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Tiffany Lyndall Knight GALACTICA.TV interview
Written by Marcel Damen   
Sunday, 17 August 2008

Recently Marcel Damen had the pleasure talking to Tiffany Lyndall Knight, better known as The Hybrid on the Battlestar Galactica 2003 series. She talked in depth about her career, her role on Battlestar Galactica and learning many, many pages of actual scientific terms as well as quotations from poetry, folk songs, political speeches and even Homer's Iliad.

First of all I'd like to take the time to thank you for taking the time to do this interview.

My pleasure. A treat.

You're Canadian born, Australian bred. What brought you and your family to Australia and what brought you back?

I was actually born originally in Toronto and was raised in Canada to the age of six. Then my parents divorced. My mom is Australian. She was apparently home sick and always intended to go back at some point. So when she remarried another Canadian who was able to transfer and take the plunge, we moved there when I was seven. I finished my high school there and wanted to become an actor. I had done a year of university of journalism and wasn't happy with the program at all. I thought it was a good opportunity to take a year off and get to know my real father a little bit better and to get to know my original country. Because I always sort of vowed to come to back to Canada as soon as I could. I left for Canada and six days later I was working for a little theater company on a government grant; directing, and stage managing and acting. And that was it, pretty much, that was it. I stayed a got into a theater school program here a couple of years after that. I was prepared to go back to Australia after my training but was offered a season at Bard on the Beach, which is a Shakespeare festival in Vancouver. I tended to come to do that because Shakespeare is my first love. I decided to come to Vancouver for a summer, but twelve years later I'm still here. (laughs)

Most actors can remember a certain point in time when they got the "hook" and they know this is what they'll be doing for the rest of their career. What was that for you?

In my final year of school, my English teacher, who was wonderful, had seen a competition. It was called the Globe Shakespeare Theater Competition. It was when Sam Wanamaker, among others, was trying to develop the Globe Theater in England which was a recreation of Shakespeare's original theater. As part of getting that developed they started this international theater competition. On a lark I competed and I won this Australian competition. I had the opportunity to workshop with one of the top Shakespeare actors in Australia. His name is John Bell and he has his own Shakespeare company (The Bell Shakespeare Company). That was it. I won a trip to the Globe, so I went to England and I work shopped on the foundation for the Globe before it was actually built. But it was really work shopping with John Bell in the finals and having a professional director give me some direction that I went, "Oh yeah. This is what I'm meant to do." That was it for me. (laughs)

 

actress Tiffany Lyndall Knight

actress Tiffany Lyndall Knight

 

I've read your family at least expected you'd be the third generation practicing medicine. How did they react to you becoming an actress?

My Canadian father in Toronto, he was very supportive. He believed it was an industry you can find success in, if not just as an actor. You know it's a very wide industry and there's so many different aspects to it. He thought it could only grow and grow. My mother and her side of the family were less impressed with the idea, mainly because it was taking me away from them and I was going to Canada to do it. They would have done anything in their power to avoid it. But that said, my stepfather had always been the one who taken me to rehearsals in high school and would wait for hours while I was practicing and whatnot. Ultimately, they would have been happier if I had finished my degree first. But it's sure proven in the test of time, in the long run, so I think I won them over.

No second thoughts later?

From me? From my perspective or from their perspective? (laughs)

From your perspective.

Oh God no. No, this is what I'm meant to do. I don't think I'd be happy just being an actor. I teach theater and I create theater a lot with young people. I originally did that because it's difficult to make a living sometimes as an actor. For a while there I felt like I was teaching just to tide me over until the next acting gig came along but then one day my husband said, "You know, you come home from teaching and you're just filled with light. You're full of joy. You shouldn't dismiss it as just your day job or whatever." It was a bit of a revelation to me and it's true. I think that they inform each other, teaching and directing young people, and doing my own performance work as well.

You're a graduate of Toronto's George Brown Theater School. You starred in many Shakespearean plays, were nominated for four Jessie Theater Richardson Awards, you've taught and created theater. It all sounds like a very promising career in theater. What attracted you to ever doing television and movies?

Theater - to be perfectly blunt (laughs) - theater doesn't pay very well. Once I had children, I had to accept the fact that it was going to be too difficult to be able to continue to make a living in theater. It's a gruelling schedule, you're working six days a week. It was a perfect opportunity for me to really focus on film and television. Vancouver's got a really exciting film and television industry. I sort of dabbled in it prior to that, but because I could never turn away a theater contract I hadn't made particularly deep inroads into film and television. You need to give a level of commitment to it time wise. It was great, when I had kids it was the perfect time for me and also I had just hit thirty. It was just my instincts that I would do better in film and television in my thirties than I had done in my twenties. I found that, at least in Vancouver - I don't know if this is the case elsewhere, probably in L.A. I would suspect as well - there's only a certain kind of role that you're being considered for, by and large, when you're in your twenties as a young women? When you're in your thirties I think it was just my hint that my energy was going to work more. The timing was fortuitous and because I needed the money, the universe provides I think. I think that's why it happened then.

 

Tiffany Lyndall Knight as Olivia on Twelfth Knight

Tiffany Lyndall Knight as Olivia on Twelfth Knight

 

In theater you mostly did Shakespearean plays, but your roles are very different from each other I noticed. In television, your roles also are often worlds apart. What are you particularly looking for in a role, either on stage, movies or television?

I think I originally became an actor because I couldn't really choose one particular career path? I couldn't decide on just being one thing for the rest of my life. I thought acting was a way to dabble in being everything. I think that both in television and theater I'm just looking for the opportunity to try something new. Certainly things that are well written are always going to be more exciting and something with a strong ensemble. Battlestar is a perfect example of that. It's such a strong and diverse cast of characters. There's a lot of very powerful women which is why it's such a privilege to be a part of the show. Those are two similarities that I felt it had with Shakespeare; the strong women, and the strong writing, and the need for everyone to work together. It's not just led by one individual, it's a real company. I think that's ultimately is what is most exciting to me in the work, is being part of a company.

We talked to Battlestar Galactica's audition reader, Dan Bacon, back in August 2006. He mentioned in his interview he had just done a reading for a very interesting part and was impressed by the actress. The part was for a Cylon Hybrid and the actress turned out to be you. How were you approached for this part and what were your first feelings about it and did you have any idea you would end up in a pool of goo?

(laughs) It was just another audition really, you go out for so many. But it was exciting because I had watched the show before! Actually Alessandro Juliani (Felix Gaeta on Battlestar Galactica 2003) is a very close friend of mine, he's the godfather of my children. So I had been watching this show because I knew him, but I'm also... I've been a science fiction fan for years and years. I was thrilled to get to audition for Battlestar [Galactica] in any sort of capacity. To audition for such an interesting role was very exciting. I had to sort of not get too excited about it, because you know if you hold on too tight, those are the ones that you never get. I tried to not put too much focus into it. Even the breakdown when I was reading for the part, it did say that she lies in a pool of... of something. (laughs) So I knew what I was up for, I was prepared for it, but fortunately I like baths so I wasn't too intimidated by that thought.

I've read your article in Today's Parents on combining a career in acting when having children, where you wrote, "I was terrified by the prospects of raising two kids when we were financially tapped out with one." If I calculate back correctly this part came only months after you had your daughter Lucy. Did this motivate you to work extra hard on any audition you got in this period? Has it actually helped you perform better?

Yeah, I certainly think that I work more in film and television since I had kids. Like I was saying before, partially I think, the universe provides... the work comes when you need it and we certainly, we did need it. Ironically I think that it helped my work as an auditioner by having children. Not that you work harder but in some ways you work less hard. You have to schedule - I'm sure you know this - you have to schedule your time so well. I really learned how to make strong choices quickly because I have an hour or two after the whole day and the kids are in bed. Then I can focus on the next day's audition. I always prepare for my auditions in the tub anyway so I saved a step with that character. I think too because I noticed a difference with auditioning after I had children because they give your life perspective. You're going in to do a good job because you need to be winning the bread, not because you're there to prove something to yourself or assuage your ego. You go in to do the work for the sake of the work instead of to impress yourself, or anyone else for that matter. I think that makes your work stronger because you're not quite so desperate. That taint of desperation isn't there.

 

Tiffany Lyndall Knight as The Hybrid on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Tiffany Lyndall Knight as The Hybrid on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

The Hybrids lay in an immersion tank, which is similar to a Cylon re-birthing tank. As a young mother, did it ever occur to you that this is how your child must have felt for nine months in your womb?

Actually, it's funny that you ask that because one of the last things I shot with Battlestar [Galactica], I talked to one of the writers, Mark Verheiden, about that. He'd asked me what my process was when I auditioned for the show with that first audition because the breakdown for that character was pretty vague. When I was looking at it what I had thought of, having just recently had Lucy, was as I read through the text I had sort of imagined the character to be... the closest analogy I could find was a child in the womb and having all of these different cells and sensory experiences sort of being filtered through the umbilical cord. Hearing them through the mother's belly and things that are muffled as opposed to other things that are very, very clear. So I basically in my audition I just channeled that experience of what it must have been like for her to be inside of me. (laughs) So yeah, it did. It certainly did come into play even before I got into the tank for the first time.

The visual appearance of the Hybrids resembles that of the Precogs in Minority Report. They also say that's a deliberate inspiration. Did you know this in advance and did you see the movie before you started acting on the part?

Yeah, I had seen the movie. I had seen it and I thought it was a fantastic film. Particularly, Samantha Morton I was very struck by. When I auditioned for the part, certainly as you read it, you can't help but think of that character. It was a fine balance of finding my own thing and not trying to pay too much homage to what she was doing, being aware that there is the science fiction pedigree that is there.

I was wondering how it is for you lying in a pool of goo all day?

Oh it's great! (laughs) I love that, like I said, so fortunately I've got the right temperament for lying around in a tub of hot water. But they treat me very, very well, the crew is amazing. You know, I didn't know what to expect on that first day. It's actually not goo. I'm not in goo, I'm in water. They put some Tempera paint in to make it like a milky opaque texture? They've got the people there... are constantly there with buckets sort of filling and refilling, and making sure the temperature to store it right, and they've got the pool thermometer there to make sure it's good for me. They treat me well. I'm very lucky. (laughs)

I thought it was a lot thicker, more like glue or something.

No, I guess it looks like glue, but it's just water. It's just nice, warm bath water... with paint in it. I asked for Body Shop Milk Bath a couple of times, but it never happened. Never happened.

How long does it normally take to get you in the suit?

Nope, it doesn't take me long at all. It's just an outfit that I'm wearing. You can't really see it because it's the milky bath that covers me. All you're really seeing is the light shining through my silhouette through the bottom of the tank. So it's not that tricky.

Did you ever fall asleep during shoots?

No. (laughs) I'm too nervous to fall asleep.(laughs) There's so many things going on and it's so exciting being there! I mean, I'd watched the show before and was such a big fan that I spent a lot of time watching and learning by watching the other people's performances and just watching the process of making this incredible show.

Is it uncomfortable laying in there for hours? Do you get wrinkled?

I do get wrinkled but I figured out a trick where if I... it's my fingers that would get wrinkled. After about twenty minutes they start to wrinkle and I just put them up in the air and air dry for a little bit, and then I'm okay. There's only one time that it was really uncomfortable and there was an earlier sort of design. We went through several screen tests to find the right look for the Hybrid. There was an earlier design where they actually had water steaming in it? They had a pipe with water so it would bubble. It got a little bit too hot and I think I got a little bit cooked, a bit broiled, at one time, or poached I guess. Apart from that, no, it's pretty comfy! They treat me pretty well.

 

Tiffany Lyndall Knight as The Hybrid on Battlestar Galactica 2003 (alternative look)

Tiffany Lyndall Knight as The Hybrid on Battlestar Galactica 2003 (alternative look)

 

Is the Hybrid supposed to have a lower torso, or is it all cables and connections?

Again, that was the big decision, that was why we went through so many different looks and incarnations. I think the original design was that there was no lower body at all and it was just meant to be directly cables? But now it seems to look more like... I guess like a larva, that then connects with cables, farther down.

Do you play the role as one who is blind or mostly unaware of others usually in a scene?

Yeah, I think I... I try to sort of stay open to all the experiences of the characters. Whether those words are coming through the infrastructure of the ship - because it is the ship, it's the brain of the ship - I try to just let the other characters who are talking just become part of that mass of things that I'm taking care of and the thing with higher priority will bubble up and then surface, as each thing becomes the priority.

The Hybrids speak in a highly stylized, rapid stream of consciousness that apparently makes no sense. Is the dialog all scripted or do you have any input and latitude to interpret your scenes?

No, it's all scripted. It's all scripted. We tried early on at one point. One of the early directors (Bill Eagles) had asked me to make stuff up because they were still trying to figure out the style of how to film this. So he asked me to make some stuff up and it was a great disaster, it didn't work well at all. (laughs) It's really tricky to do actually. I started quoting some Shakespeare and stuff and it got cut. But I was comforted later because they did actually put some Shakespeare in at a later date, so I felt sort of vindicated. But it's all scripted and yeah, it's a challenge to learn. It's a real challenge. I find that I... I think actually my background with Shakespeare made a big difference because the trick with Shakespeare is, again, it's all obscure language for most of us. You have to be absolutely clear as the actor what you're saying and if your intention is clear, then the audience will hopefully get the gist of it. That was always the way I approached the text with the Hybrid. I'll break it down like a piece of poetry and find the connection for myself, so I can learn it. It doesn't really matter, I suppose, if anyone else can make those connections? But if I don't, it's just gibberish. I have a whole storyline that goes underneath all that stuff that's unique to me, that makes complete sense in my mind.

How difficult is the role considering it doesn't carry any opportunity to speak conversationally?

It's tricky! It's tricky. We had a couple of moments where I engage just briefly for a moment. It's very tantalizing because these are characters that I had watched in advance and actors who I've been very eager to sort of talk with. It's frustrating, but the frustration makes a nice tension. It's a playable tension that makes it fun for me.

 

Tiffany Lyndall Knight as The Hybrid on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Tiffany Lyndall Knight as The Hybrid on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

Much of what the hybrid says are references to actual scientific terms from biology, genetics, molecular physics as well as quotations from poetry, folk songs, political speeches and even Homer's Iliad. I've got fans on the scifi.com forum that are going crazy finding all the quotes and what they mean. Did you know all of this?

(laughs) Oh I did, yeah I did. No, I did a lot of research. A lot of the literary references I was familiar with, but the technical stuff, that was a challenge. I learned stuff that I had no idea about before, about pumps, and valves, and flanges, and whatnot. It was an education for me. Thank God for the internet, that's all I can say, if I hadn't had that for the research. I mean nowadays you get auditions the night before. So if you didn't have the internet to go and do your research on, you'd just be hooped.

I wondered if you heard Ron Moore's podcast for the episode Faith?

Have I? Oh yeah, I have! I heard it a long time ago, yeah. I think it's on a commentary on one of the shows as well. Is that when he's talking to students at a film school or something?

Specifically, he talks about your performance. He says you're such a trooper and how you never complain lying in the tub for hours and always know your lines like cold.

Oh! Oh, that's nice to hear.

You do it perfectly almost every single time.

Aw. Well I haven't heard that.

You'll have to look it up then.

I will. No, that's good to hear! I'll look it up. (laughs)

He also talks about your yelling in the episode and holding a note for quite a while. He said it was very disturbing. They were in the video village close to you on set and every time you let loose with this yell, they all kind of jumped because it was so startling.

Oh! I remember that. Mary McDonnell, I hadn't met Mary McDonnell at that point yet and I was really excited because I knew I was going to have a scene with her and I've admired her work for so long. Apparently she walked in just as they were doing that part. She walked in, and told me later that she was horrified, at the point it was echoing through the studio. (laughs) I'm glad that they liked it. I haven't seen that yet, so I'm hoping that they kept it. It was fun, it was really fun to do. I'm working in Shakespeare at the moment, right now, the breath is so important in Shakespeare to communicate these huge arcs of thought. It's pretty much always been a habit of mine when I'm doing theater to really work on finding breath control? So it was fun to be able to find an opportunity in film and television to put that into play. So good, I'm glad they liked it.

Have you ever talked to either the writers or the producers to find out what your character was about?

Yeah, we did talk a little bit. Yeah, we talked that time when they asked me about how I had approached the audition. But I don't want to talk too much... I mean I didn't want to talk too much about it, because I didn't want to ruin the illusion for me. I'm following the series along with everybody else. AJ... Alessandro [Jujliani] obviously knows more than I do about how things end and I always have to work very hard to make sure I don't find things out, because I don't want it to be spoiled for me either. I try not to pry.

 

Tiffany Lyndall Knight as The Hybrid on Battlestar Galactica 2003

Tiffany Lyndall Knight as The Hybrid on Battlestar Galactica 2003

 

Were you surprised by the story about how the Hybrids were created in the Razor flashbacks?

Oh! I just saw that last week actually. Yeah, it's chilling, it's just chilling. I was glad that I didn't know all of that in advance while I was working on it. It was a treat to discover how much of the story was still figuring in that show, in that episode. And to see the progression from that original Hybrid, as an old man, to see how it's evolved is really cool. If there are ever future episodes, you wonder if there will be a Hybrid that's like Six, or something. I mean in reverse time? That's just me speculating.

Campbell Lane portrays the Hybrid in Razor and the Razor flashbacks. Did you ever meet him?

No, I've never met him. I hadn't seen any of that until I watched Razor just last week. So I don't know him at all, but we'll have to go and have a drink and talk about each others process at some point.

Because these older model Hybrids, they speak coherently. Did you ever talk about that with the writers, and why that was, and why your Hybrid doesn't speak coherently?

No, we didn't. Actually, in fact, [director] Michael Rymer would occasionally ask me to make things even more incoherent than they were, because like I said, I had to try and find the sense behind it to remember the lines. Sometimes he'd say, "You know what? You're making too much sense, so try and like string it together a little bit more so it makes less sense." I don't know what their process was of figuring out how to make the character less coherent as time passed. I guess I would attribute it just to the fact that the machine and the humanity are even more smoothly merged. It's truly a hybrid. It's losing its humanity with each generation. That would be my theory.

Was it also fun to do scenes with James Callis, because we know he can be quite humorous and can also mess up scenes?

(laughs) He was very kind to me. He didn't try and mess me up, because I had a lot to juggle already. We would talk in between shots. We'd talk about theater a lot because he had a theater background too. That was really interesting and he, of course, was performing in England, in the West End and whatnot. That was most of our conversations. Like I said, I would do a lot of observing, watching the series regulars. Seeing their dynamic off camera is so fascinating because I was introduced to them as characters before. It's a real treat for me, just as a Battlestar Galactica fan, to watch them being just people and then turning on these characters. It's fascinating.

Was it ever hard for you to keep a straight face with any of the actors around?

It would be a lot harder, I think, if I had to look them right in the eye. Because of the nature of the character, I'm pretty much staring off into space anyway. Certainly there were moments, yes, particularly with James [Callis] where he was having to have a conversation with me at the same time, that would spiral off into funny conversations for sure. He's a character.

Did they ever have any pranks with you personally, like leave you in the pool alone?

No. (laughs) No, they didn't. I don't think I was around enough for them to feel like they were... maybe if I was there more often, they would have pranked on me, but they were very kind to me. Every time I'm there, they're very kind.

So no turning the heat off?

No, not deliberately. (laughs)

Some of these Hybrids, they have other personalities. On the first part of Season 4, we encounter a rebel Hybrid that appears to exercise greater autonomy and will repeatedly jump the ship, and is aware of the re-activation of Number Three, and the shooting of Natalie. Was it fun to play the character change, since it at least meant you got to speak in phrases that did make some more sense?

Well it was exciting to see how the story is evolving. I hadn't actually thought of it, that that Hybrid has more, or less, or different personality from any other Hybrid. I think it's the Hybrid reacting to the change of events, all the different threads being pulled tighter and tighter towards the climax. That to me was a real indicator that things are coming to a head. That the Hybrid actually has to force itself into communicating with humans, no less. So yeah, it was very exciting, I'm desperate to see how it all ends because I don't know either.

How do you feel generally, as both an actor and just as a viewer, about the central role of the Hybrid as a seemingly central key to so many of Battlestar Galactica's still unanswered mysteries?

It's exciting. (laughs) It's very exciting as an actor and as a viewer. I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

You're credited as the Hybrid in "A Measure of Salvation" and "Hero" but you don't actually appear in those episodes. Can you remember the scenes you did for that and do you have any idea why they were cut?

Yes. Well I'm pretty sure for one of them is because we had originally a different design for the whole Hybrid look. We shot the first two episodes with one design and then we went back and then we re-shot the first episode that the hybrid appears in. We didn't re-shoot the second one because, and I don't know if that's A Measure of Salvation or not, but the episode was when there was this ship that caught the virus. The original design, it was huge production values. The whole ship was covered in goo and ooze. I think that there just wasn't time to actually re-shoot the Hybrid. It wasn't necessary to the story to re-shoot the Hybrid thing specifically too because I had a whole different look, different make up, different cables and a whole different immersion tank. I think that's why that one's been cut out. I can't remember why the other one was cut out. I think there's just so many different threads of story that are going along and the writers are so incredible in creating so many different strands that I assume, that when it comes time for editing, they have to make decisions about which story needs to be highlighted and which one can be sort of laid low for that episode.

 

Tiffany Lyndall Knight as The Hybrid on Battlestar Galactica 2003 (alternative look)

Tiffany Lyndall Knight as The Hybrid on Battlestar Galactica 2003 (alternative look)

 

Were there any cut scenes that stand out in your mind that you wished had been shown?

That one with the sick Hybrid would have been nice because it was quite traumatic. I was repeating, "Dead, dead, dead." or something like that at one point while James [Callis] was strangling Tricia [Helfer]. It was quite fun. That was a good one, on the cutting room floor somewhere.

Maybe you'll see it in the cut scenes on the DVD set.

Oh yeah? Maybe.

Can we expect seeing you in the remaining part of Season 4?

That would be giving it all away. Can't say anything, I'm sworn to secrecy. (laughs) Sorry.

Next to Battlestar Galactica you're also very busy with teens, working with them on plays and trying to teach them social responsibilities, the climate change. You also wrote a children's book, If It's Yellow, Let It Mellow about water conservation. Was this something your parents taught you already and if not, who or what made you aware of all of this on a level that you felt you needed to teach this to the younger generation as well?

It wasn't particularly something I was raised with, no. But I think that you can't help but be aware of what's happening in the world if you're reading the newspaper or watch television. What was really a watershed point for me was having my own children. I was working with theater for young people An Inconvenient Truth or anything came out. There was an article in Time magazine about plastics basically, and running out of oil, and how many plastic things we have in our lives that are produced with oil, and how we are really running out of energy. That really struck a chord with me because my son was, I guess, two at the time. I realized I didn't know what his world was going to be like. Working with young people I find that they're underestimated so often. What they are capable of expressing and what they're feeling, the issues that they're dealing with. It's their world that we have to take responsibility for. That's why I get very excited about working in theater with young people because it gives them a place to respond and have their parents see them in an equal way, an equal light, and really be heard. Not in a child, parent environment but as equals on stage. That's where it started.

 

Tiffany Lyndall Knight as Ariel in the Shakespearean version of The Tempest

Tiffany Lyndall Knight as Ariel in the Shakespearean version of The Tempest

 

How have you changed the Shakespearean play The Tempest to make it a modern day fable about climate change?

The play that I wrote in collaboration with this one company of students, it was called The Curtain Call Company, was a play called Turning The Tempest. It was a liberal... it was inspired by, as opposed to really an adaptation. It's a story about a girl named Miranda and her friends who are living in Canada. She lives with her mother. Her mother is a hippie and doesn't have a television, lives on a farm, has a worm farm and whatnot. She's mortified by the prospect of all that because it's not cool and she's getting flak from her friends at school. She decides to leave her Mom and go to live with her dad in Calgary. Calgary is the heart of the oil industry here in Canada. In the story her father is an oil executive and he promises her a big tv. She arrives in Calgary with her little brother, but her dad is really too busy to spend with her and for her birthday he gives her a huge television. It's called an Ariel television and Ariel is another character from Shakespeare's play. Basically what happens is that one night all the lights go out and the parents disappear. All the adults in their condo and building disappear. The huge television lights up and it becomes a sort of a portal. Their two friends, who also live in the building, take a step through this Ariel television and step into the future. They realize when they see the state of the world, that they have to take action to fix the past. It's pretty sci-fi as I say it out loud! (laughs) It's been inspired by my sci-fi fascination too when I think about it. Then there's a character, Pete Sparrow, which is sort of the Prospero character who is the one adult who's left who sorts of guides them through their adventure as they fix the future so that they can step back into the past. So yes, it's dealing with climate change. It's an eco-adventure for young people I guess. There's not a lot of good theater for young people to act in. There's a lot of theater for young people to see, but not a lot of stuff for them to actually perform. I've done a lot of Shakespeare with young people because there's so many great characters for them. Contemporary stuff and issues based stuff is generally pretty preachy, so this is a really fun opportunity and the kids were fantastic. I'd give them ideas and say, "Okay, now here's the plot, you go and improv it, see what you can do." They would improv these amazing scenes and great dialog and I would take what they'd improv'ed and go and turn it into an actual play, an actual working script. It was a great success. It was great fun.

Do you think that your students are at least aware of the issue now?

Yeah, I know they are, I know they are. A lot of them have stayed in touch with me after that program. I'm no longer working with that company, but I've certainly stayed in touch with a lot of those young people. I don't know how many of them are actively pursuing eco-challenges per se, but a lot of them are still involved in theater and performance. After that project, a lot of them took the summer to develop another project of their own which they put into the Vancouver Youth Fringe Festival. It's exciting to see that they've taken it to heart.

What are you currently doing and what are your future plans?

I'm currently playing at the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival again. This is my last year with them for now. I'm playing Maria in Twelfth Night which is a comedy, one of his best comedies. Then I'm playing Regan in King Lear, that's one of the so called evil daughters of King Lear, which is our tragedy. This is my eighth season with the Bard. I'm going to be moving back to Australia in October. It's very bittersweet to be here, it's a wonderful company. Bard is what brought me to Vancouver. I was doing Bard when my husband saw me here. He proposed to me on the Bard's stage. I've taught with my children strapped to my chest there at many times. It's very special to be there one last season. I have a film coming up in the Toronto Film Festival actually in September called Mothers and Daughters, that I was involved in. I'm the producer and sort of co-creator and actor in that. We've just found out that's been accepted to the Toronto International Film Festival. We've been doing some ADR on that today. Then I'll be heading to Australia, to Adelaide, in October. Hopefully, I will be working in film and television and theater and teaching there, so it's a big new adventure.

 

actress Tiffany Lyndall Knight

actress Tiffany Lyndall Knight

 

Sounds good. How about any more writing?

There's a masters program at Flanders University in Adelaide that I'm hoping to participate in. It's a Masters of Creative Arts in drama and in writing. I'm hoping that they will accept my idea. I'd like to teach, I'd like to direct some great Canadian plays that have a connection to the Australian experience. I would also, as part of the program, I'd like to write a show based on the experiences on the three generations of women in my life, who have gone back and forth between Canada and Australia. Because there is a really strong connection between the two countries and there's a strong paralleled experience of the two countries since they formed. I think that there is something in there to write a play about. That's the hope, that's the next plan.

Okay, we're looking forward to hearing about that. I'd like to thank you very much for doing this interview.

Oh, it's my pleasure. Thanks so much for calling.

 
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