september 2022 | Volume 219
Lila, a poor girl, arrives in Canada to find a man to buy her. Packed with her dance moves, charming giraffe jokes and well executed domestic chores, will light-hearted lovable Lila find a buyer or will she go home in shame?
Mail Ordered is an interactive comedy performance about the life of a charming young girl seeking that promise for a better life with the help of her new Canadian friends. The performance promises the audience a rollercoaster ride littered with touches of parody, Asian melodrama tropes and dance numbers set to a fusion of Asian- and Western-inspired music and sounds.
This new work is created by Singaporean artist, Shanice Stanislaus, and directed by Aaron Coates from Canada. This is Shanice's first time presenting at the Fringe!
Length: 60 mins | Age: 14+ | Warning(s): Challenging Content
Background to the work
Using humour to shed light on young girls who are sold into the mail order bride business as a form of human trafficking.
"As an artist, I often use humour and comedy in my work as a form of access and preparation for audiences to receive stories that are often delicate to tell. Humour also serves as a tool to help the audience understand the complex world of Lila, where she navigates fulfilling her duty to become a good daughter to her family while she encounters the new world of how women navigate love and marriage in Canada.
The show also sheds light on realities of human trafficking through the mail order bride business. This is a delicate topic as it deals with realities of the sale of women and children from Asia to North America, Lila 's story being one of them.
In telling the story of a reality that might be dark, I have used the mediums of comedy, dance and music to help tell the story of lighthearted lovable Lila who comes from a fictional Southeast Asian village to Canada to find a husband who can buy her. " – Shanice Stanislaus
"This is my first work with Canadian artists. Working with Aaron Coates has given me the confidence and desire to want to share my stories in Canada. We share the same interest in using play and comedy in devising performances having being both trained with French Clown Master, Phillipe Gaulier in Paris.
I like that this show is a creative collaboration between a Singaporean and Canadian creative team, working together across continents and also via the internet in the last few months leading to the show to create this iteration of the work for the Vancouver Fringe Festival 2022." – Shanice Stanislaus
A Singapore-Canadian creative collaboration, Mail Ordered is written and performed by Singapore artist Shanice Stanislaus. Directed by Aaron Coates from Calgary, this production boasts a mix of Singapore and Canadian performers -- Dennis Sofian, Andrea Greening and Nathan Crockett. Original music and sound created by Eugene Yip and Yen Yu Ting from GRYD Studio in Singapore.
Interactive Comedy Performance
"This is a show that will interest audiences who enjoy being part of a performance. The audience is quite involved in this show through assisting Lila with her attempts to sell herself.
Lila befriends the audience, who she regards as her first real friends in Canada as they help her through various tasks, changing her luck, participating in a lottery (audience members might win money) and eventually helping Lila navigate what to do next as she realizes it is incredibly hard to sell herself and tries to place where home might be for her next.
Depending on the choice made by the audience, the ending can differ for each performance."
-– Shanice Stanislaus
ABOUT SHANICE & AARON
Shanice Stanislaus is a Singaporean performing artist. Her artistic practice for both dance and theatre is strongly influenced by her work with international directors and choreographers. She started her professional performing journey at 18 back in 2012 with Flamenco Dance Theatre company, Flamenco Sin Fronteras and has since been performing under esteemed Flamenco Dance Theatre maestro, Antonio Vargas.
She also has worked as a performing artist locally and internationally; with award winning Broadway Jazz choreographer, Sue Samuels (New York City), theatre director Bill Bowers (New York City), theatre practitioner Philippe Gaulier (Paris), David Glass (UK), Deufert&Plishke (Germany) award-winning director and choreographer Alberto Velasco (Barcelona), Aaron Coates (Calgary) and prominent Singaporean directors Alvin Chiam, Claire Wong and Ivan Heng.
Her self-produced and written clown dance theatre performance 'La Mariposa Borracha ' was part of the Gateway Arts Festival in 2019 in Singapore. In 2022, her solo comedy show, 'Mail Ordered ' was featured in the International Artists Festival 2022 in Canada. She performs both for live shows and for commercials, television and films.
When she is not performing, she juggles other hats - film director, movement director and film producer. She loves working within the medium of film to tell stories and has had her documentaries featured in international film festivals such as the Guam International Film Festival (2016) and Mallorca Film Festival (2017). She is also the director behind 'Ghost Lake ' , the dance film that won best cinematography in the Experimental Dance & Music Film Festival, Toronto and Los Angeles (2022). She frequently works with international brands, production companies and even independent artists to creatively direct and produce commercials, music videos and short films.
Shanice is passionate about teaching and loves working with communities that have no access to the arts. Her community arts work includes developing and training emerging youth artists and bringing arts programs to internationally in impoverished communities. She has worked in numerous places in Cambodia and Kenya. In recent years, she has been working with inclusive arts practices for children and youths with chronic illnesses and/or special needs with organisations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Rainbow Centre and Superhero Me. She is an active advocate for inclusive movement and arts education for the arts community in Singapore.
She is the founder and director of Creatives Inspirit, a creative arts company with the mission to empower and nurture communities that experience illnesses, caregiving or poverty through community arts productions and educational outreach programs.
Shanice is a graduate of E 'cole Philippe Gaulier (Theatre) (Paris) and has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from Yale-NUS College. She has trained in dance and theatre in New York at Tisch: School of the arts, Stella Adler Studio for Acting, Broadway Dance Center and La Caldera in Barcelona. Shanice is the award recipient of the Yale-NUS Alumni Arts Development Grant for the Performing Arts (2019)
Aaron Coates is a Canadian director, writer, actor, and the Associate Artistic Director of Cowtown Opera. Directing credits include: Ticket to Love, The Bat, Figaro 's Wedding, NYC Meets YYC, Prison Divas, Archibaldo, The Bachelor, La Bohème, The Phantom of the Opera Sing-Along, The Sound of Music Sing-Along (Cowtown Opera); Nemorino and the Magic Potion, Cinderella, The Magic Flute, The Scorpions ' Sting, Hansel and Gretel, Hannaraptor (Calgary Opera); The After Party, The Way of All Fish (Lunchbox Theatre); Dying City (Pangloss), The Old Neighborhood (Rogues Theatre), Iraq and Back (Ghost River Theatre), and The End of the Rope (Vertigo Theatre).
Aaron spent nine seasons as Co-Artistic Producer of Dirty Laundry, Calgary 's live improvised soap opera, where he directed over 150 episodes. He is also an instructor at Company of Rogues Actors ' Studio in Calgary, Canada.Aaron Coates studied acting at Mount Royal University and at École Philippe Gaulier in Paris.
get in touch with vancouverplays:
Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews