Jovanni Sy

Director, Playwright, Actor

Jovanni Sy is a playwright, director, performer, and the former Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre (Toronto) and Gateway Theatre (Vancouver).

His plays include A Taste of Empire, The Five Vengeances, Nine Dragons (Jessie Richardson Award), The Tao of the World (PGC Comedy Award), and Kowloon Bay (PGC Drama Award). He received a Silver Commission from the Arts Club (Vancouver) for his new farce Fan Tan Alley.

Directing credits include: The Orchard (After Chekhov), Yoga Play,《食盡天下》(Vancouver); Murder on the Orient Express (Calgary); Stitch (Toronto); and Blackbird, Antigone, God of Carnage (Hong Kong).

Jovanni played Mr. Miyagi in the pre-Broadway tryout of The Karate Kid, the Musical. Other recent acting credits include Forgiveness (Theatre Calgary/Arts Club) and Prison Dancer (National Arts Centre/Citadel Theatre).

This summer, he will direct the world premiere of his play Salesman in China (co-written with Leanna Brodie) for the Stratford Festival.

When I started my career in 1992, two artists were always at the forefront fighting for equitable representation in Canadian Theatre: Brenda Kamino and the late Sandi Ross. They challenged the powers-that-be at a time when there was virtually no personal upside and a huge downside. I have witnessed so much progress over 30 years and for this, we owe so much to the courage of these two women.

On a personal note, one of my great mentors and champions has been Brian Quirt. I wouldn’t have had the career I’ve had without his generous support. Brian was championing marginalized voices decades before others started following his lead. Brian, like Brenda and Sandi, is one of my personal heroes.