TWU Alum finds herself soaking in the press with The Laundromat

Brenda Matthews playing Alberta stars alongside TWU theatre graduate Diana Squires who plays Deedee in the Scarlet Satin production of The Laundromat. (Photo by Mike Rathjen)

It has been a busy summer for TWU alum Diana Squires, who was the vision behind the birth of a new independent theatre company called Scarlet Satin Productions. Since launching its first production called The Laundromat that is literally staged in a working laundromat in downtown Vancouver, the company has been soaking in the press appearing in the Globe and Mail and on radio shows like CBC’s On The Coast.

In The Laundromat, one wash-rinse-dry cycle sends the audience spinning back to the world of 1979 where, for two desperate housewives, nothing is as it seems.Theatre goers watch as two strangers from different worlds stumble in with delicates in hand and reluctantly share their darkest secrets.Squires plays the character of young Deedee, who bounces from fidgety to feisty opposite the character of Alberta, whose restrained propriety masks both tenderness and sardonic wit.

Squires graduated in 2005 from TWU with a BA in Drama. It was while she was directing “Steel Magnolias” on the TWU stage that the passion for creating this type of theatre company was first conceived. Squires recalls thinking, "Wouldn't it be great to have a vehicle where I can create more opportunities for women in theatre--particularly strong roles for actresses--and carve out an environment where I can continue to collaborate with like-minded artists who bring a variety of skills to the table.”

Fast forward four years and the future looks bright for Squires and Scarlet Satin. “I'm brimming with ideas! We're going to be tackling some of the classics, retold with an all-female cast.Also, we'll be premiering a musical I've been writing over the past couple of years. I'd like to do a couple of shows a year, giving me the opportunity to act, direct, and write in turn. And I would absolutely love to get to the place where this company can actually commission new works.”

When asked how her degree and university experience prepared her for this challenge Squires says,Your career endeavours are very much a mosaic of various background experiences, and I see lots of snippets of TWU in what makes me the artist I am. A key part of my career preparation was the Directing course I took with Professor Angela Konrad--so many of the values I use to judge good theatre and operating principles I apply to my work stem from lessons I learned in that class. Also, the mentoring I received during and after my degree from professors who are now friends helped give me so much confidence...and if there's anything you need to start a company yourself and wear a dozen different producer-related hats for the show while starring in it, it's CONFIDENCE!”

The Laundromat written by Marsha Norman, is directed by Tamara McCarthy and stars Diana Squires alongside Brenda Matthews.Performances are nightly between August 13-15 and 19 -22 at Swan Laundry, 1352 Burrard Street in Vancouver. Doors open at 8:00pm and the show begins at 8:30pm.

More information about The Laundromat can be found by visiting http://scarletsatin.wordpress.com/2009/

Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is an independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, nursing, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include counseling psychology, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.

Last Updated: 2009-08-14
Author: Erin Mussolum