Even Toronto’s busiest performing artists need a break. Take Five with some of the hardest working and celebrated individuals in the performing arts scene today! We ask them a series of five questions to learn what inspires them and how their careers have been influenced by fellow community members.
at the Young Center for the Performing Arts March 9 - April 7.
Ravi Jain has also worked on Accidental Death of an Anarchist (nominated 6 Doras, winning Outstanding Production and Outstanding Actor) and The 39 Steps (nominated 4 Dora Awards). Other theatre credits include: The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God (Shaw Festival); Salt-Water Moon (Factory Theatre, Toronto Critics’ Award and Dora Award Best Director); A Brimful of Asha (Why Not Theatre); Like Mother, Like Daughter (Why Not Theatre/Complicite); Nicolas Billon's Fault Lines Triptych (Governor General’s Award for Drama). Ravi Jain is also the Artistic Director of Why Not Theatre, has received the John Hirsch Prize for Directing (Canada Council for the Arts), and was shortlisted for the Siminovitch Prize in 2016.
When did you first think of yourself as an artist?
When I was 21 I had the good fortune of training with Ann Bogart and the SITI Company in America. Those artists, in particular Ellen Lauren inspired me to be fearless, to not know, to disrupt and search for collaborators. They are giants who empowered me to call myself artist.
Who helped you develop your voice as an artist?
Jim Calder is head of movement at the graduate program at NYU. He was a mentor from a very young age to me. He always pushed the boundary of everything he did. He taught me how to take ideas to all the way to the end, and when you think you've arrived there is a lot further to go! His imagination was limitless. He was why I ended up going to the Lecoq School... He just kept saying “keep going” and “go further” in the most generous way. He taught me to have courage and to always stay curious and hungry on the edge of the cliff.
What’s something that’s inspired you this week?
Last night I saw a group of actors in Animal Farm, a show we created. I saw them listening, I saw them play with the audience – I watched them discover the show. It was magic.
What’s your favourite restaurant in the city to visit?
Banjara. Go now.
What do you want to see more of on Toronto stages?
I'm less interested in Toronto stages and more interested in who goes to them and who makes the decisions at them. I'd like to see more perspectives represented in the seats that fill the audiences and the seats that fill the offices.