Meet the Team of RED – Sarah Van Tassel is the Mentor Director

sarahvWhat is your role on this production? I’m the Mentor Director. Walterdale is encouraging newer directors to direct their first show on our stage, and as such pairs them up with a “mentor” – someone who has directed on our stage previously and who can be a resource for the director.

What is your background in theatre? With Walterdale? I’ve been working in independent and community theatre since graduating university in 2006. I have held various roles on the Walterdale Board, including Artistic Director and President, and have been onstage and backstage for a slew of productions, including: W;t, Jeffrey, Burning Vision, Love of the Nightingale, Reasons to be Pretty, and You Are Here. 

What brought you out for this show? Why did you join the team? What about this show intrigues you?  Bethany and I were working together on W;t when she mentioned that she was thinking of submitting Red for this season. She asked if I’d be willing to be her “mentor” as she hadn’t directed at Walterdale previously and I said yes, without hesitation. I adore working with Bethany and this is such a great script.

For me, the conversations about symbiotic relationship between the art and the viewer are fascinating. I’ve always felt that all art is subjective and what the viewer brings to the table when viewing said art matters – but what about the intention of the artists when they created the piece – is it just as important? It’s so interesting to explore these concepts.

What is the most challenging thing about working on this show? The most enjoyable thing? This has been a really unique experience for me – as mentor it’s about trying to help Bethany realize her vision of the show and support that as the production develops. It’s been really great to watch the show develop and see Bethany’s vision of it come to life.

Art plays a big role in this show. Who is your favorite artist and why? I’ve always loved pop art. Warhol and Lichtenstein, in particular. I love the way that pop art appropriates other mediums and creates new and unique pieces out of it. Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl is one of my favourites.


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