much support.
- Barbara/Doreen/Maria Terri has performed in theatres across the country from Vancouver to Halifax. In Toronto she has appeared at the Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Young People’s Theatre, Theatre Plus and for Mirvish Productions. For the past two decades, in Winnipeg, she has performed at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Shakespeare in the Ruins, Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, and Theatre Projects. Film credits include Hell on Heels: The Battle of Mary Kay and C7: The End of the World. Terri is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg, University of Manitoba and the National Theatre School of Canada.
JASMINE CHEN - Liuli/Jennifer Lee Jasmine Chen is a multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto. Selected acting credits include: The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, Sweet Charity (Shaw Festival); The Winter’s Tale (Canadian Stage); Blue Planet (YPT); Scheherazade (Nobody’s Business/NSTF); Song for Tomorrow (New Harlem/Eventual Ashes); Parental Advisory (Bravo Fact); Defiance (SyFy). Jasmine is the current Outreach Coordinator at Cahoots Theatre and an emerging director with the Factory Theatre. She has assistant directed for Nightwood Theatre; Luminato; Factory Theatre; Harbourfront Centre; Tapestry Opera. She directed Le Ba-Ta-Clan for Opera 5 and has done movement coaching for Opera McGill.
LAURA CONDLLN - Tessa Kendrick Selected theatre credits include: Of Human Bondage, The Crucible, The Dybbuk, The Norman Conquests trilogy (Soulpepper); An Enemy of the People, Sextet (Tarragon); THIS (Canadian Stage – Dora nomination); Top Girls (Segal Centre – META nomination); 4:48 Psychosis (Necessary Angel); Beckett: Feck It! (Canadian Stage/Queen of Puddings); eleven seasons with the Stratford Festival, where highlights include The Matchmaker, Elektra, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Liar, Pentecost, Peter Pan, Shakespeare’s Universe (Her Infinite Variety), As You Like It. TV credits include Murdoch Mysteries. Laura trained at the University of Windsor and was a member of the Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre (Stratford Festival, David Latham, principal).
- Paul Kramer/David Parker/ Peter Rourke Kevin is extremely pleased to be making his Canadian Stage (and Toronto) debut, having performed, written, directed and produced for over 20 years in Winnipeg. Most recent credits include: Chimerica and Alice Through The Looking Glass (Royal MTC); Edward II (Theatre by the River); Antony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare in the Ruins); and Arcadia (Citadel). He was also a proud participant in the 2015 Citadel/Banff Professional Training Program. In 2014 Kevin received the Reg Skene Award for Emerging Playwright. He also served as Artistic Director for Shakespeare in the Ruins from 2008-2015. Among his most valuable accomplishments as an artist have been his frequent collaborations with Echo Theatre, owned and operated by his cherished and gifted wife, Charlene Van Buekenhout.
- Zhang Wei/Wang Pengsi Richard Lee is an award-winning actor, fight director, sound designer and theatre producer, who has worked extensively in both film and theatre. In his career he’s had the joy of playing many interesting roles. His work has garnered him multiple Dora Mavor Moore nominations out of which he has received three: one for his Sound Design work on paper series (Cahoots Theatre Company) and two in performance Sultans of the Street & Cinderella: A Ratical Retelling (both for Young People’s Theatre). In 2013 he received the infamous Harold Award, which celebrates the unsung heroes of the Theatre Community.
PAUL SUN-HYUNG LEE - Zhang Lin Paul is an award-winning actor, proud father, devoted husband and certified Geek. Selected stage credits include: Kim’s Convenience, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, La Ronde (Soulpepper); The Sheep & The Whale (Modern Times/Cahoots); Godzilla (Crows); Mother Tongue, Dreams of Blonde & Blue, Mom, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl, (Cahoots); The Hobbit, Prince & the Pauper, Monster Under the Bed (YPT). TV & film credits include: Shoot the Messenger (CBC), Robocop, End of Days Inc., The Firm, Covert Affairs, Degrassi, Ice Princess, Alphas, Almost Heroes, and many more. Paul is pleased to make his Canadian Stage debut with Chimerica and will be playing the lead role of Appa in the TV series Kim’s Convenience on CBC next spring. Much love to Anna, Noah and Miles for letting him follow his dreams. 8
DOUG MCKEAG - Mel Stanwyck Doug is an award-winning actor who appears in all manner of live performance. Favourite past productions include: Late Company; God of Carnage; Follies; Enron; The Drowsy Chaperone; his one-man show DOOM 2012; The Alan Parkinson’s Project (Betty Mitchell Award: Outstanding Performance); Arcadia; Glengarry Glen Ross; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; A Man of No Importance; Into the Woods and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Doug received the Greg Bond Award for Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre, and in 2013 he directed Requiem for a Lost Girl in New York City. His company Dandi Productions creates Symphony Concerts for Young Audiences that have been presented around the world. Doug dedicates his performance in Chimerica to his Mom, Dawn.
ROSS MCMILLAN - Frank/Herb/Drug Dealer Ross McMillan is a Winnipeg-based actor who has appeared in theatres across the country over the past 25 years. Theatre credits at RMTC include The Woman In Black, The Seagull,
In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play (with Tarragon), The History of Manitoba, The Constant Wife (with Citadel), Closer. Other theatre credits include Copenhagen (PTE), Measure for Measure, A Christmas Carol (Citadel), The Designated Mourner, Bosoms and Neglect (Persona Theatre), Notes From Underground, The Fever, Betrayal (Wpg. Fringe). Ross was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for his work in HBO Canada’s Less Than Kind.
Charlie Brown (Gateway); The Memo (Thought For Food). Film and TV credits include: Resident Evil: Afterlife (Sony/Screen Gems); Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil (Space/CTV); Rookie Blue (Global/ABC); Murdoch Mysteries (CBC); King (Showcase). Norman wrote the Herman Voaden Prize-winning Theory and Dora Award-nominated Pu-Erh. He recently wrote and directed the film Anne Darling. Norman grew up in East Vancouver and lives in Los Angeles and Toronto.
- Feng Meihui/Ming Xiaoli Diana’s theatre credits include Jade in the Coal (Pangaea Arts, Vancouver); Taxi Project (PEN Canada); Flock of Flyers (CORPUS/Dusk Dances); Quarry (Western Canada Theatre); The Concubine’s Children (Theatre One); Gold Mountain Guest (Kaleidoscope Theatre); Naomi’s Road, The Prince & the Pauper, Merlin (YPT); Dante’s Inferno, Chekhov Shorts (Theatre Smith-Gilmour); and by the way, Miss… (Urge/Theatre Direct), sharing the Dora Mavor Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance. Upcoming: Diana’s new play, Comfort, inspired by comfort women of WWII Asia and honoring the resilience of women in war, premieres November 2016 in Toronto with the Red Snow Collective. Film/TV credits: The Border (CBC), XIII Season. Diana is a graduate of the University of Toronto (Honors BA in English Literature) and École Internationale de Théâtre de Jacques Lecoq, in Paris, France.
- Set & Costume Design Royal MTC credits include: Gone With the Wind, Grumpy Old Men: The Musical, The Tempest, A Christmas Carol, Pride and Prejudice (Costume Design); Strong Poison, Proof (with Citadel) (Set & Costume Design). Other theatre credits include: eleven seasons with the Shaw Festival, most recently: My Fair Lady (Costumes); An Ideal Husband, Sunday in the Park with George, Belle Moral (Set & Costumes). Recently, as Costume Designer: My Fair Lady, The Music Man (Arena Stage, Washington DC); Faith Healer (Soulpepper). Recently, as Set & Costume Designer: Nativity (NAC); La Cenerentola, ossia La bontà in trionfo (Cinderella, or Goodness Triumphant) (Pacific Opera Victoria); Top Girls (Soulpepper); Cloud 9 (Mirvish). Judith’s designs have also been seen at Canadian Stage, PTE, Alberta Theatre Projects, Tarragon, Theatre Calgary and the Grand Theatre.
- Benny/Young Zhang Lin Norman Yeung works in theatre, film, and visual arts. Chimerica is the Canadian Stage debut for Norman, who was a member of the company’s inaugural BASH! Artist Development program. Other theatre credits include: The Kite Runner (Theatre Calgary, Citadel); Fugitives (Theatre Conspiracy); You’re A Good Man,
- Video Design Theatre credits include video design for Clever Little Lies, The Glass Menagerie, Brief Encounter (Vancouver Playhouse) and Grumpy Old Men: The Musical (Royal MTC); Rick: The Rick Hansen Story (MTYP/VanOC-Cultural Olympiad, MTYP/ Citadel); 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Wyrd Prod/Pan Am Games); Tough Case, Rich, Kindness, Silverwing (MTYP); 9
To the Country (The Winnipegger Ensemble). Selected writing/directing for theatre: The Leitmotif Lives of Nero and Samdi (Little Theatre/Northwest Film Forum); The Incidental Tribulations of Wake Me and My (Endstop and Elsewhere/Fringe). Film/TV: Keep a Modest Head, Sins of the Father, Help I’m Alive, The Last Moment, Defile in Veil, Dumb Angel, film (triptych), Lode, FILM (dzama), Elizabeth Short, Sluice Box and a Rocker. Deco is the recipient of 12 international awards, including two TIFF Best Short Film Awards. Deco won the Province of Manitoba Filmmaker Award and the City of Winnipeg Mayor’s Award in 2013. Big thank you to Heather, Metro and Miro.
MICHAEL WALTON - Lighting Design Canadian Stage credits include: Julie, Harper Regan, The Other Place, Venus in Fur, Cruel and Tender. Other selected credits include; Cosi Fan Tutte (Canadian Opera Company); The Little Prince (Theatre Calgary); 11 Seasons with the Stratford Festival including Hamlet, The Sound of Music, Oedipus Rex, Love’s Labour’s Lost, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, Fiddler on the Roof, The Matchmaker, The Tempest, As You Like It, Macbeth; A Word or Two with Christopher Plummer (CTG/Stratford, Los Angeles); Maria Stuarda (Pacific Opera); Evangeline (Charlottetown/Citadel); Mary Poppins, Next to Normal, The Rocky Horror Show, The Three Musketeers (Citadel); Enron, (NAC); Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Sideways (La Jolla Playhouse, California); Glenn, A Tender Thing, ‘Night Mother (Soulpepper).
THOMAS RYDER PAYNE - Sound Design Thomas Ryder Payne is a composer and sound designer for theatre, dance and film. Selected past work includes The Stratford Festival (Hamlet, Taming of the Shrew, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello), Shaw Festival (Top 10
Girls), Soulpepper (Kim’s Convenience, La Ronde, Ghosts), Canadian Stage (Domesticated, Harper Regan, The Middle Place, Another Africa), Tarragon (Wormwood, Abyss, Sextet, An Enemy of the People, Lungs, The Little Years, If We Were Birds, Leo), Crows Theatre (The Watershed, The Seagull, Someone Else), Modern Times (Blood Wedding, Forgiveness, The Lesson, Halaj, bloom), Toronto Dance Theatre, BIBT, NAC, TPM, Theatre Calgary, GCTC, Nightwood, YPT, Factory and many others. Thomas has received two Dora awards and 16 nominations.
KARYN KUMHAR - Stage Manager Chimerica is Karyn’s first appearance with Canadian Stage. Selected stage management credits include: James and the Giant Peach (MTYP); The 39 Steps (Harbourfront, PEI); A Christmas Story, Next to Normal, Pride and Prejudice, Fiddler on the Roof (RMTC); Anne and Gilbert (The Guild, PEI), Small Things, The Secret Mask (PTE), The Rick Hansen Story (MTYP/Arts Club Theatre/ Citadel). Up next for Karyn will be Mary Poppins at the North Carolina Theatre.
AJ LAFLAMME Assistant Stage Manager AJ’s Canadian Stage credits include Julie, London Road, The Arsonists, Red, and Another Africa. Other theatre credits: All Shook Up (Globe Theatre); Pirates of Penzance (Thousand Islands Playhouse); The Unplugging, Bingo! (Factory Theatre); Waiting Room (Tarragon Theatre); A Beautiful View, The Africa Trilogy (Volcano Theatre); Kim’s Convenience, Spoon River, La Ronde, True West (Soulpepper); Tainted (Moyo Theatre); Tosca, La Traviata, Die Zauberflöte, Le Tragedie de Carmen (Highlands Opera Studio); Cabaret, A Chorus Line (Rose Theatre); Everything Must Go (Andrea Martin). Upcoming: Into The Woods, You Are Here (Thousand Islands Playhouse). AJ is a graduate of Sheridan College and the University of Toronto.
JESSICA ALEXANDER - Apprentice Stage Manager Theatre credits include Hamlet, The Tempest (Driftwood Theatre Group); Aladdin Jr. (Segal Centre Academy); The Andersons (New Words Festival – NTSC); Emily’s Piano workshop, James and the Giant Peach (YPT); The Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Winter’s Tale, Twelfth Night or What You Will (National Theatre School); 2013 Toronto Fringe Festival. Jessica is a graduate of the National Theatre School.
ZACK RUSSELL - Assistant Director Theatre directing credits include: Big Love (Randolph Academy); rihannaboi95 (Suburban Beast); Ajax (por nobody) (SummerWorks); Antigonick (The Flea Theater). As a writer/director for theatre: Fixed (VideoFag); Just Cause (The Flea Theater); Parole Parole (Rhubarb Festival/Buddies in Bad Times). Zack wrote and directed She Stoops to Conquer (nominee for 2016 Canadian Screen Award for Best Live Action Short). He is the recipient of the 2016 Michael Langham Workshop (Stratford Festival), 2015 RBC Rising Star Emerging Director Prize from Crow’s Theatre, and 2013 Dora Award nominee for Outstanding Direction (Jordan Tannahill’s rihannaboi95).
RICK SKENE - Fight Director Royal MTC selected credits include Things We Do For Love, The Boys in the Photograph (with Mirvish), Shakespeare’s Dog (with NAC), Richard III, The Lonesome West, The School for Wives (with VP), The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Oleanna, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Miracle Worker. Rick has worked with Manitoba Opera, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Shakespeare in the Ruins, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Cercle Molière, Rainbow Stage. Rick was the dramaturge/co-director of the world premiere of Moulin Rouge with
Choreographer Jorden Morris. He has over 150 film and television credits, including Capote, The Assassination of Billy the Kid by the Coward Robert Ford, The Messengers, Walk All Over Me, High Life, Lucid, Seven Times Lucky. Rick teaches at the University of Winnipeg’s Department of Theatre and Film.
ERIC ARMSTRONG - Dialect Designer Theatre credits include: 12 Angry Men, Mary Stuart, The Gigli Concert, A Christmas Carol, Translations (Soulpepper); Yukonstyle, The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union, Habeus Corpus (Canadian Stage); Another Africa (Volcano/ Canadian Stage); Eternal Hydra (Crows); Arigato Tokyo, Blasted (Buddies in Bad Times); Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me (Adeona Productions); Pride and Prejudice (Geva Theatre); The Heart of Robin Hood (Royal MTC/ Mirvish); I Just Stopped By to See the Man (Steppenwolf). Film and TV coaching highlights include: Special Correspondents (Eric Bana and cast), The Expanse (Thomas Jane and cast), 12 Monkeys (Kirk Acevedo and cast), Take This Waltz (Sarah Silverman, Michelle Williams), The Orphan (Isabelle Fuhrman), Lost Girl, Normal (Tom Wilkinson). Eric is an Associate Professor at York University’s Dept. of Theatre, where he teaches voice, speech, accents and classical text.
YUAN LIU - Mandarin Chinese Dialect Coach Dr. Yuan Liu was the dialect coach for the North American premiere of Chimerica at Studio Theatre in Washington, DC. She has lectured extensively in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Dr. Lui was trained as a neuroscientists but always kept a place in her heart for theatre. She is thrilled to join Chimerica. 11
THE TIANANMEN SQUARE PROTESTS: A COMPREHENSIVE TIMELINE
April 26 EDITORIAL DENOUNCES THE STUDENTS
The spring of 1989 saw the largest pro-democracy demonstration in “The Necessity for a Clear Stand the history of China’s communist Against Turmoil” appears in regime. The protests began in the state-run newspaper, the April among university students in People’s Daily. This editorial Beijing, spread across the nation, accuses students of wanting and ended on June 4 with a final to overthrow the communist deadly assault by an estimated government, which sets off more force of 300,000 soldiers from the demonstrations in other cities. People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Throughout the demonstration, May 5–12 China’s leaders were deeply Tension escalates within the Party, divided over how to handle the unrest, with one faction advocating which wants the students out of the Square before Soviet Party peaceful negotiation and another Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev’s demanding a crackdown. historic visit to Beijing.
May 13 Hunger Strike
About 160 students begin a hunger strike in Tiananmen Square, citing the government’s failure to respond to their requests for dialogue. Their hunger strike draws broad public support.
APRIL 17–22 UNREST SPREADS Tens of thousands of university students begin gathering in Tiananmen Square, Beijing. They come to mourn the death of Hu Yoabang, former General Secretary of the Communist Party. Hu symbolized anti-corruption and political reform. In his name, students call for freedom of the press and other reforms. Students organize into unofficial student unions – an illegal act in China.
May 15 “Loss of Face” Mikhail Gorbachev arrives in Beijing for the first Sino-Soviet summit since 1959, but the hunger strike forces the government to cancel plans to welcome him in Tiananmen Square.
May 16 Divided Politburo More than 3,000 people are now participating in the hunger strike.
May 19 Martial Law Declared Students learn of a government plan to declare martial law and call off their hunger strike. They stage a mass sit-in in Tiananmen Square that draws about 1.2 million supporters. That evening, Premier Li Peng appears on state television to declare martial law.
May 20 – June 1 The Army is Sent into Beijing For the first time in 40 years of communist rule, the PLA troops attempt to occupy Beijing. Over the next week, the demonstrations continue, and Beijing operates with no real police presence and with a virtually free press.
June 2 Party elders approve the decision to clear the Square with military force.
June 3 The Assault Begins As word spreads that hundreds of thousands of troops are approaching from all four corners of the city, Beijingers flood the streets, setting up barricades. The soldiers start firing on the unarmed civilians with AK-47s loaded with battlefield ammunition. An untold number of people are killed.
June 4 The Massacre Continues The PLA reaches Tiananmen Square. The soldiers have been told not to open fire, but they have also been told that they must clear the Square by 6 am with no exceptions. The
students begin to vacate the area but, later that morning, some try to re-enter Tiananmen Square. The soldiers order them to leave and, when they don’t, open fire, taking down dozens of people at a time. The Chinese Red Cross initially reported 2,600 fatalities but quickly retracted that figure under intense pressure from the government. The official Chinese government figure is 241 dead, including soldiers, and 7,000 wounded.
June 5 A Moment That Fascinated the World By the morning of June 5, the army is in complete control of Beijing. But when all protest in the city seems silenced, the world witnessed one final act of defiance. About midday, as a column of tanks slowly moves along Chang’an Boulevard toward Tiananmen Square, an unarmed young man carrying shopping bags suddenly steps out in front of the tanks. Instead of running over him, the first tank tries to go around, but the young man steps in front of it again. They repeat this manoeuvre several more times before the tank stops and turns off its motor. The young man climbs on top of the tank and speaks to the driver before jumping back down again. The young man is whisked to the side of the road by an unidentified group of people and disappears into the crowd. To this day, who he was and what became of him remains a mystery. Adapted and condensed from the Canadian Stage Chimerica Study Guide and the PBS Frontline episode “In Memory of Tiananmen 1989.” 13
Chimerica by the numbers People
Population Number of people
access Percentage of population
Worldwide native speakers of Chinese (all varieties): 1.39 billion Worldwide native speakers of English: 527 million
united states 276.6
China ranked #176 out of 180 countries on the 2015 Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index, which measures media independence and respect for the safety and freedom of journalists. The United States was #49. (Canada was #8.)
Global CO2 Emissions Percentage of world total United States: 14.5% China: 27.6% Number of Americans learning Chinese
Number of Chinese learning English
1. United States Census Bureau 2. The Washington Post, The Asia Society 3. Reporters Without Borders 4. Global Carbon Atlas 5. The World Bank 6. CIA World Factbook, The World Bank, US Treasury Department 7. Pew Research Center, Global Attitudes Survey 2015
economy gdp growth 2005â€“2014 Percentage
China The World United States
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Labour force 6 Number of people
unemployment 6 Percentage of population United States: 6.2% China: 4.1% US National Debt 6 As of August 2015: $18.2 trillion The top creditor is China, which owns $1.261 trillion worth.
Will China replace the United States as the global superpower? (Or has it already?) 7
Originally published by Studio Theatre (Washington, DC) to accompany their North American premiere of Chimerica (September 9 â€“ October 18, 2015). Adapted and edited by Royal MTC. 15
16.17 season This is now. This is 416.368.3110
Jack Charles, photo: Bindi Cole
Heart-stopping Genre-defying Thought-provoking