MEET THE WRITERS | Agnes Tong
During this pause in our programming due to COVID-19, we'd like to introduce the fabulous writers who are currently developing new plays with us!
Today's artist: Agnes Tong!
Green Thumb audiences may know Agnes from her performances in NIGHT LIGHT and TAGGED. Agnes is currently developing a new piece for secondary school-aged students.
Agnes Tong is an actress, dancer, and emerging playwright based in Vancouver. Originally from Ottawa, Agnes moved out West to attend Studio 58 theatre school. Since graduating, Agnes has appeared on stages at the Arts Club, Gateway, the Cultch, Firehall, Chemainus, Caravan, Globe, Waterfront, and all over the lower mainland when on tour. Agnes is honoured to be commissioned by Green Thumb Theatre to write a play for high school students. She is passionate about cycling, dark chocolate, breathwork, meditation, travelling, and crystals.
What are you currently curious about and/or interested in exploring in your work?
I am interested in exploring my voice as a second generation Asian-Canadian, cisgender female theatre artist. I come up against a lot of ancestral trauma when it comes to freedom of expression because my mother grew up during the Cultural Revolution in China, where no expression was ever allowed. I am blessed to have been born and raised in Canada with much freedom my whole life, yet I still feel these ancestral patterns running through my veins. This is interesting to me. Even though I didn't grow up during the Cultural Revolution in China, I still hold the cellular memory that I did because that's where I come from. I'm curious about the social, cultural, and environmental conditioning that can affect our freedom of expression.
Has the pandemic changed your approach to writing/creativity? If so how?
The pandemic has definitely offered me a lot more TIME to explore writing because of the lockdown. The solitude of writing has paired well with the quarantine. My favourite part of my artistic practice is to be in collaboration with others, so I'm interested in exploring this new medium of writing where I'm collaborating with the characters in my own mind.
My approach to creativity during the pandemic has been to continue feeling all of my feelings that have been arising during these stressful times with breathwork and meditation. This ensures that my creative channel can stay open and available for the work to come through.
What's your favourite part of the playwriting process?
I'm so new that I don't feel pressure to be any good! A beginner's mind is very liberating. I'm still in the super early stages of learning what it feels like to have characters talk to each other, how their voices appear, what it feels like to get out of the way for the words to flow and have them show me what the story is. So, I guess I don't have a favourite part yet because it's all so new and exciting!
We will be highlighting each playwright we're currently working with throughout the month, but if you're eager to learn more now, click here.
Are you a playwright interested in creating work for young audiences? We'd love to hear from you! We accept script submissions year-round and have just announced a playwright development program!
March 23, 2021