An Interview with Sandra Oh – Transcript

Transcribed by Monty Cole, Artistic Programs Manager

SANDRA OH: I started — I went to theatre school. I went to the National Theatre School in Canada. And after that just did theatre. And then I took like a 17 year television hiatus (laughs). So I worked in television for about 17 years – I can’t believe I can say that.

So I want to go back. I want to go back to the – and also felt like after playing one character and doing work in television (which is a completely different medium than theatre, obviously) I wanted to go back and test myself.

I was really drawn to Death and the Maiden on numerous levels. Firstly, actually was working with Chay. I’ve known Chay for a long time and we met in Los Angeles almost twenty years ago. And I’ve worked with him.

He brought up Death and the Maiden and I was familiar with the play, but didn’t really know exactly what I was getting into. So that was kind of exciting too, but now having just gently started rehearsal of the play – you know, in some ways Chay got me here, but what the play is exposing and what the play, I feel, is trying to bring to light is, I think, essential for our advancement and understanding as humans.

Injustice and torture are happening now. You know, even though this play is gently based, basically, in Chile after the Pinochet era. And this play was done in the early 90s. We know that that’s decades ago, but it’s still relevant.

The diversity of the work and the faces that you’ll see potentially might not be ones that you see all the time. If Paulina looks like someone like me, what country is this? We’re all talking in English, obviously, but what country is this? When they see Raul come on stage as my husband, suddenly, what country is this? Even when John comes on – what country is this?

I hope that the audience will have the experience that I know we’re having in the room which is of discovery and horror and sadness and anger. I hope they have that same experience because again, it’s to be alive. It’s to be awake and alive. I feel like that’s what we’re exploring in the room, that’s hopefully what we’re bringing to the play, and that’s hopefully what the audience will experience.

Access Dates for Death and the Maiden:
July 1, 7:30pm Audio Described
July 2, 2:00pm Word-For-Word Captioning
July 11, 7:30pm ASL Interpreted, Word-For-Word Captioning
July 12, 4:00pm Word-For-Word Captioning
July 13, 3:00pm Audio Described