Kris Alvarez, Artist – Regina

(photo: Shawn Fulton)

Kris Alvarez is a theatre artist and Regina monologue. She has the privilege of relationship-building through creation and performance with like-spirited humans at Curtain Razors Theatre, Fadadance, the Artesian Theatre, and the Heritage Community Association. Her Respond to Racism residency at Common Weal Community Arts in 2019 humbled her theatre-making and inspired Golden Potluck – a project centered on diverse older women’s voices. She tinkers with her practice alongside Curtain Razors Theatre, performing (Bad Blood, Carmen Angel) and making work (What Kind of Brown Are You?). Just before the pandemic, Kris had life-inspiring experiences performing in Persephone Theatre’s Reasonable Doubt. This summer, “driving back up the 11,” she’ll join Sum Theatre’s Theatre in the Park. Her current instalment of Burnt Sienna continues into 2021 after an adaptive 2019-20 series. From April 26 to May 8, she is the artist in residence at Neutral Ground and will be hosting two virtual events on May 1 and 4.

  1. gathering (humans, ideas, momentum, kindness)

Kris Alvarez hosting Golden Potluck, 2019 with Common Weal Community Arts (photo: Michael Bell)

I’m constantly making plans to gather. Gatherings of all colours, shapes + sizes. I take time & care to gather people representative of our communities. This is my practice for a while. It’s my nature to do so.

When I have questions about a difficult / intricate concept, I invite guests to share perspectives on the concept. I invite people to come witness me “tinkering out loud,” attempting to answer through stories, food, music, movement, laughter.

  1. making it special

Zoey Roy & Kris Alvarez, Burnt Sienna, 2018 (photo: Danielle Tocker)

My 13 yr. old recently exclaimed, “I love giving someone a perfect gift!” I feel this every time I gather people. I feel the quiet longing for interconnectedness. I try my best to remind us how special it is we found our way to each other for this moment.

  1. being BROWN

Kris Alvarez with guests Tiro & Thabo Mthembu, Fanny Kearse, Burnt Sienna, July 2020 (photo: Andrew Parry)

People never know “what kind of brown I am.” I always find this curious… this need to know, the ambiguity, dislocated feeling, all of it. I’m curious to know other brown people’s versions. This fuels my project Burnt Sienna.

  1. acknowledgements (land, entitlement, identity, home)

Kris Alvarez with guest Tristen Durocher, Burnt Sienna, August 2020 (photo: Andrew Parry)

This project bloomed from my Burnt Sienna experiences. Personalizing a land acknowledgement at the start of shows, I wondered, “Can a land acknowledgement & theatre show be one and the same?” I’ve invited SK artists Chasity Delorme, Krystle Pederson, Melanie Rose and Misty Wensel into this inquiry through story, dance, music + humility.

  1. “I believe the children are our future.”

My daughters Zoë & Iris James, 2011 (photo: Kris Alvarez)

(I’m a sucker for karaoke-ing Whitney.) Maudeville… The Choir of the Truly Unruly… experimental projects with young people, ages 3 to 16, I’ve met in theatre camps. Big task: find ways to authentically make space for young people’s creative freedom.