Kay Vukelic is a multidisciplinary performer and artist with a passion for stage acting, dance, and comedy. They graduated with a B.A. in Drama from Queen’s University in 2021, and spent most of the quarantine era with 6 AM Productions, performing improvisational comedy and hosting corporate team-building events over Zoom for major companies across the world, such as Google, Snapchat, Meta, Coca-Cola, Amazon, McDonald’s, Nike, Lego, and many more. Post-lockdown, Kay has been seen in various productions across the Kingston theatre scene, most recently in ‘Harmonia’, directed by Nigel Shawn Williams (Grapevine Theatre), and as Maureen in “The Time of Our Life” by Alan Ayckbourn (Domino Theatre). While at Queen’s, Kay Vukelic had the opportunity to train under industry professionals like Chick Reid, Greg Wanless, Craig Walker, Melissa Morris, Tim Fort, and many more who helped shape their craft.
Some of Kay’s favourite roles that have been fundamental to who they are today are Joan from ‘Fun Home’ (Queen’s Musical Theatre), Soccer Mom from ‘The Wolves’ directed by Brenda Bazinet (Dan School of Drama and Music), Rosie in Cabaret (Queen’s Musical Theatre) and Amanda Wingfield from ‘The Glass Menagerie’ by Tennesse Williams. Lastly, Kay Vukelic wouldn’t be anywhere without the support of their theatre friends, and they try their best to facilitate a loving and supportive community through/with their work.
Kay has recently become part of the Crane Creations Theatre‘s prestigious Summer Ensemble 2023 as an actor. This unique program offers aspiring artists in the Canadian theatre industry unparalleled work experience. The Summer Ensemble specifically recruits talented individuals aged 18 to 30, providing them with intensive, full-time training over several weeks. Participants not only acquire valuable skills but also gain invaluable experience in a fast-paced and dynamic environment.
Kay Vukelic is now collaborating with other talented actors, including Celine Daaboul, Marie Barros, Reymark Andres, Sofia Farahani, Nikolai Afanasev, Boro Milosevic, and Hope Van Der Merwe who will together be creating an exciting and dynamic collaborative environment
What Will Kay Gain In This Arts Job?
Artistic Skills: Explore classical and contemporary text, improvisation, and theatre around the world and their relevance and impact on art jobs and society today.
Orientation in Arts Jobs: Honest insight into professional organizations, structures and systems in place and how to navigate them successfully
Financial Skills: Budgeting and financial literacy delivered in a comprehensible and easy to understand way, tailored for theatre artists’ needs.
Leadership: Debate complex questions and develop ideas and strategies on how to build not only your career but the theatre ecosystem in Canada and Internationally.
Touring in Arts: Discover how artists around the world use international touring as a source of income, and learn how to create shows that can allow you to participate in that market.
Digital Skills: Discover how blog/content writing can earn you additional income, and promote your work, while mastering WordPress, one of the most desired skills in today’s job market.
Kay Vukelic graduated from Queen’s University with a B.A. in Drama in 2021. Originally, they thought their career would be on a different path, having completed half of a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering at Queen’s before having a *personal epiphany* and switching to drama. Once Kay finally decided to pursue their passion, it was full-steam ahead. They trained under various industry professionals while at the Dan School of Drama and Music, such as Advanced Shakespeare with Chick Reid, The Actor’s Instrument with Greg Wanless, Musical Theatre Vocal Technique with Melissa Morris, and more. Upon being cast in annual major productions with the Dan School, Kay went on to act under directors Brenda Bazinet, and Craig Walker, and assisted in choreographing Tim Fort’s ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’. During this time, Kay continued to foster a lifelong passion for dance that started around the same time they could walk.
While at university, Kay trained and professionally taught with Queen’s Dance Club, the largest student-run organization in Canada. In their final year of school, Kay also trained and competed at OUCH (Ontario University Competition for Hip Hop) with Flow Dance Club. Since graduation, Kay has continued to flex their acting chops while performing improvisational comedy and event hosting with 6 AM Productions. The learning never ends!
Kay Vukelic has most recently worked with Grapevine Theatre on the first of 9 plays in a 3-part trilogy series depicting Greek mythology. Simultaneously, they worked at Improbable Escapes, greeting customers, telling stories, and facilitating fun! Additionally, Kay has taught dance at a variety of studios. They’re excited to get started with their first full-time theatre experience!
About Kay. An Interview with Kay.
Where did you grow up? What is your favourite thing about your home town?
I grew up in Mississauga, and I had a childhood there. My favourite thing about my hometown is still being able to find something new to explore every time I come back. There’s always a trail I haven’t taken. A creek I haven’t seen. A shawarma place I haven’t tried. Coming home reminds me that “old” doesn’t mean “dead”. Even the oldest tree in the forest is still growing.
Do You Have Any Hobbies?
I love to dance!! I originally started out in ballet and jazz at the ripe age of 3, and loved moving my body, but always had a hard time following the rules. Around age 11 I started taking hip-hop classes and fell in LOVE. Despite any struggles or hardships, I may have experienced in the schoolyard that day, I knew I’d still leave dance class with a big smile on my face. Continuing in adolescence, I kept dancing and even competed in a hip-hop group with Sean Boutillier Academy of Dance. At university, I continued my passion and taught Intermediate Hip Hop with Queen’s Dance Club in my second year at school.
Bringing my passion for the FUN that dance brings led to great success, and registration for my Diva Bootcamp class the next year sold out in under 5 minutes. I made it my mission to spread how I feel about dance to those around me. I see dance as prayer and dance as medicine. When I dance, I don’t just get to feel my emotions; I worship them. When I dance I don’t need to be beautiful, I can just be.
What is Your Favourite Food?
Lazeez Shawarma – SPECIFICALLY chicken, half rice half fries, and extra garlic sauce
What is a new skill you have always wanted to learn?
I’m passionate about acquiring the skill of creating stained glass art! I grew up Catholic, which meant a lot of time in churches. I had absolutely no attention span for the priest’s homily so I would often stare at the gaudy decoration around the room and my eye would often land on the variety of stained glass windows. The way the glass sparkles, the way the colours contrasted, the story it could tell. I’d love to reimagine traditional stained glass work into my own story – one of a queer nonbinary person who grew up in the church.
We are a company that speaks many different languages. What languages do you speak?
I speak English and I also speak/understand a functional amount of Croatian.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would your travel?
I would travel back to Croatia! All four of my grandparents were born and raised in modern-day Croatia (which was Yugoslavia at the time). I haven’t been back since 2011 when I was 13 years old! I would love to go back as an adult to experience a deeper appreciation for and understanding of history, architecture, and culture!
What is one project you worked on that you are proud of?
One of the most rewarding theatre experiences I ever had was working on “The Wolves” by Sarah DeLappe, directed by Brenda Bazinet, with the Dan School of Drama and Music. It was my first time working on a production with an all-female creative team, on a show that brought light onto the complex inner world of teenage girls, a group that is often belittled. Being able to share our experiences of girlhood with each other and have them validated was so healing and I really felt like I created a family.