Our weekly SPOTLIGHT is on Milton actor, Esther Chung.
Chung is an actor with the Milton Player’s Theatre Group, and I’ve had the absolute pleasure of seeing her in action over the last few years. Quick with a smile and a hug, Chung is one of those genuinely wonderful people that make Milton such a great community. I was thrilled to spend some time getting to know her a bit better.
Q: How long have you been with Milton Players Theatre Group?
A: I have been with Milton Players Theatre Group (MPTG) since 2013. My first production was in a show called A Bad Year for Tomatoes as Cora Gump.
Q: I’ve seen it, and it was such a great show! Did you do any acting before you joined the Milton Players, or was this a new direction you decided to go in?
A: I was bitten by the acting bug playing a snowman in grade three. I took drama courses in high school but I became deeply involved with theatre at York University while getting my BA in psychology. I took an acting class with Fred Thury who was the artistic director of Vanier College Productions. I performed in shows like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, an original play called Festival, and was a founding member of the Vanier Improv Company. From university I was part of a sketch comedy troupe called Dead Kid Did It who wrote, self-directed, and performed original material all over Toronto and southern Ontario.
Q: Who is Esther Chung when she’s at home?
A: I am happily married and a stay at home mom of three wonderful boys. I love baking, watching and making great theatre, movies, and I am currently finding my way back into doing more acting on a professional level.
Q: Your latest show (with MPTG) was Gibson and Sons, which received rave reviews – how did you enjoy being in the show?
A: I loved being in Gibson and Sons for many different reasons. My husband, Ryk Simpson, directed this heart-warming comedy that was written by our long-time friend Kristen Da Silva. I got to act with my talented friend Michael Anania and the show was produced by Shona Louis, both Milton residents. I made new friends with the entire cast and crew who were all amazing with a special shout out to Les (Lesley Stankaitis) who saw me naked every night and made sure I wasn’t naked by the time my quick change was done. There are too many names to mention but all were fantastic to work with.
Q: What does the immediate future hold for you, Esther?
A: I plan to audition for MPTG’s upcoming “blockbuster season” and my husband and I are considering other projects.
Q: We’ll be watching for your next project! Ok, to wrap things up, here are five quick-fire questions regarding Milton…
Q: What is your favourite thing about Milton?
A: I love that Milton is very diverse and family focused.
Q: Favourite restaurant and dish?
A: My favourite restaurant in Milton is Joya and my usual dish is Dolsot Bibimbap, which is vegetables, Bulgogi, and an egg sitting on top of a bed of rice, all piled into a sizzling, hot stone bowl. Then you add Gochujang for heat!
Q: Favourite place in Milton?
A: My favourite places in Milton are Bryden’s because that tends to be the place where MPTG hangs out after shows and Coffee Culture where I’ve had many chats over several cups of coffee with friends.
Q: Favourite colour, even though it’s not Milton related.
A: My favourite colour changes with my mood.
Q: Who else do you think we should interview for a spotlight, and why?
A: Oh…can I mention two? My neighbour Fedor Yatsik is an artist and teaches art classes out of his home. He and his family are so nice and they have been quite successful with their art classes. My babysitter Emily Coe is a cosplayer and a princess party hostess. She also is a student at Sheridan College majoring in textiles. She is lovely in every sense of the word. Both Fedor and Emily are involved in the arts community in Milton. You may have seen Emily during Culture Days and Fedor has been in the FirstOntario Arts Centre Milton Gallery.
Q: Esther, thank you for your time, you’ve been lovely to chat with and get to know.
A: Many thanks for thinking of me!