Meet Pi's Administrative Intern, Catherine!

Hello, everyone! My name is Catherine Ballachey and I've been working as Pi's Administrative Intern through the Prime Placements program since September. Becky, the General Manager, asked me to introduce myself and say a few things about what I hope to do in theatre, what I'm learning through the internship and anything else interesting about me.

To start, I'm a graduate of SFU's Contemporary Arts program in Performance Theatre and French. Since graduating, I've been working wherever I can in theatre, which includes front of house, stage managing, admin, directing, writing, producing and even a bit of performance here and there. In 2009, I founded a theatre company with my colleague, Stephanie Henderson, called Resounding Scream Theatre. So far, we've produced 3 original plays and 2 fundraisers. Our next project is Hive: the New Bees, an emerging artist version of Hive that is happening May 24-26 at The Chapel Arts. For more information, check out our website: www.resoundingscreamtheatre.com.

From our second production, "Brink: a farce tragedy." (From left to right: Nikki Hockey, Victoria Lyons, Manuela Sosa and Stevie Benisch)

From our second production, "Brink: a farce tragedy"
(From left: Nikki Hockey, Victoria Lyons, Manuela Sosa and Stevie Benisch)

One interesting thing about me is that I just came back from Australia where I studied with a physical theatre company, Zen Zen Zo. We stayed in Brisbane, where the Zen Zen Zo training centre is located, for three weeks to intensively study Butoh, Viewpoints and the Suzuki Method of Actor Training. It was an incredibly worthwhile experience and I recommend it to every theatre artist, or artist in general, looking for more training opportunities. I needed something to shake my foundation and this training successfully challenged my assumptions about art and the world around me. If you want more information about the company and their workshops, visit their website: www.zenzenzo.com. Just to warn you, their intensives live up to their name... they're very... intense.

From Zen Zen Zo's production of "Zeitgeist," 2008.

To close my very first blog post with Pi, I would like to talk about why I decided to intern with Pi Theatre and what I've been learning through the Prime Placements program. There has been a lot of bleak news about arts in Vancouver lately, but I think we have reason to be optimistic. I originally decided to intern with Pi to learn about the daily functioning of a professional theatre company in order to apply it to my own company. What I've learned, which I think is extremely valuable, is how to look at the arts from the business side of things. It may not be exactly creatively stimulating at times, but I think it's what we'll need to survive. I know we're all convinced of the importance of the arts in our community, but we need to find new audiences who may not be and draw them into our theatres. Vancouver is not a cultural wasteland! Many interesting groups of artists from all disciplines gravitate here... and not just for the mountains. The average person just doesn't know where to find us, so we need to find them. There's a lot of work ahead of us to keep the arts community alive, but I think it's worth fighting for. Maybe I already knew it, but that's just one of many things I've been learning with Prime Placements at Pi.

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