This is VIBE Spotlight: a weekly series that celebrates and shines a light on VIBE Arts’ roster of talented artists. Each Monday, our Instagram and website feature a different VIBE Artist and provide a look into their craft. Stay tuned and get to know the diverse talent that makes up our organization and community with #VIBESpotlight.
On this VIBE Spotlight, we’re shining a light on Allison Beula, a choreographer, director, performer and educator on the VIBE roster.
VIBE: What has been one of your greatest accomplishments to date?
Allison: When I wrote, produced, directed and choreographed my own original musical “The Tiki Bikini Beach Paradise Party A-Go-Go!” I could not have been more thrilled in how it all came to be. It started out in the Toronto Fringe Festival, it won “Patron’s Pick” and “Best of the Fringe” and then continued on to be in the curated “Next Stage Theatre Festival”. I am hoping to remount it in the coming year.
VIBE: What has been one of your favourite moments while being on the VIBE roster?
Allison: SO many favourite moments have come from my time with VIBE, I have a rolling collection of amazing images in my mind. One highlight that always comes back to me is a young student who would attend my Hip Hop classes at his apartment building each week. Every week he would come looking like he was being forced to dance, he would act out, run out of class, seem to despise every moment, and when on the last day I told the kids it was the final session, he ran up to me and hugged me around the waist in the most genuine way. I think of that moment often to remind myself that just because one behaviour is happening on the surface, there is often something more if you look for it. We are impacting lives with every class we teach, so no matter how tough the odds seem, we have to know we’re doing a lot of good.
VIBE: Is there anything you are currently working on that you would like to share?
Allison: I have a virtual production of “Shrek the Musical” which I directed and choreographed for “The Institute of the Performing Arts” that debuted at the end of June. I am also currently a principal character on the TV series “Oh Yuck” which is on Netflix worldwide.
VIBE: What are some of your future goals?
Allison: I am dreaming of the day theatre comes back, and I hope to be able to jump back into the scene with musicals and lots of live events. I have always dreamed of owning my own theatrical venue, and with all the time to think this past year, I am shifting my focus even harder to realizing that dream.
VIBE: What is one of the greatest lessons you have learned thus far?
Allison: I have learned that we have more influence as artists on people’s lives than we realize. I have always known the importance of dance, theatre, music and art, but I don’t think I understood the lifetime of impact it had until more recently. It’s a true gift to be able to share the arts with one another and I am looking forward to seeing our theatre and arts communities come back even stronger than ever.
VIBE: What changes would you like to see in Toronto’s Art community?
Allison: My hope is that from a very challenging and difficult time we will have learned the importance of being together, of celebrating life and art in a live, tactile, in-person way. The arts pre-pandemic were already battling streaming services and all sorts of media that encouraged people to stay home and be alone, then we suddenly had to be alone and at home, but once the world begins to heal, my deepest hope is we can be in-person to celebrate all that is arts-related, and the hunger and need for that in-person experience will be back ten-fold!
Support Allison: @allisonbeula
Stay tuned for more VIBE Artists on VIBE Spotlight