Honouring the life and legacy of Lorena Gale – May 9, 1958 – June 21, 2009
Actor / Playwright / Director, Curious Tongue, Vancouver, BC. Born: Montreal, QC.
Lorena Gale was an international actor, playwright and director who has appeared in over 50 stage productions across Canada, and over 132 roles in film and TV.
Lorena starred in her bilingual one-woman show, Je me souviens, which was produced in Halifax, Calgary, Victoria and Vancouver; and was nominated for 3 Jessie Richardson Awards, including Best Actress and Best Production. She was the first Black woman to be accepted to the National Theatre School of Canada; was Artistic Director of Black Theatre Workshop (1984-85); was the Creator and Director of the Program for the Artistic Development of Artists of Colour in Theatre, Vancouver (1992-94); and was Artistic Director of Curious Tongue Productions.
Her most memorable stage performances include playing “Normal Jean” in The Coloured Museum, and “Hecuba” in Age of Iron, for which she received both a Jessie Richardson nomination (Iron) and award (Museum). Other authored plays include: Angélique; her first full-length play which was produced in Calgary, Detroit and NY, off-Broadway at Manhattan Class Company, and in Dublin, Ireland. Angélique was nominated for 3 Betty Mitchell Awards (Calgary), and 8 Audelco Awards (Harlem, NY); while, What Colour is Black? Art, Politics and Racial Identity premiered in the Halfbred Performance Series at The Grunt Gallery, in Vancouver (1995).
Lorena appeared in such films as, Ernest Goes to School, Fantastic Four, Traitor, Halloween, The Chronicles of Riddick, The Mermaid Chair, The Butterfly Effect, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and many others. She also guest starred on many television programs, including The X-Files, Stargate SG-1, Smallville, The L Word, Saved, and Kingdom Hospital. From 2004-2008, she starred as “Priestess Elosha” on the SciFi Channel television program Battlestar Galactica.
Honours: Include inclusion in Who’s Who in Black Canada 2 (2006); “10 Best Plays of 2000”, Vancouver Sun, for Je me souviens; nominee, Jessie Richardson Award, for Je me souviens (2000); 8 Audelco nominations for Angélique, NY (1999); winner, du Maurier National Playwriting Competition, for Angélique (1995); Jessie Richardson Award, Best Supporting Actress, for The Coloured Museum (1991); Best Director, for Irene & Lillian Forever, Quebec Drama Festival (1986).
Works: Je me souviens: memories of an expatriate anglophone Montréalaise, Québécoise, exiled in Canada (2001); Angélique (2000). Excerpts in: Bluesprint (2002); Going it Alone (1998); Beyond the Pale: Dramatic Writings by First Nations and Writers of Color (1996); Another Perfect Piece (1995). Essays in: CanPlay; Canadian Theatre Review; …but where are you really from?: Stories of Identity and Assimilation in Canada (1997).
Education: Master of Arts, Simon Fraser University (2005); National Theatre School (1979); Social Science, Marianapolis College (1975).