Empire of the Son
Two Generations And The Silence Between Them
Through a series of audio interviews, playwright Tetsuro Shigematsu discovers vast worlds contained within his emotionally remote father - from the ashes of World War II and Hiroshima to swinging London in the 1960s and work in broadcasting at the BBC. As the playwright learns about how his own father was once a son, he realizes all the ways in which he himself needs to step up and become a better dad. This funny, poignant story of one immigrant family and their intergenerational conflicts reminds us that no matter how far we journey out into the world to find ourselves - across decades and continents - we never stop being our parents' children.
A Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre production
Artistic Producer: DONNA YAMAMOTO
Original Concept Dramaturgy: RICHARD WOLFE*
Dramaturg: HEIDI TAYLOR
Set Design: PAM JOHNSON
Lighting Design: GERALD KING
Technical Director/Lighting Director: JEFF HARRISON
Costume Design: BARBARA CLAYDEN
Sound Design: STEVE CHARLES
Audio Dramaturg: YVONNE GALL
Video Design: Consultant: REMY SIU
*With the generous support of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
Exquisite. I'm telling all of the people I love most to see this show ...
... a celebration of the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Empire of the Son is understated perfection.
Cast & Creative Team
- Tetsuro ShigematsuWriter and Performer×Tetsuro ShigematsuWriter and Performer
For more than 20 years, Tetsuro Shigematsu has been telling stories across an array of media. A former writer for CBC Television’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes, in 2004, he became the first person-of-colour to host a daily national radio program in Canada when he took over The Roundup on CBC Radio, where he co-wrote and co-produced nearly a thousand hours of network programming. His most recent theatre work, Empire of the Son, sold out its run before it opened and was named the best show of 2015 by the Vancouver Sun and the Georgia Straight and has toured across Canada including the National Arts Centre.
- Richard WolfeDirector/Original Concept Dramaturg×Richard WolfeDirector/Original Concept Dramaturg
Richard is multi-award winning director, dramaturg and specialist in contemporary theatre and performance. Recent Canadian premieres he's directed include: Long Division by Peter Dickinson, Genetic Drift by Amy Lee Lavoie, The Invisible Hand by Ayad Akhtar, Empire of the Son by Tetsuro Shigematsu and Inside the Seed by Jason Rothery. Other recent international plays include: Blasted by Sarah Kane, Romans in Britain by Howard Brenton, and Terminus by Mark O'Rowe. In all, shows he's directed have received over 65 Jessie nominations for excellence in Vancouver's professional theatre. Richard has been Artistic Director of Pi Theatre for the past eight years (richardwolfe.ca).
- Heidi TaylorDramaturg×Heidi TaylorDramaturg
Heidi Taylor is a Vancouver-based dramaturg, director and performer, and Artistic and Executive Director at PTC. She makes sited, devised, and interdisciplinary work, developing performances from first idea through production. Heidi collaborates with VACT on the MSG play development lab, and is dramaturg on Tetsuro Shigematsu’s next play, Suicide Forest, through PTC’s Associates program. Upcoming productions in 2017-18 include Quelemia Sparrow’s O’wet/Lost Lagoon, produced by Alley Theatre in association with Full Circle First Nations Performance at The Cultch. Heidi is Board Treasurer of the Literary Members and Dramaturgs of the Americas, and was the founding president of LMDA Canada.
- Pam JohnsonSet Design×Pam JohnsonSet Design
Pam is thrilled to be remounting Empire of the Son. This is Pam’s 37th year as a set designer since graduating from Studio 58. She has designed for, Bard on the Beach, Vancouver Playhouse, Arts Club, and Theatre Calgary, just to name a few. She is a multiple Jessie Award winner, along with a special Career Achievement Award.
- Gerald KingLighting Design×Gerald KingLighting Design
Gerald has designed lighting for many local Dance Theatre and Opera Companies. Some of those include: Ballet British Columbia, Bard on The Beach, The Vancouver Opera, Mitch and Murray, The Arts Club Theatre, The Playhouse Theatre Company, Kokoro Dance, Karen Jamieson Dance and Theatre for Living. Outside of Vancouver his work has been seen with The National Ballet of Canada, Theatre Calgary, The National Arts Centre, Pacific Opera Victoria, The Baltimore Opera, Cincinnati Playhouse, The Edmonton Opera, Opera Omaha, Western Canada Theatre and numerous others. Gerald has received a number of Awards for his Lighting Design and is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada.
- Barbara ClaydenCostume Design×Barbara ClaydenCostume Design
Barbara Clayden is a graduate of UBC with a BA in Fine Arts. She has been working as a theatre artist in Vancouver for over 30 years. Primarily designing costumes, she has worked with such companies as the Arts Club, Bard on the Beach, Blackbird Theatre, Carousel, Electric Company, Firehall Arts Centre, Mortal Coil, Patrick Street Productions, Pi Theatre, Presentation House, Rumble, Theatre Conspiracy and Theatre Replacement. Barbara has been nominated for over 15 Jessie Richardson Awards for her Costume Design and received a few along the way.
- Steve CharlesSound Design×Steve CharlesSound Design
Steve Charles is a composer and performer from Vancouver. Highlights include: Othello- Bard on the Beach, Love Bomb- Shameless Hussies, Urinetown- Firehall Arts Centre, Avenue Q- Arts Club, Brief Encounter- Playhouse/MTC, Dance Marathon- Bluemouth Inc., The French-Canadian talent show Galala on TV Unis and Pacifique en Chanson. He is a co-founder of the Escape Artists who produced Miss Shakespeare and J.Caesarin 2015 and he continues to perform in their show Chelsea Hotel in theatres across Canada. He tours internationally with bands The Fugitivesand Viper Central as a multi-instrumentalist and sound designer. He is very proud to be part of VACT's Empire of the Son artistic team. www.stevenjohncharles.com
- Yvonne GallAudio Dramaturg×Yvonne GallAudio Dramaturg
Yvonne Gall is an award-winning radio producer and journalist with 35 years experience, including 25 years at CBC Radio producing stories and content for all of CBC's flagship programs.
- Remy SiuVideo Design: Consultant×Remy SiuVideo Design: Consultant
( 蕭逸南 ) is a composer and new media artist based in Vancouver, BC. Recently, his work has involved the construction of automated and variable performance apparatuses that employ light, sound, software, and the body. He is interested in creating friction and stakes between the performer, the interface, and the system through the use of game mechanics and failure. His output spans chamber music, dance, theatre, installations, and audio-visual work.
- Carol MacdonaldProps Master×Carol MacdonaldProps Master
A Vancouver based Props Buyer-Builder-Finder-Hunter-Gatherer, Carol is thrilled to be dusting off her origami skills for this beautiful show, for which she and Remy Siu were co-nominated for a Jessie award. Upcoming productions: King Of The Yees and The Music Man for Gateway. Carol is a proud graduate of Studio 58’s Production Program and dedicates this, and all shows to Mom.
- Susan MiyagishimaStage Manager×Susan MiyagishimaStage Manager
Susan Miyagishima divides her time between production management, stage management, and props. Select credits include productions with Alley Theatre, Bard on the Beach, Bleeding Heart Theatre, Carousel Theatre, Electric Company, Gateway Theatre, Green Thumb Theatre, Neworld Theatre, Pacific Theatre, Pi Theatre, Presentation House, Ruby Slippers, Solo Collective, Theatre Under the Stars, Théâtre la Seizième, VACT, and Vancouver Playhouse. Other career highlights include Interim Production Manager at Studio 58, Wardrobe Venue Coordinator for the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening/Closing Ceremonies and Head Set Decorator for the independent feature film Eadweard. She has received a Jessie Award Nomination for Outstanding Stage Management and is a graduate of Studio 58.
- Jeff HarrisonTechnical Director/Lighting Director×Jeff HarrisonTechnical Director/Lighting Director
Jeff has over one hundred design credits both in Vancouver and internationally. Jeff is a graduate of SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts, attended the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts and is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada. Past design credits include: The Full Monty, Floyd Collins (Patrick St. Productions), Wizard of Oz, Cat in the Hat, Arthur: Boy King (Carousel Theatre), Blasted (Pi Theatre).
- Adrian MuirProduction Manager×Adrian MuirProduction Manager
Adrian is happy to be working on his first project with Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre. He has worked as a production manager, technical director and lighting designer with many local theatre companies. He teaches theatre production at Studio 58 and is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada.