Tuesday, April 30, 2013

how to write | video

Here's a video interview with the actors from HOW TO WRITE A NEW BOOK FOR THE BIBLE.

may 3 & 4 | the hunger room | evan frayne, scott button

Local actor Scott Button (THE VERONA PROJECT) is holding a free staged reading of his new play THE HUNGER ROOM this weekend, featuring Evan Frayne (MOTHER TERESA IS DEAD, RE:UNION).

Someone is giving notes written in blood to young female students at a high school. When Anna gets a note, her best friend Caitlin is convinced that it’s from “some weird horny guy” because the notes have sexualized and violent language in them. But when more girls start getting notes, everybody becomes a suspect, including the teachers. Mr. Richards, the Vice-Principal, quickly finds himself under intense police scrutiny and becomes obsessed with finding the writer of the notes. It’s easy to pin the blame on a girl like Caitlin, one of the campus’s biggest troublemakers, but Mr. Richards focuses his sights on Tyler – a disturbed senior student – and soon the school has a new prime suspect. But what’s really happening underneath all the suspicion? And what’s the “hunger room” that the notes keep mentioning? Students and faculty alike become more and more desperate to expose each other’s darkest secrets – and to protect their own.

This FREE reading will be partially staged with book-in-hand, and have some preliminary design elements integrated as well. The play had its start at the Arts Club's LEAP Playwriting Intensive last year, where it had its first public reading. Come hear (and see) the newest version of the play, still a work-in-progress, after a two week rehearsal and workshop process.

May 3 & 4 at 7:30pm at the Dorothy Somerset Studio
Info here

Written by Scott Button
Directed by Stephen Heatley
Designed by Daniel VanHeyst
Cast: Emma Middleton, Christine Bortolin, Graeme McComb, Chris Robson, Evan Frayne and Maryanne Renzetti

Monday, April 29, 2013

season artwork

In case you missed it on the website - here is the gorgeous season artwork for our 2013-2014 30th anniversary season!  Artwork thanks to the wonderfully talented Emily Cooper and if you pick up a copy of our brochure, that layout is all thanks to Alphabet Communications.

how to write | artistic director's notes

Normally, Artistic Director's notes show up in the program. Not this time. I was away in Chile when the time came - yup, Ron Reed, World Traveler - so the program had to go to press bereft of my verbiage. But I'm stoked about this show - saw it on opening night, last Friday, and it's GORGEOUS - so I ended up jotting a few jottings anyhow. That's what blogs are for...

playwright Bill Cain, S.J.

A year ago, when I was putting the finishing touches on the line-up for our 2013-14 season, I heard from a Seattle friend who had just seen How To Write A New Book For The Bible at Seattle Rep. "Pacific Theatre has to do this play! It's perfect for you guys." So I fired off an email to the playwright.

A week or two later, a text from Frank Nickel, who's in the lobby at Seattle Rep. "We have to do this play!" It was a great, if petty, pleasure to text him back and say "Hey, I'm already on it." But yeah, his email made me read the script pronto, and wow. Our scouts were right. Just that quick, it was in the season.

How To Write A New Book For The Bible was written by Bill Cain - who, as well as being one of the most highly honoured new playwrights in America, is a Jesuit priest. (Here's a link to more about him, and his unprecedented back-to-back wins of the prestigious American Theatre Critics’ Association / Steinberg Award). Such a gorgeous play: funny, truthful, and not at all afraid to be straight-up Christian.

Amazingly, it was commissioned by two of the major theatres on the West Coast - Berkeley Rep and Seattle Rep - not companies with any sort of faith mandate. Thirty years ago when I started Pacific Theatre, I wouldn't have believed this kind of play would be developed by theatres like that. It's pure Pacific Theatre - and we didn't even have to write it!

I find it ironic that the title would be brash and audacious at the Berkeley or Seattle companies, but risks keeping people away at PT, with our well-known spiritual perspective. Their audiences would find it risky and refreshing, maybe ironic: ours might very well think "that sounds too religious," too earnest, maybe Sunday-School-ish. Well, it's not. Trust me on this. It's a key chapter in the unfolding story of Pacific Theatre – one of my personal favourites.

How To Write A New Book For The Bible runs until May 25, 8pm shows Wednesday through Saturday, plus 2pm Saturday matinees. Tickets online, or afternoons at our box office: 604 731-5518.

how to write | opening night

On opening night of HOW TO WRITE A NEW BOOK FOR THE BIBLE, we invited patrons to share what they would add to the Bible, or what they are glad is already in it.  Here's some of what was shared.

regent summer school | art & faith

Regent Summer School is amazing. It's what brought me to Vancouver 35 years ago (ouch), and that was just to study New Testament Greek, for goodness sake. Now they've got courses on art and everything!

I took a film course a few summers ago with Robert K. Johnston, and it was fantastic. Last summer I met with Ralph Wood to talk about the friendship between J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams - Dr Wood was here teaching on Tolkien, as he will be doing again this year. Several times I've co-taught a "Christianity & Theatre" course with Loren Wilkinson at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival - how I wish we could do that again!

Regent Summer School courses offer an amazing vacation from the rest of your life - even if you already live in Vancouver. The luxury of immersing in a subject for a week or two, out on the UBC campus. Some of my best experiences ever.

This year, they've gone so far as to create an "Art & Faith" track. Here's a rundown of what will be offered.

 J.R.R. Tolkien: Writer for Our Time of Terror, Ralph Wood
Faith, Hope, and Poetry, Malcolm Guite
Believing in Documentary, Iwan Russell-Jones
Modern Literature and the Question of Belief, Roger Lundin
Hollywood Cinema and the Christian Imagination, William Romanowski

More details at the Regent website, including video interviews with Summer Faculty, such as this interview with Dr. Iwan Russell-Jones. Iwan joined the Regent faculty two years ago with an arts focus, and we'll be teaching "The Vocation Of The Artist" together this fall!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

how to write | preview tonight

Tonight is our pay-what-you-can preview for HOW TO WRITE A NEW BOOK FOR THE BIBLE!

See the show before anyone else, and get pay-what-you-can tickets at the door.  

Thursday, April 25th at 8pm - pay-what-you-can preview

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

how to write | discussion guide

HOW TO WRITE A NEW BOOK FOR THE BIBLE opens this week, and our discussion guide is up and ready for you!  For those of you coming to see the show with a group, our discussion guide is a great way to launch a conversation on the drive or bus ride home.  Or come by in the afternoon on May 4th for our official discussion group between the matinee and evening performances.

Click here to download the PDF discussion guide for HOW TO WRITE A NEW BOOK FOR THE BIBLE.

April 26-May 25

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

wardrobe | presentation house tour

THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE is back on tour!  This week we're bringing Peter and Lucy to the North Shore to perform during the day at Presentation House Theatre.

adapted from the novel by CS Lewis
April 23-25 at 10am & 1pm

Tickets and more info: www.phtheatre.org

Monday, April 22, 2013

april 27 | subscriber appreciation saturday | how to write

The final Subscriber Appreciation Saturday of the season!  Subscribers, please join us for one last get-together on April 27th following the matinee performance of HOW TO WRITE A NEW BOOK FOR THE BIBLE.  This time around we're going to explore and celebrate the artwork of Emily Cooper!

For the past few seasons audiences have been delighted, challenged and provoked by Pacific Theatre’s brochure and poster art work. (Remember the animal heads?) We are pleased to announce that Emily Cooper, the artist behind our striking designs, is back for a third season and has designed our 30th anniversary brochure artwork.

Listen in as Ron Reed gets the scoop from Emily on how she comes up with all those beautiful collage images, where she gets her inspiration from and what ends up on the cutting room floor. We’ll get to take a look at some of her past designs and the different phases they went through before arriving at the final product.

We’ll also take the time to celebrate our 29th season and look forward to our 30th! It has been a fantastic year and we’ve loved spending these Saturday afternoons with you all. Thank you for taking the time to connect and engage – we look forward to celebrating with you on April 27th!

The details:

Saturday April 27th at approximately 4:00pm
Following the matinee performance of HOW TO WRITE A NEW BOOK FOR THE BIBLE
Please RSVP to Kaitlin at kaitlin@pacifictheatre.org

Friday, April 19, 2013

april 27 + 28th | east side story guild

Our friends at the EAST SIDE STORY GUILD are back with a new show running next weekend only. If you've never experienced an ESG show before, I highly recommend the experience. These kids are amazing! More details below:


Saturday April 27th at 6:30pm
Sunday April 28th at 10:30am and 5:00pm

Another great Eastside Story Guild presentation is coming your way in just 10 days time. Entrance is by donation and seating is first-come first served. (The performances will also run as part of the regularly scheduled services of worship at Grandview Calvary Baptist Church the next day at 10:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.)

how to write | director's statement

Here's a brief note from director Morris Ertman from before rehearsals began on why he was looking forward to working on HOW TO WRITE A NEW BOOK FOR THE BIBLE.

I've always believed that ordinary lives have significance that isn't measured in accomplishment. This is a play that illustrates extraordinary grace. A younger brother takes his broken older brother on a pilgrimage to the Vietnam War Memorial to help him banish demons that hold him captive. The same brother cares for a crazy, demanding dying mother and in the end realizes that the life of their family is in fact a sacred journey worthy of chronicling. Tackling a story that ultimately frames simple familial relationships in the context of great goodness is something worth diving into rehearsal for. It's also a treat to work with Anthony Ingram and Erla Fay Forsyth again. And scenic designer Lauchlin Johnson is delivering such an evocative scenic framework within which to tell this story.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

how to write | meet the cast

The cast of HOW TO WRITE A NEW BOOK FOR THE BIBLE is full of faces regular PT-attenders will recognize, as well as a few newcomers.  Here they are, along with their personal note about why they're excited to be involved in this show.

Erla Faye Forsyth

I'm excited to be working with Morris and Anthony again.At the risk of sounding trite, I think this play and these characters are very special! Doing the prep work has already impacted me personally.

Anthony F. Ingram

It's been ages since I worked with Morris Ertman, who has been a huge influence on my directing style. I love the style of this show, the way it becomes a sort of conversation with the audience - the script acknowledges that the audience is there - no fourth wall, which has to be one of the stupidest ideas ever introduced into theatre.

Byron Noble

I'm excited to be in HTWANBFTB because I've always wanted to work professionally at Pacific Theatre.

Daniel Arnold

Because I've never been involved in a Pacific Theatre production before! And in fact have never acted on its 'alley seating' stage before either! And I've always found Pacific Theatre's productions to be meaningful, relevant, and done with such commitment and thoughtfulness.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

how to write | the set

Here's a preview of Lauchlin Johnston's set design for HOW TO WRITE A NEW BOOK FOR THE BIBLE.  Look closely - it's tricky to see in the picture, but that's a family tree painted on the floor.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

how to write | bill cain discusses the title

Last year Seattle Repertory Theatre premiered HOW TO WRITE A NEW BOOK FOR THE BIBLE by Bill Cain. Here's a little video interview they made with the playwright, addressing the title of the play - a title some people told him he should change, because, as he says, "the play is a lot more fun than reading the Bible."

Monday, April 08, 2013

april 12 | auditions

Auditions this Friday for apprentice Cara Cunningham's latest project, A GOOD WAY OUT! This is a fantastic opportunity to get on our stage and get to know the community a little better. She's looking for some pretty specific age ranges on here, so take a closer look at the roles.

A Stone's Throw Productions / Playground Series
Playwright: Cara Cunningham
Director: Becky MacDormand
Location: Pacific Theatre

Kenny is a hardworking mechanic trying to support his family. He makes a few wrong decisions while trying to give them a better life that lead him to trouble.

Audition: Friday, April 12th - Pacific Theatre 1440 W 12th Ave. Please prepare a dramatic monologue (2min MAX) and you may be asked to read some sides. 12 - 5pm. Call backs on April 16th in the evening.

Production Dates: June 11th - 15th, 2013
Rehearsal Dates: Part time rehearsals in May & June 2013

Kenny (30-40) A hard working mechanic. A funny man with a hard exterior.
Tina (25-35) Kenny's wife. A former exotic dancer, now living as a housewife.
Larry (30-40) Kenny's boss. He is an angry, paranoid man, obsessed with loyalty.
Sean (30-40) Kenny's childhood friend. He is a little dopey and a natural screw up.
Lynette (35-45) Kenny's sister. She is very religious woman with strong convictions.

Notes: Please send headshot and resume to Cara @ cara.lowdermilk@gmail.com. This is a non-equity production.

funny stuff | set list

Thanks to everyone who came out and laughed with us in FUNNY STUFF! We had a great time putting together and performing that collage of bits and pieces from a whole host of comedies. Here's the list of the plays we took snippets and scenes from:


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum - Sondheim
Who's on First - Abbot and Costello
The Anti-Comic - Ron Reed
Fatal Beatings - Rowan Atkinson
I Love to Laugh - Sherman
For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls - Christopher Durang
Musical Improv - Alison Chisholm, Cara Cunningham, Karyn Guenther, and Shayna Jones


Make 'em Laugh - Freed & Brown
Rosa's Eulogy - Richard Strand
The Philadelphia - David Ives
Who's on First (Reprise) - Abbot and Costello
Post Its - Paul Dooley and Winnie Holzman
Stand Up - Ivan Decker
Four Yorkshiremen - Monty Python
Comedy Tonight (Reprise) - Sondheim

april 11 | he roars production party | kirsty provan

Many of you will know Kirsty Provan as a long time Pacific Theatre artist. She was our youngest apprentice ever a few years ago, and has performed on our stage a number of times - most recently in THE GREAT DIVORCE and WOLF AT THE DOOR. Kirsty is also a writer and has penned a new play HE ROARS, which will be performed on our stage later this spring as part of our Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotel writer's week. This Thursday April 11th, Kirsty is hosting a fundraiser for her show. Details below.

"It's pretty evident how much you hate the military."
"I hate war. Don't confuse the two."

Hey guys,

As many of you know, my play, "He Roars" is moving into its production phase, after a long three years of writing! Now it's party time!

We'll be hosting a crazy fun party at the Anza Club on Thursday, April 11th, to help raise funds for the production!

Ben Parker, Mark Woodyard and Oliver Browne will be playing: if you haven't heard these guys, you're in for a MAJOR treat. Drinks are $4!

Tickets are $15, and can be purchased at:


PT summer theatre school | Kids and Teens camps

We are thrilled to announce that this summer our PT Summer Theatre School is back and better than ever. This July we are not only hosting a one week camp for kids, but we are also adding a second week for teens!

Our PT Summer Theatre School mission is to create a safe and fun environment for kids and teens to explore the performing arts, gain confidence and be inspired by theatre. Our instructors focus on team building, fostering a sense of self-worth, storytelling, improvisation and performance.  The final day of camp will wrap up with a performance showcase for family and friends.

Kids who attended last year said “it was awesome! We learned a lot about parts of the stage, how to act and how to do it well, but also really enjoy it!” One participant said she “wished [she] could stay another week. It was so fun!” Parents were also enthusiastic with one expressing that the camp was great for [her son’s] confidence. We for sure will join camp for teens next year.”

Both PT camps are bound to be a memorable and fun-filled week for all the kids and teens involved. Space is extremely limited and last year filled up quick, so be sure to register your child today!

When: July 8-12th, 10:00am-3:00pm
Who: Kids ages 9-12 who love to perform!
Where: Pacific Theatre - 1440 W 12th Ave
How Much: $200.00 (includes tax) per child
(Family discount - each additional child from the same household is $150.00)

When: July 15-19th, 10:00am-3:00pm
Who: Teens ages 13-15 who love to perform!
Where: Pacific Theatre - 1440 W 12th Ave
How Much: $200.00 (includes tax) per teen
(Family discount - each additional teen from the same household is $150.00)

Email Kaitlin at kaitlin@pacifictheatre.org with any questions or call 604-731-5483 to register over the phone and reserve your child's spot.

Friday, April 05, 2013

april 6 | status quo | kat gauthier

Remember Kat Gauthier (GODSPELL, YOU STILL CAN'T)?  She's in Theatre la Seizieme's STATUS QUO, playing one night (tomorrow!) here in Vancouver before launching a cross-Canada tour.  Warning: this is a French play without surtitles, but if you want to practice that second language (or hang out with people speaking your first language), we know you'll catch a great performance.

Sarah and Adèle are about to finish high school in the village they grew up in. A village where nothing happens, ever. While, for Adèle, the future seems simple, Sarah can’t seem to find her place in it. What could she ever hope to do in a society that is so… so boring? That is, until she meets Simon, an outsider. Confronted by this out-of-the-ordinary military brat, Sarah starts quietly documenting the nothingness of her village. An exercise that will lead her to discover hidden facets of her hometown, as well as of her own identity.

April 6-7 at Studio 16
Info & tickets

funny stuff | ivan decker

Ivan Decker is making his PT debut in FUNNY STUFF, and check out this smoking writeup about him in The Georgia Straight!

Can The Straight pick ’em, or what? In 2010, Ivan Decker was one of our comedy up-and-comers in the Fall Arts Preview issue. Cut to 2013: Decker has quit his day job, released a comedy special online, opened for the likes of Jay Mohr, Brent Butt, and Seth Meyers at the River Rock Show Theatre, and guested on CBC Radio One’s The Debaters seven times, and this weekend finds himself headlining the Comedy MIX, one of the top comedy clubs in the country, for the third time. Just last week, his video special was released in audio format on iTunes.

Decker’s growth as a comic is no surprise, given his work ethic. He’s known in the community as a hard worker, running from gig to gig to hone his craft. On the night he sits down in a West End coffee shop with the Straight, he’s on his way to perform at the Morrissey and then at Kino Café. The next night he’ll be at Corduroy, then he’s off off to Cranbrook for the weekend. But that’s what you do when you work for a tyrant.

“Now that I have this free time,” he says of life after the reality of 9-to-5, “I have to be my own boss. I have to be the worst boss I’ve ever had. I can’t just take a break.” He says he makes himself sit at a desk and write every day no matter what. But the boss is always looking over his shoulder. “I have a little mirror so I can look at myself and point,” he jokes.

Decker’s even branched off into sketch and improv in a continuing effort to grow as a performer. He’ll write the odd YouTube sketch and has taken classes and performed two improv shows with Instant Theatre.

“I’m trying to expand,” he says. “Anything I can do in the realm of comedy. There’s no harm in expanding your tool belt.”

But it’s not as easy as it looks, even for a guy as comfortable on the standup stage as Decker. He describes his improv experience as “terrifying”.
“In improv, you have to create everything out of nothing, which I find very difficult,” he says. “With standup, you’re a joke hunter—you’re trying to find the laugh and move on—whereas in improv you’re supposed to try to do whatever the scene needs to remain interesting.”

But standup remains his true passion. While he’s one of the funniest and most likable young comics in the country, he remains largely unknown outside of B.C. His problem, he says, is one of branding. Clubs and festivals unaware of his impressive chops see a boyish-looking 27-year-old white guy and think he can be replaced with any generic observational comic.

“It’s hard for me because there’s nothing remarkable about my appearance,” he says. “If somebody has, like, a plaid shirt and a beard, that kind of projects that he’s probably going to be that type of alt-comic because he has the uniform.”

And the fact he works largely clean isn’t always a boon in a world of edgy and personal comedy.

“The thing about being a quote-unquote clean comic is you get booked for these shows where the audience is mostly in their 40s, 50s, and 60s—old married couples,” he says. “Yeah, I’m not swearing, but I have nothing they care about in my act. They don’t care about the plight of the single man living in the city who thinks it’s too hot on the bus.”

At least he has the respect of his peers, no matter what their age or marital status. It’s a testament to his reputation within the comedy community that Decker often finds himself headlining with more seasoned professionals on the same bill. Each time he’s been the main attraction at the MIX, he’s worked with the likes of Graham Clark and Phil Hanley. This weekend sees Patrick Maliha hosting and Simon King middling.

“And I gotta headline after that,” he says. “So it’s not going to be easy. But it’s going to be fun. I’m excited about it. When I headline clubs here I always try to have something kind of new in there. I’ll do something to make it more interesting for me. It keeps it fun.”

Monday, April 01, 2013

funny stuff | rehearsal shots

I snuck in to get some shots of this afternoon's rehearsal for FUNNY STUFF. Today they were practicing their musical theatre improv with pianist Peter Abando! That's exactly what it sounds like: you give them a suggestion, they make up a song about it right on the spot. As a group.  Truly amazing.  The did dance moves and everything.

announcing our 30th anniversary season

Okay, this is a pretty big deal: today we announce our 2013-2014 season, also known as our 30TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON! Check out the offerings below, and subscribe now to make sure you get in on this year of celebration! Don't worry if you're wondering where all the snazzy artwork is - we are releasing the season brochure, complete with a whole new set of amazing artwork by Emily Cooper, with the opening of HOW TO WRITE A NEW BOOK FOR THE BIBLE.


THE FOREIGNER by Larry Shue - Sept 20-Oct 12
Charlie is visiting from England, painfully shy and very much in need of rest. His friend has the perfect solution – he leaves him at a rural fishing lodge, telling his hosts that Charlie is from an exotic foreign land and speaks no English. All is well until Charlie overhears more than he should.

COMMUNION by Daniel MacIvor - Oct 31-Nov 10
a guest production by Ruby Slippers Theatre
Lida is a recovering alcoholic whose daughter burns down abortion clinics. When her therapist does the unthinkable and offers concrete advice, Lida acts on it – and all three women find their convictions are on a collision course with their all-too-human need for certainty and connection.

Pacific Theatre’s favourite holiday tradition is taking its place on the mainstage. An all-you-can-eat feast of music and stories for the holidays.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE by William Shakespeare - Jan 17-Feb 8
a guest production by Honest Fishmongers
When Vienna’s ruthless morality laws are revived by temporary ruler Angelo, a young nun is left with an impossible choice: her soul or her brother’s life. A surprisingly contemporary tale of scandal, abuse of power, and the balance of justice with grace.

THE SEAFARER by Conor McPherson - Mar 7-29
On a dark and stormy Dublin night, four old friends gather for their annual ritual of cards and demon rum. But as the evening progresses, things take a sinister turn and they find themselves playing for more than just a few quid. Sparkling and suspenseful, this chilling pitch-black comedy takes us on a long night’s journey into day.

ESPRESSO by Lucia Frangione - May 16-June 14
Three fiery women – Vito’s estranged daughter, his pit-bull of a second wife, and the family’s wrinkled matriarch – find humour and grace in the aftermath of a violent car crash that threatens to take from them the one man they all love. “The espresso - she’s life. Quick, black, bitter in the mouth. Don’t expect sweet.”


A solitary late-night disc jockey counts down his ten thousand favourite tunes in a quirky, evocative piece that’s as much about the work and calling of the artist as it is about The Allman Brothers, Portishead, W.H. Auden and the Toronto Blue Jays. Written when the future of Pacific Theatre was uncertain, the show has been performed from San Franciso to Houston, Toronto to Galiano Island – but never on the PT mainstage.

SIDESHOW - Feb 21-22
Hold onto your hats for another round of improv and sketch comedy with the PT crew. A family-friendly favourite

Pacific Theatre brings back the magic of live radio and the glory of good gospel music as Vancouver’s bluegrass favourites Viper Central joins Ron Reed in an onstage celebration that will lift your heart and revive your soul. In the style of Prairie Home Companion and the spirit of Tent Meeting and Cotton Patch Gospel, a true celebration of the essence of Pacific Theatre. Turn your radio on.