Artists & Performers (Red Snow) 

Beatriz Pizano, Director

I come from a country that has lived more that fifty years of an armed conflict. Over the years I have worked with survivors of massacres, as well as with those directly involved in the conflict such as child soldiers. I’ve learned that survivors need to recover their historical memory, and have their stories validated to begin the healing process.

With the help of Toronto ALPHA, a group who brings the history of World War II in Asia to light, I went to Nanjing to meet with survivors of the 1937 holocaust.  Two stories touched my heart and my soul.  The first day in Beijing I met a grandmother, a woman in her eighties who had been a “comfort woman”, a military sex slave for the Japanese.  I could not take my eyes off her.  As she spoke, she transformed into my own mother in front of me.  I tried to imagine myself as the daughter of this beautiful woman who had suffered unimaginable acts of brutality at a tender age.  At the end of her testimony she said:  “I have never felt like a human being”.

Our last stop was Seoul. There we listened to the testimony of a ninety-year old Japanese veteran from the Imperial army.  He took us through his perspective, from seeing the Chinese as less than human to recognizing the wrongs that he and his people had committed.  Upon his return to Japan after the war, he made it his life mission to bring what happened in China to light, risking his own life.  This man showed me that change is possible and that we can unlearn deeply rooted beliefs that foster hate towards other individuals and cultures.

In Nanjing I understood the importance of two words: “I’m sorry”; so simple yet monumental.  I hope the survivors of Nanjing get to hear an apology from the Japanese government in their lifetime.

Theatre is about transformation.  This experience has offered me an opportunity for growth beyond of what I could have imagined.  I want to thank Diana for bringing me on this journey and for relentless passion.  photo by Victor Yeung


William Yong, Movement Director/Music Director  photo by David Hou


Alice Ping Yee Ho, Music Composer  photo by Alex Felipe


William Lau, Chinese Opera Consultant


Vienna Hehir, actor

When I first learned about Red Snow, I knew I had to be a part of it. It was instinctual. Without question. A piece of my history. The fact that not often does one feel this way made me realize that somewhere in the depths of my heart, I was already tied to this story. I needed and wanted to tell this story. It was my mission.

As a 2nd generation Canadian, I was not educated about my grandparents’ history. Yes, I heard stories about Loss, Hardship, Dreams, Amazing Accomplishments and Hard Work, yet, I never really knew exactly where I came from, and how lucky I was to have grown up here. Listening to my Grandfather tell Diana about enduring WWII as a child and what my family suffered, unraveled a heightened and fierce sense of Admiration, Humility, and Appreciation.

For the first time in my life, I felt that I owed it to the People of Nanjing, both Lost and Survived, to continue to educate the world about this horrific, forgotten Holocaust. The spirit of Popo wishes nothing more than to set her loved ones free. I wish nothing more than to liberate the lost voices of Nanjing with Red Snow. I wish to deliver peace to my ancestors who never got to tell their story.  photo by Tim Leyes

Derek Kwan, actor

I’ve been on this exciting journey for a few years now, since I worked with Diana in a small workshop reading of Red Snow at fu-GEN’s Potluck Festival in 2008. Living in China, Japan, and Thailand I always wondered about World War II history and why so little mention of it was made anywhere. There are many places in Asia where what happened is still buried from shame, for political reasons, out of convenience and I appreciate the opportunity to tell stories that might otherwise not be told and to educate people about facts of history we overlook. There are many more stories like this one and I hope to honour them through telling this beautiful tale.  photo by Denise Grant

Janet Lo, actor

I am excited to be working on this project for many reasons. First of all I have recently starting to learn more about Chinese History and the Rape of Nanking is still very much an untold story. I am also fascinated by the play’s themes and how art can help us heal. Finally as a mother, I am drawn to stories of what a parent will do and sacrifice for the sake of their children.

Richard Tse, actor

My ‘Red Snow’ journey started when I was invited to do a workshop/reading of the play in the summer of 2010. I was excited to work with a group of very talented artists, in exploring the characters and building the story. At the same time, I read more about the history part of the story, ‘The Nanking Massacre’. Playing a massacre victim/survivor, who carries a burden of pain and shame for most of his life, I find this not only a challenging role for an actor, but also a humbling learning experience about human nature.

I feel like I have two missions that I want to achieve in this journey. First of all, I would like more people, especially people who grew up outside China, to know about ‘The Nanking Massacre’. This is such an important part of history that people should learn something about it. Secondly, it is the message that love heals, love conquers … It sounds so cliché. Yet, I am hopeful that with love, the world will turn into a better place.

Patty Chan, musician

Red Snow is an important work that will help others learn from the mistakes in history and hopefully prevent such horrible events from ever taking place again. I am touched by Diana’s words and characters, which gives me a hope for peace, reconciliation, and the future.

Brandon Valdivia, musician (percussion)   photo by Paz Ramirez

Performers: Zoé Doyle, Vienna Hehir, Derek Kwan, Janet Lo, Richard Tse
Musicians: Patty Chan, Brandon Valdivia
Creative Team: Beatriz Pizano (director), William Yong (movement director/music director), Alice Ping Yee Ho (music composer), Trevor Schwellnus (set & multi-media designer), Michelle Ramsay (lighting designer), Victoria Wallace (costume designer), Ana Lorena Leija (assistant director), Ric Knowles (dramaturge), Alex Felipe (photographer /videographer), Revel Design (graphic & program designer), Darrick Tam (website designer)