Third Street’s creative collective

Actors helped playwright infuse This Is How I Left characters with dialogue

By Louis B. Hobson, Calgary Sun, March 24, 2013.
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Sunday March 25, 2013 Calgary Sun screen shot.
Article in Sunday, March 25, 2013 Calgary Sun Print Edition.

Award-winning Calgary playwright Dale Lee Kwong loves a challenge, but even she was surprised by the creative explosion that produced This is How I Left, the first offering of Third Street Theatre, Calgary’s fledgling queer theatre company.

“I’m not the playwright. I am just one of the facilitators of what is a true creative ensemble work.

“Paul Welch, Third Street’s artistic director, gave the actors assignments and created games to help them work on creating their characters,” says Kwong, who was part of the ensemble from its inception.

“The characters were initially created without names and without any kind of plot. All that came later.”

What eventually transpired is a story of Sam (Alyssa Bradac) a woman overcome by the death of her longtime partner, who meets a young transgender woman (Conrad Belau) at a grief centre.

The two women help each other confront and overcome their personal losses and fears eventually telling a story of Elle (Lindie Last) a key witness in a murder trial and Michael (Kyall Rakoz) a young man in search of meaning for his life.

“I was moved deeply by the monologues and the dialogue these actors created and was so sorry when some of them had to be cut once we were fashioning the plot.

“I know I would never have written this particular play on my own and that’s why I am so grateful to have been a part of its creation because it is such a powerful and moving experience.”

IMG_0353Kwong insists “there is at least one of the characters or one of their stories that will resonate with everyone whether you are gay or straight.”

This is How I Left runs at the Living Spirit United Church, 629 49 Ave. S.W., Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with matinees on Saturday and Easter Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets, which are $20 and $15 for seniors, students and equity members, are cash only at the door. To reserve call 403-703-4750 or go to

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