The Isolation Diaries: Theatre artist Rena Cohen

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      With theatres, galleries, stores, and restaurants shuttered to flatten the COVID-19 curve, the Isolation Diaries reach out to Vancouver’s creative sector to find out what they’re watching, how they’re coping, and where they’re finding inspiration.

      The artist

      After 10 years leading RealWheels Theatre, artistic director Rena Cohen has been preparing to leave the helm. Directing plays like Act of Faith, producing shows like Creeps and Super Voices, and launching a playwright-in-residence program were just a few of her accomplishments that made big strides in this city's disability-inclusive arts. While the group launches a search for her replacement, the theatre artist continues to work with the company on a project-by-project basis. We caught up with her during stay-at-home measures, before she starts the next chapter in her life.


      No. 1 thing that’s getting you through

      We’re fostering a dog, which gets us outside every day and is a constant reason for house cleaning and sanitizing!

      Comfort food

      My slow-scrambled eggs are key to morning happiness. Sometimes I alternate with egg-white omelettes, into which I toss Trader Joe’s Olive Tapenade; I’m rationing out that stuff like its caviar.  

      I’m eating my weight in chocolate. Chocolate—the kind with high concentration of cocoa—is actually high-fibre. You’re welcome. 

      Love cooking, but have never been into baking. Lately, evenings have felt like a good time to bake mandelbroit (like biscotti) or cheesecake. Both gluten-free 'cause I’m a card-carrying celiac.

      Quarantine soundtrack

      Lizzo’s Good as Hell gets me up and dancing, her Phone makes me laugh, & how can you not be in awe of her impeccable vocals in Cuz I Love You. 

      Creative or learning outlet

      Things haven’t slowed down at Realwheels (yet). Creative projects and meetings have shifted online. I’m working as hard as ever and that’s my creative outlet. Anticipating a slow-down in June. 

      Fitness hack

      See ^ walking Chester.  See ^ dancing to Lizzo. 

      Pictures from Rena Cohen's decade at Realwheels Theatre.