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Artwork by Jonathan Wood


by William Shakespeare
Directed by Tanya Mathivanan

A violent, political tragedy written in the last few years of Shakespeare’s life, Coriolanus explores the tension between military force and popular rule. It follows the downfall of the decorated soldier, Coriolanus, who is banished from Rome due to his disdain of the common people. Enraged, he does the unthinkable and returns to wage war against the very people he had sworn to protect.

Coriolanus is not a play that is often produced. It is Shakespeare’s most political play and has a protagonist that has historically been viewed as unlikeable and problematic. And yet, Coriolanus is my favourite Shakespearean play. I am fascinated by the theme of hypermasculinity and how it plays a destructive role in society. I find the themes of military force in tension with popular rule, civic duty and despair resonant in our contemporary historical moment. I first encountered this play as an undergraduate and fell completely in love with it. It evoked so many thoughts and feelings in me, and three questions in particular have haunted me ever since: What is the role of the military in the toxic hypermasculinity of men? What is the concept of “civility”, when it is rooted in bloodshed, conquering and the colonization of land? What is the teleological function of war and the body of the soldier in relation to society?


What better way, then, to explore the performativity of hypermasculinity and gender roles than with an all-woman/non-binary cast.


The world found in Coriolanus reflects a microcosm of our world. I wanted to explore the social order of this world in order to make sense of all the chaos, violence and lack of compassion in our own. Society trains soldiers to be brutal in combat and specifically grooms them to be violently used against “others”. It then utterly rejects the soldiers when they bring that cultivated brutality back home with them. The role of the soldier is inherently utilitarian, and therefore, the Veteran is rejected when it is unable to transition to another utilitarian role in society. There is also an exploitative and consuming need for “dominant” or colonial societies to conquer for utilitarian purposes such as natural resources, land and the stimulation of the economy. The characters in Coriolanus, to me, are merely products of their own restrictive society, trying to survive in the machine that they are all specific, assigned functional parts of. Blood is the oil that powers this machine.


In order for that mechanism to exist and for power to remain in the hands of the few, rigid class structures, gender roles and military roles have to be imposed on the citizens. Beneath that veneer of enforced civility and order, however, bubbles the blood, guts and brutality of a cannibalistic society. People are nothing but meat sacks to be consumed.


I wanted to create a world that is equally mechanical, aesthetically captivating and nuanced. I settled on Steampunk and Dieselpunk as aesthetic markers.

These genres are “historical adjacent”, and encapsulate past, present and future in one temporal sphere. Victorian Steampunk captures the ideas of industry, expansion, consumption, grandiosity, opulence and the revolution. It ties into the idea of Rome as the Imperial Colonial State that is ever expanding, and a machine that runs on the blood of war. Dieselpunk on the other hand is what I reserved for the Volscians. It is an aesthetic that is all about survival and functionality.


It was vital that I create as immersive an experience as I could. I decided on staging the show in the round, and further utilizing what has classically been seen as the “audience space”. As the audience, what role do we play in the consumption of the violence and oppression that we see on stage? What is our role, therefore, as spectators in the war, the bloodshed, the cruelty, the oppression and the subjugation that take place in the real world? And most importantly, how do we go about changing things?

Tanya Mathivanan, Director


Christian Billet Young Martius, Senator

Air Dayman First Citizen, Gentlewoman, Roman Soldier Messenger, Second Volscian Servant, Second Volscian Soldier, Senator

Isabel Hansen Volumnia

Tirion Jones Coriolanus

Sera Jorgensen Third Citizen, First Coriole Senator, Second Roman Soldier, Volscian Citizen, First Volscian Guard, Senator

Isabella Laesecke Brutus

Adriana McKinnon Virgilia

Kristi McQuade Second Citizen, First Roman Soldier, First Volscian Soldier, Aedile, Senator

Gabrielle Nebrida-Pepin Sicinius

Lauren Ordeman Titus Lartius

Robyn Shanks Menenius

Nicole-Anne Smith Cominius

Mai Stone Aufidius

Jasmine White Valeria, First Senator, Fourth Citizen, First Volscian Servant, Third Roman Soldier

Tanya Mathivanan Direction

Lauren McLean Stage Management

Midori O’Connor Asst. Stage Management

Bekah Lazar Asst. Stage Management

Stephanie Barclay Stage Management (Swing)

Kelsey PetersonHead Scenic Artist

Anjali Mandapaka Scenic Design

Roohi Kamal Scenic Design

Jennifer Stewart Scenic Design Guide

Chloe Bohonos Asst. Scenic Design

Charlotte Chang Costume Design

Chloe Earle Asst. Costume Design

Zac Labrie Lighting Design and Sound Design

Ben Paul Asst. Lighting Design

Amy Currie Lighting Operator

Cat Main Asst. Production Management and Sound (QLab Programming)

Christopher Ross-Ewart Music Composition

Jamie Son Sound (SFX Creation)

Kai Wong Sound (In-House Composition and Editing)

Joy Cheng Sound Operator

Mike Kovac Fight Direction

Sylvie La Riviere Fight Direction

Phay Moores Intimacy Direction

Sam Jeffery Intimacy Direction

Stephanie Barclay, Isabelle Barlow, Kaileigh Funnell, Midori O’Connor, Kelsey Raeanna, Jamie Ragins, Cheyane See, Betsy Sun, Kristine Wu, Hannah Abbott, Samantha Cheng, David Moise, Ben Paul, Olivia Chen, Sophie Fougere, Crystal Luo, Tariro Motsi, Nixita Taneja, Grycel Tercero, Chloe Bohonos, Roohi Kamal, Emily Cheng, Matthias Kammüller, Zac Labrie, Shaliya Ma, Lauren McLean, Grace Nguyen, SuYeon Park, Yun Shim, Elyse Wall, Bekah Lazar, Taylor Wen Jingyi Cheng, Yena Lee, Hallie-Ahn Duncan, Nyssa Estrella, Zoe Lin, Huda Shawwash, Kai Wong, Brendan Lowe, Taylor Wen, Amy Currie, Jane Kim, Muleba Chailunga

Celeste Mol, Caroline Tang, Hannah Abbott, Roohi Kamal

Stephen Heatley Department Head

Jacqueline Firkins Costume

Robert Gardiner Lighting

Leora Morris Direction

Patrick Pennefather Sound

Brad Powers Technical Production

Patrick Rizzotti Scenic

Lorraine West Scenic Paint

Collette Berg Stage Management

Amber Barton Movement Coach

Sheila Langston Voice and Speech Coach

Borja Brown Production Management

Cam Cronin Department Administrator

Ian Patton Academic Administrator

Lynn Burton Head of Properties

Jodi Jacyk Head of Wardrobe

Ryan Murcar Staff Technical Direction (Scenic)

Erika Champion Staff Technical Direction (Lights and Sound)

Tony Koelwyn Audience Services Manager

Andrea Cheng Communications Specialist

Jiejun Wu Marketing and Communications Assistant

Karen Tong Theatre and Film Studies Graduate Secretary

Sarah Crauder Film Program Administrator

Dmitri Lennikov Film Collections Coordinator

Stuart McFarlane Film Equipment Manager

Kirsten Dougans Assistant to the Head


Design Portfolio


March 30–April 2, 2022
Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday performances will start at 7:30 PM. The Friday performance will start at 7:00 PM.

Student Talk Back
Friday, April 1
After the show


TELUS Studio at the Chan Centre
6265 Crescent Rd, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1

We acknowledge that the UBC Vancouver campus is situated within the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam.

For any questions, please contact our box office: 604.822.6835 or