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Studio Theatre
August 5 – September 24 |
Opens August 19
Drama

THE KOMAGATA MARU INCIDENT

by Sharon Pollock
Director Keira Loughran

A POLITICAL STORM WITH NO PORT

In 1914, a shipload of emigrants from the British Raj were denied entry to Vancouver, then Canada’s most diverse city. The play exposes the cost not only to those newcomers but also to existing minority residents who struggled to find their place amid the systemic racism of the era.

Audience Advisory »

Production Sponsor 

SikhFoundation

Production support is generously provided by the late Bunny Skelly.

Support for the 2017 season of the Studio Theatre is generously provided by Sandra & Jim Pitblado.

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CAST & CREATIVE

    Omar Alex Khan
    William Hopkinson
    2017: Sempronius in Timon of Athens, Trip in The School for Scandal and William Hopkinson in The Komagata Maru Incident. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: As You Like It, Titus Andronicus  (Canadian Stage/Shakespeare in High Park); Glengarry Glen Ross, The Seafarer, Romeo and Juliet,Black Coffee (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre); The Kite Runner (Theatre Calgary/Citadel); Richard III,The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare in the Ruins); Three Sisters, Iceland (Theatre Projects Manitoba); Betrayal (Winnipeg Jewish Theatre); Pygmalion (Montgomery/Watermark); Moonlight and Magnolias (Prairie Theatre Exchange); The Wanderers (Cahoots). Film/TV: The Strain,Remedy, Killjoys, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, Less Than Kind, Jack, Wrath of Grapes: Don Cherry II.Online: omaralexkhan.com; @omaralexkhan. Et cetera: Thank you to the Pussycat, for everything.
    Quelemia Sparrow
    T.S.
    2017: Member of the Bakkhai in Bakkhai and T.S. in The Komagata Maru Incident. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Freya in The Snow Queen (Globe); Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town (Osimous); Angeline in The Edward Curtis Project (GCTC/NAC); Melantho/Various in The Penelopiad (Arts Club); Johnna in August: Osage County (Arts Club); Annabelle in Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout (Firehall); Christine in Where the Blood Mixes (Playhouse/WCT). Film/TV: Clouds of Autumn, Fringe, V, Sanctuary 2, Blackstone, Unnatural and Accidental, Da Vinci's City Hall, Cable Beach, Dead Zone, Da Vinci's Inquest. Training: Studio 58. Awards: Jessie Richardson award for Our Town, Osimous; Leo Award, best guest appearance, for Da Vinci's Inquest. Online:  quelemiasparrow.com. Et cetera: Quelemia would like to thank her family for their love and support.
    Kiran Ahluwalia
    Woman
    2017: Woman in The Komagata Maru Incident. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Kiran Ahluwalia is an award-winning vocalist and composer. Her discography, now six albums deep, has earned her two Junos, two Canadian Folk Awards and the U.K.'s Songlines Award. In her compositions and recordings, she has created a style uniquely her own, fusing Indian musical roots with African desert blues and jazz. Apart from her own recordings, she has lent her voice to many movie scores including the Oscar-winning documentary Saving Face and the documentary Continuous Journey - an award-winning film on the Komagata Maru directed by Ali Kazmi. Performing with her group she has captivated audiences worldwide at folk and jazz festivals and concert halls. She received her training in Indian music in Bombay and Hyderabad, India. Her newest album is Sanata: Stillness. Kiran's albums are available at the Stratford Festival Shop. Online: kiranmusic.com. Twitter: @KiranAhluwalia.
    Jasmine Chen
    Sophie
    2017: Member of the Bakkhai in Bakkhai and Sophie in The Komagata Maru Incident. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide..., Sweet Charity (Shaw Festival); Chimerica (Canadian Stage/RMTC); Yukonstyle (Talisman Theatre); Blue Planet (YPT); Synonym for Love (Volcano Theatre); Song for Tomorrow (MT Space/New Harlem); The Winter's Tale (Canadian Stage); Cabaret (Hart House). Film/TV: Ransom (CBS/Global); Defiance, Warehouse 13 (Syfy); Womanish (CBC); Parental Advisory (BravoFACT). Training: Ryerson Theatre School. Awards: RBC Arts Professional Award, Future Generation Award, Lou Taube Award, George Merner Excellence in Speech Award. Online: msjasminechen.com. Et cetera: Jasmine would like to thank her family for their unwavering love and support.
    Tyrone Savage
    Georg
    2017: Flaminius in Timon of Athens, Joseph Surface in The School for Scandal and Georg in The Komagata Maru Incident. Sixth season. Stratford: George Hastings (She Stoops to Conquer), Simon Bliss (Hay Fever), Lorenzo (The Merchant of Venice), Tybalt (Romeo and Juliet), Claudio (Much Ado About Nothing), The Diary of Anne Frank, Oedipus Rex, Alice Through the Looking-Glass, Three Musketeers, Henry V,  Grapes of Wrath.Elsewhere: Co-creator, director and actor in the Toronto Theatre Critics/Dora Award-winning Chasse-Galerie,Stag and Doe (Neptune Theatre); Plucked (SummerWorks); Wait Until Dark, Howie the Rookie, The Zoo Story (Storefront/Red One Theatre); The Bear, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, Arcadia, A Musical Called Robin Hood. Directing: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Shrew (Red One). Film/TV: Reign, Wind at My Back, Instant Star, Total Drama Island, RedwallTraining: Birmingham Conservatory, Circle in the Square. Online: Twitter: @savageuponavon.
    Diana Tso
    Evy
    2017: Member of the Bakkhai in Bakkhai and Evy in The Komagata Maru Incident. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Feng Meihui and Ming Xiaoli in Chimerica (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre/Canadian Stage); Jade in the Coal (Pangaea Arts); TAXI Project (PENCanada); Quarry (Western Canada Theatre); The Concubine's Children (Theatre One); Chekhov Shorts, Dante's Inferno (Theatre Smith-Gilmour). Playwright: Comfort, Red Snow (Red Snow Collective). Creator/storyteller: Monkey Queen, Journey to the East. Film/TV: XIII: Series 2, The Border. Radio/Recordings: National Film Board's China 2000BC, CBC's The Passionate Eye, CBC's The Handmaid's Tale.Training: Ecole Internationale de Théâtre de Jacques Lecoq and Honours BA in Literature at the University of Toronto. Awards: Dora Award for Ensemble Performance in andby the way, Miss… (URGE/Theatre Direct). Online: redsnowcollective.ca. Et cetera: Deep gratitude to my family and friends for their love and faith on my incredible life journeys.
    Sharon Pollock
    Playwright

    Playwright of The Komagata Maru Incident

    Sharon Pollock's stage plays are produced throughout Canada and abroad. She writes for radio and television, has directorial credits at theatres across the country, and has led playwriting and theatre workshops within and outside Canada. Her awards include a Canada Australia Literary Award for her body of work, Nellie Award for National Radio Drama, Golden Sheaf Television Award and Japan Foundation Award, and she is an Officer of the Order of Canada. She is the recipient of two Governor General's Literary Awards for Drama and is a three-time winner of the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Drama Award. From 2006 to 2015 she served as dramaturge and artistic consultant with the Atlantic Ballet Company of Canada. Her latest play, Blow Wind High Water, will open Theatre Calgary's 50th anniversary 2017-18 season.

    Keira Loughran
    Director
     2017: Director of The Komagata Maru Incident. Associate Producer, The Forum and Laboratory. 14th season. Stratford: Director: The Aeneid. Actor: Coriolanus, King John, Timon of Athens, Cymbeline. Other: assistant director, choreographer, production dramaturge. Elsewhere: Directing: Titus Andronicus (Canadian Stage), Pu-Erh (K'Now Theatre - Dora nomination), The Emancipation of Miss Lovely (Ngozika Productions), Little Dragon (SummerWorks Festival), Serious (Bare-Arse Productions). Artistic Producer of the SummerWorks Festival, 2005-2007. Founding Artistic Director of K'Now Theatre. Keira has been pushing the boundaries of Canadian theatre for over 20 years as an actor, director, dramaturge and playwright with companies across Canada, notably Theatre Passe Muraille, Nightwood Theatre, Young People's Theatre and numerous independent companies and artists. Training: BFA, University of Alberta; 2005 Birmingham Conservatory. Awards (selected): Derek F. Mitchell Artistic Director's Award (2015). Et cetera: For my two grandmothers, each a formidable woman in her own way.
    Joanna Yu
    Set Designer
     2017: Costume designer of The Breathing Hole and set designer of The Komagata Maru Incident. Sixth season. Stratford: Designer: The Aeneid. Assistant designer: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Wanderlust,The Misanthrope, Peter Pan, The Merry Wives of Windsor,Bartholomew Fair. Elsewhere: Recently: Butcher (Mirvish/Why Not Theatre); James and the Giant Peach (YPT); Passing Strange (Acting Up Stage/Obsidian); Millennial Malcontent, Sequence, The Circle (Tarragon); acquiesce (Factory/fu-Gen); Enchanted Loom (Cahoots/Factory); Freedom Singer (Project: Humanity); Body Politic (Buddies in Bad Times/Lemon Tree); We are Proud to Present... (Theatre Centre). Online: joannayudesign.com. Training: Theatre Production and Design, York University. Et cetera: Joanna was born in Hong Kong, raised in Thornhill, and is happy to call Toronto home.
    Jackie Chau
    Costume Designer
    2017: Costume designer of The Komagata Maru Incident. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Sexy Laundry (Theatre Aquarius); Romeo and Juliet (Canadian Stage); KISS (ARC/Theatre Smash/Canadian Stage); Almighty Voice and His Wife, HUFF (NEPA); Cannibal the Musical (Starvox Entertainment); Cowboy Versus Samurai, 39 Steps (Soulpepper); Twist Your Dickens (Second City Chicago/Toronto). Film/TV: Production designer for The Ache (Wondrous Light Inc.); Inside, The Beard (Rabid Pictures Inc.); The Trip (Ethereal Films); Mini Me Makeover, designer and co-host (CBC Kids); commercials for Shaw, Rogers, BMO. Training: Siena Art School, BFA (Concordia University), MFA (Northwestern University). Awards: Five Dora nominations for outstanding set design.
    Itai Erdal
    Lighting Designer
    2017: Lighting designer of The Breathing Hole and The Komagata Maru Incident. Sixth season. Stratford: Titus Andronicus, The Best Brothers, Hirsch, Elektra, The Thrill, Taking Shakespeare, Mother Courage, The Aeneid. Elsewhere: The Day Before Christmas, The Valley, She Stoops to Conquer, Intimate Apparel, Blue Box, Billy Bishop Goes to War (Arts Club); Where the Blood Mixes, A Christmas Carol, Vincent in Brixton (Vancouver Playhouse); The Idiot, Crime and Punishment, My Name is Rachel Corrie (Neworld Theatre); Stickboy (Vancouver Opera); Sherlock Holmes (Starvox, U.S. tour). Awards: Three Jessie Richardson Awards, Dora Award, Dublin Fringe Design Award, Victoria's Critics' Choice Spotlight Award, ADC's Jack King Award. Online: itaierdal.com; theelbow.ca. Et cetera: Itai's one-man show How to Disappear Completely (The Chop) has toured to 21 cities. It won the direction award at the 2013 SummerWorks Festival. Itai is the artistic director of The Elbow Theatre in Vancouver.
    Kiran Ahluwalia
    Composer

    2017: Woman in and composer of The Komagata Maru Incident. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Kiran Ahluwalia is an award-winning vocalist and composer. Her discography, now six albums deep, has earned her two Junos, two Canadian Folk Awards and the U.K.'s Songlines Award. In her compositions and recordings, she has created a style uniquely her own, fusing Indian musical roots with African desert blues and jazz. Apart from her own recordings, she has lent her voice to many movie scores including the Oscar-winning documentary Saving Face and the documentary Continuous Journey - an award-winning film on the Komagata Maru directed by Ali Kazmi. Performing with her group, she has captivated audiences worldwide at folk and jazz festivals and concert halls. She received her training in Indian music in Bombay and Hyderabad, India. Her newest album is Sanata: Stillness. Kiran's albums are available at the Stratford Festival Shop. Online: kiranmusic.com. Twitter: @KiranAhluwalia. 

    Suba Sankaran
    Sound Designer
    2017: Sound designer of The Komagata Maru Incident. Second season.
    John Stead
    Fight Director
     2017: Fight director of Twelfth NightGuys and Dolls, HMS PinaforeRomeo and Juliet, Timon of AthensTreasure IslandThe School for ScandalThe Changeling, BakkhaiThe Virgin Trial, Tartuffe, The Breathing Hole, The Madwoman of Chaillot and The Komagata Maru Incident24th season. Stratford: Fight director, 200+ productions. Elsewhere: 500+ productions, including 16 seasons with Shaw Festival. Film Director: Cyborg Soldier, Troubled Waters, Good Morning Tomorrow, The Waking, The Hot Flash, End Game, Charon's Obal. TV Director: Dark Matter, Bitten, The Bobby Buck Show, XIII, Lost Girl, Earth: Final Conflict, Tracker, Mutant X, The Dresden Files, The Adventures of Sinbad. 400+ film/TV credits as stunt coordinator/action director. Awards: Award of Excellence (Canadian International Film Festival); Genre Award for Best Suspense (BNFF); Derek F. Mitchell Artistic Director's Award, Tyrone Guthrie Award (Stratford); Judges' Choice Award (15 Minutes of Fame International Film Festival); Best Short Award nominee (Directors' Guild of Canada). Online: johnstead.com; IMDB: imdb.com/name/nm0824093/.
    Anita Nittoly
    Associate Fight Director
    2017: Associate fight director of Twelfth NightGuys and Dolls, HMS Pinafore, Romeo and Juliet, Timon of AthensTreasure IslandThe School for ScandalThe Changeling, Bakkhai and The Virgin Trial Second season. Stratford: Assistant fight director: The Three Musketeers, Romeo and Juliet, Fiddler on the Roof, Blithe Spirit, Othello, Measure for Measure, Mary Stuart. Film/TV: Lead stunt double in Dark Matter, stunt actor in KIN; other stunt credits include 12 Monkeys, Ransom, Reign, The Strain. Elsewhere: Fight director and stage combat instructor at the National Theatre School in Montreal.
    Marie Farsi
    Assistant Director
    2017: Assistant director of The Komagata Maru Incident. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: Marie is Co-Artistic Director of Babelle Theatre (Vancouver) as well as a director, puppeteer and producer. Babelle directing credits include All My Friends are Animals (upcoming); Movements 1 and 2, Seabird is in a Happy Place (OOB Short Play Festival/N.Y.C.); Rivulets: 3 Short Plays about a Flood (seven Jessie Richardson Award nominations including Outstanding Direction and Production, Small Theatre). Other directing credits include Crème-Glacée (Théâtre La Seizième); John & Beatrice (Vortex Theatre); The 4th Graders Present an Unnamed Love-Suicide (Tremors Festival/Rumble Theatre). Training: Concordia University; puppetry (Clea Minaker/Banff Centre); shadow puppetry (Wayang Kulit) and Balinese dance; Chinese opera (National Academy of Theatre Arts/Beijing). Awards: Prix Power Corporation du Canada (Fondation pour l'avancement du théâtre Francophone au Canada). Online: mariefarsi.com, babelletheatre.com.
    Kelly Luft
    Stage Manager
    2017: Stage manager of The Komagata Maru Incident. Stratford debut. Elsewhere: The Grand Theatre, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Canadian Opera Company, Opera Hamilton, Edmonton Opera, Opera Atelier, The Canadian Stage Company, Tapestry Music Theatre, Drayton Entertainment, Theatre Plus, Lighthouse Festival Theatre, Bluewater Summer Playhouse. Et cetera: Much love to her boys, Jesse and Maclean.
    Kimberly Brown
    Assistant Stage Manager
    2017: Assistant stage manager of Bakkhai and The Komagata Maru Incident. Third season. Stratford: Assistant stage manager of A Chorus Line, Bunny, The Diary of Anne Frank and She Stoops to Conquer. Elsewhere: Jack of Diamonds (Theatre Aquarius); The Heart of Robin Hood (Mirvish Productions/Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre); Footloose, South Pacific, Twist and Shout (Drayton Entertainment). Training: Technical Theatre Production, Sheridan College. Et cetera: Kimberly would like to thank Alex for all his love and support and for always knowing that anything was within her reach.
    Katie Honek
    Assistant Stage Manager

    2017: Assistant stage manager of Timon of Athens, The Changeling and The Komagata Maru Incident. Fourth season. Stratford: Assistant stage manager of As You Like It and John Gabriel Borkman. Apprentice stage manager of Alice Through the Looking-Glass and A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Chamber Play. Production assistant of the Avon Theatre and of the 2013 Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction Directors' Workshop Presentation. Elsewhere: Assistant stage manager: Tafelmusik; Dance Weekend 2013-2015 (Dance Ontario); Treehouse TV's Big Day Out (Paquin Entertainment). Apprentice stage manager: Wormwood, Sextet (Tarragon Theatre); Pirates of Penzance, Tuesdays with Morrie (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Orpheus & Eurydice (Opera Atelier); Free Outgoing (Nightwood Theatre). Awards: Jean A. Chalmers Apprentice Achievement Award (2014).

    Meghan Callan
    Production Stage Manager
    2017: Production stage manager of the Studio Theatre and stage manager of The Virgin Trial. 17th season. Stratford: Meghan has worked on many productions including A Little Night Music, The Physicists, A Midsummer Night's Dream (2014), Tommy, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Tempest (2010). Elsewhere: Meghan enjoyed working across Canada for the Shaw Festival, Atlantic Theatre Festival, Theatre New Brunswick, NAC, Citadel Theatre, Globe Theatre and Lighthouse Festival Theatre. She has also worked in stage management for corporate clients such as General Motors, Toyota Canada, the Retail Council of Canada and the Canadian International Auto Show. Training: BFA, York University. Et cetera: Much love and respect to Beatrice, Ella and Peter for making her happy.

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