Home Wildside features Concordia faculty member?s one-woman show

Wildside features Concordia faculty member?s one-woman show

by admin January 5, 2010

Wildside features Concordia faculty member?s one-woman show

by admin January 5, 2010

Chantria Tram was nervous to show her one-woman show, Someone Between, to her parents. After all, they were in it.
They had read the initial script and were not content with how revealing it was. “Initially when I had sent them the text, I don’t think they were too fond of it because it is pretty open,” Tram said. “Its a pretty vulnerable thing to talk about, and characters who are based on them are in it.”
Someone Between, written and performed by Tram, will premier at its biggest venue yet this week at Centaur Theatre’s Wildside Festival.

The play is a semi-autobiographical story of a Khmer (or Cambodian) girl who immigrates to Canada at the age of five and struggles with her double identity. Her parents want her to follow traditional Cambodian values, like staying a virgin until marriage, but she wants to integrate fully with the culture that surrounds her.
“This story is one about the balancing act of being bicultural,” Tram said. “How do you negotiate between traditional upbringings and the new culture you now call home?”
The idea for Someone Between initially came from journal entries she was forced to write in school. It was only once she began exploring her memories of growing up, and documenting others that had been unwritten, that she realized she had something special in her hands. “I didn’t exactly know what [the show] would be about at all, but I had a team of people who helped me shape [the story] and ask me questions.”
Someone Between is a reflection of Tram’s life, which has helped her better understand herself and her heritage.
“It has helped me [find who I am], although it is kind of ongoing,” she said. “Even when I’m 60-years-old I will still be figuring it out . . . [the show] has definitely helped me clarify where I stand now and be grateful for it.”
Last year, Tram worked at Concordia as a workshop leader for an Introduction to Acting for a non-actors course. She enjoyed teaching at Concordia and says she also learned a lot from her students.

“[It was an] honour to go through the program that allowed me to further my own learning and share what I do know,” she said. “I have learned that, at least for myself, staying grounded, open, relaxed, and most importantly, present with the audience in that moment and no other is what I strive to achieve every time.”
Tram encourages students to come and see the show, as anyone can relate to the emotions portrayed onstage. “Montreal, especially Concordia University, has the most beautifully diverse students I have seen,” she said. “A large number of students are either first, second, or third generation Canadians. All of us growing up, immigrant or not, are trying to find our place and define ourselves.”
As for Tram’s parents, they saw the show when it premiered in May at Le Monument National theatre and enjoyed it immensly.
“I think they really liked it. It touched them a lot and they stayed for the feedback that we had after the show,” she said. “I think it brought us closer. It was my way of communicating with them.”

Someone Between opens at the Centaur Theatre on Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. and plays again on Jan. 9, 13, 16 and 17. Visit www.centaurtheatre.com for show times. Tickets are $10 for students, $12.50 for adults.

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Chantria Tram was nervous to show her one-woman show, Someone Between, to her parents. After all, they were in it.
They had read the initial script and were not content with how revealing it was. “Initially when I had sent them the text, I don’t think they were too fond of it because it is pretty open,” Tram said. “Its a pretty vulnerable thing to talk about, and characters who are based on them are in it.”
Someone Between, written and performed by Tram, will premier at its biggest venue yet this week at Centaur Theatre’s Wildside Festival.

The play is a semi-autobiographical story of a Khmer (or Cambodian) girl who immigrates to Canada at the age of five and struggles with her double identity. Her parents want her to follow traditional Cambodian values, like staying a virgin until marriage, but she wants to integrate fully with the culture that surrounds her.
“This story is one about the balancing act of being bicultural,” Tram said. “How do you negotiate between traditional upbringings and the new culture you now call home?”
The idea for Someone Between initially came from journal entries she was forced to write in school. It was only once she began exploring her memories of growing up, and documenting others that had been unwritten, that she realized she had something special in her hands. “I didn’t exactly know what [the show] would be about at all, but I had a team of people who helped me shape [the story] and ask me questions.”
Someone Between is a reflection of Tram’s life, which has helped her better understand herself and her heritage.
“It has helped me [find who I am], although it is kind of ongoing,” she said. “Even when I’m 60-years-old I will still be figuring it out . . . [the show] has definitely helped me clarify where I stand now and be grateful for it.”
Last year, Tram worked at Concordia as a workshop leader for an Introduction to Acting for a non-actors course. She enjoyed teaching at Concordia and says she also learned a lot from her students.

“[It was an] honour to go through the program that allowed me to further my own learning and share what I do know,” she said. “I have learned that, at least for myself, staying grounded, open, relaxed, and most importantly, present with the audience in that moment and no other is what I strive to achieve every time.”
Tram encourages students to come and see the show, as anyone can relate to the emotions portrayed onstage. “Montreal, especially Concordia University, has the most beautifully diverse students I have seen,” she said. “A large number of students are either first, second, or third generation Canadians. All of us growing up, immigrant or not, are trying to find our place and define ourselves.”
As for Tram’s parents, they saw the show when it premiered in May at Le Monument National theatre and enjoyed it immensly.
“I think they really liked it. It touched them a lot and they stayed for the feedback that we had after the show,” she said. “I think it brought us closer. It was my way of communicating with them.”

Someone Between opens at the Centaur Theatre on Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. and plays again on Jan. 9, 13, 16 and 17. Visit www.centaurtheatre.com for show times. Tickets are $10 for students, $12.50 for adults.

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