• 22Jul

    Khoshkam's First Appearance As Artistic Director Will Be At The Opening of Iago Speaks August 6th

    By: Amanda Short
    Category: In the News

    Kayvon Khoshkam is returning to a different Saskatoon than the one he left 20 years ago.

    In preparing to take over the reins of Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, the incoming artistic director has been looking back on the path that’s led him here.

    In a sense, it’s a return for Khoshkam, a director, actor, producer, writer and musician who spent his youth in the city.

    Leading a Shakespeare company isn’t a role he was expecting to land  — not at this place in his career, and especially not back when he was a 17-year-old with a guitar and aspirations to play in a band one day.

    “It’s interesting now to look at how my life has ended up being involved with so much Shakespeare that I go, ‘Oh!’ It’s really quite beautiful that that’s the route that’s getting to take me home,” he said.

    Khoshkam says his career as an artist has followed a serendipitous trajectory across the country and beyond.

    “A lot of it has sort of come from circumstance and opportunities … somewhat like this, something comes up, and you just listen to a little gut instinct,” he said.

    In this case, that circumstance was a “dear, dear” friend trying to lure him home. SUM Theatre artistic director Joel Bernbaum, a friend from theatre school in Victoria, was the one who reached out to Khoshkam about the role.

    Khoshkam’s first appearance as artistic director will be at the opening of Iago Speaks in August. He says his first year will be about learning as he connects with the company and the community.

    After serving as artistic director of Vancouver’s SpeakEasy Theatre since 2016, Khoshkam says his perspective on leadership is rooted in community.

    “I always thought that artistic leadership should be a process of interpretation, and an understanding from the community versus prescribing what you think people should like or what people should be experiencing,” he said.

    From his perspective as an artist, Khoshkam says he has solidified his place as “a clown and a fool.”

    “That’s become my, I guess, sort of trademark or niche is I do a lot of the Shakespearean fools and clowns and a lot of the comedic work,” he said.

    The fool’s perspective — challenging the status quo and questioning why things are the way they are — is one he hopes to apply to the Shakespearean canon. He hopes to dive into a conversation more focused on understanding the “why” of doing Shakespeare than the “how.”

    “I think we really have to take a strong analysis as to why we’re doing them still, are they of benefit and who has paid the cost for this tradition of English theatre?” he said.

    That fool’s labour is something Khoshkam says he takes very seriously — and he’s aware of how contradictory that sounds.

    “It’s truth telling. It’s satire. When you’re a fool, you’re supposed to be the community’s conscious and then you’re the voice that tells the king that they’re screwing up and the king listens,” he said. “So it’s sort of been a fool’s path. And that’s where I find myself today.”


    Published in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix on July 7th, 2022
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