EdCC Alum Strives for More Asian-American Representation

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From Edmonds Community College to the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Rebby Foster has been making a name for herself in the theatre industry.

Less than one year ago Rebby Foster graduated with a degree in theatre performance from the University of Portland. During her time in Portland, Foster found opportunities modeling and acting. Some of her more notable gigs included acting in a promotional video for ODESZA’s album A Moment Apart, released in 2017, and modeling for Adidas, The North Face, Urban Outfitters as well as other big companies. She was also nominated to perform at the American College Theatre Festival in Spokane, and appeared as an extra in a couple episodes of the show “Portlandia”.

For the past six months, Foster has been staying in a house provided by the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville as an acting apprentice. She got the spot after Michael Legg, Director of the Professional Training Company, contacted her and told her to apply live. Foster was one of 20 people chosen out of almost 3,000 applicants. There she has been performing in Dracula and A Christmas Carol, as well as writing her own pieces. One piece was a 10 minute solo performance in which she explored Chinese funeral rituals through movement, dance and multilingualism.

“I am a representation of an Asian-American person from the Pacific Northwest, who has tattoos and is from Edmonds Community College,” said Foster as she stroked the cat on her lap. Foster she wants to represent people like her in the most authentic way possible. “I think a lot of it is just being an open person, [and] not being apologetic about myself.”

Foster originally started acting with Studio East in Kirkland, while also performing with Driftwood Theatre in Edmonds. She worked with Edmonds Community College voice teacher Linda Kappus, where Kappus helped train Foster’s voice. She participated in EdCC’s production of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown”, where she was the youngest member there, performing as a dancing blanket in the show.

Foster’s plans for the future involve moving to New York City to find an opportunity to “blend both theatre and modeling.” She states that she wants to “keep advocating for Asian American theatre” as well as untraditional theatre that is about more than just “a white family.” In the near future Foster will be performing in “We’ve Come to Believe” at Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Kentucky.

In reference to her move to Louisville, Foster said that it has been an adventure living in such a different city. Living most of her life in the Pacific Northwest, the change was drastic. Back in the summer of 2018, when she originally traveled to Kentucky, Foster drove over from Portland. She took many stops on the way to visit friends, and it transformed into a two week long road trip. She recalled how the trees become fewer and farther between the farther she got from what was once home. Although it was a big change, she explained that it was a good thing to live in such a new environment, saying “you can’t just live in one world to represent other cultures.”

Culture has been a big part of what Foster has been trying to express in her art. She talked a lot about experience and perspective and representation of all that to the world. She is fascinated by cultures and understanding them which is why she so passionately advocates her own in her work. She cites shows such as Donald Glover’s “Atlanta”, which she praises for its cultural representation.

Being a theatre major isn’t the most orthodox path to take, but it is still a major that needs to be respected. Like Rebby Foster, people in theatre professions risk a lot to live the life they want. The people who help make a production happen are not just, expressing their culture for themselves, but also sharing it with the greater community. Perhaps this is why Foster thinks that “people commit their entire life and mind to their jobs.” Theatre is, in a way, a public service. It essentially creates communities, and helps audiences and actors alike embrace themselves and each other.