Thursday, January 29, 2009


Visiting Fu-GEN Theatre on Thursday night felt, in many ways, like coming home.  Not because Randy and I were getting in touch with our Asian-Canadian roots (...we have none...) but because we felt a lot of empathy for the way this company works and the kind of work they create.  With only a few paid staff members it's clear they're all working far more than anyone is getting paid for, (sound familiar?), but it's an incredibly nice group of people, full of talented artists, making really unique work.  (Hopefully this too sounds familiar to our blog readers, but I'll let you guys be the judge of that.)  

Fu-Gen is a six year old company dedicated to telling the stories of the Asian-Canadian community in Toronto.  The play we saw, LADY IN A RED DRESS, was a new play about the Head-Tax and Exclusion Act issued against Chinese Immigrants from the 1920's to the 1940's, but with a generous helping of magic and all things other-worldy.  (I'm sure their website 
describes it much better than I have so click the 
link, and when you do be sure to watch they animated trailers they've created for this pieces.  They're really beautiful.)

Our stellar host for the evening was Byron, the Company Producer. He very generously invited us to join them for the show and Opening night celebration.  We were able to meet everyone from the Artistic Director to the designers, the playwright, the staff and even some Board Members.  It was a really lovely evening and pleasure to meet everyone at Fu-GEN.  It's really heartening to know just how similar things are wherever you go.  We share so many of the same struggles and the same thrills when our work really succeeds as theirs did on Thursday night.

The space they performed in, The Young Center, also at the Distillery District is definitely worth a mention.  It's a relatively new arts center with several performance venues, generally used by itinerant young companies (like the Atlas or DCAC in DC).  It has a great bar and cafe and beautiful architecture.  It's a really fantastic venue.


Danny Gavigan said...

Wow fu-GEN almost seems like an identical long lost twin to you guys
congrats on this I'm glad you guys are shrinking the world up there

The Trendy Tailor said...

You do have Asian-Canadian! (my family is canadian and i'm asian...just don't tell jessi)