Emmanuelle So

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Emmanuelle So is a BIPOC Artist from Mississauga Ontario. Emmanuelle So is a Summer Ensemble 2021 Artistic Producer. Emmanuelle specializes in scenic painting and stage management. She finds theatre to be the best environment to grow in as an emerging artist.


Emmanuelle is a recent graduate of the Performance Production program at X (Ryerson) University, specializing in scenic painting and stage management. Emmanuelle comes from a visual and media arts background. She has a broad range of fine arts skills through studying theatre production.


Emmanuelle So is an Artistic Producer, a Stage Manager, a Designer and Scenic Painter. Her recent stage management experience includes being a Stage Management intern for St. Lawrence College: Drama 101 (2021), and Theatre Erindale’s production of Romeo and Juliet (2021). At the• Ryerson School of Performance she is a stage manager for Love and Information (2020), Love + Phasers (2020) and The Revenger’s Tragedy (2020). Emmanuelle is also a scenic painter and props designer. Emmanuelle works in projections and audio as well. Emmanuelle specializes in stage management and scenic painting, and plans to learn more about projections and projection design.

Artistic Skills 

Emmanuelle knows how to read sheet music and how to memorize choreography quickly through general experience with music (piano, violin, guitar) and dance (ballet, modern, hip hop, figure skating). 

Emmanuelle So: Summer Ensemble 2021 

Emmanuelle is part of the third annual Summer Ensemble. She is a member of Crane Creation Theatre Company’s 2021 Summer Ensemble. This was Crane Creations Third Annual Summer Ensemble and Emmanuelle’s addition as a member of the ensemble, helped make this year a memorable experience for everyone. Emmanuelle So’s Fellow 2021 Summer Ensemble Artistic Producers include: 

  • Mya Wong
  • Shannon Farrell 
  • Temilola Gafaar
  • Robin Kadigamar
  • Nicci Pryce
  • Jordine De Guzman

I didn’t know half the stuff we learned in Summer Ensemble. They just don’t teach it you it in school.  

Emmanuelle So

Due to lock down restrictions a large portion of the program was conducted over zoom. Emmanuelle So as well as the rest of Crane Creations 2021 Summer Ensemble handled the transition beautifully, and Emmanuelle was quickly able to adapt her talents to a Zoom’s online platform.

What is the Summer Ensemble 

The Summer Ensemble is an 8 week training program for theatre artists. In this paid working opportunity artists learn skills required to be a professional artist in Canada, and gain valuable insights into the theatre industry in Canada and abroad. To apply artists must be between 18 and 29 years of age. 

Emmanuelle is an artistic producer in the 2021 Summer Ensemble. Emmanuelle So participated in many activities and project with Crane Creations Theatre Company as a Summer Ensemble Member. She assisted in the production and organizing of many events. She assisted in the workshop of the play Mirror. She assisted in the play translation project of Ivan Cankars’ works. She assists as an organizer in Bridges Festival 2022. She assists in producing they play Terror, which is playing at Clarke Hall, Port Credit Mississauga. Emmanuelle assists Artistic Producers Aimee Poulin and Aditi Sharma in day to day activities. She was part of important and lively discussion and debates about the Canadian theatre industry. Emmanuelle learned about the industry of theatre and what it looks like to be a professional full time artist. She learned about theatre in Mississauga. Emmanuelle wrote grants and presented pitches for future theatre projects. She organized and participated in a seminar held by Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council. With her fellow Summer Ensemble members she explored the arts outside of Canada as well, and conducted workshops and presentations on prominent International and Canadian artists and theatre companies.

What is an Artistic Producer 

An artistic producer has an essential role in theatre. They oversee organizational operations and all aspects of a theatre production. They are responsible for the strategic planning and production of theatrical events and take care of the financial and managerial functions to make these theatrical events happen. They also manage day to day activities to make a company run. An Artist Producer balances the big-picture with everyday tasks required to make a business run. An artistic producer must be have the following skills: event management, time management, project management, teamwork, problem solving, leadership, financial planning, business management and communication. Their roles and duties constantly change depending on the need of the theatre company. In summary, an artistic producer is the person who makes theatre happen.  

What does an artistic producer do?  

  • Look after the finances and manage how the budget is spent
  • Hire creative and technical teams 
  • Issue contracts
  • Organise and manage technical, stage management and workshop functions
  • Agreeing projects and financial backers
  • Agreeing production timelines
  • Finding and booking venue 
  • Setting ticket prices 
  • Selling tickets 
  • Create and implement marketing strategies 
  • Outreach
  • Holding regular meetings with Directors, creative teams and Artists
  • Hold regular meetings with stakeholders
  • Ensuring legal compliance such as copyright law, insurance liability, payroll and tax

Who is Emmanuelle So? An Interview with Emmanuelle

Q: Why do you enjoy theatre? 

A: I enjoy working as a team and theatre is all about team work. Learning about all the different ways people work, helps me become a better worker.  

Q: What was your most memorable moment in theatre? 

A: My very first stage management call.  The production was Revenge of Tragedy, at university. I was able to handle everything on my own and I had the trust of the whole team. At the end of the run it was so rewarding because the cast was happy, and the director was pleased. 

Q: You wear a lot of hats in the theatre. What is your favourite thing to do in the theatre? 

A: Definitely stage managing and paints. I was a painter before heading into performance arts. Painting is my playground. Stage management lets me put my organization skills and passion for paper work to good use. Just in general I like helping people no matter what the job description is. I like bringing in a good atmosphere, whether it’s bringing in snacks, having a chat when people are having a bad, cleaning the theatre. It makes me happy when other people are happy.

Q: What was your favourite part of Summer Ensemble? 

A: I really like the discussions we had through zoom. It was nice to hear other peoples’ perspectives, and my perspective of the industry changed a lot. I didn’t know half the stuff we learned in Summer Ensemble. They just don’t teach it you it in school.  

Q: You are an artistic producer in the Summer Ensemble. What does leadership in the arts mean to you? 

A: I would say a leader in the arts is someone who inspires you to create more art. To be a leader is to inspire a new generation of artists. 

Q: The Summer Ensemble was your first time working as an artistic producer. What was that like? 

A: Definitely a little stressful, thinking about numbers and budgeting and where to find the money. No one thinks about money in arts. Once you realize how much it costs to create a show, you start to revaluate. 

Q: Do you have any hobbies? 

A: Dance is something I’ve been doing since I was four or five. My favourite style is latin ballroom. It has a certain beauty to it. Music has always been a really bug part of my life, from playing instruments to analyzing music. I played piano for 8 or 9 years, I played violin and guitar. Guitar is definitely my favourite instrument to play. It’s the most relaxing. I like analyzing music too. I like thinking about what makes pop music so successful, analyzing beat, rhythm, vocals and trends. I still paint and read. I am a sucker for romance novels. I also buy a lot of poetry books. I find cooking very therapeutic. Whenever I make a masterpiece, I take a picture and send to my sisters. It’s another form of art. My typical comfort foods are anything with pasta. I haven’t mastered very traditional Chinese dishes yet. My dad knows how to cook them and I am learning from him. 

Q:  What’s your painting process like? 

A: I go for acrylic. Acrylic is the easiest to handle and not as expensive as oil. I tend to paint whatever’s in my head. I stare at a blank canvas, and do whatever comes to my imagination. I take blues , purples, indigos and go for it.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? 

A: Probably Florence, because they always say, “If you are an artist or a painter, go to Florence once in your life.”

Q: What’s your star sign? 

A: I have been studying astrology for the last seven years. I am a Leo. In many ways I’m not the stereotype. I work in the performing arts, and Leo’s tend to work in the performing arts. But other than that, I’m rather shy. I tend to identify a lot more with the rest of my natal chart. 

Q: You are a first-generation artist. What’s it like working as an artist as someone who is a firs-generation Canadian? 

A: My family came from Hong Kong. Most immigrants are not rich. They are just surviving. Some immigrant families discourage their kids from going into the arts because they fear their kids becoming starving artists. Luckily I have very supportive parents. In Canada, the starving artist mentality needs to be dismantled. These kind of discussions will be hard for artists to talk about but they are needed. When I wanted to go into theatre, I didn’t see many first generation Canadians like me, that had a career. I didn’t have a role model to look up to, someone I could look at, and think, “I can follow their career path”. I’d like to be that person for someone else.  I try to encourage people who younger than me who are first generation to consider the arts as a  career. 

Q: Do you have any advice for people wanting to go into theatre? 

A:  It’s a people industry so it’s important to know your people. Know the people you can be personable with and know who you can work well with.

Q: What have you been up to lately? 

A: I’ve been working with Driftwood workshopping a new play.

Q: You are from Mississauga. What’s your favourite part of Mississauga? 

A: Probably how much space there is. It’s a breath of fresh air.

A Fun Fact About Emmanuelle  

Emmanuelle has also been a K-pop fan for over 11 years and learned some Korean from it!

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