Published on April 24th, 2018 | by Biz Books

The Biz Interview: Zak Santiago

Kindred Entertainment is pleased to present THIS, an original play by Vancouver-raised playwright and House of Cards showrunner Melissa James Gibson that opens April 26th.

An “un-romantic comedy”, THIS is an unapologetic and fiercely intelligent glimpse into the lives of five friends approaching middle-age and grappling with where they’ve found themselves and what could, or should, come next. The production is directed by Bill Dow and stars Loretta Walsh, Benjamin Ratner, Zak Santiago, Brad Dryborough, and Karen Holness.

Zak Santiago spoke to us about his role in THIS!


Can you start by telling us a little bit about your involvement with THIS?

I’ve been keen to do theatre with Kindred Productions, and since cast members Loretta Walsh and Ben Ratner are also good friends of mine I was extremely pleased to be asked to play ‘Jean-Pierre’.  When I discovered Brad Dryborough and Karen Holness were also cast and that Bill Dow would be directing I realized what a dream experience this could be.

What should audiences expect from the show?

They should expect a ripping, tightly-written adult comedy, with poignant emotional peaks and valleys, delivered by a ferocious, talented, local group.

From your perspective, what is the most rewarding thing about stage acting?

The development of character and deeper understanding of story which can only come through serious rehearsal.

What are the three most important ingredients for a successful play?

Good writing, clear direction, professional rehearsal.


“Work hard, with truth, and be kind.”


In your opinion, what is the current state of Canadian theatre and how has it evolved since you first got involved with acting?

Canadian theatre continues to evolve at its sometimes-reluctant, but generally purposed pace. In the last few years some exciting new voices have emerged.  Kindred is one of those special companies, and over the next few years they will be solidly placed as part of the vanguard of important new producers in our nation’s theatre scene.

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned as an actor?

Work hard, with truth, and be kind.

What acting and theatre-related books and authors have been influential in your career so far?

I appreciate so many playwrights, from classical to contemporary. I especially like Shakespeare.

What other projects are you working on right now?

With acting, I am also working on Travelers (TV series) and a major Untitled video game, which is a fun first experience for me. With music I’m DJing for Virgin Radio and at residencies for several venues in Vancouver.

Where can we find out more about you?

You can find out more by following me on:

Twitter: @ZakSantiago

Facebook: @ZakSantiagoOfficial

Instagram: @ZakSantiago


Thanks to Zak Santiago for speaking with us!

You can see THIS from April 26th to May 5th at Studio 16, 1555 West 7th Ave, Vancouver.

For tickets, please visit


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