Ruth Fernandes:
Luso-canadianos no teatro

Por Hélder Ramos

Ruth Fernandes é uma jovem luso-descendente que optou pela vida no teatro. Já tivemos oportunidade de trocar palavras com a Ruth por altura do festival "Sabor Saudade", no Harbourfront Centre, onde ela desempenhou o papel de anfitriã do Cabaret Teatral.

Quando recebemos a notícia que ela estava agora a lançar (em conjunto com colegas universitários) uma companhia de teatro nova, aproveitámos a oportunidade para fazer-lhe algumas perguntas.

Na entrevista que segue, a Ruth dá-nos a conhecer o que tem feito desde a última vez que a entrevistámos; ela explica a raison d'etre de sua nova companhia, Subject to Change Productions, fala-nos um pouco sobre a peça inaugural Fine Dining (que subirá ao palco em Outubro deste ano), dá-nos a conhecer os seus planos a longo prazo para a sua carreira e para a sua companhia. E, por fim, oferece uma dica ou duas para qualquer jovem da nossa comunidade que queira também seguir uma carreira no teatro.

A festa de inauguração de "Subject to Change Productions", é amanhã, dia 6 de Setembro, às 20h30, no DoveHouse BallRoom, que fica no 2º andar, do 805 Dovercourt Road. Inf.: 416-824-2119.


S.P. Since the time we last spoke, just before the Sabor Saudade Festival at Harbourfront Centre, what have you been up to?

R.F. Since then, I travelled to England to conclude my third year of University, where I studied with great theatre professionals. I also travelled quite a bit, which taught me so much about myself and about what I wanted to do with my life. When I returned, I finished my degree at York University, and began establishing my career. I have been acting in different shows, including War: The Musical and a recent Show at the Fringe Festival called Girls Girls Girls. I have also been singing for the Booking House as Gloria Estefan, and touring with them. More recently, I've been working to create a theatre company, called Subject to Change and producing the first show, called Fine Dining.

S.P. What is "fine dining" about?

R.F. Fine Dining is a comic piece about the restaurant industry. This ensemble-based piece, which was primarily written by Lief Strong, is really dominated by Canadian humour. It's funny and very realistic. Anyone who's worked in the restaurant industry will relate to this humorous play, with bittersweet memories.

S.P. What is your new theatre company's mandate?

R.F. The title Subject to Change denotes alteration and modification, these are qualities that I find so intriguing and are part of the human condition. Humans are constantly changing, evolving, altering themselves, and our theatre will focus on producing plays that show this element of change in human lives.

S.P. What is your personal vision for it?

R.F. I hope that Subject to Change as a company continues to grow and evolve, I would like to see Subject to Change become a major theatre in Toronto with regular audience members and a full season of shows.

S.P. What are your long-term plans, in the theatre and otherwise?

R.F. I have been writing a trilogy based on a true story about a Portuguese family in Angola, which escapes to Portugal during the 1975 war and then ends up in Toronto. I would like to produce Fields of Sunflowers, the first work of the trilogy, after Fine Dining. As well I'd like to focus a little bit more on my singing, I want to work on original songs and produce my own album as an emblem of my life's experiences up to now. So much to do so little time!

S.P. What advice do you have for other luso-canadian youth who want to get into the theatre world?

R.F. I have to salute anyone who aspires to get involved in the entertainment industry, particularly Luso Canadians, because I would love to see much more artistically representation of our culture in such a cosmopolitan Toronto. Note that there's a lot of hard work involved a lot of risk taking but ultimately there's a lot of reward and self fulfilment keep doing what you love and be ready to work later then you want to!


Subject to change theatre - launch party

Saturday September 6th, 2003. 8:30pm, 805 Dovercourt Road, DoveHouse BallRoom, 2nd, Floor, two blocks west of Ossington Station, one block north of Bloor St. Door Cover: $7

For more information, call Ruth at 416-824-2119