Arts & Culture

Steveston resident in 'Hello Dolly' precursor, 'The Matchmaker'

By Lorraine Graves

Published 2:22 PST, Fri February 8, 2019

It may be a small role but it’s a big chance for R.A. McMath Secondary grad Jason Sakaki, who has his first job with The Arts Club, Canada’s largest not-for-profit theatre company.

“I play a waiter named August, who has just started working at a fancy restaurant in New York and has a very bad day,” says Sakaki.

The actor credits his days at Westwind Elementary for his love of theatre.

“I owe my interest in the theatre to Bob Riddell, my Grade 7 teacher, who emphasized the importance of arts in education. In the two years I had him as a teacher, we did about six or seven plays, and they really made learning exciting for me,” he says.

“I was very lucky to have an incredibly supportive drama teacher, Joel Garner, who let me direct and produce some of the shows at McMath. Through these opportunities I gained a better understanding of the entire creative process, and channeled that through my performances.”

The play, billed as a classic farce written by Thornton Wilder, tells the multi-faceted tale of a disparate group of people, each of whom seeks love in their own way.

Some actively look for love while others do not, yet even matchmaker herself Dolly Gallagher Levi—of “Hello Dolly” fame in the later musical version—ends up (spoiler alert) with a love.

“I was exposed to theatre at a pretty young age, and was always enamoured by the magic of it,” Sakaki says. “I got my start on the Gateway stage in 2013, and ever since I’ve pursued every opportunity I could to make performing into a full time job.”

With his role of August, in this production of “The Matchmaker,” Sakaki is well on his way.

“The Matchmaker” runs through Feb 24 at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, 2750 Granville St, Vancouver. For tickets click.

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