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  • Writer's pictureKagan Goh


Updated: Aug 23, 2020

KW Studios (KW), with the support of the Vancouver Foundation, offered fifteen creative initiatives to Equity-seeking artists throughout the month of August in summer of 2020 as a way of helping artists develop as the Province reopens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Playwright/Actor Kagan Goh and Director Susanna Uchatius were offered free studio time for rehearsals of the upcoming theatrical play, Surviving Samsara, with tech fees included, as well as a $400.00 honorarium, which was delivered upon completion of the project. Capacity for KW Atrium Studio was a maximum of 4 people, and 8 people for KW Production Studio to allow strict social distancing as per COVID-19 WorkSafe guidelines. Playwright/Actor Kagan Goh and Director Susanna Uchatius received a five day residency featuring 4 hours of daily rehearsal time, with video documentation by Joseph Hirabayashi on the final day. Stage Manager Jessica Mary Keenan ran a smooth ship supporting Kagan and Susanna during the rehearsals the week of 10 to 14 August 2020. Surviving Samsara is coproduced by Theatre Terrific and Cinevolution Media Arts Society with development support from Rumble Theatre.

Meet Kagan. Kagan Goh, with the support of Susanna Uchaitus and Theatre Terrific, Cinevolution Media Arts Society and Rumble Theatre, is our second KW Summer Subsidy Program artist. -- "Central to my work is the desire to humanize the struggles of those with mental health challenges and to fight the stigma's that hold them back as a form of self-therapy, I started writing and sharing my stories about my experiences of living with a mental illness and I have found a receptive audience in Vancouver's literary community since 1998. I am an established spoken word poet who has performed at open mics, readings, festivals, and on radio. Each performance has elicited enthusiastic responses from audiences. People walk away from my readings saying they have been transformed by my stories and feel more connected and less alone. The proposed project, Surviving Samsara, is a one and a half hour theatrical production that traces artist's Kagan Goh's personal struggles with manic depression, and his journey towards recovery, acceptance and unconditional self-love." --

Kagan Goh: "The rigorous and challenging rehearsal process stretched me to the limits as an actor. Director Susanna Uchatius said that this ambitious play would be daunting for a seasoned actor. Before starting rehearsals Susanna had reservations about my ability to take on the formidable task of acting in this ambitious play. After the week of rehearsals which was literally akin to riding a roller coaster of emotions from the highs of mania, the terrors of psychosis, to the lows of depression, Susanna paid me a great compliment saying that this audacious play was like climbing four Mount Everests: scaling the peaks, descending to the valleys, and discovering wide open vistas. Susanna said I had graduated from being an emerging amateur actor and should consider myself an actor period."

Support Kagan, Susanna, & Theatre Terrific here:

— at KW Studios.

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