Thought Residency: Kelli Fox

Thought Residency: Kelli Fox


Hi. It’s Kelli again, it’s February 15th and this is thought #7, and what I am thinking about today, what I’m wondering about today, is whether or not there is any such thing as social progress. I found myself in rehearsal today, listening to the words coming out of Al Capone’s mouth in the play, and for all the world, all I could hear was Donald Trump. It was extraordinary. I was a teenager, and a young woman, in the late 70’s, early 80’s, and I knew for certain that I lived in a different world than my mother had. I grew up in a different world, even than my older sisters. And what all of us knew for sure was that we were never going back to that old world. The forward march of social progress was irreversible, and irresistible, and we were embracing it. And sometime around the late 90’s, turn of the century you just started to feel this pull, this drag on that forward progress, and then that drag began to feel like an actual reversal. And now we live in a world where Donald Trump is President of the United States, and it just makes me think, what have we been doing for the last hundred years? We’ve circled right back around. Is there any such thing as social progress?


Hi. It’s Kelli Fox, again. February 14th.

Valentines Day. I’m not going to talk about that. That’s not going to be thought # 6. Thought # 6 is about beginnings. We started rehearsal yesterday for my next project which is Lonely Diner at Vertigo Theatre in Calgary. And, oh there is something about beginnings, man. There is something about a blank slate, a clean fresh white sheet of paper, an empty room with a bunch of people, some words on a page, some tape on the floor, a few scattered props and bits of furniture around the room, and out of that we are going to begin to build a story. And that is exciting. That’s a great day. I always love this day. So that’s what I’m thinking about.


It’s early in the morning on February 13th, it’s Kelli Fox, and this is Thought Residency #5.  And I guess this morning it’s all about focus. I flew to Calgary on the weekend, I’m about to start rehearsal today, it’s my sister’s birthday today, and it’s all been a bit um … distracting and overwhelming, and I forgot to put this together for you. Um, because my focus is a bit chaotic and askew. I guess that’s what I’m thinking about this morning. Pulling it together.


Hi, it’s Kelli again, it’s February 8th today, and this is Thought #4.

Which today is all about light. The light, the light, that creeps just earlier, and just a little earlier, and just a little earlier every morning into my room, and it let’s me know that spring is just around the corner, and even though I’m on the prairie and everything is still frozen solid here, and it will be for  …  …..  weeks, it’s gonna be ok, because the light is coming. The light is coming. And it just has a way of turning everything. Praise to the Light. That’s what I’m thinking about today.


Hi, it’s February 7, it’s Kelli Fox again, and this is thought #3.

So, I was at the theatre yesterday morning for the first day of rehearsal for the company of US. New Canadian musical, everybody’s pumped, tons of excitement in the room. And Wes Pearce, the designer, was giving his presentation, he’s talking about how they got where they got with it, and he just happened to mention, in passing, that this project might push some boundaries for some people here. He didn’t make a big statement, but he reminded everyone that what they were about to embark on was risky, and it was like everyone’s nerve endings came alive. There was this kind of collective inhalation of kind of giddy, terrified anticipation, because, of course, it’s what we all live for. Our work might matter enough to cause a bit of a stir in town, get people talking, get them angry, or get them animated. Alternatively,  we could bore them. But we don’t know until we take the risk, and for some reason, for a lot of us, the scarier the proposition, the bigger the risk, the more irresistible the challenge. I’ve heard so many of my friends say, “I had to say yes, it scared the crap out of me.” It’s like the opposite of risk aversion. Risk perversion. That’s what I’m thinking about today.


It’s February 6th. It’s Kelli Fox, and this is thought #2 for my February Thought Residency. And today I’m thinking about time.

I’m thinking about time as a commodity, as the most valuable commodity we have, each of us, in life, but also, … we, as artists.

Once we’ve begged, borrowed, or stolen whatever it takes to make our art, that will speak our truth (and let’s not forget that is what it is that matters), once we’ve bought that time, we have a responsibility about how we use that time. That’s what I’m thinking about today.


Hi. This is Kelli Fox.

It’s February 1st and this is the beginning of my Thought Residency and here’s my first thought. Um … I’ve been thinking a lot this past couple of weeks about the healing power of our work. As I make my way through another dark Canadian winter and battle the depression that hits me every year at this time, I am grateful for the studio that I go into every night right now, and the guys that I’m working with on this project that’s teaching me things, and stretching my own practice, and healing me, inside, every time I go into the studio. And I’m grateful for that. That’s my thought today.



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About the Author

Kelli Fox is an actor/director with more than 30 years experience on stages across Canada, and in the US, including 13 seasons with the Shaw Festival, and 3 seasons with the Stratford Festival. Last season she joined the team at Globe Theatre as Artistic Associate. Directing credits include The Drowning Girls, Hound of the Baskervilles, Peter and the Starcatcher, A Christmas Carol (Globe), Kitchen Radio (Blyth Festival), The Nerd (Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia), Boston Marriage and Man to Man (Headstrong Collective), and This Wide Night (Summerworks 2013). Upcoming: I and You at the Globe, and Beverly Cooper's The Lonely Diner at Vertigo. Kelli has been recognized with a Jessie award (Keely & Du, Arts Club/Canstage), a Dora nomination (Top Girls, Soulpepper), a Capitol Critics Circle award (A Room of One's Own, Shaw tour), a Toronto Critic's Circle award (Penelopiad, Nightwood Theatre), as well as sharing a Dora with the Penelopiad ensemble. She was the 2016 recipient of the Gina Wilkinson Prize recognizing emerging directors transitioning mid-career.