Dancing in the right direction

Victoria native Sara-Jeanne Hosie is directing the Canadian College of Performing Arts’ production of Into The Woods.

Sara-Jeanne Hosie directs Canadian College of Performing Arts students in Into The Woods Jan. 28 to 31 and Feb. 3 to 6.

Sara-Jeanne Hosie is adding another layer to her talents as a triple threat entertainer.

The Victoria native, who has been living primarily in Ontario after graduating from Claremont secondary, has recently taken a new path as director and is proving her mettle with the Canadian College of Performing Arts’ production of Into The Woods.

“My two older brothers both avoided the path of musical theatre, then I came along,” she says with a laugh. “I knew it was what I wanted to do. It’s great having parents who are involved in it as well.”

Hosie’s parents Bill and Sylvia Hosie are stalwarts of the entertainment industry with Bill performing with his late sister Dorothy as youngsters in a production called Showboat, held during the summer on a barge floating in front of the Empress Hotel. Later he performed with a British music hall act and at festivals and theatres across the country. Sylvia also performed across the country and was a long-time performing arts teacher at Claremont.

“They built the theatre there a year or two before I got (to Claremont),” says Hosie. “My mother was the reason why the theatre was built.”

She chose the school because of its performing arts program. “My father wasn’t sure my mom and I should go to the same high school. I went because the program was so good.” It was a decision she’s never regretted.

“My father warned me about the financial unpredictability of what we do,” she says. “You go from contract to contract without a steady plan for life but it also keeps it exciting. I also do choreography and directing is one of the new hats I wear. It gives me the variety and options you need in this industry.”

Hosie was acting professionally by the age of 16, her credits include Mary Poppins, Chicago, Little Shop of Horrors, A Chorus Line, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Guys and Dolls, Cabaret, and more. Theatre companies she’s worked with include The Arts Club, Vancouver Playhouse, Theatre Calgary, The Belfry, Blue Bridge and others across Canada. She’s now excited to bring her directorial talents to the CCPA.

“I love teaching. The Canadian College is very exciting for me too. I love to work with youth,” she says. “I started work while I was still in high school. My father said to me, ‘Get an education on the job, if the jobs stop coming in, it’s a sign to go back to school.’ – so far I’ve been very fortunate.”

Asked if she has a preference for acting, singing or dancing, Hosie found the question difficult to answer. “I truly love all aspects equally. I’m finding that I’m more inclined to direct right now, it’s a newer muscle for me so I want to try to work it out more.

“I’m exited and passionate about musical theatre, I’d love to attempt to direct Shakespeare and definitely farce. I hope to direct some of that in the future. But my passion is musical theatre.”

Into The Woods is a mashup of Grimm fairy tales that takes the characters out of their stories and explores them in a new way.

“Red Riding Hood, the Prince in their daily life, they all have desires, wants, wishes. It’s all about wishes,” says Hosie. “The Baker’s Wife meets Cinderella, the Wolf has a classic meeting with Red Riding Hood – it’s so clever. Such a clever way to bring the stories together. The music is very classically Sondheim. It’s beautiful.”

The cast of CCPA students is competent as well, says Hosie. “In the auditions there were very strong actors, I was surprised at what they brought and I’m excited about that.”

See the culmination of talents, Jan. 28 to 31 and Feb. 3 to 6.

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