Tag Archive | Soulpepper

Staff Profile – Cristina Rizzuto, Marketing Manager

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How long have you worked at Soulpepper and tell us a little bit about what your job consists of lately.
I have worked at Soulpepper for just over a year. As Marketing Manager, my role consists mostly of planning fiscal advertising campaigns, monitoring the marketing and communications budget, maintaining strong relationships with tourism, industry, advertising and community partners, and working with our team to plan and execute email, digital, and print marketing campaigns. I represent Soulpepper on the Toronto Attractions Council, and on the SOTUG (Southern Ontario Tessitura User Group).

What kinds of projects are you involved in outside of work?
Outside of work, I sit on the Board of Directors at Vaughan Public Libraries, and volunteer with a number of organizations, including the University of Toronto Alumni Association and Humanity First. I am also a writer, and have been published in various literary journals, magazines, and anthologies. My first book of poetry was published in 2012, and a few short stories will be published in an upcoming anthology of Italian-Canadian writers this year.

When you’re not at work, what are you doing?
Swimming, yoga, reading, spending time with loved ones, and exploring the city by foot are a few of my favourite activities. I also enjoy cooking and seasonal culinary traditions – ie. helping my father make wine and tomato sauce in the late summer, apple-picking in the fall.

What is something we would be surprised to know about you?
Every year, I endeavour to learn something new. In 2015, I wanted to learn something beautiful – so, I took up Spanish language courses. Last year, I completed the final course in the certificate. ¡Hola! This year, I am taking a course in neurobiology.

What do you love about working at Soulpepper?
I love working with a team of passionate, intelligent people, who inspire me daily. I love staff meetings and Opening Nights. I love creepily looking around the theatre at audience members reacting to a show we’ve all worked hard on for months. I love reaching the end of a performance, because the range of emotions I feel as a result of whatever is on stage reminds me of why I do what I do.

Five Questions for Miquelon Rodriguez

Five Questions for Miquelon Rodriguez, making his Soulpepper debut as Chester in Cowboy Versus Samurai

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How does it feel to join the Soulpepper Company?
Being a part of this show and this company has been unreal, so far. To say that “it’s a dream come true” wouldn’t even be accurate because I’ve never dreamed I’d get a chance to work with a company like Soulpepper. As an actor of colour, an opportunity of this magnitude is very rare for me and to be doing this show with this company definitely makes me feel the self-pressure to bring work that’s better than my best. But coming to work every day, knowing that this show IS my every day is amazing.

Tell us about your character in Cowboy Versus Samurai:
Chester is an oddball, to say the least, but he is passionate about his beliefs, even if they are controversial. And that translates into a very fun character to play. There are definitely some aspects to him to which I personally relate, and others that I couldn’t disagree with more, but all of it makes sense to this person trying to discover his identity. He’s described as militant and “Che Gueverran” and we’ve definitely explored that aspect of him, but we’ve also discovered a different, slightly unexpected edge to his demeanour and voice that has been hilarious and exciting to play. No spoilers though, you’ll have to see for yourself!

Tell us more about Cowboy Versus Samurai:
Ins Choi (Director of the show) and Jenna Rodgers (Artistic Director of Chromatic Theatre, Calgary) invited me to read this play almost three years ago and I fell in love with the script. I love the humour, the discussions about love and being the “other” and, of course, that it has a 75% Asian cast of characters! (Seriously, when’s the last time you saw Asian leads on stage in a rom-com?)

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What is it like working with Soulpepper Resident Artist Ins Choi?
Once upon a time in 2011, I was in a Toronto Fringe show called Shotgun Wedding. It was so popular that people lined up hours in advance to try to get tickets at the door. But the hype of it was a distant second to this other Fringe show called Kim’s Convenience. And that was my introduction to Ins: the guy who made the show that was outperforming my show. (In fact, patrons called us “Kim’s Convenience, Jr.”) But later that year, I was lucky enough to briefly work as an actor under his direction for another show. He’s a mentor I want to work with and learn from as much as possible. And I want to be Ins when I grow up! (If I ever grow up, that is.)

But seriously, Ins is so insightful, kind, and helpful, and it’s easy to work with him. He makes the process feel so inclusive and I think the way he conducts rehearsals really draws out the best work from all of us. Bringing this show to life truly feels like a collaborative effort with Ins. He has helped pave the way for actors like Rosie, Jonathan, and myself, and to be able to work with him is the actual dream come true.

What else do audiences need to know about Cowboy Versus Samurai?
Cowboy Versus Samurai is quirky, subversive, humorous and a lot of fun. It taps into some very real conversations about love and attraction that I think everyone has had at some point (especially those of us who have ever thought that they would never have a chance with that out-of-their-league “crush”). It explores how race affects love (and how it doesn’t) but in ways that are real and not preach-y.

And if you’ve ever wanted to see a big, goofy Filipino dude try to do his best Bruce Lee impression, this is the place to see it.

Cowboy Versus Samurai is on stage from January 26 to February 20. For tickets, visit www.soulpepper.ca.

Miquelon Rodriguez, photo: supplied. Cowboy Versus Samurai illustration: Gracia Lam.

Staff Profile: Paige Phillips – Development Officer

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How long have you worked at Soulpepper and what has your job consisted of lately?

I’ve just recently celebrated my one year anniversary as Development Officer here at Soulpepper! Our wee team of 5 is responsible for executing all the fundraising activity within the organization. With such an incredibly exciting and ambitious mission, Soulpepper requires the greatest support from our donors and I am happy to create and maintain those relationships.

When you’re not at work, what are you doing?

I’m the proud member of both a book club and a wonderful women’s choir called, Florivox! As I didn’t grow up here, the rest of my time is dictated by blogTO’s Top Ten lists as I discover and explore Toronto: Best Indian Food, Best Music Venues, Best…you get the idea.

What is something we might be surprised to know about you?

You might be surprised to know that besides my qualifications in Arts Management, I am a certified Doula and hope to one day run my own practice! I love helping women uncover their potential and new Mamas navigate their way into parenthood.

What do you love about working at Soulpepper?

In 2012, Soulpepper’s founding member Stuart Hughes helped me convince TJ Tasker, Director of Communications at the time, that his department needed an intern (Thanks Stu!). During those 4 months I worked in a tiny office at the back of the building, learning about public relations and reading article after article praising the recently produced Kim’s Convenience. I grew to love the company even more, a feat I didn’t think this possible. It was 2 and a half years before I had the chance to come back…well worth the wait. I am so incredibly proud to work for a theatre company that believes so strongly in maintaining its artistic integrity and taking risks that no one else is brave enough to dream, let alone accomplish. I’m more than excited to see what’s next and say that in some small way I was a part of it.

Paige Phillips, photo: Daniel Malavasi.