Eugenia De Jong

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This position is generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Eugenia De Jong is as an actor, director, administrator, dramaturg, lyricist and playwright. Some of her notable contributions working for Crane Creations has been as Program Lead and Director for Summer Ensemble, a training program for young theatre artists; Playwright of Mirror, a children’s puppetry show; and Dramaturg for Terror: An Interactive Courtroom Drama. She was a former Summer Ensemble Participant. She received a BFA from the University of Windsor. Eugenia is excited to be a part of the rich culture of Mississauga Theatre!

“I believe art is a way of connecting people together and investigating ideas with compassion and understanding.”

Eugenia De Jong is a core team member of Crane Creations Theatre Company. She works as an arts administrator, producer, actor, puppeteer, playwright, webmaster and more. As a core team member of Crane Creations Theatre Company, Eugenia wears many hats. She is most excited for Puppet Festival Mississauga and bringing amazing puppetry and animation to children across the city of Mississauga, Ontario Canada. 

Where is Eugenia De Jong From?

Eugenia was born in North York, Toronto and grew up in the city of Toronto. She is a Canadian and American citizen. North York is a district in the north area of Toronto. It is a highly multicultural district home to the  Ontario Science Centre, the Aga Khan Museum, and amazing bubble tea spots.

Eugenia was inspired to become an actor at an early age, when she went to see a broadway musical, Wicked. She developed a love for storytelling through theatre, and was fascinated by how people could transform themselves into different characters right before the audiences’ eyes. She wrote and performed her own plays after school as a child. As a teenager, she began to study acting and was accepted into Earl Haig Secondary School’s Claude Watson Drama Program. She has a love for Shakespeare, and would visit the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario as a child to see shows.

Her biggest inspiration to become an actor was watching Shakespeare at the Stratford Festival. She enjoys Shakespeare’s history plays the most. Her favourite Shakespeare play is Richard III, and she adores the character of Richard II.

“I love Shakespeare because of the rich stories, and characters. Shakespeare is beloved by everyone across the world. I believe that anyone should be able to watch a Shakespeare Play and understand what’s going on.”

Education

Eugenia De Jong studied Acting at the University of Windsor and graduated with a BFA in 2018. There she learned different styles of theatre such as Greek Mask, Suzuki, Viewpoints, Linklater, Chekov, Stanislavski and other forms of theatre. Want to learn how to become a professional actor?

Eugenia’s favourite memories of being in University of Windsor was performing as Masha in Three Sisters by Anton Chekov and working on The Dining Room by A.R. Gurney. During her last year at the University of Windsor, she wrote and performed a one-woman show titled, Sonya, about her grandmother’s experience during WWII. Her advice to actors who want to study at a theatre school and are auditioning, is to be openminded and learn how to accept whatever happens along the way. Interested in what it’s like to study at theatre school?

After graduating, she was selected to be a member of the Second City Conservatory Toronto. There she studied improvisation and sketch comedy, along the lines of Saturday Night Live Sketch Comedy. At Second City, Eugenia wrote and performed her own sketch show, Die Soft, which premiered on the Second City MainStage, when the building was still located on 99 Blue Jays Way, Toronto. There Eugenia, was able to test out her writing chops, writing sketches from the surreal (mutant chickens taking over the world), to more personal stories about the heart-ache of breaking up. She did a staged reading of her work, A Letter To My Younger Self, which premiered at Theatre Direct’s Forward March Festival in 2019. Her favourite playwright is William Shakespeare. She is now in the process of writing a theatre for young audiences puppetry show, Mirror. Why is puppetry great for children?

A workshop of Mirror premiered in Mississauga in August 2021. Mirror is about four forest creatures who find a strange object in the forest. Eugenia wrote the play and worked as a lyricist alongside composer, Erik Geddis. She found it to be an incredible experience.

Eugenia is a former member of the Summer Ensemble. She participated in 2019, where she worked on a workshopped play, Romeo and Juliet. Eugenia played the role of the Nurse. She also participated in workshops of a new play development based on greek mythology. As well as improving her acting chops, she learned valuable industry, business and entrepreneurial skills; such as marketing, grant writing, and how to structure a business. As well she was able to expand her horizons of theatre and learn about the different types of theatre that exist across the globe. This was one of her first professional experiences outside of school. 

https://www.cranecreations.ca/opportunities-in-mississauga/summer-ensemble-arts-jobs-and-work-in-culture/

She also met some peers, which she has since worked with including Andreja Kovac, Aditi Sharma, Aimee Poulin, Rishab Kalra, Sarah Hime and Erik Mrakovic.

Her favourite memory from working with Crane was playing Dungeons and Dragons with Dungeon Master Oli Allen.

“Crane Creations has been an incredibly useful learning and career opportunity. I have learned so much about the theatre industry. It has given me a platform for continue growth and maturation in my field. I am so grateful for this experience.”

In her second year as a summer ensemble member, Eugenia began working on a new play in development, Mirror, which she has now become the playwright of. The play, currently in development, was presented in a workshop performance, that premiered at the Small Arms Building in August 2021.

https://www.cranecreations.ca/mirror-puppet-show/

Eugenia returned to assist in leading the third annual Summer Ensemble. She directed the play, Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare with the actors of the summer ensemble that year. She returned to her love of Shakespeare, directing one of her favourite Shakespeare Comedies, Twelfth Night.

“One of my favourite parts of directing is being able to take apart and deconstruct a mammoth sized text of Shakespeare. A play is not always what it seems on the surface, and part of your job as a director is to uncover the underlaying world of the play. What lies beyond the text. Like a detective, a director combs through the text to discover clues and uncover new possibilities to bring life to the work. Shakespeare leaves lots of clues, but they aren’t always.”

Eugenia works on a new show with Crane Creations Called Terror, which premiered on November 26th at Clarke Hall in Port Credit and online via a 360 degree camera. She worked as a dramaturg in Terror as well as taking on the role of Judge in the show.

Because of Crane Creations Theatre Company, Eugenia was introduced to the amazing city of Mississauga. Her favourite place to travel to in Mississauga is Port Credit, because of its spectacular view of Lake Ontario. She enjoys grabbing some food to eat and then walking along the beaches to see the amazing sunsets.

Outside of Crane Creations Eugenia has also recently worked on a new show with the theatre company Dopo Lavoro Teatrale, as a performer in the show A Spectator’s Odyssey – O’dell inferno, based on Homer’s Odyssey and Dante Alighieri’s Inferno. The show is an immersive experience, at points offering audiences a one-on-one show.

https://www.cranecreations.ca/blog/professional-development/how-to-find-an-arts-job-where-to-begin/

As an actor, Eugenia prepares a text by first reading the text multiple times. She then makes a list of questions about the play and a list of facts about the play and her characters. She then studies the text: the words, the punctuation used, the style of writing and searching for any clues the writer has left her about the character or the play. Then, she breaks down the play into units and beats. That means she breaks down the play into smaller sections. For example, in one scene a character may have the objective of getting the other character to leave, and within that objective are smaller beats or tactics or thoughts which she uses to complete her objective. For example, she pushes the character away, she shuns the character. These are all tactics. Beats or tactics are sometimes as small as a single word or phrase.

The next step, in preparing for a character is to work on the voice and body. That means stretching or exercising the body regularly, and then warming up the voice before speaking or singing, by practicing deep breaths, humming, making sure the voice is warm and relaxed to prevent overstraining. The voice is like any other muscle in the body it needs to be stretched and warmed up before use. 

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When going into auditions, she likes to meditate and stretch in order to relax. She firmly believes that what makes a successful audition is coming in with the right attitude, no matter if you book the gig or not. Auditioning is a skill that needs to be practiced and honed just like any other skill.

In her spare time, Eugenia enjoys listening to podcasts, watching Youtube videos and playing her piano. Her guilty pleasures are musicals and she listens to musicals soundtracks while she goes on walks. She is notoriously bad at learning languages but spends time learning a little bit of different languages to exercise her mind. If she had a super power it would be to learn any language in the world at the snap of her fingers. One book that she is reading right now is the Dune series. After watching the new movie, she became very interested in the world and has started to read the series.

 

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Alex Cameron Summer Ensemble

Alex Cameron

Alex Cameron (She/her) is a Canadian transgender actor. Alex is a non-conforming queer artist from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Alex Cameron is one of the bright transgender theatre artists changing the landscape of Canadian Theatre. She is a 2020 Crane Creations Theatre Company Summer Ensemble Member.

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