There should be a sense that nobody but you could have made this piece.
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois
Katherine Sanders has been creating, producing and performing her own work for 15 years. Born and raised in Calgary, she has a background in ballet and modern dance, a Bachelor's degree in Theatre and a career as a creator, teacher and producer. Fringe audiences may have seen Katherine in Monster Theatre's 2006 hit show, Jesus Christ: The Lost Years, which she co-wrote and starred in with Ryan Gladstone. Ms Sanders was also in the inaugural Monster Theatre show, Fairy Tale - A Choose Your Own Adventure, which opened at the Winnipeg Fringe in 2000. Apart from Monster Theatre, Calgary audiences have seen Katherine perform at Loose Moose Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, and One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre. Katherine's work has been produced and performed as part of One Yellow Rabbit's High Performance Rodeo, and she was nominated for a Betty Mitchell award for her performance as Louise in Marion Bridge at Alberta Theatre Projects. Since moving to Toronto in 2006, Ms Sanders has performed at the Diesel Playhouse, Unit 102, and at the Stirling Festival Theatre, where she was able to realize a dream by portraying the characters of Lily Tomlin, Carol Burnett, Joanne Worley, and Cher in a 1960's comedy revue. She also has a career in Theatre for Young Audiences, having toured extensively with Quest Theatre for Kids, taught as an Artist-in-Residence with Trickster Theatre in schools across Alberta, and currently produces the HarbourKIDS programme at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. She is also the Artistic Director of NachoMama TYA, which produced her play The Super Secret Subway Society to critical acclaim at the Toronto Kids Fringe in 2012.
Tell a good story, from your own unique perspective.
CHARPO: Now - in the old days a solo play was where Fringe went to die but now it's high art with some of the great talents of the world participating. How do you get above the noise of this kind of competition?
a) "First World Problems" and whether I have the right to complain about them (answer: not really).
b) things that I wish I could change about the world, and I mean CHANGE – not donate money to, or raise awareness of, but singlehandedly, permanently change, right now.
Out of point a) evolved a character who personifies "First World Problems". I drew on my own background - I'm the only child of two only children. We weren't rich, but I was used to being the centre of attention. So I exaggerated my insecurities about that upbringing to create Spoiled Child - a child star who has now grown up to find that life isn't as easy as it first seemed. I also thought a lot about reality TV stars - people who are famous for being famous, and whose future wealth depends on staying that way.
Point b) introduces Spoiled Child to the kind of huge problem I wish I could fix. A controversial issue that affects the future of the human race and all species on this planet, which requires global cooperation to solve, (not to mention universal agreement about its existence). Throw in a cute animal for a mascot, and you have Spoiled Child Saves the Polar Bears.Ah, the $64,000 question. Of course I'm not ready!
CHARPO: On one of its apparent themes: do you see celebrity involvement as a help or hindrance to important causes; it seems to me - as much as I admire him - people are getting a bit tired of Bono.