Breaking Through launches into rehearsal at the end of this month. Leading the team of this world premiere is director, Kevin Klassen. We’re pleased to turn the spotlight on Kevin in this week’s blog.
Kevin Klassen is thrilled and grateful to be working with Sarasvàti on this challenging play, and with this exciting collection of artists. His directing credits include: JONNO, Dr. Kellogg’s System, Lulu: A Monster Tragedy, Le Grand-Guignol Sur La Prairie, MissAdventurous Perils of Pauline, Poet And The Rent (Echo Theatre); Dog Act (Nancan Boogie Productions) and Merry Wives of Windsor (SIR). He is currently developing an immersive theatrical adventure called Dracula Unearthed for Echo Theatre, to be experienced at the Dalnavert Museum this coming Halloween!
How would you describe yourself as a director?
I consider it my job as director to help create on stage what the playwright is trying to put on the page. That leap of imagination is the primary task, and then helping to lead and facilitate that leap for everyone else involved: especially the audience. Ensuring that what the audience experiences is as much as possible what the collaborating artists intend.
What was the impetus for directing Breaking Through?
I was honoured and flattered to be asked in the first place, and after reading the script I felt that I understood what Cairn and Hope were after, and that I had something to offer in terms of bringing it across to an audience in an entertaining, meaningful way. It tickled my imagination.
What about the script excites you?
I think that the challenges faced by people who are affected by mental illness is a very important subject. I think the play does a very good job of balancing the serious realities of this issue with playful and creative methods of storytelling- it’s got a robust strain of humour and a rather bold theatricality.
If you could say one thing to the Artist who inspired you most, who would it be? And what would you say?
Choosing one is hard. I’ll choose the person who had the most direct impact on my sense of myself as an artist: Reg Skene. And I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to say thank you.
What do you hope the audience will be talking about on the car ride home from Breaking Through?
I hope they talk about how glad they are that they came, how much there is to consider when dealing with mental health issues, and how crucial it is to our society that we tackle these issues with compassion and intelligence and imagination- even if it means that some people have to pay a little more in taxes.
Breaking Through runs May 23-38, 2017 at the Asper Centre for Theatre & Film.