Oct 28-Nov 12, 2016
Pacific Theatre presents Suitcase Stories by Maki Yi. With only her tiny suitcase in tow, Maki Yi leaves her home in South Korea for Canada. A winsome and vulnerable tale of survival and self-discovery. Playing Oct 28-Nov 12 8pm Wednesdays-Saturdays with 2pm matinees all Saturdays and Sunday, Nov 6th at Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave. Pay-what-you-can preview Oct 27 at 8pm. For tickets ($23.95-34.95, taxes and fees not incl.) call 604.731.5518 or visit pacifictheatre.org.
A cross-national tale of survival and self-discovery. With only her tiny suitcase in tow, Maki Yi leaves her home in South Korea for Canada. Her driving force was about leaving and not her destination, and the choice of Canada as her new home boiled down to two factors: she heard that it is safe, and her brother had a map of Toronto. So begins Yi’s real-life journey from Korea across Canada, where she discovers that life in this new country is both everything she hoped for and the most difficult thing she has ever done.
“I made the decision to leave South Korea in my mid-late 20s”, says Yi, “I longed for a place where I can be myself and find what I love to do, but the social expectation was to find a good husband and to serve at home.”
Suitcase Stories is a tale of this self-discovery and hope, while at the same time being completely honest about the difficulties of living in Canada as a newcomer. While Yi refers to Canada as the land of freedom and opportunity that she hoped for, she does not avoid her experiences of racism, poverty, and the ever-disheartening immigration process.
Fitting to Yi’s story of unconventional travel is the unusual origin story of the play’s development. After working at Pacific Theatre as an apprentice, Yi approached Artistic Director Ron Reed with an idea: what if she wrote 10-minute plays that were both autobiographical and matched the themes of Pacific Theatre’s season, to be performed in the lobby before each show? Reed seized the opportunity, launching 2013-2014’s Lobby Project. At the end of the year, she put the eight short plays together into one beautiful story that has now been developed to join Pacific Theatre’s mainstage season.
On writing her own story, Yi reflects, “It meant survival for me. When I faced the wall of the visible/audible minority issue, creating my own work opened up another way to continue what I love to do. I hope my story could encourage someone who faces rejection.”
Directed by Colleen Lanki. Featuring Maki Yi. Production Design and Stage Management by Chengyan Boon.
SUITCASE STORIES by Maki Yi
Oct 28-Nov 12, Weds-Sat at 8pm with 2pm matinees Saturdays and Sunday, Oct 9 at Pacific Theatre (1440 W 12th Ave)
Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave (at Hemlock), Vancouver, BC
$23.95-34.95 (not incl. taxes or fee), to book visit pacifictheatre.org or call 604.731.5518