Michael Kras graduated in 2015 and has already worked on some exciting theatre projects since then. We spoke to Michael about what he's doing now, what other projects he's been involved with since graduating, and how his time at Humber prepared him for this career.
A lot of my work as a playwright is focused on stories for young audiences, and I'm currently developing a play titled #dirtygirl, which is aimed at high school students. It takes a close look at gender roles, teen sexuality, public shaming, and what it means to be called a slut. The piece will be premiering in Hamilton this summer, and I'm excited to have received support for the development of the project from Roseneath Theatre and Young People's Theatre through the OAC Theatre Creators' Reserve. I've also been invited to develop a new play with Theatre Aquarius, which is crazy awesome.
Last summer I performed a short solo play of mine titled For Kiera at the Hamilton Fringe Festival. It was a piece I workshopped at Humber as my final project of third year; performing it publicly was a great experience and the play was very well received. I also got to act in a Toronto-staged reading of An Ordinary Asset with Same Boat Theatre, and I loved being involved as an actor in the development of a new play. I've been sharpening my skills as an artistic producer through the Hamilton Fringe ALERT training program, and got to create and host Shift, my own public forum for a discussion on the revitalization of Hamilton's theatre culture. I'm trying to keep working every artistic muscle I've got!
Humber taught me to always, always be curious. I learned about the importance of getting political and being socially active, and that has really bled into my work. Provocative theatre encourages public discourse, and because of that, it can change the world. Before I got my training I knew that type of life-changing creation was possible, but after leaving Humber, I now feel like it's possible for ME. I learned to be fearless.
I remember watching people work on monologues in front of the class one day at Humber. One person jumped up to perform and physically shook off their nervous energy before they started. Our teacher stopped and asked why they did that, then explained that we shouldn't shake away our nerves, but harness them and use them as propulsive energy. I took a lot out of that. Never shake off your fear. Just go. Use it. Dare to fail miserably.
Follow Michael Kras on Twitter at @KrasMagic.
Photo credit: Lacey Creighton