New Live Online Programming

Persephone Theatre Launches its New Live Online Programming with Virtual Tour of 1 Hour Photo from Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre

Live Online is Persephone Theatre’s latest offering that will connect audiences with online performances, artistic conversations, and special events. As one of Live Online’s first pieces of programming, Persephone presents 1 Hour Photo April 8—18 before continuing its virtual tour of theatres across Canada. Written and performed by Tetsuro Shigematsu, 1 Hour Photo is the story of Mas Yamamoto, a man whose life was swept up by the major currents of the 20th century. From growing up in a fishing village on the banks of the Fraser River, to being confined at a Japanese Canadian internment camp during World War II, to helping build the Distant Early Warning Line in the Canadian Arctic during the height of the Cold War, 1 Hour Photo is a moving portrait saturated with the most vivid colours of our times.

Originally scheduled as a venue-based tour in the 2020-21 season (including a stop at Persephone), vACT collaborated with Vancouver-based film production company, Brightlight Pictures, to produce a high quality, 70 minute cinematic adaptation of the show. Speaking about Persephone’s new online programming, General Manager Kristen Dion says, “We were saddened to not be able to present 1 Hour Photo in our venue; it’s such a stellar show and Tetsuro is a gifted storyteller who loves connecting with people. So when vACT’s Producing Artistic Director Donna Yamamoto told me they found a solution for doing the show digitally, and could still connect with our audiences through live post-show talkbacks, we were thrilled to make it happen!”

Yamamoto adds, “Our theatre/film hybrid came about when I was trying to figure out a way of filming our touring show 1 Hour Photo that had the quality of Hamilton (the film adaptation) and the feel of a live audience by bringing them into a conversation with the playwright at the end of each show. This 70 minute show is an uplifting & poignant tale of my 93 year old father’s incredible life. The show asks the question: what is a good life? These days aren’t we all asking ourselves that? You will laugh and you will cry – it is a riveting story that will keep you glued to the screen.”

Though the high quality recorded performance will ensure audiences have the most dynamic online experience, Shigematsu adds that the live talkbacks will be key for creating those post-show connections with artists. “Usually, talkbacks only happen a couple of times in a run, but this time I’ll be able to spend time with audience members after EACH performance. So if people just want to hang out and listen, ask a question, or just have a conversation, I’m really looking forward to it. Plus, in all my touring, Persephone has become my all-time favorite theatre, and I have such good feelings about Saskatoon, so this will feel like a homecoming to me.”

PREVIOUS PRESS

1 Hour Photo animates an extraordinary life with vivid props and projections…the play is a buffet of sensory textures” — Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight

“I heard people crying …. delivered such an emotional punch” — Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail

“Central to it all is Shigematsu himself… He charms us with his storytelling and his playfulness”— Jo Ledingham, joledingham.ca

ARTISTIC CREDITS
Playwright/Performer Tetsuro Shigematsu, Director Richard Wolfe, Stage Manager Susan Miyagishima, Production Manager / TD Adrian Muir, Set Designer Pam Johnson, Lighting Designer Gerald King, Assistant Lighting Designer Harika Xu, Sound Designer/Composer Steve Charles, Video Designer Jamie Nesbitt, Model and Miniature Designer Susan Miyagishima, Costume Designer Laura Fukumoto, Costume Design Mentor Barbara Clayden, Dramaturg Heidi Taylor, Audio Dramaturg Yvonne Gall, Virtual Tour Host June Fukumura.

TICKET AND ONLINE VIEWING INFORMATION

April 8—18 at 7:30pm, Tickets: $20 (including GST) available at tickets.persephonetheatre.org or by calling the Box Office at 306-384-7727. Purchase confirmation emails include a link and to join the event. Only one ticket purchase is required for each viewing device.

For more information on how to view a Live Online event, visit persephonetheatre.org/live-online

MEDIA CONTACT
Marketing Associate, Olivia Swerhorne-Wick olivia.s@persephonetheatre.org

ABOUT VANCOUVER ASIAN CANADIAN THEATRE
(vACT) Founded in 2001, Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre is only one of two professional companies in Canada whose mandate focuses on Asian Canadian theatre artists, and one of the only diversely mandated companies committed to creating new Canadian work. A central part of their mission is working to subvert the stereotype that Asian Canadians constitute a monolithic community. Central to how they dismantle this perception is through the unpacking and exploration of the iridescent diversity that can be found within Asian Canadian communities. This approach directly informs how they seek out, develop and curate both our play development and mainstage programming. Not only is there a wide range of nations or cultures within the Asian Canadian community, further to that, there is even more diversity to be found within each community in and of themselves. vAct operates on the traditional, unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

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