Broadway’s Chilina Kennedy on Thinking Outside the Theatre
Last Updated March 07, 2019
Eight times a week at New York’s Stephen Sondheim Theatre, Chilina Kennedy belts out the Carole King hit, “Natural Woman”. Kennedy is, after all, playing the iconic hitmaker in the Broadway musical Beautiful. As we arranged this interview, however, Chilina’s packing her bags for a few days off, at least from her Broadway gig.
About a year ago, Chilina decided to start a theatre company back home in Toronto. On Wednesday, March March 6th, 2019, Eclipse Theatre premieres a daring new production of the musical, Kiss of the Spider Woman. The show isn’t in a traditional theatre, however. It takes it’s bow in the historic Don Jail. Yup, with all the cells, iron bars, and even solitary confinement.
Here’s how they describe the show:
Set against the gritty world of Argentina’s Dirty War, the musical spins a harrowing tale of persecution, while straddling the two worlds of dark reality and colourful fantasy. Fuelled by his need to escape the harshness of prison life, Molina shares stories of the glamorous actress named Aurora. Through their unlikely union, these two characters change one another in unexpected and illuminating ways, as they grapple with politics, masculinity and the power of love over death.
The EzTix Interview
Before we talk Kiss, tell us about Eclipse, what it means to you, and why you decided to start a theatre company.
CK: I have always wanted to be a part of a new theatre company and forming Eclipse was also a great way to stay connected to my Canadian theatre community in a meaningful way. I love developing new work and fostering new ideas and talent. I also like to support partnerships between companies and across borders.
Is this something you always expected to do?
Never! Especially as an Artistic Producer. But I hoped one day I’d be creating new work in Canada.
Your production of Kiss of the Spider Woman takes the audience out of the comforts of a theatre into a historic jail. What was it like stepping into that space for the first time?
It was magical. It was also dark and made me think deeply about what it must have been like for inmates who were incarcerated there. Mounting the show in that space was our director Evan Tsitsias’ idea and it struck me as one of the most inspired creative moments I’ve experienced.
Because I believe theatre needs to be brave and exciting and we need to take risks as theatre makers. I want to give the public opportunities to get lost in not only the story, but to also feel completely captivated and immersed in the space itself, as if it was a character on it own.
You’ve worked with, and met, some incredible icons. But if you sit down for coffee with absolutely anyone in the world, who would it be, and what would you want to ask them?
That’s a tough one. There are so many! I would want to sit down with Joni Mitchell probably. I’m a huge fan of her work and her commitment to her art. I’d like to ask her questions about her life as a whole.
Any advice for others who want to make the jump into producing and creating their own experiences?
Do it. You may not know how to do it, but do it anyway, especially if you’re passionate about a project. And surround yourself with people who are smart and good at what they do so you can learn from them.
EzTix is proud to Partner with Eclipse Theatre and sponsor Kiss of the Spider Woman.
Activity Operator Confessions
Meet Christine, an activity operator with a couple problems. She’s working hard to keep guests happy while growing a tour business on her own, and it’s pretty tough. Visitors love her experiences, but she has a few big picture problems to tackle if she really wants to meet her goals. Connect with some guy […]Read More
Meet our new Director of Products
In many ways, Joe Martin isn’t new to EzTix. He’s lead our EzSites team and developed that platform from the ground up. As we looked to improve our other products, it was a no-brainer to ask him to bring his skills to the rest of EzTix. Booking platforms are technically all code and scripts, but […]Read More
New E-Certificate Upgrades
Out with the old, in with the new! Our E-certificates have undergone a facelift and learned some new tricks just in time for holiday giving. These additional features, combined with a polished new look are certain to enhance the online guest experience. So, whats new? New look We’ve given the E-Cert purchasing process a facelift. It will […]Read More
New Feature: Pay in Your Own Currency in EzBook
Usually I’m not a fan of acronyms, but PYOC makes me think of BYOB! In all seriousness, Pay in Your Own Currency helps improve the online experience for your international guests. Expenses when you’re travelling are always a bit of a mystery when you pull out the credit card. Varying exchange rates and added fees […]Read More
3 Steps to Meeting Your Guests’ Dietary Needs
Food tour operators already know they’ll have at least one guest on every experience with a dietary restriction or allergy. Dietary needs can range anywhere from a nut allergy to an intolerance to gluten. Here are three easy steps to making your tour an experience that everyone can enjoy. 1. Educate Yourself Research not only the […]Read More
The New Booking Process: Behind the Scenes
The new booking process is one of the key ways we’re improving the online guest experience. With new tools like packages, charity donations, and dietary alerts, we’ve made the system more robust while reducing the time it takes to complete a booking! Let’s go behind the scenes with designer Joe Martin, who also leads our […]Read More