She Has A Name - Cdn. Tour

Published Sunday, April 22, 2012


                              She Has A Name 12-city Canadian tour bares chilling truths about human trafficking in sex trade

An international cast of five actors play dual roles in gritty, fast-paced, suspense filled drama


She Has A Name, by award winning playwright Andrew Kooman, is a fast-moving, episodic drama about a Canadian lawyer (Jason) working undercover to expose a human trafficking ring based in Thailand. To win his case, Jason must convince his key witness, a young prostitute known only as Number 18, to risk her life and testify. In partnership with Raise Their Voice, Burnt Thicket Theatre is proud to present She Has A Name in twelve cities and seven provinces across Canada from May 23 to October 6, 2012.


“This chilling story is haunted by four Voices, the spirits of four female victims who did not survive the journey of a sex slave,” says Director Stephen Waldschmidt. “These Voices obsess Jason’s dreams. They also consume the mind of Number 18. The play weaves together a gritty realism with a heightened spirit-realm or dream world that, when combined, puts the audience – ‘up close and personal’ with the shocking reality of human trafficking. If She Has a Name were made into a movie, it would be billed as a suspense thriller.”


Adds Waldschmidt, “I believe audiences will relate to and be deeply impacted by this play on two levels – one the visceral experience of the story’s emotional, roller coaster journey that will ‘get under their skin’ and motivate people to take action against human trafficking.  The second is inspiration to keep on fighting the good fight – gained from the seemingly insurmountable challenges faced by both Jason and Number 18.”


Playwright Andrew Kooman comments, “The tragedy of Number 18's plight in She Has A Name highlights that real justice needs to be secured for the real victims around the world. It also suggests that justice can only be realized if real people know, care and take informed and decisive action. Telling stories that remind us of the immeasurable value of human life is the first step of many to transform real world stories of injustice and tragedy into stories of redemption and hope.”


She Has A Namehas five actors playing 10 roles. The doubling of roles helps connect the Bangkok Thailand setting with Canada and the reality that trafficking persons for sex slavery is taking place right here in Canada. The underlying story line is that every victim and every perpetrator connected in the human traffic web is a human being that could easily touch anyone of





































“Number 18 is portrayed by Vancouver actor Evelyn Chew, who brings a spellbinding emotional presence and an innocence that will grip audiences’ hearts as she deals with the frightening terror of her predicament,” explains Waldschmidt. “Also doubling as Voice 1, Chew is a masterful actor with an open-hearted vulnerability and breathtaking strength of spirit.”




“Vancouver and Seattle-based actor Carl Kennedy, who received a Jessie Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role (Vancouver, 2011), plays Jason in the play. Kennedy provides a winsome dignity and ferocious passion, along with his astonishing stage presence,” says Waldschmidt. “He will galvanize audiences’ resolve to follow in Jason’s footsteps, even as he also depicts his dual role as a chilling, ruthless, gun toting Pimp (who ‘owns’ Number 18).”


“I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with Kennedy and Chew, both newcomers to Burnt Thicket Theatre, whose command of their craft and relationship on stage will electrify audiences.”




Calgary-based Alysa van Haastert plays the role of Ali, Jason’s wife who is at home in Canada with their two young daughters. “I’ve shared the stage with van Haastert several times and audiences can’t help feeling a heart-felt connection with the tremendous soul, allure and verve she brings to her role. Although separated from Ali by the Pacific Ocean, Jason draws strength from—and is challenged by—his wife and confidante via telephone and by video through Skype. She Has A Name audiences will be captivated by Kennedy and van Haastert’s mesmerizing chemistry in those scenes. Van Haastert also doubles as Voice 4.”




Glenda Warkentin, a Lethbridge native and seasoned performer reprises her role as Jason’s legal supervisor, Marta. “Warkentin is an exceptionally versatile actor who brings her tenderness and honesty, along with her strength and commanding presence to She Has A Name. Though hardened by years of fighting injustice, Marta’s passion for justice inspires Jason to keep going and, when things go awry, she risks her own life for Number 18. Warkentin also doubles as Voice 3.”






Edmonton actor Sienna Howell-Holden returns from London England to reappear as Mamma, the callous ‘mamasan’ who manages the brothel. “Howell-Holden brings her powerful voice and massive spirit to the role. When Mamma and Marta go head-to-head over the fate of Number 18, sparks will fly!  Howell-Holden’s soulful warmth will also shine as she plays Voice 2.”


She Has A Name, a play by Andrew Kooman

2012 Canadian Tour May 23 – October 6


LETHBRIDGE             May 23 – 27 - Sterndale Bennett Theatre

SASKATOON             May 30 – June 2 - BackStage Stage, Remai Arts Centre

OTTAWA                     June 6 – 10 - Academic Hall Theatre, University of Ottawa

MONTREAL                June 16 – 24 - Montreal Fringe Festival - The MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels)  

HALIFAX                      July 3 – 11 - Studio Stage, Neptune Theatre

WINNIPEG                   July 18 – 29 - Winnipeg Fringe Festival

CALGARY                   August 3 – 11 - Calgary Fringe Festival - The Lantern

VICTORIA                    August 24 – Sept. 3 - Victoria Fringe Festival

VANCOUVER              September 6 – 16 - Vancouver Fringe Festival - Firehall Arts Centre

KELOWNA                  September 18 – 21 - Mary Irwin Theatre, Rotary Centre for the Arts

EDMONTON               September 25 – 30 - Catalyst Theatre

RED DEER                  October 2 – 6 - Scott Block Theatre


TICKETS now on sale for selected cities, $12 – $27, available online at  


Cast List: 

Evelyn Chew (Number 18 and Voice 1), Carl Kennedy (Jason and Pimp), Alysa Van Haastert (Ali and Voice 4), Glenda Warkentin (Marta and Voice 3), Sienna Howell-Holden (Mamma and Voice 2).


Creative Team:

Stephen Waldschmidt (Director, Set Design, Scenic Artist), Karl Sine* (Fight Director), Deanne Bertsch (Choreographer), Jaylene Wiebe (Costume Design & Head of Wardrobe), Luke Ertman (Composer & Sound Design), Anton de Groot (Lighting Design), Brad Graham (Tour Stage Manager), James Popoff (Artistic Director), Alida Lowe (Producing Director), Nathan Schmidt (Dialect Coach) and Andrew Kooman (Playwright). *Appears courtesy of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.



About Raise Their Voice

With a heart for the oppressed and a mind committed to action, Raise Their Voice, uses story, song, theatre, film and practical acts of mercy to address the plight of vulnerable and exploited people and relieve suffering. Raise Their Voice is incorporated under the Alberta Societies Act.


About Burnt Thicket Theatre          

Burnt Thicket Theatre is an emerging Alberta company committed to enliven [restore life to] audiences through original performance, via an ensemble of artists seeking to integrate spiritual and artistic practices in the creation of new theatre works. In partnership with Raise Their Voice, Burnt Thicket Theatre in 2011 produced the world premiere of She Has a Name that received critical acclaim with sold out audiences during its three-week run in Calgary and Red Deer.


For more information about the She Has A Name 2012 Canadian Tour, including videos, visit:

In this YouTube video, the Producers, Director and Playwright share their perspectives on the significance of the She Has A Name 2012 Tour