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Iana Best


Iana Best became an actress of Russian Theatre Calgary thanks to Maria Sumarokova, president of famous in Russian community "Slavyansky Club". As soon as she heard about a new Russian Theatre Calgary, Maria sent Iana's contacts to its producer Maxim Ivanita.

According to Iana, she can live on a stage. In kindergarten she performed in children's festivals, in primary school – participated in amateur theatre, in high school – she wrote school plays, directed many school theatrical projects, and acted wherever she had a chance. After a failed attempt to enter to acting school in Gorky, Russia, Iana thought that acting will always remain a dream.

After immigrating to Canada in 2003, Iana found actors' classes in a small basement on 17th Ave, where she was a part of acting group for almost 2 years. The focus was on improvisation, which is the most difficult and the most important skill for theatre actors: theatre is a live performance without cuts and editing, and where actor is only given one chance. At first it was very hard, but eventually Iana caught the improv bug and became a big fan of it. After the group fell apart, Iana and a few of her friends moved to a studio UPSTART, where they started to learn movie acting by re-staging famous movie scenes with actual acclaimed movie director Jonathan Joffe. This studio, founded by AMPIA, still exists, but Iana left as soon as she became an actress of Russian Theatre Calgary in December 2008. Her first role in Marc Kamoletti's Pajamas for Six was Iana's debut on stage, and was very well received by the audience of Calgary and Edmonton. Today Iana is a 'veteran' of Russian Theatre Calgary with quite a few successful roles under her belt.   

Beside theatrical productions, Russian Theatre of Calgary produces comedy shows, simply called Good Evening. The goal is twofold: to make money for the next production, and to meet with the grateful and wonderful Russian-speaking audience in between the plays. Iana truly believes in benefits of such evenings because the play production takes a long time, but actors and audience want to see each other more often. As a proof of it: all the Good Evenings were a huge success.

"Today Russian Theatre of Calgary is everything to me. I am ready to spend all my spare time acting, performing because that's what I was looking for all my life. We have the most talented director Valery Paschuk, we have the best actors, plus we are surrounded by the most loyal friends. I am happy, and would like to tell you: don't be afraid to dream big, because dreams do come true!"

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