Thursday, March 31, 2011

apr 7 | dianne tucker

Diane Tucker serves on the Artist Advisory for Pacific Theatre. She's a poet. Here's a note she sent...

Prophouse Cafe
Next Thursday, April 7, I will be a featured reader for Twisted Poets at the incredible Prophouse Café, 1636 Venables Street in Vancouver, just west of Commercial Drive. Things begin at 7pm, but be there a few minutes early to get a seat.

The other feature will be students from Pandora Collective’s program at Eric Hamber Secondary. It’s always encouraging to hear avid young poets read!

I will be selling my books at a big discount that night, so bring yourself to this amazing venue, if only to take in the wonderfulness that is the Prophouse.

Diane ;)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

jake's gift | april 6-16

JESUS HOPPED THE 'A' TRAIN is still running strong (closing this Saturday night!), and we're already gearing up for JAKE'S GIFT, just around the corner.

When a crusty, down-on-his-luck WW2 veteran reluctantly makes the trip to Juno Beach to honour his brother Chester, his encounter with a precocious ten-year-old challenges the old soldier to confront some long-ignored ghosts. Born at Pacific Theatre in 2002, Jake has spent the past three years playing to standing ovations all across Canada – and now he’s coming home! The most charming, heart-warming, and laugh-out-loud-funny one-woman-shows you’ll ever see.

"The most theatrically pure show I have ever seen. A stunning performance." ~CBC

"'I never did nothin’ special,’ grunts Jake during an overdue visit to his brother’s grave. Mackey’s gift of remembrance is a powerful rebuttal. Don’t miss it." ~Winnipeg Free Press

Best Drama, Best Solo Show, Best Female Performer. ~Victoria Fringe

Best of Fest: ~Edmonton Fringe Festival, Winnipeg Fringe Festival

April 6-16 at Pacific Theatre
Tickets $16.50-29.50 (not incl. HST)
To book call 604.731.5518 or visit us online at

jesus hopped the 'a' train | responses


"Jesus Hopped the "A" Train is a stunning debut for Glass City Theatre... Some of the most exquisite acting you’re ever going to see....  Robert Olguin plays Angel with the subtlety and authenticity of a gifted screen performer; not to get hyperbolic or anything, but watching him is a bit like watching Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon. ... And Carl Kennedy’s Lucius is a mind-blower: witty, savvy, terrified, charming ... the mind behind Kennedy’s steady eyes seems to belong to Lucius.... Evan Frayne nails the smallest role in the play, a guard named D’Amico, providing some of the most moving moments of the evening. Itai Erdal provides subtle lighting as well as a stunner of a minimalist set...." -Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

"If you see only one show this year, this should be it." -Mark Robins,

"This play had such a powerful impact on me, that half way through, I started believing in god. The acting was genius and the lighting and music were phenomenal. The experience is very hard to put into words... Powerful, the words that I can think of just don't do justice to the play. Thank you. I loved it - the best play I've ever seen." Comment, soulfoodvancouver blog

"Wow - absolutely moving and first rate in every way. Congrats++ and thanks." audience member

"An extremely thought provoking production with amazing performances by all cast members. A few small comic moments relieved the hard hitting dialogue but did not distract from the dark subject of the play. The audience was fully committed to the performance from beginning to end. The minimalist set fully realized the starkness of prison. A well acted, well produced theatre experience. Would recommend this production highly." -Sheila Satherly, email

"Carl Kennedy is outstanding as the born-again Jenkins." -John Jane, Review Vancouver

"My wife and I went to see this play and it is a very moving, emotional and provocative performance that makes one think deeply about life and one's relationship with God! The actors were just sensational! Thank you and congratulations on another play well done!" -David Dick, email

"We had the pleasure of seeing Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train last night at the Pacific Theatre & it was must go" -Steph Forster, facebook comment

"If you live within driving distance of Vancouver, you NEED to go see Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train at Pacific Theatre. Get your tickets soon because it's gonna sell out fast. I'm not kidding. I don't care who you are, you need to go to this show." -Mackenzie Jane West, facebook comment

"Every wavering or certain Christian and everyone in recovery needs to see this play." William Hay, Writer

"We took in Jesus last night and were among the standing O's. Supremely well acted and very powerful script. We were actually quite numb on the drive home, not sure how to connect with each other or the play in the immediate aftermath of the 'assault'. Felt like we had been hit by the A train. Would very much like to read the script at some point, slowly and in my own time - in real time there was simply too much to take in. Congratulations on an artistic and, hopefully, commercial success." John Jennings

"I just saw Jesus hopped the A train. What a great show! A script just as good as Judas Iscariot and some of my favorite acting I've seen since I've been in Van. That Rob Olguin, he can really hustle can't he?" audience member

jun 12-19 + jul 31 - aug 7 | glen workshops

IMAGE journal is the best faith and art journal out there, has been for a long time. In recent years they've sponsored the Glen workshops each summer. Anyone I know who's attended has loved them.

Seize the Day!
Open Spots at Glen East and West

It's not too late! There are several classes still open for both Glen Workshops this summer. If you've been waiting to decide, now's your chance. Some classes have never before been offered, such as Dance, Calligraphy, Young Adult Fiction, and Fiber Arts. Register now online, or call the IMAGE office to sign up at 206.281.2988.

Find out why so many people have called the Glen Workshop "the week of the year that I look forward to most."

Songwriting with Kate Campbell
Calligraphy with Timothy Botts
Dance with Maggie Kast
Seminar with David Dark
Young Adult Fiction with Sara Zarr
Fiber Arts with Jo Ann Van Reeuwyk
Painting with Edward Knippers

Poetry with Gregory Orr

Painting with Kimberly Alexander
Play/Screenwriting with Bradford Winters
Clay with Ginger Geyer

Poetry with Robert Cording or Betsy Sholl
Film Seminar with Jeffrey Overstreet

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

mar 23 - apr 2 | evelyn strange | bergquist johannesen noble

Adam you'll know well, from PT shows like The Busy World Is Hushed, A Man For All Seasons, and Last Train To Nibroc. Byron Noble was hilarious in You Still Can't as Dave the beat poet, a government agent named Dave, and Uncle Vlad ("Call me Dave! Since Parastroika, this my name."). And while Shauna Johannesen may not be familiar to PT audiences just yet, she's very much becoming part of the PT community: a playwright and actress who did her theatre work at the same college as Jacqui and Ryan Hoke, she was VERY funny in her Fringe show Deadley. I've got a hunch Evelyn Strange will be very, very funny...

Evelyn Strange
by Stewart Lemoine
Mar 23 - Apr 2  | Wed - Sat 8pm + Sun Mar 27 8pm + Sat Apr 2 2pm
Havana Theatre


VANCOUVER, BC PREMIERE : Staircase XI Theatre Productions presents the Vancouver Premiere of Stewart Lemoine’s murder mystery Evelyn Strange --- a dark comedy inspired by film noir and Wagnarian Opera to explore themes of identity, greed, and passion through word play and personal revelation.

Evelyn Strange follows the amnesiac title character in 1955 as she seeks her own identity while forcing others to reluctantly reveal their true selves. Set in upscale Manhattan, the play parallels by the epic story of Wagner’s Siegfried through its characters as well as its musical score.

Canadian playwright Stewart Lemoine’s Evelyn Strange is the latest show from Staircase XI Theatre Productions. The company’s most recent production at the Vancouver Fringe Festival, Will Eno’s “Oh, The Humanity, and Other Good Intentions” was held over and nominated for the Georgia Straight’s Critics Choice award.

Reserve Tickets online or call 778.834.3624

Evelyn Strange is directed by Becky Shrimpton. Features Adam Bergquist, Shauna Johannesen, Byron Noble, Maryanne Renzetti

“Stewart Lemoine is an original. There is simply no one, anywhere, who writes like this Edmonton playwright.” – Colin McLean, CBC

mar 22 - apr 2 | bacchae | twu

Pop Icons & Techno-Fads Invade the TWU Stage

Move over, Justin Bieber. Fame is as instant as technology, and theiconic “Diona” has achieved godlike status overnight.

Or so goes the retelling of ancient Greek legend by Langley playwright Aaron Caleb. In a revamped The Bacchae at Trinity Western University, Dionysus has become Diona and there is something eerily familiar about the near cult-like sensation created by her music, philosophy, and techno-gadgets.

The Bacchae, running March 22 – April 2, projects a hypnotic, hyper-contemporary world of glittering enchantment. The sensational superstar and activist Diona offers “pleasure divine” – title of one of the production’s original pop numbers by local composer Jef Gibbons. But when she and her entourage roll into the quiet town of Canton, home to Diona’s troubled past, her concert plans unearth a culture clash that threatens to get ugly. Is Diona’s revolutionary message the key to Canton’s freedom? Or is she about to start a war?

With its contemporary yet highly stylized and surreal setting, Caleb’s adaptation has updated more than the language—all of the spectacle is inspired by the language of entertainment today. “The contemporary lens has informedeverything,” explains Caleb, who is also directing. “From start to finish the show is fast-paced and highly visual, it’s a feast for the senses. The original music runs the gamut from upbeat and poppy to techno todarker, edgier styles. And underneath it all, there’s this ribbon of suspense. As Diona’s devotees discover, this is one rave you won’t want to tweet about.”

Starring Julie Casselman, Julia Church, Megan Couch, Mark Fleming, Brittany Gainer, Karyn Guenther, Jon Hollis, Lyndon Johnson, Shayna Jones, Daniele Neve, Thomas Nelson, Nicola Prigge, Sarah Ruth, Chris Simons, Danielle Spampinato, and Mackenzie West. Set design by Katrina Grabowski, lighting by Lauchlin Johnston, costumes by Barbara Gregusova, and original compositions by Jef Gibbons.

Evening performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8pm, March 22 – April 2 with Saturday matinees at 2pm. Special post-show panel discussion in honour of World Theatre Day on March 24. For more information and tickets, visit or email

Photo Credit: Michael Rathjen

Saturday, March 26, 2011

apr 7 | faust

Can't vouch for the quality of the show, not having seen this fellow's work, but the story of Faust is certainly an intriguing one.

The Tragedy of Mephistopheles: The Story of Faust
Thursday, April 7 at 7:00 pm
St. Dunstan’s Anglican Church, 3025 264th Street, Aldergrove
Tickets: $25    Seniors/Students: $20   For 10 or more: 10% off
For tickets call: 604/856-5371

Friday, March 25, 2011

apr 8-10 | grünewald retreat | cascades

Look what Soul Foodie Rosie Perera is up to. Trip to the Cascades, anyone?

The Grünewald Guild (a Christian retreat center in the Cascade mountains that encourages a dialogue between creativity and the Christian life) presents “The Living Room Lectures: Techie-anity,” a weekend retreat on faith, technology, and art, April 8-10, 2011. Sessions include “The Christian Artist's Role in Engaging with and Stewarding Technology” (Rosie Perera), “Thinking Theologically Through Things - My Violin and the Trinity” (Chelle Stearns), “Turning the Synthesizer into an 'Instrument' - An Example of the Social Construction of Technology” (David Stearns). There will also be a documentary screening (“Art 21 ‘Systems’“), a workshop on making fractals, a panel discussion, and a concert by musician David Loti. More here.

jesus hopped the 'a' train | more photos

Jesus Hopped The 'A' Train runs through April 2
at Pacific Theatre

pictured above: Rob Olguin, Andrew McNee, Carl Kennedy
photos by Ron Reed. more here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

world theatre day 2011

Every year on March 27th the world celebrates theatre!  Okay, we may not have gotten to the point of the Santa Clause parade yet (although I know I would line up to see giant blow-up balloon representations of Shakespeare make its way down Robson Street), but there are events all month long to celebrate the occasion here in Vancouver!  Here at PT we'll be offering 2-for-1 tickets to JESUS HOPPED THE 'A' TRAIN on Saturday, March 26th. For details on what other companies are offering this month, check out the GVPTA listing.

Below is the World Theatre Day message by Jessica Kaahwa.

A Case for Theatre in Service of Humanity
Jessica A. Kaahwa, Uganda

Today’s gathering is a true reflection of the immense potential of theatre to mobilize communities and bridge the divides.

Have you ever imagined that theatre could be a powerful tool for peace and reconciliation? While nations spend colossal sums of money on peace-keeping missions in violent conflict areas of the world, little attention is given to theatre as a one-on-one alternative for conflict transformation and management. How can the citizens of mother-earth achieve universal peace when the instruments employed come from outside and seemingly repressive powers?

Theatre subtly permeates the human soul gripped by fear and suspicion, by altering the image of self – and opening a world of alternatives for the individual and hence the community. It can give meaning to daily realities while forestalling an uncertain future. It can engage in the politics of peoples’ situations in simple straightforward ways. Because it is inclusive, theatre can present an experience capable of transcending previously held misconceptions.

Additionally, theatre is a proven means of advocating and advancing ideas that we collectively hold and are willing to fight for when violated.

To anticipate a peaceful future, we must begin by using peaceful means that seek to understand, respect and recognize the contributions of every human being in the enterprise of harnessing peace. Theatre is that universal language by which we can advance messages of peace and reconciliation.

By actively engaging participants, theatre can bring many-a-soul to deconstruct previously held perceptions, and, in this way, gives an individual the chance of rebirth in order to make choices based on rediscovered knowledge and reality. For theatre to thrive, among other art forms, we must take the bold step forward by incorporating it into daily life, dealing with critical issues of conflict and peace.

In pursuance of social transformation and reformation of communities, theatre already exists in war-torn areas and among populations suffering from chronic poverty or disease. There are a growing number of success stories where theatre has been able to mobilize publics to build awareness and to assist post-war trauma victims. Cultural platforms such as the “International Theatre Institute” which aims at “consolidating peace and friendship between peoples” are already in place.

It is therefore a travesty to keep quiet in times like ours, in the knowledge of the power of theatre, and let gun wielders and bomb launchers be the peacekeepers of our world. How can tools of alienation possibly double as instruments of peace and reconciliation?

I urge you on this World Theatre Day to ponder this prospect and to put theatre forth as a universal tool for dialogue, social transformation and reform. While the United Nations spends colossal amount of monies on peacekeeping missions around the world, through the use of arms, theatre is a spontaneous, human, less costly and by far a more powerful alternative.

While it may not be the only answer for bringing peace, theatre should surely be incorporated as an effective tool in peacekeeping missions.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

regent summer school | arts & culture courses

Regent College is my theological home, the place where I decided to become a professional actor, the place where I started hammering out my understanding of what the Creator has to do with my creating. Continuing in their long tradition of engaging with arts and culture, here's this summer's line-up - including sessions by two long-time friends, Crystal and David Downing.

Regent library photo by Nate Kay

Devotional Poets of the 17th Century: John Donne & George Herbert
Maxine Hancock
Come prepared to engage the poets of the seventeenth century with both heart and mind––with the same kind of wholeness with which they engage the conversation with and about God in poetry. We will look especially closely at the richly textured “Holy Sonnets” of John Donne and at selections from the apparently simple yet very complex poems of “The Temple” by George Herbert.
May 23–27

Writings of the Soul: Themes in Spiritual Autobiography
Sharon Jebb Smith
Ranging from his articulate soul-searching in Confessions through Julian of Norwich's visions, and Teresa of Avila's ecstasies, right up to more contemporary writings such as those of C.S. Lewis, Roberta Bondi, and Andrew Krivak, this course will explore eight profound spiritual autobiographies.
May 30–June 10

All That Jazz: A Christian Take
David Gill
Jazz music provides an intense and vivid reminder of key themes in Christian faith and life: the importance of knowing the "standards," the centrality of freedom and improvisation, passing the lead from one player to another, and the dynamic interaction among players and audiences. Lectures, discussions, video and audio clips, live music in class, readings, interviews, and field trips to the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.
June 27–July 1

Christ and the Poets: Theology and Modern Literature
Roger Lundin
Through the study of five writers who span the theological and cultural spectrum – Emily Dickinson, Fyodor Dostoevsky, W.H. Auden, Flannery O'Connor, and Czeslaw Milosz – we will explore the background to the renewal of Christology and key theological and cultural implications that have followed it. Also, selections from Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Hans Urs von Balthasar.
July 11–22

Beauty, Brokenness, and the Cross: Exploring Atonement Theology Through the Arts
Chelle Stearns
This class will explore the concept of beauty and brokenness. This exploration will be shaped by a theology of the cross that not only leads us to a Christian understanding of beauty but to an understanding that beauty, to be true beauty, must have the power to identify, confront, and redeem that which is most ugly—even death itself. Chelle has served in the church as a musician, teacher, and worship leader, and is an avid amateur musician.
July 11–22

Writing with Scripture: The Gift of Enigmatic Text
Scott Cairns
Scott's nine books include Compass of Affection, Short Trip to the Edge, and The End of Suffering. His current poetry-collection-in-progress is Idiot Psalms.
In this workshop, we will examine key distinctions between Greek and Hebrew attitudes towards words in general, and consider the consequent status of written texts, especially sacred texts and explications/ interpretations/commentaries of such scriptures. We will attend to examples from a long tradition of poetry that has developed as an imaginative examination of biblical narratives, and attempt poetic compositions of our own (probably in prose) in response to various brief and enigmatic scriptural passages.
July 25–29.

The Fiction of C.S. Lewis
David Downing
When C.S. Lewis turned his pen to fiction, he did not cease to be Lewis the Christian philosopher, Lewis the medieval scholar, or Lewis the literary critic. Lewis's fiction also bears the mark of his early years—the loss of his mother, the nightmare of World War I combat, as well as intense experiences of Sehnsucht, the longing ache for paradise. We will explore together the many layers of Lewis's fiction, reading The Pilgrim's Regress, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, and The Silver Chair. Through lecture, readings, journals, discussion, and an interpretive essay, students will learn to understand and appreciate more fully one of the great minds, and great souls, of 20th century literature. July 25–29

Not directly arts-related, but on themes of Christianity & culture...

Theology of Culture
Hans Boersma
May 30–June 10

Changing Signs of Truth: The Influence of Culture on Christianity
Crystal Downing, Professor of English and Film Studies.
Resigned to the unalterable truth of salvation through Christ, how do we know when to re-sign Christian doctrine in order to communicate that Jesus is as relevant to someone with a twenty-first-century aesthetic as he was to a third-century ascetic? Crystal has published over 100 essays, ranging from Shakespeare to King Kong.
July 25–29, 1:15–4:15pm

Monday, March 21, 2011

jesus hopped the 'a' train | photos

Jesus Hopped The 'A' Train runs through April 2
at Pacific Theatre

pictured above: Rob Olguin, Andrew McNee, Carl Kennedy
photos by Ron Reed. more here.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

murray pura | the white birds of morning

Murray was a Regent College buddy, back before I headed off to theatre school and he became a writer (Mizzly Fitch, The Poets of Windhover Marsh, etc). New one coming out: gorgeous cover, intriguing premise...

click on image to expand

Murray writes; "White Birds is part of an ongoing series of books based on the lives of two of my aunts, one a card-carrying Communist, one a card-carrying Catholic. Such a dynamic allows for much that matters to be explored. White Birds covers the fighting in the east in the Second World War as well as other themes. It's almost 300,000 words, so close to 600 pages long. I put a lot of my current thinking, theology, and questioning into White Birds so, whenever you do that, your art becomes even more personal than it usually does. I wonder what the reactions will be since I do cross boundaries, not just Christian-sacred but secular-sacred?"

Not sure when it will reach your neighbourhood bookstore, but it's available now at Amazon

Murray's website

apr 1- 24 | rosmersholm | john voth, joel stephanson, sarah rodgers

Dan Rowan and Dick Martin go to Norway! PT pals Joel Stephanson and John Voth are onstage at the Jericho Arts Centre under the direction of GODSPELL helmer Sarah Rodgers.

United Players presents
by Henrik Ibsen, a new version by Mike Poulton
Mar 31 - Apr 24 | thu - sun 8pm

Believed by many to be Ibsen’s dramatic masterpiece, Rosmersholm presents a portrait of idealism and democracy floundering in a society of conservatism and opportunism. Johannes Rosmer has resigned as parish priest following the death of his wife. But his increasingly liberal ideas make him an object of suspicion to the local worthies who also disapprove of the presence in his house of a much younger woman.  More background here.

Mar 31 | $8 preview
Apr 7 | talkback

Joel Stephanson, Ben Buckingham & John Voth in GODSPELL (2010)

Friday, March 18, 2011

the last supper | nyc 2002

"Ed Schmidt is a fairly ordinary-looking middle-aged white guy with thinning hair, a little bit of a gut, and a lot of funny melancholy. He performs his work in his perfectly nice Carroll Gardens flat for an audience of fourteen - the maximum number of seats he has to offer. In 2002, for his play "The Last Supper," Schmidt invited viewers to the Park Slope house where he was then living, to watch him make dinner as he talked about faith and the players at Jesus' table during his final meal. Now, with "My Last Play," Schmidt is performing-- well, his last play. In it, he talks about his life on the margins of the American theatre, and then he invites each audience member to choose a theatre book to take from his library of two thousand; the play will run until there are no books left."

New Yorker, March 14 2011

"Read Hilton Als's positive Critic's Notebook, in the current issue of The New Yorker, which was based only on other critics' articles and reviews, since Hilton Als has neither seen nor read any of my plays nor met me. (Otherwise he wouldn't have said that I have a gut, right? Because I don't. I mean, look at the picture below. It might look like I have a gut, because of the angle and the untucked t-shirt and my weird posture and the fact that the photo was taken by my 11-year-old daughter, but I don't have a gut. But now everyone who reads The New Yorker thinks that I do. And that's not an insignificant number of people. Which kind of sucks.)"

"The title has a double meaning. Ostensibly, the play—which is performed and directed by Schmidt—is a retelling of the original last supper, focusing of the women who prepared the meal for Jesus and his disciples. But Schmidt often gets off track, sometimes talking about his own frustrated ambitions as a playwright, reading from copious rejection letters. Meanwhile, the author is busy fixing of four course dinner, meant to be consumed by the audience at the end of the performance."

Playbill, March 2004

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2011-2012 apprenticeships available | deadline extended!

Deadline extended! We will be accepting applications until March 31, 2011.

Regular readers of Soul Food already know that Pacific Theatre has an ongoing apprenticeship program aimed at fostering the talent of emerging theatre artists.  Many of our apprentices go on to have professional careers as actors, writers, producers, designers, theatre administrators, and more.  We are now accepting applications for the 2011-2012 season!  If you are interested in applying, or know someone who might be, the info is below, and on our website.  

Pacific Theatre offers a full-time professional apprenticeship program for emerging artists who are looking to build a bridge between academia and the professional marketplace. The Company Apprenticeship is composed of three primary, intersecting categories of activity:

A significant portion of the apprentice’s time will be spent working on assigned administrative tasks, mostly in the capacity of Box Office and Front-of-House staff. These hours will ebb and flow as the production cycle progresses, often culminating in weeks of long administrative hours followed by open weeks to work on artistic endeavours.

Apprentices will be periodically required by the Production Manager to participate in crew calls for lighting, construction and strike. Such calls will take place outside of scheduled administrative time.

Depending on the specific needs of the season, apprentices are invited to participate artistically in mainstage productions both in areas they are interested in pursuing, and areas which will round out the apprentice’s experience in professional theatre. This work may include: acting or understudying in a mainstage production, training and mentorship sessions with company artists, providing hands-on assistance to costume, lighting and/or set designers, designing lights or sound, assistant stage managing, shadowing a director, props construction, public relations and promotions, etc.

Apprentices will also be charged with collectively producing several ‘second-stage’ projects of their choosing throughout the year. Past examples include one-act plays, 24 Hour theatre festivals, actor showcases, etc. Such projects provide excellent opportunities for aspiring directors, producers and playwrights, as well as actors.

As one can see, the company apprenticeship is designed to develop new graduates holistically, through a process of mentorship and hands-on experience, with the aim to equip such emerging artists in all of the different aspects of working in professional theatre. These ‘Renaissance Persons’ should exit the program with the marketable skills to succeed in any number of industry positions, and with a deep, thorough understanding of the aesthetics, philosophies and tasks involved in the creation of meaningful, viable and excellent theatre.

Apprenticeships generally span eleven months from August to June. A modest living stipend is available, depending on the needs of the individual. The application deadline for the 2011-2012 season is March 15, 2011. Applicants must send current headshots and relevant resumes (acting, CV, general work experience, etc), along with a letter of intent detailing their reasons for applying and what they hope to get out of a company apprenticeship.

Submissions should be made to Alison Chisholm, apprentice recruiter, at, or by mail to:

Alison Chisholm
Pacific Theatre
1440 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC, Canada
V6H 1M8

Phone: 604.731.5483
Fax: 604.733.3880
Box Office: 604.731.5518

Sunday, March 13, 2011

mar 25 | lance odegard book launch

This cryptic note from Jonathan Anderson...


I'm guessing he means this Ironworks?

(Later...) Ah! More clues!

Happened, Happens
Doors at 7pm
Show starts at 7:30pm

Paintings by Laura Breukelman
Poems by Lance Odegard
+ musical guests

Reception to follow

Wanna bet those'll be pretty good musical guests?

mar 25 | steve bell

Steve Bell
Mar 25 7:30pm
Fraserview Church, Richmond

Steve Bell is a touring buddy of Carolyn Arends, and counts Bruce Cockburn a main influence - you'll hear it in his guitar playing. Wouldn't you know: the night he comes to my home church, I'm in Alberta at the opening of my play. Another time.

(Nice album art, eh?)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

mar 18 | sheree plett, jonathan anderson

Sheree Plett and her Jubilant Eastsiders, with special guest curtain raiser.....
Jonathan Anderson of Jonathan Inc

Friday Mar 18 8pm
The Blue Door Collective
302 water street, across from the historic steam clock in Gastown

$10 cover charge, Doors open 8pm, curtain raiser at 8:30, Sheree's Jubilaters at 9:30
Wine and beer will be for sale at the event, must be of legal partying age
Henrys allowed

That's the door to the venue, looking south across Water Street from behind the steam clock.
Blue door, under the awning, right beside Water Street Cafe,
then up about three floors.

jesus hopped the 'a' train | director's notes

Notes from director Angela Konrad on JESUS HOPPED THE 'A' TRAIN.

The first time I read JESUS HOPPED THE 'A' TRAIN I was hooked. The language is so raw, the characters so real, the Scriptural references so revelatory. I was moved to laughter and to tears, provoked into reading passages aloud to anyone who would listen. When I talked about the play, I found my heart racing; I became eager to take others along on the journey.

Yet the fact that I liked it so much made me uncomfortable. The juxtaposition of grit and God is unsettling, even shocking. What’s a nice TWU prof doing with a play like this?

There are countless reasons I felt I had to do this play but here are three of them.

First off, I like discomfort in theatre. When I go to a play, I want to see something that makes me sit up straight and pay attention, something that challenges my views and shuns easy answers.

Second, I am irresistibly drawn to plays that take faith seriously. In a world that rarely even offers God the courtesy of debating His existence, this play thrusts issues of faith and forgiveness, personal responsibility and the gift of grace, into the centre of the argument.

And third, I find the struggles of these characters incredibly compelling and startlingly familiar. Despite the fact that I have never been to a prison, the metaphorical cages that trap these characters I know very well.

When I was first falling in love with this play, I remember telling someone it was the most foul-mouthed and profoundly Christian play I had ever read. I stand by those words.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

mar 23 - apr 2 | last 15 seconds

Some friends of PT are coming to town! Alan Sapp and Gary Kirkham were part of Theatre & Company in Kitchener, a sister company to PT that premiered REFUGE OF LIES (Alan played Simon Katzman), as well as Gary Kirkham's QUEEN MILLI OF GALT (with Miriam Brown in the title role). QMoG went on to productions at Chemainus (with Katharine Venour as QM) and, this fall, at Rosebud (Morris Ertman directing). T&Co is no longer with us, but those gentlemen and other original company members launched Lost & Found Theatre, still active today with programming much like Pacific Theatre's. They also work around town - and, apparently, around the country - on projects such as...

The Last 15 Seconds
Mar 23 - Apr 2
tue-sat 8pm + sat/sun 2pm mats | pay-what-you-can wed mar 30 2pm
at the Firehall Arts Centre

As things change they continue to stay the same. Yet we ask the why. This ground-breaking work explores the topic of terrorism starting with the tragic death of Syrian-American filmmaker Mustapha Akkad and his daughter Rima during a series of co-ordinated attacks that hit three prominent hotels in the Jordanian capital Amman in 2005. The work contructs an imagined physical and verbal dialogue between Akkad and Rawad Jassem Monhammad Abed, the suicide bomber and takes a look at the imagined lives and memories of both the victim and his killer at the time of the explosion.

An MT Space Theatre Production

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Purchase your tickets before March 18 and pay only $18!

This project explores the topic of terrorism starting with the tragic death of Syrian-American filmmaker Mustapha Akkad and his daughter Rima during a series of co-ordinated attacks that hit three prominent hotels in the Jordanian capital Amman in 2005. Akkad is the director of two major films both starring Anthony Quinn, The message: the Story of Islam (1976) and Lion of the Desert (1982). Akkad saw these films as a way to bridge the gap between the Western and Islamic world. He was also the producer of the Halloween film series.

The work constructs an imagined physical and verbal dialogue between Mustapha Akkad and Rawad Jassem Mohammad Abed, the suicide bomber who carried the explosion that killed Akkad. The work also looks at the imagined lives and memories of both the victim and his killer at the time of the explosion.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

jesus hopped the 'a' train | photos

Some great photos by set and lighting designer Itai Erdal from a rehearsal of JESUS HOPPED THE 'A' TRAIN.  Notice anything different about the space?  How about a white stage and no set?  That's right, our little space has been transformed once again!

Rob Olguin as Angel Cruz.

Andrew McNee as Valdez.

Carl Kennedy as Lucius Jenkins
and Andrew McNee as Valdez.

Rob Olguin as Angel Cruz.

Evan Frayne as D'Amico.

Kerri Norris as Mary Jane Hanrahan.

Friday, March 04, 2011

mar 25 | bruce cockburn

New album out next Tuesday, and Vancouver's the second date on his spring tour. Touring with Jenny Scheinman - Gillian Welch-ish, Kathleen Nisbet-ish, Lucinda Williams-ish - you can hear her here.

Bruce Cockburn Announces Major North American Tour

Celebrated Canadian recording artist Bruce Cockburn will be supporting the release of his 31st studio album Small Source of Comfort on True North Records with an extensive North American tour that kicks off March 24 in Kelowna, British Columbia and ends June 4 in Seattle, Washington. Cockburn will be accompanied on this tour by violinist Jenny Scheinman and percussionist Gary Craig who are both prominently featured on the new album. At this time, his shows in Chicago, Illinois and Annapolis, Maryland have sold out and a second New York City date has been added by popular demand.

Many of the new compositions come from his travels and spending time in places like San Francisco and Brooklyn to the Canadian Forces base in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

“Each One Lost” and “Comets of Kandahar,” one of five instrumentals on the album, stem from a trip Cockburn made to war-torn Afghanistan in 2009. The elegiac “Each One Lost” was written after Cockburn witnessed a ceremony honouring two young Canadian Forces soldiers who had been killed that day and whose coffins were being flown back to Canada. It was, recalls Cockburn, “one of the saddest and most moving scenes I’ve been privileged to witness.”

“Here come the dead boys, moving slowly past the pipes and prayers and strained commanding voices,” Cockburn sings solemnly on “Each One Lost.” Over a mournful accordion, the simple chorus sums up the gravity of the hymn-like song: “each one lost is a vital part of you and me.”

“Called Me Back” is a comic reflection on the frustrations of waiting for a return phone call that never comes. “Call Me Rose” is from the point of view of Richard Nixon, who receives a chance at redemption after being reincarnated as a single mother living in a housing project with two children.

Brooklyn-based violinist Jenny Scheinman is one of Bruce’s two female collaborators on Small Source of Comfort. Scheinman, best known for her work with Bill Frisell and Norah Jones, provides some thrilling flourishes to instrumentals like “Lois on the Autobahn” and the bluesy, gypsy-like swing of “Comets of Kandahar,” a track that Cockburn describes as “Django meets John Lee Hooker.”

Produced by long-time associate Colin Linden, the album also features Annabelle Chvostek (formerly of the e Wailin Jennys), a Montreal-based singer-songwriter with whom Cockburn wrote two songs on which they also harmonize: the introspective “Driving Away” and the driving, freewheeling “Boundless.”

As always, there’s a spiritual side to Cockburn’s latest collection, best reflected on the closing “Gifts,” a song written in 1968 and but recorded here for the first time, and “The Iris of the World” - “I’m good at catching rainbows, not so good at catching trout.”

“As you go through life, it’s like taking a hike alongside a river. Your eye catches little things that flash in the water, various stones and flotsam. I’m a bit of a packrat when it comes to saving these reflections. And, occasionally, a few of them make their way into songs.”

“My models for graceful aging are guys like John Lee Hooker and Mississippi John Hurt, who never stopped working till they dropped, as I fully expect to be doing, and just getting better as musicians and as human beings.”

jesus hopped the 'a' train | artistic director notes

When I first read this play, I was stunned. From the abrasive, line-crossing opening to the shattering, uncompromising conclusion, I felt I had never read a play like this. I felt, if I could have written any one play in the world to cut deepest, get closest to the centre of what I fear and believe about this world and the next, this would be that play.

I was also galled. That Pacific Theatre couldn't produce it. No, not because of the language or themes. (Are you kidding? You must be new here...) But because it's a piece that demands very specific actors in particular roles, and for the life of me I couldn't come up with the cast to pull it off. Not the way it deserved to be done.

Until a year ago, when Rob Olguin and I were scheming about the launch of his new theatre, Glass City, PT's "Company In Residence," and he brought forward Jesus Hopped The 'A' Train. And said he had the guy to play Lucius. And I knew Rob would be right for Angel. And that long-held regret didn't have to be a regret any longer.

And how ideal it was. Our conversation came only a few months after that other Stephen Adly Guirgis play, The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot, had rocked Pacific Theatre, and the possibility of following up that landmark show with the Catholic bad boy's defining work seemed... Divine.

So fasten your seatbelts. (Do they have seatbelts on subways? Okay...) Grab a pole or one of those hanging strap thingies, and hold on for dear life. We're heading back into Guirgis-land.

Welcome, Glass City. Welcome, Jesus. Welcome back, Mr Guirgis. And watch the closing doors....

Ron Reed,
Artistic & Executive Director,
Pacific Theatre

PS I'll let you in on a little secret. There are conversations happening about a full production of The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot a year from now - a co-production involving FIVE Vancouver theatres. It'll be a miracle if we can pull it off. But then, we're used to those around here....

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

"a" train | apprentice notes 2

"Our father, who art in heaven, Howard be thy name. Howard? How art? - how? - How-now?...

At the beginning of Jesus Hopped the "A" Train, Angel Cruz is trying to pray- he's in jail, facing charges for shooting a man- seemingly Angel has never been more lost or alone.

I don't think I'm giving too much away by saying that things do, in fact, get much worse for Angel.

Evan the apprentice here. Rehearsals for "A" TRAIN continue this week. Some of the questions that the play poses are really starting to take shape now. Mr. Guirgis starts fast and hard and he doesn't let up.

Angel went to a catholic high school and presumably he has had some kind of relationship with God in the past, but we learn that it has gone by the wayside. Is it convenient that he is trying to rekindle that connection? Is it because he wants to get free at any cost? Does it take him landing in jail to realize what he's lost?

And to believe that Angel has formed some kind of relationship with God is believable, and acceptable to us. His crime seems justifiable and I can certainly relate to his reasons for doing what he does. But what about Lucius Jenkins? A man who has committed reprehensible crimes? Can we accept his relationship with God?

JESUS HOPPED THE "A" TRAIN doesn't shy away from these questions. Actually, the play confronts you with them like a shot to the solar plexus. It's simply the "vibe" of the show.