Barbara Tomasic
Barbara Tomasic

Meet Vancouver-based theatre artist Barbara Tomasic.

20 Questions with Barbara Tomasic

1. Your first job.

I worked as a salesperson in an athletic shoe store.

2. The job you always wanted as a child?

I desperately wanted to be a Zookeeper … or a supermodel.

3. Your pet peeve.

Just one? Loud chewing is absolutely up there. Close mindedness in any form.

4. Your hero.

My sister.

5. Your biggest indulgence.

My car. It’s definitely an indulgence in a time where we should be considering driving less.

6. One thing no one knows about you.

Oh wow, I don’t think there is anything. I have no ability to keep my own secrets. Perhaps the fact I use to work as an image consultant?

7. Three things you would want with you on a deserted island.

Can I have a person? Water, an amazing book.

8. The one word your best friend would use to describe you.

Direct. Honest.

9. If they made a movie about your life, who would it star?

Gillian Anderson or Kristin Wiig. Or a hybrid. In my dreams, it would be Cate Blanchett.

10. Hero or villain?

To play? I think a villain. I’m ready to be evil onstage.

11. Your life’s motto/mantra.

Be kind. Take responsibility for your mistakes.

12. Your favourite playwright?

At the moment, it’s Hannah Moscovitch.

13. The last book you read.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I loved it.

14. If you were a cartoon character, what cartoon character would you be, and why?

This is the hardest question. Female cartoon characters tend to not embody the values I appreciate. Maybe I’m not up on the feminist cartoons.

15. What will it say on your grave marker?

Generous, kind, fabulous.

16. Who would you most like to have dinner with?

Diane Paulus, theatre creator, Broadway director of Pippin, Hair, Waitress, and Jagged Little Pill.

17. Your idea of happiness.

Depending on the day, directing musical theatre or swimming in a mountain lake both followed by a gin and tonic.

18. If you could go back in time, what would you tell your twenty-year-old self?

You are enough. Take more time for rest and fun.

19. The one thing in your life that makes you most proud.

My personal and working relationships.

20. To be or not to be?

Definitely to be.

Meet Barbara Tomasic

Born and raised in New Westminster, Barbara has made a career working in theatres across Canada directing, acting and producing musicals, plays and new work. Her skills as a musician, singer, dancer, actor and producer have branded her as a director who approaches the work from all sides and is able to collaborate on every level. Barbara has worked with such companies as  Gateway Theatre, Chemainus Theatre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Studio 58, Firehall Arts Centre and Soulpepper Theatre.  Barbara is also the co-artistic director of Musical Theatreworks with Tracey Power.

A graduate of UBC and JIPA with an MFA in Directing and a diploma in performance, Barbara has a special love for musical theatre that developed after hearing her Dad belt out Fiddler on the Roof in their living room. After training as a classical pianist, Barbara was bitten by the theatre bug and pursued her dream to become an actor. Her favourite parts so far have been Maria in the Sound of Music, Anna in The King and I and Cathy in the critically acclaimed Canadian premiere of The Last Five Years at the Firehall Arts Centre for which she was nominated for a Jessie.

The first large scale musical Barbara directed was the hit production of Crazy for You, which was nominated for three Jessie awards, including outstanding director and 12 Ovation awards, which won for outstanding director, production, choreography and set design. She has directed musicals and plays in every possible kind of space, from traditional theatres, studio spaces, in the round, as well site-specific pieces like the critically acclaimed Goblin Market, using two actors and a small orchestra in a small park.

You can find out more about Barbara on her website or follow her on Twitter.