Interview With Director of York College’s Guys and Dolls Play Miya Bass

By Tatiana Tait

York College has reopened its Performing Arts Center and preparations are underway to open the spring season with the musical play Guys and Dolls in May. 

Guys and Dolls is a famous musical based on short stories written by Damon Runyon in the 1920s and 1930s and set in New York City. The story explores the lives of gangsters, gamblers, and showgirls in the New York City scene and tells a story of love between the characters. The play’s director Miya Bass shared her background in theater and gave an inside scoop on what to expect from the performance in our exclusive Q&A.

PB: Can you tell me about yourself? A brief background of your experience in theater.

Miya Bass: I’m Miya Bass, and I graduated from York with my master’s in 2020. I’ve recently become a professor for the spring 22′ semester, directing Guys and Dolls. My experience in the arts has been vast. I used to be on an international dance team and have frequented Australia many times. I’ve been a contestant on X Factor in 2013 and The Voice in 2018. I’ve put my dance, theater, and singing gifts to use in many ways and continue to submit daily auditions even now. I’m very ambitious.

PB: I know that you are a York Alum. How does it feel returning to direct this play?

MB: It is certainly awkward to view the blackboard from the perspective of the professor. I went from logging in to check my syllabus to logging in and creating a syllabus. Very new to me, but it’s great to see signs of my professional growth.

PB: Why’d you choose the play Guys and Dolls?

MB: Guys and Dolls was not selected by me. It was selected from our musical director, professor Mark Adams, prior to me being hired. He enjoyed the musical and thought it would be a great show for York students.

PB: What should we expect?

MB: You should expect a variety of talents. Guys and dolls is based upon male gamblers; however, our cast is mostly made up of females. The creativity of roles, plus the unique costume designs, will result in something people will not forget. Also, our lead character is also named Tatiana 🙂

PB: Do you have the dates set that the play is showing? Or is that to be announced?

MB: The play will run May 6 to May 10 at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, only one block away from York campus. The details, such as time and ticket prices, will be announced later.

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