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Ins Choi

Ins Choi was born in South Korea and grew up in Scarborough, now part of the city of Toronto.  He is a poet, playwright and actor who graduated from the acting program at York University in 1998.  His first play, Kim’s Convenience was a huge success at the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival where it won the New Play Contest and Patron’s Pick Award.  Subsequently the play was remounted in an acclaimed version by Soulpepper Theatre Company. More recently, Kim’s Convenience has been adapted into a television series airing on CBC. Choi completed a Master of Theological Studies at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto.

Book cover of Kim's Convenience


Kim’s Convenience

Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2012.
PS8605 .H63 K54 2012

Publisher’s Synopsis

Mr. Kim is a first-generation Korean immigrant and the proud owner of Kim’s Convenience, a variety store located in the heart of downtown Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood. There, he spends his time serving an eclectic array of customers, catching petty thieves, and helpfully keeping the police apprised of illegally parked Japanese cars. As the neighbourhood quickly gentrifies, Mr. Kim is offered a generous sum of money to sell – enough to allow him and his wife to finally retire. But Kim’s Convenience is more than just his livelihood – it is his legacy. As Mr. Kim tries desperately, and hilariously, to convince his daughter Janet, a budding photographer, to take over the store, his wife sneaks out to meet their estranged son Jung, who has not seen or spoken to his father in sixteen years and who has now become a father himself.

Subway Stations of the Cross book cover


Subway Stations of the Cross

Illustrated by Guno Park.
Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2015.
PS8605 .H63 S83 2015

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Inspired by a real-life encounter with a homeless man, award-winning playwright Ins Choi (Kim’s Convenience) has originated an astounding work of artistry and imagination in these fourteen spoken-word poems and songs that make up Subway Stations of the Cross. Part public disturbance, part performance artist, and part modern-day prophet, Ins Choi embodies the form of a nameless vagabond who is both beggar and seer. He creates a rich tapestry of the profane and the sacred, the humorous and the banal, the contemptuous and the poignant in both poetry and lyric. It is a holy communion for the urban soul. This relevant and challenging show is captured here in book form with illustrations of subway drawings by Guno Park, whose work has been featured internationally.


Publisher House of Anansi Press