Behind every good play is a good director, and with more than 50 years of experience in theatre, Sooke Harbour Players’ director Drew Kemp has a lot to bring to the stage.
Kemp has devoted his life to theatre, and continues to share his knowledge and experience with others.
“Art and theatre – that’s what I love to do and what takes up all of my time,” said Kemp. “Some people are passionate about golf, I just so happen to be passionate about theatre.”
Kemp grew up in Calgary where he found his love for theatre in high school and from there started acting in plays throughout the city.
After high school, he graduated from the Banff School of Fine Arts, and began his career by touring North America with famous hypnotist Peter Raveen working as his stage assistant.
Later in life, he worked as a drama teacher for the Victoria School District for 30 years.
“I’ve been a busy boy,” laughedKemp. “But besides my wife and I being foster parents for 45 years I have always worked and been involved in theatre.”
In 2015, Kemp and his wife, Felicity, moved to Sooke to be closer to family and shortly after, he took over as director for the Sooke Harbour Players.
Kemp has worked a multitude of different jobs within the theatre industry, such as a director, choreographer, actor, stage crew member, you name it, but says he feels his greatest achievements have come from working with students.
“I like seeing the end product,” said Kemp. “And to me, teaching is about giving knowledge and watching the students run with it and carry it on into their careers.”
Sooke Harbour Players President Andrew Donnelly, who has been in the theatre industry for more than 40 years, said that Kemp is one of the best directors he has ever worked with.
“Drew is a wonderful guy and a great director,” said Donnelly. “He’s firm, he knows what he wants and he doesn’t stop until he gets it.”
Kemp said he enjoys directing in Sooke because of the people, the friends and colleagues he makes and the community feel.
“People are so genuine here,” said Kemp. “I think Sooke is seen as this coastal little town, but it is really quite an artist community.”