Cahoots Theatre presents its third premiere since Spring 2022 with playwright playwright Amanda Lin’s and director Esther Jun’s BETWEEN A WOK AND A HOT POT. While preparing a traditional hot pot onstage, Mandy reminisces about when it wasn’t cool to be Asian, and delves into the complicated topics of identity and appropriation.
Amanda Lin performs double-duty in the production. Along with serving as writer, she portrays the central character of Mandy, starring alongside Kenzie Tsang. Mandy shares her experience as the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants navigating different worlds against the background of historical facts and popular culture.
The show’s production is managed by Shawn Henry and stage managed by Wei Qing Tan, with dramaturgy by Elyne Quan. Its design team consists of Echo Zhou, Olivia Wheeler, Emily Jung, and Sarah Yuen.
Tanisha Taitt, Cahoots’ artistic director, programmed BETWEEN A WOK AND A HOT POT near the start of her tenure as part of her desire to nurture new female playwrights of colour. An early draft of the play caught her attention with its perspectives and humour, combined with its serious contemplation of what it means to be “true” to one’s culture. “ There are so many people in this country who have had to walk the line between a strong sense of their Canadian selves, and the cherished heritages of their parents and grandparents, “ she states. “It can be a tightrope act to figure out who you are amidst all of the voices.”
I had the opportunity to speak with Amanda this past week. Here we discuss her writing process, workshopping this play, and the evolution of BETWEEN A WOK AND A HOT POT over the last few years.
BETWEEN A WOK AND A HOT POT opens Tuesday, January 31st at the BMO Incubator in The Theatre Centre. Please note, there will be show-specific COVID protocols since food will be shared during the performance. For more information about tickets, protocols and more, please visit theatrecentre.org.