Vancouver theatre’s most promising newcomer a TWU graduate

Kaylee Harwood in 2009 as Cosette in the Arts Club Theatre’s production of Les Miserables. Photo by David Cooper

TWU alumna Kaylee Harwood won the Sam Payne Award for Most Promising Newcomer at the 2010 Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. This prestigious award honours an emerging artist within three years of professional debut, and is open to playwrights, stage managers, and designers, as well as performers.

“Having my name read aloud on the same stage honoring the artists who are part of the reason I do this, humbled and utterly floored me,” says Harwood. “It was an amazing evening capping off the absolute whirlwind of the last year and a half.”

That whirlwind began immediately after finishing classes in December, 2008. Kaylee went directly from Mr. Pim Passes By at Chemainus Theatre Festival, into the role of Cosette in Les Miserables at Vancouver’s largest professional company, The Arts Club Theatre. This acclaimed production was followed by a school tour of a new Canadian play with Shameless Hussy Theatre, the role of Eliza in My Fair Lady at Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops, playing Johanna in Sweeney Todd at The Citadel in Edmonton, and then coming home to be part of A Year With Frog and Toad at Vancouver’s Carousel Theatre.

Kaylee also received a second Jessie at the event for Ensemble Performance in A Year With Frog and Toad, which also won Outstanding Production in the Theatre For Young Audiences category.

Harwood continues a legacy of TWU success at the Jessie awards that was begun by her former instructor, Angela Konrad, who won a Jessie in 2007 for outstanding direction. Konrad, chair of TWU’s theatre department, is proud of her former student. "Kaylee Harwood is a superstar,” she says. “She's got the whole package. She can sing, dance, act, and audition. And more importantly, she's a lovely human being so people like working with her.”

Harwood, while excited about what the future brings, is also thankful for the opportunities she has been given. “The teaching and mentoring I received at TWU was fantastic preparation for my professional career,” she says.

TWU’s new BFA in Acting is sure to create such opportunities for many more in the future. As part of the School of the Arts, Media and Culture (SAMC), this professional actor training program welcomes its first students this fall.

"We've had a great acting program at TWU for a several years and Kaylee is a proud result,” say Konrad. “With our new BFA in Acting, we will become even stronger, providing the credentials that the industry demands while continuing to develop well-rounded theatre artists like Kaylee."

Visit the twu.ca/samc to learn about more TWU successes at the Jessie Awards.

 



Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is a provincially chartered, independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university, enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include nursing, counseling psychology, marriage and family therapy, 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: 2013-03-18
Author: Ty Petkau