Imagine a time when girls were denied an education. When they were supposed to stay home, learn the skills of a homemaker, get married and raise a family. Imagine if a young girl wanted more for herself. “An Unconventional Life” is the story about such a girl.
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The concept for this show originated when Nelson soprano Noémi Kiss asked Kaslo thespian Lynn van Deursen if she could create a theatrical narrative that would link the songs from the movie Yentl (starring Barbara Streisand with music by Michel Legrand) which was adapted from the book The Yeshiva Boy (1962).
Written as if speaking to a young graduating class, she tells her story with spoken word and song. The piece examines gender inequality and what it means to challenge boundaries set by society; and one young woman’s journey to find her way in a male dominated world without losing herself.
After a very successful debut in April 2018 and multiple subsequent performances throughout the West Kootenays, “An Unconventional Life”, a musical drama about a young Jewish woman who challenges the status quo, is returning to the stage for a limited East Kootenay tour in April 2023.
With financial support from Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (CKCA), Noémi and Lynn are excited to bring “An Unconventional Life” to a wider audience.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Lynn van Deursen
Lynn has lived in Kaslo for the past 17 years, where she enjoys working at the health centre, volunteering for various community groups and singing with Kuimba Choir. She trained in theatre at UVIC and was a founding member of The Vancouver Theatre Sports League.
Noémi was born in Hungary where she studied voice and teacher training at the Liszt Academy of Music, and later at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, England. Her early career flourished in Europe where she performed early music and opera, taught voice masterclasses and made a number of recordings in Hungary, Czeck Republic, Norway and England. Noémi moved to Canada in 2009 where she continues to perform with orchestras and a variety of ensembles. She works closely with the Nelson Choral Society, teaches singing and piano, is a founding member of the vocal trio Ananta (Allison Girvan/Kathleen Neudorf) and is currently the conductor of the Cottonwood Singers in Nelson. Along with her numerous musical endeavours she is a certified Biofield Tuning practitioner.
An Unconventional Life
Narrative written by Lynn van Deursen
Songs by Michel Legrand (music) Alan & Marilyn Bergman (lyrics)
The Guest Speaker - played by Lynn van Deursen
The Singer - played by Noémi Kiss
The Piano - pre-recorded by pianist John Dean of Soundwave Studio in Nelson
With Special Thanks to Geoff Burns for his directorial insights and encouragement and Paul van Deursen for his technical support.