Interview with Kaitlyn Yott

A descendant of the people of Haida Gwaii, Kaitlyn is a Vancouver-based actress of both the stage and screen. Trained in theatre since the age of fourteen, Kaitlyn has recently graduated from Capilano University’s Musical Theatre Diploma Program. Kaitlyn is also an avid writer and public speaker. Recently, this lead her to speak on behalf of Capitano University at Free The Children’s We Day concert at Rogers Arena in 2014. It is her dream to continue to inspire others by the power of spoken word, and to continue to share her own experiences in order to create a conversation and initiate change.

Tell me about the character you play in LFDR.

I am playing the role of Kateri, a young Mohawk girl, and younger sister to Jean-Baptiste. She is soon to be Clan Mother, and takes this role very seriously. In order to properly lead her people, she is eager to know all there is to know about the French traders - their customs, their religious beliefs, and their language. Her brother attempts to protect her innocence, but she urges him to see that she is about to take on a massive role within their community, and wants to be seen as a woman, rather than a child. Her personality contains a delightful combination of incredible wisdom, childlike wonder, stubbornness and fierce loyalty. She trusts her instincts - at times too much - but always has a strong head on her shoulders.

What is most compelling to you about this character? What is most challenging?

What I love most about Kateri is how fierce she is, and how much she trusts herself. She is impulsive, but has a strong and open mind. Her youth allows her the ability to see the best in people - she has a fresh perspective among older minds. However, as history plays out her innocent perspective meets devastation, the breaking of trust, and the realities of her people’s situation.

What is challenging, like playing any young character, is finding the balance of my 23 year-old knowledge versus her 13 year-old mind. It is beneficial to be able to bring this kind of depth to a younger character, but there is also a process of un-learning. It’s a rewarding challenge, though. I get to roam free of the walls we build up as we get older, and return to my limitless, authentic self.

What are you looking forward to as you begin this process?

Being a part of an original, Canadian work! I am so proud to be a part of Les Filles du Roi for what it represents, what it will teach, and what impact it will have in the world of Canadian musical theatre. It has also been a dream of mine to help originate a character. To know that my experiences, thoughts and perspectives have helped shape Kateri as a character is a gratifying feeling. I feel like the proud mom of a character baby!

How long have you been involved in the creation process of this show?

I’ve been with the project for almost a year, through three iterations of the development process. Each time I have come back to it, I am only in more awe of the incredible creative minds of Julie McIsaac and Corey Payette, and all the hard work they have put into this show. They are inspirations to me, and I feel very lucky to have been a part of this.

The in-concert presentation of Les Filles du Roi takes place November 4 & 5, 7pm at the Orpheum Annex. Admission is free. Click here for Facebook event.