A Conversation with Nina Lee Aquino

For our next installment of Theatre in Multiculture: Perspectives, Ruby Slippers Theatre interviews Nina Lee Aquino. Nina discusses how systemic racism and intersectionality have affected her theatre career. She discusses how Asian Canadian Theatre has grown over the past few decades and her thoughts on how Canadian Theatre can improve to a more inclusive industry. 

With a string of firsts in Asian Canadian theatre, Nina Lee Aquino was the founding Artistic Director of fu-GEN Asian Canadian theatre company organized the first Asian Canadian theatre conference, edited the first (2-volume) Asian Canadian play anthology, and co-edited the first (award-winning) book on Asian Canadian theatre.

She became Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre, currently holds the same position at Factory Theatre and is President of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT). She has directed at theatres across the country and has won the Ken McDougall Award, the John Hirsch Prize, the Toronto Theatre Critics Awards for Best Director, and three Dora Awards for Outstanding Direction.

The Theatre in Multiculture: Perspectives interview series deepens Ruby Slippers Theatre’s radically inclusive vision and mission, our commitment to under-represented voices, and complements other concrete actions we are taking to further BIPOC artist voices and to further diversify our own company and our own work. Read Our Commitment statement here: https://www.rubyslippers.ca/our-commitment.

Multi-award-winning Vancouver-based Ruby Slippers Theatre imagines an inclusive world where diversity is celebrated through a deeper understanding of each other. To bring this vision to reality, RST illuminates under-represented perspectives by giving voice to diverse artists from across the country including Quebec works in English translation. RST defines diversity as gender equity, cultural background, sexual orientation, identity, physical/mental ability, and age.

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RST acknowledges that we are uninvited guests on the stolen lands of the Coast Salish People, the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations. We are committed to working in solidarity with people who identify as Black, Indigenous, and person of colour as accomplices in transforming the white colonial patriarchy into something more compassionate and equitable.