Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

And now, the weather... sorry, theatre with Sylvia

  • Print

Sylvia Kuzyk figures she owes theatre for how it transformed her from an introverted young woman into a Winnipeg television fixture for almost 38 years.

She gets her chance to give back Thursday at the inaugural So You Think You Can Act fundraiser when she performs in one of the nine scenes being staged by local luminaries in support of Sarasvti Productions.

"For me, theatre was my liberation," says Kuzyk, who signed off from the Winnipeg CTV newscast last September. "It sounds kind of dramatic but when I was in high school I was super shy and I would never have dreamt of speaking in front of an audience. I had no aspirations of going into television."

In the early '70s, the graduate of Red River Community College's nursing program attended a friend's workshop production at the University of Manitoba and became intrigued enough with the stage to enrol in a acting course with Actor's Showcase, the forerunner of Manitoba Theatre for Young People. She landed a small part as a saloon girl in a docudrama about the Canadian West being shot at CKY-TV where she heard about an opening for a weather girl.

"Since then, I've had a soft spot in my heart for theatre," she says, during an interview this week. "No, absolutely I wouldn't have had a TV career. It started me on my journey."

Kuzyk is being joined in the spotlight at the Gas Station Arts Centre tomorrow by former MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis, TSN's John Lu, Hot 103 DJ Ace Burpee, CITI FM's Howard Mandshsein, Free Press movie reviewer Randall King, performer Al Simmons, Shaw TV personality Tracy Koga and Laurie Mustard.

The trio of Winnipeg Studio Theatre's artistic director Kayla Gordon, Prairie Theatre Exchange artistic director Robert Metcalfe and Lee White of The Crumbs will be the on-stage judges dispensing their assessments of the performances. The audience will ultimately determine the winner of a large, garish trophy topped by as Oscar-like figure.

"Our judges are going to be a little ridiculous," says Sarasvti artistic director Hope McIntyre, who hopes to raise $5,000 for an upcoming production. "They're arguing over who's going to be Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. Our three will be spoofing the judges we all know and love. Bob doesn't want to be the mean one, but he's so good at it."

All the scenes being staged the day after Valentine's Day deal with love gone wrong. They are lifted from plays like I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change and Mom, Dad, I'm Living with a White Girl.

Kuzyk will be performing (script in hand like all the actors) a scene from Ferenc Molnar's A Matter of Husbands, in which she plays a haughty, famous actress who is being confronted by an earnest young woman who thinks her spouse is being stolen from her. She considered a couple of scenes from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? but thought the material too heavy for a fun evening.

It's a long time since she last acted in a serious production. Her fringe festival debut was in 1989 as the title character in the comedy, The Prettiest Girl in Lafayette County, and returned the following year in The Time and the Place.

"I'd do it again," says Kuzyk, who is enjoying running her own communications business. "I don't claim to be a good actress but I'm passionate about theatre."

That ardour does not extend to reality TV shows like American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance."

"I don't like those shows," she says. "I don't watch any of them. I can't stand them."

Showtime is 8 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $25 and can be reserved by calling 586-2236.

-- -- --

Michael Nathanson's drama Talk will be presented in Israel in April.

The Winnipeg Jewish Theatre production is the only international participant in the Stage One English Theatre Festival to be presented in Jerusalem April 8-10. Talk, about two longtime friends who find themselves on opposite sides of the Middle East conflict, debuted at WJT in 2007 and was performed at the National Arts Centre last year as part of Prairie Scene 2011.

"I've never been to Israel," says Nathanson, WJT artistic producer. "The fact that this play is taking me there makes the experience all the more overwhelming."

kevin.prokosh@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 15, 2012 D3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Christmas Cheer Board hamper kickoff

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060711 Chris Pedersen breeds Monarch butterflies in his back yard in East Selkirk watching as it transforms from the Larva or caterpillar through the Chrysalis stage to an adult Monarch. Here an adult Monarch within an hour of it emerging from the Chrysalis which can be seen underneath it.
  • JJOE.BRYKSA@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Local-Postcard  Day-Horror frost and fog created a most beautiful setting at Assiniboine Park Thursday morning in WInnipeg- Enviroent Canada says the fog will lifet this morning and will see a high of -7C-  JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS- Feb 18, 2010

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should the federal government force band chiefs and councillors to disclose their salary information?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google