Writer/Mentor (Youth), Festival Participant
Diana Tso is a graduate of Ēcole Internationale de Théâtre de Jacques Lecoq in France and the University of Toronto with a BA Honors in Literature. She’s an actor/storyteller/writer who’s worked with diverse theatres internationally for over 13 years, including Ariane Mnouchkine’s Théàtre du Soleil in France for their international atelier Stage 2000 and touring with Portugal based Espiral Theatre 2001 in clown and giant masks.Her favorite theatre co-creation/ performances include: Dante’s Inferno and Dora Award–winning Chekhov Shorts, both with Theatre Smith-Gilmour, and by the way, Miss . . . with Urge/Theatre Direct and she shares the Dora Mavor Award Ensemble for Outstanding Performance.
Most recent: As an actor she toured the TAXI Project, directed by Weyni Mengesha (director of the da kink in my hair), in Spring 2009. The play is collectively written by Emma Beltran, Martha Kuwee Kumsa, Goran Simic, and Sheng Xue. The TAXI Project is a new play exploring freedom of expression, exile, and home. Diana acted in the bilingual (English and Cantonese) development workshop of Paul Yee’s play, Cumberland, directed by Heidi Specht of Pangaea Arts, in October 2009. The play is inspired by the coal mining community of Cumberland, BC in the early 1900s and weaves Chinese Opera in both performance and music. Diana will be in its upcoming production, in the Autumn 2010 in Vancouver, BC.
As a writer her play, Red Snow, inspired by 1937 Nanking Holocaust, has received development grants from Ontario and Toronto Arts Councils and has had readings at SummerWorks Theatre Festival 2007, fu-Gen Potluck Festival 2008 and anitAFRIKA dub theatre December 2008; an excerpt from Red Snow was published in Ricepaper Magazine 2008. It will have an upcoming workshop and public presentation July 2010 and public reading at the University of Toronto OISE auditorium on October 2, 2010 as part of a three day conference on WWII Asian history and education. Red Snow will be produced Spring 2011.
As an artist in community outreach with jumblies theatre. Diana works as one of the lead artists in their community outreach program with the 41 Mabelle seniors. The community project culminated into The Bridge of Hair at the 2007 New World Stage at Harbourfront. The story was inspired and performed by the community of Dundas and Islington. The protagonist of the play, Hawa Jibril, was based on one of the senior residents in Diana’s workshops. Hawa Jibril is a Somali poet who escaped the Somali civil war and became part of the Somali independence movement advocating women’s rights and peace for her country. Upcoming, an essay of her experience with 41 Mabelle seniors will be published in an anthology commissioned by jumblies theatre. As a storyteller/theatre artist in schools freelance and with the Ontario Arts Council’s Artist in Education. Diana shares Chinese folktales and dragon mythology, merging theatre and visual arts. Upcoming, as a storyteller, is Monkey Queen, Journey to the East, inspired by the Chinese sixteenth-century novel of the Monkey King in “Journey to the West,” supported by the OAC 2009 Word of Mouth grant.