IGNITE! 2020: Banana Conundrum

Art Series: Provocation

Devin Kotani is a half-Japanese/half-Scottish actor. In the past, he has played characters of racial backgrounds different than his own, but now he wonders: “Is that okay?” Is it okay for an actor like Devin to play a Chinese character, for example? What about his own identity? Can he play a Japanese character? Can he play a Scottish character? A Canadian character? Or can he only play characters written specifically for a half-Japanese/half-Scottish actor?

Devin asks these questions and more through this theatrical exploration of race in the arts, while also asking of the audience: Who do you think of when you think of actors? Celebrities? How do these people relate to your own racial identities? Join Devin, and find your answers together in The Banana Conundrum.

Show Times –

  • June 10 – 7:05-7:55
  • June 11 – 6:40-7:30

Run time – 50 minutes
Rating – PG

  • Mental illness
  • Racism/racial slurs

If you have questions relating to mental health, Alberta Health – Access Mental Health is an excellent resource with trained professionals who can answer questions about these matters.

If you need immediate help and support the Calgary Distress Centre can provide immediate access to a crisis counsellor. Accessible by phone at 403-266-4357 and by their chat function – located here.

Owl Pod is offering free virtual counselling sessions – needing to talk is okay. No problem is too small.

Cast and Creative Team

Creator, Lead – Devin Kotani
A graduate of the University of Calgary’s drama program, Devin studied primarily as an actor, and has worked as an actor and a director since graduating in 2018.

Artistic Mentor – Kris Vanessa Treo

Director – Zach Running Coyote
Zach Running Coyote is a Mi’gmaq Interdisciplinary Story Scavenger who’s work examines how colonization and diverse community structure alters the land we call home. You may know him as the playwright/performer of Snowblind at Lunchbox Theatre and Making Treaty 7.

Dramaturg – Kodie Rollan
Kodie Rollan is a Philippine-born, Scarborough-raised, Calgary-based playwright, dramaturg, actor, and producer.
Kodie is drawn to telling stories that examine the socio-political environment of our world. His dramaturgy credits include: A Visual Presentation of My Worst Anxieties by Lucas Gerimbly (Hoodlum Theatre), Rule of the Ring (Proeliator Theatre) Safehouse (Seven Starving Artists).
His playwriting credits include: The Watchdog Society (Carlos Bulosan Theatre – Tales from the Flipside Festival), Funny Man (IGNITE! Festival of Emerging Artists).
Kodie is currently the Artistic Associate of Chromatic Theatre.