Staff Profile: Kelly Read, Associate Technical Director
How long have you been at Soulpepper and tell us a little bit about what you do.
I have worked in my current position – Associate Technical Director – for a little more than two and a half years. Prior to this, I worked casually as an assistant carpenter in our scenery shop, starting in 2007. In my current role in the Production Department, I take the technical lead on a number of shows throughout the year, as assigned by Mike – our Technical Director, my unbelievable boss! This means completing set construction drawings, sourcing materials, making schedules, running the load-in of sets, lights, audio, and anything else required for the show.
What has your job consisted of lately?
Lately, I’ve been doing all of the above for two of our upcoming productions in the Michael Young Theatre – Great Expectations, and Entertaining Mr. Sloane. Though rehearsals have just begun, both sets are already built, painted, and ready to be loaded into the theatre.
This is actually my last week in my current position. About three months ago, I found out I had been accepted into the Academy, a paid training residency here at the Soulpepper. For the first time, the program includes a Producer stream, which I’m incredibly happy to be a part of. It’s been a very exciting and challenging experience, to wind-down a successful and enjoyable part of my career, while simultaneously beginning to think about new opportunities and completely different aspects of theatre that I will be working on with the Academy in just two short weeks.
What kinds of shows/productions/events have you been involved in outside of work?
For the last six months I’ve been working with the Red One Theatre Collective, helping to run The StoreFront Theatre – a small “white-box” theatre and multi-purpose event space, on Bloor Street West. The project was originally slated to last only the first two months of the year, but the demand for a small space of its kind in that neighbourhood has sustained us an additional three months, and we’re now looking toward an exciting fall and winter season of programming. Red One has been performing theatre in alternative spaces for years, and bringing theatre to neighbourhoods that don’t normally get to experience it locally. Having found a semi-permanent home in our three-years-empty-drug-store-come-theatre has been an enormously positive experience for the company and the community that surrounds it.
When you’re not at work, what are you doing?
Those that know me best know that when I’m not working at Soulpepper I’m usually working somewhere else! Outside of that I like to occupy my time with my bike, fresh produce, and as much rudimentary ukulele as I can manage.
What do you love about being a part of the staff at Soulpepper?
Soulpepper is a truly exceptional place to be. I feel very fortunate to work for a company of managers, supervisors, and colleagues who are genuinely interested in supporting what is best for me as an individual. It is quite a special feeling to know that the people who surround you really value and appreciate you in your role, but can still recognize and encourage you in opportunities that will take you out of it – because they see that they are the right choice for you. Soulpepper is a very special theatre company that attracts and nurtures an exceptional breed of people. Many of my co-workers here have become great friends, which is just one of the many reasons it’s so incredible that I can leave my job to train and work in a totally different capacity, and still be under the same wonderful roof!
Photo: Nathan Kelly