Born 1967, Tokyo Japan
Manami Hara was born and raised in Tokyo Japan. She became fascinated with Western theatre and the English language and at the age of 18, left Japan home to become a stage actor in North America. She moved to Vancouver, took ESL classes and graduated from Studio 58, a two-year conservatory Theatre Arts program at Langara College. As an Asian actor in the early 1990s, she was given rare opportunities to play roles such as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Carousel Theatre) and Miranda in The Tempest (Globe Theatre). As a young actor, working with Ruby Slippers on creating Herotica and Herotica 2 triggered a desire to develop and produce her own original art. ’Then,’ as Hara says, ‘came motherhood. I retired from the stage to care for my young family and I found myself losing my identity. My heart screamed and longed to live and breathe Theatre. So I began writing my first play at 2am in the morning when the house went dead quiet. Since then, my artistic path has lead me to be more than what I dreamed of. I am a playwright, a producer, an interpreter and a translator. I seek to explore creative and collaborative process where we take risks, fail, succeed, discover, grow and celebrate our artistry.’
Hara’s passion to teach youth the process of theatre making, acting and storytelling has grown over the years. She runs a drama program for youth called Acting Shmacting of which she says, ’It’s rewarding to witness young artists empowering themselves to become self-assured, creative and ensemble team players.’
Here is a list of companies Hara has had the privilege of working with over the years: Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre, Boca del Lupo, Presentation House Theatre, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades Theatre, The Frank Theatre, Small Wooden Shoe, Gateway Theatre, Pi Theatre, Rumble Productions, The Vancouver Playhouse, Yayoi Movement Theatre, Theatre Replacement, On the Board, One Yellow Rabbit, The Grand Theatre, Touchstone theatre, Playwrights Theatre Centre, Arts Club, NAC, Factory Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, La Luna Productions, NeWorld Theatre, The Firehall Arts Centre.