Praise for She Has A Name - 2012 Canadian Tour:
“A non-stop, 90-minute tour de force production that’s both action-packed and ultimately gut-wrenching…. Buy a ticket simply because She Has a Name provides a thought-provoking, compelling evening of theatre. ” — Lana Michelin, Red Deer Advocate
“This play delivers wonderful performances and highlights the skills of extremely talented artists… the impact is gut punching.” — St. Albert Gazette
”Bravely, She Has A Name isn’t a simple-minded empowerment document, First World to the rescue. It builds suspense. Will Number 18 be newly victimized by activists as their prize witness, a sacrificial lamb to the larger campaign to build a case against human traffickers? Let’s just say, that’s when social-action theatre takes the longer view.” — Edmonton Journal
“Chew mesmerizes, swinging from one flashback situation to another – the happy child, sexy prostitute and finally the brave woman throwing off the shackles of slavery. She isn’t just acting. She is the character. And Carl Kennedy as Jason is superb as a tormented man who gradually falls apart …. In a double role as the pimp, Kennedy delivers a powerful portrayal of evil.” — Anna Borowiecki, St. Albert Gazette
“Completely engaging and challenging. Absolutely a fantastic show, a must see.” Ratanak International
“The performances in Waldschmidt’s production are compelling. Chew has a certain luminosity as innocence violated and wary, but still bearing shreds of hope in all in the wreckage. Kennedy delivers intense and committed performances in his double, counterpoised roles. And the others, including van Haastert, who’s unexpectedly moving as Jason’s neglected wife, are strong too.” — Liz Nicholls,Edmonton Journal
“The ambition of the work and the committed performances of its cast make She Has a Name a play worth catching.” — Erika Thorkelsen, Vancouver Sun
“The show … brought me right back to the streets of Pat Pong, Bangkok and to the lives of the women that I met there. You don’t want to miss this play!” — Tara Teng, Miss World Canada 2012
“Brace yourself…. Compassion and equally forceful excoriations drives the moral narrative in a distressingly emotional but physically satisfying way.” Plank Magazine
“[W]ithout a doubt the most worthwhile piece of theatre I’ve ever seen. It elegantly mixes the heart wrenching horror of sex slavery with the real-life difficulties of heroism.” — Amanda McCuaig, Art Threat
“This powerful play reflects the reality of young girls trafficked in Bangkok. The actors were superb.” — Ed Farolan, 2012 Vancouver International Fringe
“She Has A Name is like the issue it presents – frank, gripping, raw.” – Maranatha News
“She Has a Name [is] a nervy, poignant drama that bravely tackles [the Asian sex trade]. Kennedy and Chew… both deliver strongly felt, nuanced performances” Stephen Hunt, Calgary Herald – 4 Star Review
“She Has a Name, Burnt Thicket’s powerful drama about human trafficking, is currently on a cross-Canada tour and it stopping at the Fringe Festival. Last time it played in Calgary it was sold out before it actually opened, so it should prove to be one of the festival’s hottest tickets.” Louis B. Hobson, Calgary Sun
5 STARS ABSOLUTE MUST SEE! “This play polished to perfection. Be a witness toShe Has a Name and you’ll never be the same.” — Ignite 107
5 out of 5! “Some plays take your breath away. She Has a Name crushes the breath out of you…. [It] pins you down in your chair, compelling you to watch even when you want to leave.” — Donald McKenzie
4 Stars! “She Has a Name is a play that is well performed [and] tells an important story…. The talented cast tackles the material admirably.” — CBC Winnipeg
“This is heavy subject matter that resonates emotionally.” – Uptown
“Carl Kennedy enlivens his role with enthralling emotional resonance …. Kennedy makes it work beautifully as an idealist over his head even while [van Haastert] strengthens him with her own quiet heroism.” – Theatre in London
“Warkentin achieves a delicate determined grace futilely struggling against a practiced villainy that Sienna Howell-Holden makes frighteningly clear as the brothel madam, Mamma.” — Theatre in London
“She Has a Name [is] a polished, well-acted production of a play with an urgent message about human trafficking.” — @patstagepage – Pat Donnelly, Theatre Critic, Montreal Gazette
5 out of 5! ~ “[She Has A Name] had its way with me…. A powerful, haunting theatre piece.” — Estelle Rosen, Charelbois Post
“The acting and writing in [She Has A Name] are both astounding. I know a play is doing something right when I find myself completely absorbed, and I was right there with the characters for every moment of this ninety minute show. Evelyn Chew is particularly compelling as Number Eighteen, a character who sheds emotional armour before our eyes.” — Michelle White, Bloody Underated
She Has a Name, by Andrew Kooman [did] not disappoint. This Calgary import about human trafficking is a road-tested show featuring some terrific actors, especially Evelyn Chew [as] prostitute Number 18 in a Bangkok brothel. It’s… very well done. Yes, worthy theatre does happen at fringes.” — Pat Donnelly, Theatre Critic, Montreal Gazette
“Provocative. Poignant. This is a MUST SEE!” — @JamieMcIntosh, IJM Canada
“Evelyn Chew’s performance is just bloody wonderful…. Chew as #18 [sells] the whole show, personifying the corrupted innocent who has internalized the monstrosity of her imposed new life. It’s powerful medicine.” – Kevin Reid, The Visitorium
Praise for She Has A Name - 2011 World Premiere:
“She Has A Name [is] a heart-wrenching hit… 4 stars!” – Louis B. Hobson, The Calgary Sun
“An interesting and thought-provoking drama that works…. Kooman has created electrifying scenes [that] will make audience members hang onto every word.” – The Red Deer Advocate
“… [with] its powerful portrayal of a young woman trapped in the horrors of sexual trafficking in Thailand, the play was expertly directed, acted and written. – Red Deer Express
“Riveting…The depiction haunts me!” – Darcie Nolan, Eye See Media
“…it is the portrayal by Wong of someone embodying childlike innocence enslaved by fear that galvanizes the production, and gives it urgency and emotional depth. From the get-go, our heart goes out to the character.” – Bob Clark, The Calgary Herald
“Red Deer playwright Andrew Kooman’s She Has A Name is a powerful drama ripped from today’s headlines. It tackles the chilling subject of human trafficking and in particular the exploitation of children who are sold into sexual slavery.” – The Calgary Sun
“She Has A Name, a play written by Andrew Kooman, has shocked and wowed theatregoers who were fortunate enough to attend the performance.” – Strathmore Times
“She Has A Name provides candid and authentic insight into human trafficking in South East Asia. The content of this play will make you feel uncomfortable, upset and enraged. As a young lawyer working in Cambodia, She Has A Name inspired me even more to dedicate my life to the thousands of children who are trafficked every year.” – Rebekah Armstrong, Solicitor Te Nahu Lovell & Co Executive Director of Prescha.org
“She Has A Name is a story that haunts me. This play’s emotional journey will grip our audiences by the heart, offering them a meaningful encounter with the art of theatre. But it is their live experience of Jason and Number 18?s powerful story that will inspire and stir them to lasting action. I believe She Has a Name will be a force that moves many Canadians to become ‘new abolitionists.’” – Director, Stephen Waldschmidt
Praise for Disappointed by Hope:
“This book is “a siren call [that] will… forever take us from our complacency to the plight of so many lost, lonely and hurting.” – Dennis Ignatius,Former High Commissioner of Malaysia to Canada
“What a powerful book on modern day slavery – what awful, yet incredible stories and what practical opportunities for people to be involved. I could not put the book down.” – Ywam-Mercy.org
“I had expected Disappointed by Hope to be a great resource, to have facts and information…. It goes way beyond that. With each carefully constructed story and prayer …I am convinced that this prayer booklet will transform both the engaged reader and the situation of migrants and refugees.” – Darcie Nolan, co-founder EyeSee Media
“Readers are left with powerful impressions of these often unimaginable experiences. His writing is raw and convicting but never heavy-handed. Kooman has a gift for showing the harsh realities many in the world face while pointing readers to practical ways they can help make a difference.” – Mark Weber, The Red Deer Express
Praise for Ten Silver Coins:
“The story line is thoroughly engaging and refreshingly original, and his richly visual style injects a compelling liveliness into every page. Although aimed at a younger audience primarily, there’s no question adults will also enjoy the book and get hooked on the likable Jill’s constant stream of adventures.” – The Red Deer Express
“The first novel in a trilogy of Jill Strong adventures, Ten Silver Coins is an excellent tale of second chances and acceptance, no matter where you come from or what your past may be.” – Associated Content
Andrew Kooman was a contributing writer to 30 Days of Prayer for the Voiceless. His involvement has been invaluable for this project. His writing has made the project a global success.
Paul Childers, Founder of photogenX
From the moment we met I was impressed by Andrew’s professionalism and willingness to artistically create whatever idea I brought to the table. The process was effortless and flawless.
Christine Slaymaker, Dance Magic Studio
Andrew’s skill as a “wordsmith” is very evident as he brings … issues to life in personal stories. I was very excited to see the books!
Dan Cochrane, Head Pastor at CrossRoads Church
I have been privileged to work with many talented and gifted people in my life. One of them is Andrew Kooman. Not only have I been greatly impressed with his unique talent and gifted writing ability, but as I have observed him I have discovered a young man with character, humility and a passion to help the less fortunate.
Witnessing Andrew in action first hand through his volunteer work with SaveAfricaNow has given me great confidence that this young man will succeed in whatever he pursues in life.
David Youngren, SaveAfricaNow
It has been a pleasure working with Andrew Kooman developing my website for Nutrition Mission. I wanted a site that clearly identified my business yet was also a reflection of my personality. His artistic ability and creativity resulted in a site that fit both criteria. Andrew’s professionalism and unique style are qualities that come highly recommended.
Anita Robutka, President and Founder of Nutrition Mission
Andrew is very professional, but also approachable and easy to discuss ideas with. I would highly recommend his services to anyone.
Danielle MacLean, ThisBelovedLife.com