Staff Profile – Lisa Li, Artistic Coordinator
How long have you worked for Soulpepper/Young Centre and what is it that you do?
I’ve been with the Young Centre since 2006 and this January I joined Soulpepper (and Young Centre) as Artistic Coordinator. A lot my work is acting as the liaison between the artists/programming department and all other departments when it comes to artistic or artist-related activities. A part of what I do is making sure the artists are taken care of – that they have all the info they need and follow their schedule. For our international artists, I look after the paperwork. Sometimes my job is taking the artists’ fabulous and grand project ideas and looking at them from a logistical standpoint so that it can become a reality. Sometimes it’s a lot of excel spreadsheets (which I actually like because that’s when I can get my nerd on) and other times it’s just lending an ear. But ask me again in 6 months and I may have a completely different answer. It’s a new position so anything is possible; it’ll bend to fill the need. I can tell you that my responsibilities and tasks as an artistic coordinator vary depending on whether or not the activity is Soulpepper or Young Centre. I do both, but because the artistic activity can be very different, my job will differ as well.
When you’re not at your desk, what are you doing?
Movies! Films! The cinema!
Ginny! (My first bike and the best gift ever given to me) Only a few years ago did I learn how to ride a bike. I didn’t grow up with one, so now when I’m on it, I feel like my would-have-been-kid-self. It makes me pretty happy AND she’s super foxy so… be jealous.
(Fashion blogs. Lots of them. There, I admit it!! in brackets, but I still said it. Scoff.)
Dairy free, gluten free baking… Walking around the city… Coffee… Writing… I’m pretty attached to my playlists… TED talks…
… twitter, instagram, bad reality tv (who’s going to be the last member of team Adam Levine?!?!)
I would love to say I’m also learning French and learning to play the piano, which are actual desires, but not actually things I’m doing right now. Sigh. One day. (I DO listen to French music sometimes and watch French movies, so that, of course, counts for something right? yeah I’m pretty sure it does.)
What kinds of shows/productions/events have you been involved in and what have you been working on lately?
Outside of my life as artistic coordinator, I’m an actor, playwright, dramaturge, and theatre producer. Recently, I performed in the Rhubarb Festival at Buddies. The show was directed by Esther Jun (Janet in Kim’s Convenience), someone I have worked with a time or two in past. She and I will be working again later this year on one of my favourite Pinter pieces. Stay tuned. Currently, a group of ladies and I are developing a project on the topic of mistresses… This show will have a life of some kind this November as part of TPM’s Buzz Festival. I’m in the fu-GEN playwrights unit this season, I’m pretty stoked about that. I also have my own company, theatrekairos, where we do a lot of work on new play development, but we’re taking a break this year so that I can process and live through this new schedule of mine.
What do you love about being a part of the staff at Soulpepper?
It’s a pretty quirky place to work. It’s professional no doubt, but not stuffy, or pretentious. I mean, come on, we are a theatre company, we make art, we work in the arts, and many of the staff here are artists outside of work, or have an appreciation for the arts or else they wouldn’t be here, so it would be terribly backwards if there was an expectation around here to suppress our inner kooks and eccentricities and the neuroses we all have as people and artists. We take our work and the work we put on stage very seriously, but we do so without taking ourselves too seriously. And, around the office, this kind of attitude breathes in room for playfulness, and interest, and randomness. I love the randomness most.