Factory presents the World Premiere of trace Written, Composed and Performed by Jeff Ho Directed by Nina Lee Aquino November 11 – December 3, 2017

Factory, in association with b current performing arts, is proud to present the world premiere of trace, a one-man-two-piano-play written, composed and performed by former Factory Artistic Associate Jeff Ho (Ophelia, Prince Hamlet/Why Not Theatre), and directed by Factory Artistic Director Nina LeeAquino.
A painfully personal story of family and genealogy, trace follows the footprints taken by Jeff’s great grandmother who fled the Japanese in WWII by escaping to Hong Kong, losing one of her two sons during the trek; his mother’s similar pilgrimage to Canada, also with two sons in tow; and by Jeff himself, when he too embarked on a journey, moving from Markham to Montreal to pursue an uncharacteristically Chinese life.
Spanning 100 years and three generations, and featuring virtuosic original piano compositions composed by Jeff, trace is a chamber play structured as a piano sonata with a prelude, three movements and a coda. A convergence of theatrical and symphonic storytelling, trace celebrates the courage and strength of his matriarchal forebears while acknowledging the lasting implications of familial sacrifice.
trace marks the playwriting debut from Jeff Ho, referred to as a “discreet revelation” by the Montreal Gazette. Select acting credits include: Hana’s Suitcase (Tour: Toronto/Montreal/Seattle/YPT), Unknown Soldier(lemontree/Architect Theatre), Murderers Confess at Christmastime (Outside the March), Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet (Repercussion Theatre), Incorporated (SyFy/CBS), and Orphan Black (BBC America). As a playwright, Jeff has held residencies with the Stratford Playwright’s Retreat 2016, Nightswimming, Cahoots Hot House Unit, Banff Centre Playwrights Lab, and Factory Theatre. Jeff began playing piano at age five, graduated from the National Theatre School in 2013, and won a Harold award in 2017.
Nina Lee Aquino is the current Artistic Director of Factory Theatre and former Artistic Director of fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company (2002 – 2010) and Cahoots Theatre Company (2009 – 2013). She is the editor of Canada’s first Asian-Canadian 2-volume drama anthology love + relasianships and the co-editor of the award winning New Essays on Canadian Theatre Volume One: Asian Canadian Theatre (Playwrights Canada Press). Awards for her directorial work include: the Ken McDougall Award 2004, the Canada Council John Hirsch Prize 2008, and two Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Direction. Theatre credits include trace, acquiesce, Banana Boys, The Unplugging (Factory Theatre); The Drawer Boy (Theatre Passe Muraille); James and the Giant Peach, ScarberiaSultans of the Street (Young People’s Theatre); The Wanderers, paper SERIES (Cahoots); carried away on the crest of a wave (Tarragon); Ching Chong Chinaman,
lady in the red dress, Singkil (fu-GEN).
“I am very excited to be directing trace this season, this pan-pacific history of three maternal figures is a powerhouse debut for Jeff. The play’s use of music and text as a way to confront history – both the beautiful and the ugly parts of it – is revelatory. The use of piano as an integral part of the storytelling it truly unique, and offers audiences a sensory experience like nothing else.”
–Nina Lee Aquino

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