We spoke to Hurrian Peyman, Doris and Bruce’s son, about his parents and why they have come forward with this Matching Challenge.
Can you tell me a bit about how your mother started acting, and her career trajectory? How did she get her start?
Our mom started her acting career at the Frederick Wood Theatre at UBC, in productions like the Glass Menagerie and Much Ado About Nothing. Acting and theatre were an integral part of her life, whether it was performing in theatre, movies, and television or teaching and mentoring youth in acting and literature. She was involved in the early Arts Club as well as City Stage and Tamahnous theatres. She also travelled to perform in theatre festivals in Edmonton, Calgary and Lennoxville. After being nominated for Gemini and Jessie Richardson awards several times, she won Best Actress for her role as Winnie in a production of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days in 1998.
What did theatre mean to your mother? What do you think she loved about it? What did the Arts Club mean to her?
The theatre was our mother’s passion, whether it was dense, thoughtful pieces like Strangers Among Us or more light and carefree plays like Pippin or Nurse Jane goes to Hawaii. She loved to work with the director to understand what the playwright was trying to achieve and then make the character her own through her own interpretation. The Arts Club was important for her as not only a workplace but also a place of friendship.
Do you have memories of watching her perform on the Arts Club stages? What stands out?
As soon as we were old enough to not be tempted to shout “There’s mommy” when she came on stage (which did happen once), each of my siblings would regularly attend my mom’s productions. Among our favourites were Marvin’s Room, Happy Days and The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.
Do you have childhood memories of the Arts Club?
The theatre community was an intrinsic part of my parents’ social life. I remember actors coming to the family’s annual full-day Christmas party. As you can imagine, the infusion of actors into these events always ensured that the parties were animated.
Why do you think people should support live theatre? What do you hope this matching challenging will accomplish?
The existence of local live theatre provides opportunities for local artists to put on shows that will challenge and entertain audiences. Supporting local live theatre provides the opportunity to facilitate pieces that are becoming increasingly hard to find on television or in the movies.
The Matching Campaign lasts from now until August 31. Please visit our website to learn more, or to donate. You can also call our box office at 604.687.1644, or Parmida Zarrinkamar, Manager of Individual Giving at 604.687.5315 ext. 261.