Toronto-based Derek Kwan is an actor and classical singer working at the intersection of theatre, music and movement, with an interest in the full integration of these elements in performance. He has performed in concerts, oratorios, operas, and theatre productions in Canada, Taiwan, China and Thailand. Derek has been nominated for 3 Dora Mavor Moore Awards for his work in theatre and received the Toronto Theatre Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for his role in Mr. Shi and His Lover.
Derek is also passionate about therapeutic clowning, as well as clown, puppet and mask in all contexts. He has set up a studio where he has begun making masks and puppets and sells hand-crafted leather clown noses as well.
Favourite recent projects: an outdoor, site-specific Winter promenade show- Tails From the City (Common Boots Theatre); Lorca’s Blood Weddings (Aluna Theatre/Modern Times); Fritz & Magda, an improvised promenade mask show (he was Magda), and Mr. Park vs Dale, a 1-person/2-character masked outdoor opera he wrote for tenor and viola da gamba (LabCab); a story-telling residency in kindergarten classes (Firefly Project– Theatre Direct); creating theatre for children with autism (Red Kite Project-Theatre Direct); exploring physicality and Schubert’s Winterreise with choreographer William Yong at McMichael Gallery (Luminato Festival).
Performance highlights include- theatre: Tails From the City (Common Boots Theatre); Blood Weddings (Modern Times/Aluna), Winterreise Projekt (Harbourfront HATCH), Head à Tête (Theatre Direct), A Synonym for Love (Volcano), Unspoken (Native Earth Performing Arts), Red Snow (Red Snow Collective), A Fool’s Life (Ahuri Theatre), Banana Boys (fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company); opera/music theatre: Play of Daniel (Toronto Consort), Paradises Lost (Summerworks 2013), The Lesson of Da Ji (Toronto Masque Theatre), Tapestry New Opera’s New Opera Showcase 2012, Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins (Against the Grain), Mozart’s The Impresario (Bangkok Opera); TV: XIII Season 2, Cracked