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Jul. 7, 2020 | Tuesday
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Say hello to the Shaw’s new intern artistic director
Actor Kimberley Rampersad is now intern artistic director at the Shaw Festival. Submitted photo


One of the loveliest aspects of working at the Shaw Festival is becoming a part of the community.

I enjoy the elegant nod with residents walking their furry companions as I walk off my wheels of cheese down the beautiful streets. I cherish speaking with my neighbour Miss Lili as she tends to her beloved garden whenever she can, before I snatch a beautiful blossom to don in my hair a la Moya O’Connell on an opening night. I value singing in the pews at “my” church and not just for my supper on stage.

I get a kick out of hearing critiques, criticism and compliments about what we are doing at the Shaw Festival, especially as I am purchasing more wheels of cheese to motivate future walks and excursions to the gym. Truly.

At first I was surprised by the conversations. When people would approach me, I wasn’t sure what gave me away as an ensemble member of the Shaw Festival.

Perhaps it was because back when I started four years ago I looked like a dancer, and therefore an actor. My second year? Likely because I was devouring scripts as I tried to stay erect on the elliptical.

Last year maybe it was because I had enough Shaw swag to outfit the entire company. This year, I hope conversation continues to come my way, as I have a new position here as the intern artistic director.

I believe so many of you care about us and our activities because we are a part of your community and I know we wish to continue to be as valued to you as you are to us.

Theatre is a community-building exercise, but not by intent. The community part is a byproduct so to speak, one of many, just as theatre enriches education, stimulates creativity and awakens empathy.

These are blessed results, but not the reason we do it. The reason to make theatre is to make excellent theatre. We are in pursuit of excellence and, with that pursuit, the most noble secondaries come to bear. Indeed, we like the secondary, as it can be measured and society is in the business of quantifying the goodness of anything in order to justify it, to fund it, to support it.

But it is the act of someone wanting to respond to the theatre we are making here at Shaw which is our reason for doing it.

And I am so glad to listen and speak about it with you. Please stop me and say hello.