Through our NAC "superfans" series of articles, we check in with die-hard performing arts lovers - subscribers, donors and collaborators - to see how they're coping during the pandemic.
Since the lockdown began, 12 year-old Bria Ryan hasn’t had time to get bored. Despite the somewhat surreal context, this NAC superfan, who always has big plans, has been keeping busy with a whole host of activities. She’s taking online chess lessons (inspired by her brother, who loves chess), learning Mandarin (which isn’t as hard as she thought it would be) and writing a novel.
“I remember reading in front of an audience at the NAC for the first time when I was seven or eight years old, about a dream I had. It was about dreams and pleasant things,” she says proudly as she recalls her very first participation in an NAC event.
She’s lost count of the number of performances she’s seen since then. A theatre lover, she and her cousin, who is majoring in theatre, regularly attend shows at the NAC.
“I love that there are plays for all ages and that everyone can find something that interests them. A lot of the plays are bilingual, presented with surtitles, and I really like that because it means everyone can discover them.” She also remembers loving Joël Pommerat’s Pinocchio, presented last summer; she particularly liked the way that, unlike most versions of the story, it was directed at spectators age 8 and older rather than very young children.
But her absolutely favourite event is the BIG BANG festival.
“I was lucky enough to be an ambassador of the very first BIG BANG festival, and it was an unforgettable experience. We got to meet some really great artists, and talk to visitors and help them discover the activities. It was great!”
Bria even went back to meet the ambassadors of the second edition of the BIG BANG to share her experience with them. “If I could have been an ambassador twice, I would have put my name in for sure!” she says. Bria is really looking forward to the third BIG BANG, no matter what form it takes!