top of page

Eponine Lee

“There is constant positive energy, openness, and passion in theatre that many other industries don’t always seem to present.”

Dahlia Katz Photography

Joe Szekeres

Actor, writer, and musician Eponine Lee's maturity as an artist within the theatre industry makes me proud to see our Canadian young people move forward.

I saw her first onstage as one of the children in the annual Soulpepper production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL years ago (Nudge and wink to Soulpepper: please bring back the production).

When the Stratford Festival held productions outside during Covid with audience members sitting six feet apart in their chairs, I saw a very mature Eponine play Juliet in WhyNot and the Festival’s production of ‘R & J.’

Suppose I feel this surge of artistic pride for our country’s young talent. In that case, I can only begin to fathom the overwhelming love, delight, and gratification that her parents, Nina Lee Aquino and Richard Lee, must be experiencing. Their daughter's accomplishments are a testament to their support and guidance.

Eponine and I couldn’t converse via Zoom this time as I have some family issues to which I must still attend. However, she was very kind in responding via email.

Born and raised in the theatre community, Lee feels incredibly familiar with this world and everything that is part of it. She uniquely understands how the industry functions and all the amazing possibilities that may arise when artists get together to make theatre. Through the creative, collaborative, and wonderful people she has enjoyed working with, Eponone adoringly spoke of the constant positive energy, openness, and passion in theatre that many other industries don’t seem to present.

As for the changes in the industry during the last four years, she sees accessibility, awareness, and adaptivity are necessary for the industry development in the future:

“As more people realize that the theatre industry is not perfect, these big and small alterations of how future generations can continue to produce shows in an environment that is less biased, less harmful and less devitalizing on one’s artistry will become more and more possible.”

In a 2022 online interview with Canada’s National Observer, Eponine stated, “to just ask around for any opportunities you can get and to say yes…Say yes to even the smallest of roles with the smallest of theatre companies…You just have to do it, you just have to go through it and grit your teeth through all the nerve-wracking things that come and know and believe that you take up space in that room and you matter,”

Two years later, she still feels the same way about the industry.

It remains her core mindset and mantra for everything; there is no audition room, rehearsal hall, or main stage that she walks onto and still does not feel what she said in the above paragraph. She tries to remember that she is here because she matters and is part of this space.

This month, Eponine will appear in THE FIXING GIRL by Kevin Dyer at Toronto’s Young People’s Theatre, where she will share the stage with Zoé Doyle and Eric Peterson. Rehearsals have gone swimmingly. She has no complaints - Lee has been part of previous iterations of the play from workshops, and that knowledge helped tremendously in the rehearsal process.

THE FIXING GIRL is a story about grief, loss, and navigating change as a family that certainly feels broken. A young girl named Meghan has lost her grandfather (Peterson). The play opens right after she has returned from his funeral. Meghan is determined to bring her grandfather back by locking herself in his old shed and fixing everything he left. Meghan’s mother (Doyle) needs her daughter to stay in the house while her grandfather has left his granddaughter with a task that may not seem as easy as it looks.

Given the story deals with grief, loss and navigating changes because of death, why does Eponine believe THE FIXING GIRL is an essential story for audiences to see:

“What’s so lovely about Kevin Dyer’s script…is that it will engage with the audience by planting the first couple of seeds about what it means when someone has passed away. I firmly believe that his play is the type of play that will generate meaningful conversations about topics that are rarely talked about—like death and mortality—long after it has been watched.”

To work on this production with director Stephen Colella has been fantastic for Eponine. He’s the kind of director that is specific and precise, but also open to ideas that people may have. From an actor's perspective, Lee thinks Stephen really understands how to talk to her about almost anything (especially when doing “scene work,” which is just making certain sections of her dialogue clearer).

She adds further:

“[Stephen] treats me like an equal and an individual, which is quite important to me being the youngest person in the room — as all I ever truly want is to be respected in the same manner as everybody else. He has seamlessly created a space through his directorial and leadership practices where I feel safe, empowered, and able to show vulnerability without judgment.”

What’s next for Eponine once THE FIXING GIRL concludes its run at YPT?

She’s off to perform in the 2024 season of the Shaw Festival. She will appear in ‘Orphan of Chao’ (directed by Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster), ‘Snow in Midsummer’ (directed by Nina Lee Aquino) and understudying one of the ensemble roles in ‘Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery of the Human Heart’ (directed by Craig Hall).

For her music, she’s planning on releasing another album in the next couple of years while, in the meantime, making more covers of songs she loves (follow coco.penny_ on Instagram/TikTok and Coco Penny on YouTube for more).

THE FIXING GIRL runs April 15 – May 2 on the Ada Slaight Stage at Toronto’s Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front Street East.

To learn more about the production, Young People’s Theatre or purchase tickets online, visit

Abstract Building
Black on Transparent_edited.png
bottom of page