4700 Keele St
North York, ON M3J 3T8
Jean Yoon began her career at a time when systemic racism in the performing arts in Canada was endemic and unquestioned. There was no straight path, just obstacles, and closed doors. Jean reflects on her artistic career as a writer and actor and her journey as a diasporic Korean Canadian. A very serious talk peppered with anecdotes, ephemera, jokes, language lessons, and unsolicited advice.
Jean Yoon is an actor and writer best known for her work as “Umma” on the CBC hit comedy Kim’s Convenience. Jean began her performance career in the early 1980s in Toronto’s growing independent theatre community, then took several odd but necessary detours. She taught English in China, returned to theatre to focus on cultural equity advocacy, then put her energies into new play development in the culturally diverse sector and her own playwriting and performance. Jean’s playwriting credits include The Yoko Ono Project (Theatre Passe Muraille & Loud Mouth Asian Babes, 2000), Hongbu & Nolbu: The Tale of the Magic Pumpkins (Young People’s Theatre, 2005) as well as indie shows Sliding for Home, Spite and Yes Yoko Solo. For the last 20 years, Jean has focused primarily on film and television acting, accumulating credits on over 60 productions including Dragon Boys, Orphan Black, The Expanse, Peg + Cat, Save Me, Baroness von Sketch and of course Kim’s Convenience. Jean is a two-time CSA nominee, an ACTRA Award winner in 2017, and a Dora nominated playwright.
This talk is organized by Mihyon Jeon (DLLL) and Hong KAL (Visual Arts and Art History).
This talk is presented by the Korea in the World, the World in Korean Studies project, funded by the Academy of Korean Studies. It is co-presented by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Toronto, The York Centre for Asian Research at York University, and the Centre for the Study of Korea (CSK) at the University of Toronto.