Tuesday, February 27, 2007
For fans of last year’s provocative PRODIGAL SON, and for those who relish HBO’s dark and twisted DEAD LIKE ME, Pacific Theatre presents an exciting, controversial upcoming production of GRACE.
Tickets are available through our box office by calling 604-731-5518.
Pacific Theatre Explores Twisted Fundamentalism in Grace,
by Craig Wright
Vancouver, BC – March 15-April 14, 2007 (opens March 16)
Some “happy clappy” Christians have a secret: they aren’t so happy. A mid-west American couple who moves to Florida to begin a chain of Christian hotels has just such a secret: they have a dark side – a deeply unhappy, lonely, insecure side. This aspect of their lives is explored in Pacific Theatre’s production of Grace, a darkly funny and provocative new play by a writer of HBO’s hit television series, Six Feet Under.
Proclaimed as “the most controversial, talked-about show of the year” (Tom Williams, Theater in Chicago), this examination of twisted fundamentalism runs at Pacific Theatre March 15 - April 14, starring Craig Erickson (Peer Gynt, Prodigal Son), Alexa Devine (Jessie Award winning The Big League), and Kerry van der Griend (Lonely Planet). Pacific Theatre is also delighted to announce Jessie Richardson winner Duncan Fraser (The Birthday Party, No Great Mischief) in the role of Karl.
Things are never what they seem in this play about a zealous Christian couple, their antagonistic neighbour, and the way religious ideas make sense – and sometimes nonsense – of life’s events. Pacific Theatre is thrilled to produce the Canadian premiere of a show which has been reviewed as “surely the most controversial and talked about play of the year” (Tom Williams, Theater in Chicago).
Monday, February 26, 2007
Ryan Dueck on THE QUARREL
February 21 2007
Last Saturday, Naomi and I had the entirely unusual and entirely pleasant experience of an entire day in Vancouver without the kids (some friends had generously offered to let them have a sleepover from Friday to Saturday). After a leisurely morning where we could actually sleep in and have an enjoyable breakfast at a cafe on Main Street, we went to Pacific Theatre and saw the Canadian Premiere of The Quarrel by Joseph Brandes and Joseph Telushkin.
The play is about two Jewish childhood friends who meet in Montreal on Rosh Hashanah in 1948 after surviving the Holocaust. Chaim Kovler (played by Nathan Schmidt) is a Yiddish writer whose experience in WWII confirmed his previous disavowal of any belief in God and justified his pursuit of a thoroughly secular life of a creative writer; Hersh Resseyner (played by Dan Amos) is an Orthodox rabbi for whom similar experiences has led to solidify and entrench the faith of his youth. The two men were the best of friends in the yeshiva school of their childhoods, but separated as a result of Chaim’s desire to leave the school and abandon his religion. Both men lost their families in Auschwitz. Both were left alone, with nothing but faith, on the one hand, and bitterness, on the other to accompany them as they struggled to come to terms with the horrors they had witnessed and lived through. For eighty minutes we witnessed the combination of bitter disagreement, unmitigated anger, stubborn faith and deep friendship which the horrors of Auschwitz produced and confirmed in the lives of these two men.
The problem of evil obviously figures prominently in the story. For Chaim, Auschwitz represented nothing less than the God of the universe breaking covenant with his people. Indeed, the subtitle on the program reads: At Sinai, God made a covenant with Jewish people. At Auschwitz, he broke it. Chaim will countenance no justification of God’s behaviour. There is no adequate theodicy for what is symbolized by Auschwitz. At one point in the play, when Hersh argues that we can’t possibly know God’s ways, Chaim explodes in anger, shouting “If I knew God, I’d put him on trial!” For Chaim, if God exists he is a liar, and he is morally culpable for the deaths of six million of his “chosen people.”
For Hersh, on the other hand, Auschwitz has only intensified his devotion to Judaism - indeed his crowning accomplishment, the one in which he takes the most pride, is the opening of a yeshiva school in Montreal. His traditional Jewish worldview remains firmly in place; however his theodicy seems, to put it bluntly, pathetically inadequate if not offensive. “We must have done something to deserve what happened at Auschwitz… God must have had a reason… We can’t expect to understand…” The viewer gets the sense that Hersh is desperately grasping at something, anything to exonerate God for the monstrous evil that his people have experienced. Side by side with Chaim’s eloquent and devastating indictment of the God of Israel, Hersh’s explanations seem rather meager.
Those of us who are “wiser” and more philosophically sophisticated would say that any theodicy which persists in linking the kind of suffering symbolized by Auschwitz with human fault is grossly irresponsible, not to mention intellectually unpalatable. And in The Quarrel, there is not much doubt about which of the two views is seen to be more compelling. At the same time, the play does reveal a kind of fault line - one which has grown to be symbolic of the impermissibility of a certain kind of theodicy in much the same way that the Lisbon earthquake was two hundred years earlier. At Lisbon, it is said, the sheer destructiveness and horror produced by nature forced people to lose faith in facile notions of divine providence. If Lisbon represented the loss of faith in religion, Auschwitz represented the loss of faith in reason. If reason can lead to Auschwitz, then… well, then what? Hersh’s “inadequate” theodicies seem to represent a rather bewildered recircling of the wagons. Religion can’t explain evil of this magnitude, reason can’t explain it… what do we do? Just keep going around and around? Susan Neiman’s argument that Auschwitz leaves us “more helpless than Lisbon” because “our conceptual resources are exhausted” seems just about right…
This certainly seems to be the case at the end of The Quarrel. At the end of a lengthy rehearsal of familiar arguments and non-arguments, two lonely men remain, neither of whom is able to explain the evil they have experienced. The only thing they can agree on is that they need one another’s friendship. Neither one is convinced by the other’s arguments - there is no silly postmodern affirmation that they are both “right” in their own way - but they are drawn back to one another as human beings. The problem of evil simply remains the omnipresent and maddening enigma that it has always been. In the end, the only answer provided is not a logical solution to a philosophical problem, but a moving account of the ways in which evil can, however partially, be redeemed through restored relationships. It was a very moving production, and I am glad to have seen it.
Ryan's blog is http://rynomi.wordpress.com/
OBLATION: The Artist's Holy Calling
A man gathers stones on a beach…
Another snaps pictures of his Brooklyn cigar store
with the camera he stole from a blind woman…
A third trains his camera on a plastic bag in an alleyway…
Hobbyists? Artists? Priests? "Ingatherers of being"?
People with too much time on their hands?
Wanna see some movies? Wanna learn some Latin? We'll be talking lectio divina, we'll be talking liber mundi, we might even toss in some good old imago dei or et vidit Deus quod esset bonum. Ron Reed (founding artistic director of Pacific Theatre) uses clips from favourite films to explore the role of the artist in the world, and the artistic way of every living person on this planet – whether they think they're artists or not.
An open lecture/conversation, as part of The Offering Of The Arts
Regent College Chapel
Thursday March 1 @ 7pm
Directions to Regent
I never do this so imagine how strongly I must feel.
Last night I saw The Secret Life of Joseph Finch, written and directed by Serge Bennathan and performed by Jonathon Young. It’s a stunning piece of theatre. The writing is vivid and the staging and performance uncommonly detailed and virtuosic. Jonathon’s physical and textually dexterity is remarkable. Though it is the story of a holocaust survivor the play’s content and imagery has a boisterous sense of humour and breathtaking beauty; it’s about home, heredity, fathers and sons; it’s riveting. I left feeling genuinely inspired. A great gift.
Below are the show times. Go see it.
Norman Rothstein Theatre
Tuesday Feb. 27th: 8:00pm
Wednesday Feb. 28th: 8:00pm
Thursday March 1st: 9:00pm
Friday March 2nd: 1:30pm
Saturday March 3rd: 7:00pm
Or online: www.chutzpahfestival.com
Hope this finds everyone well.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Arts in the City: Literary and Drama Evening
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Grace Vancouver Church
1696 West 7th Ave. (between Fir and Burrard)
The evening runs from 7-10 and features poetry readings (from me, Karl Petersen and Bryan Halferty), drama, musical theatre, storytelling and comedy from Nadine Laughlin, Torbin Rolfsen, evenSteven and Jaclyn Nishi, all put together and hosted by the ever-charming Karl Petersen. The theme of the evening is Isolation/Belonging. There will be coffee, wine and sweets.
Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. You can reserve tickets by calling 604-871-4341. You can also reserve tickets here: http://www.artsinthecity.com/tickets.php
Sounds like it’s going to be a great evening!
Monday, February 19, 2007
At any rate, here's word from the man himself about a pair of upcoming performances...
I have two upcoming performances you may be interested in - both are
of Bach Cello Suites performed on baroque cello.
The first concert is Friday, Feb. 23, at the Langley Community Music
School, Rose Gellert Hall, 4899 207th Street, Langley. Pre-concert
Chat & Coffee at 10:00am, Concert at 11:00am. $14/Adult, $12/Senior,
$10/Student. I’ll be playing Suites 2 and 3.
The second concert is Tuesday, Feb. 27, at The Cellar, a restaurant
and jazz club at 3611 West Broadway in Vancouver. Doors open at 7:00
PM for dinner, and the concert starts around 8:00 PM. Cover charge is
$10.00. I’ll be playing Suites 1, 2, and 3. More info at
Please pass this email on to anyone else you think may be interested.
Hope to see you there!
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Just wanted to let you know about an upcoming gig I've got THIS COMING
Tuesday in Vancouver. Hope to see you out!
Tuesday, Feb 20
laurell @ the media club
with James Lamb and DK Ibomeka
695 Cambie Street
Should be a great show, and I'm on first, so no waiting!
okay. bye now.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
The True North: Lux Nova Wind Tower, Regent College
Stained Glass Artist Sarah Hall
By the age of nine, Sarah Hall already possessed a sense of vocation. “My father was on our church building committee,” she says, “and I remember staring at the stained glass windows while I waited for the meetings to end. I was entranced. I knew then what I was going to do—I was going to make windows.”
Following her call entailed traveling outside North America to find schooling specific to her needs. Hall enrolled in the Architectural Glass Program at Swansea College of Art, Wales, U.K., and graduated with her Diploma in Architectural Glass from the City and Guilds of London Institute. After apprenticing with Glass Master, Lawrence Lee, Hall spent a year in Jerusalem studying gold-leaf and techniques from the Middle East. While in Jerusalem, she had the opportunity to attend religious services of many different faiths, an experience, she says, “in which I came to know myself as a Christian.”
Hall’s art includes both abstract and figurative works, many of which are among the largest stained glass projects in North America: the 3000-square-foot window wall at St. Andrew Church, the 33 monumental windows based on the Doctors of the Church for St. Catharine of Siena in Columbus, Ohio, and—her current project—the True North: Lux Nova Wind Tower at Regent College in Vancouver, B.C. The 40-foot-high tower includes the first stained glass installation in North America to utilize photovoltaic cells, an energy source that generates electricity without emitting greenhouse gases. The photovoltaic array, embedded between two panes of glass, is composed of thin silicon and metal cells that convert sunlight into electricity. The energy collected will be used to illuminate the park at night with a changing color program inspired by the music of composer/violinist, Oliver Schroer. Containing 144 square feet of photovoltaic art glass, the installation also incorporates the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic.
Winner of numerous awards for her work, Hall was recently elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art, an honor bestowed on only five other Canadian glass artists. In addition to her work as a glass artist, Hall has authored numerous articles, as well as The Color of Light: Commissioning Stained Glass for a Church, published by the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1999; it is the first book of its kind in the field. Hall currently maintains studios in both Toronto and Germany.
Visit Sarah Hall’s website
From IMAGE Update
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Bruce will be familiar to y'all - Vancouver Film School / Regent film history and film making and screenwriting courses / short film at Cannes Festival. He cinematogged this one.
But you may not know of Jody. She's a very accomplished actress, also a Christian, and also a filmmaker. This is her project, written and directed, and I'm sure hoping I can get down to see the screening. It's my daughter's birthday but hey - Thea has a birthday every year, but movies premiere only once!
Here's our invitation...
Ron: We'd like to invite you and the SOULFOOD family
to the screening this Sunday:
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18th 2007
Little Wolf Productions and The
International Filmmakers Institute
request the honor of your presence
at a private industry screening of the short film
WILL OF THE WISP
SEE WEBSITE FOR TRAILER
The Vancity Theatre
1181 Seymour Street (Seymour and Davie)
Admission is FREE
Sunday, February 18, 2007
3:30 PM reception
4:00 PM screening
5:00 PM second screening
WILL OF THE WISP : A SERIES OF SIGNIFIERS IN CONVERSATION
A 10 min experimental narrative
"Beautifully conceived and photographed, 'Will of the Wisp' is a stunning and surreal visual poem depicting the struggles of a haunted young woman as she fights to reclaim her body, her sexuality and her[self]."
brief nudity, mature subject matter,viewer discretion advised
Written and Directed by Jody Thompson
Cinematography by Bruce Marchfelder
Hope to see you.
PLEASE FEEL WELCOME to bring guests.
For More Information Please Call
Little Wolf Productions: 778-233-3210 or
The International Filmmakers
Monday, February 12, 2007
The premiere of DUCKS
A short film directed by Jason Goode
Starring Woody Jeffreys, Aleks Paunovic
Original Score by Tom Wuest
Tuesday, February 13th, 7:30pm
Pacific Cinematheque (1131 Howe St.)
Cineworks annual selected showcase of new short films
The Full Program:
The Tea Party - Allison Beda
Three - Oliver Hockenhull
iLove - Alec MacNeill Richardson
Infinite Moments - Karen Neilson
Frog Jesus - Ben Peters and Toby Gorman
Time Lost is Never Found - John Woods
Saddest Boy in the World - Jamie Travis and Amy Belling
Cardboard Cutout - Adrian
3part Harmony: Composition in RGB #1 - Amanda Dawn Christie
The Clinic - Toby Gorman
Ducks - Jason Goode
inearth - Chris Brabant
The Call - Jason Karman
March 9th, 2007
The local premiere of THE HITCHHIKER
Directed by Jason Goode
Based on the play by Kathy Parson
Starring: Gina Chiarelli, Aleks Paunovic
Featuring music by Blue Rodeo
Featured in the Women in Film Festival B.C. (www.wiffbc.com)
Festival Dates: March 8th (International Women’s Day) through March 11th, 2007
Location: Norman Rothstein Theatre at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver,
950 West 41st Avenue
THE HITCHHIKER has already screened at: LA Shorts Fest, Calgary Int'l Film Fest, DNA Film Fest, Big House Film Fest (Best Comedy); and will be screening at the East Lansing Film Fest and Longbaugh Film Fest.
Friday, February 09, 2007
By Robert Harling
March 9 & 10, 15 – 17, 22 – 24, 2007 @ 7:30 PM
Discount Matinees: March 10 & 17 @ 2:00 PM
MEI Secondary School Auditorium
4081 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford
Truvy’s hair salon, nestled in the heart of a small town deep in the American south, forms the backdrop to this heart-warming and endearing tale of friendship where life’s hard-fought victories are celebrated and tragedies are made more bearable. Laugh, cry and ruminate along with six colorful friends as they share together each other’s joys, challenges and ambitions.
Tickets on Sale Now!
House of James
2743 Emerson Street, Abbotsford
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
See, my laptop died last night. And while I've got most everything backed up, I can't get at it until the computer is fixed. (Which, being an Apple, won't likely be for six weeks. Maybe I need to break down and buy a PC, whaddya think? Steve Jobs, you listening to me?)
So if you send me stuff, I'll post it at the blog here, but won't be able to send out a Soul Food email until my laptop is up and running again.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Norval Morisseau is a first nations artist whose artwork Bruce Cockburn used for the cover of "Dancing In The Dragon's Jaws." A friend just passed along this email from well-known Vancouver actress Marilyn Norry about COPPER THUNDERBIRD, a play in development which deals with his life.
For the past 20 years or so I've been looking for plays or movies that deal
with spirituality without being sentimental, goofy, or downright
incomprehensible. It's been a perplexing search. This past week I was
privileged to work on a play at the Banff Centre for the Arts that I think
truly captures the joy and anguish it takes to be a spiritual and creative
person in this world. And it's very funny. The play is called Copper
Thunderbird and is about the Ojibway painter Norval Morisseau (a
retrospective on his work was recently featured at the National Gallery in
Ottawa and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto). It is written by Marie
Clement and is slated for a spring production at the National Arts Centre in
Ottawa directed by Peter Hinton. I will not alas be part of that production
(I was standing in for Margot Kane who gets to go) but the rest of this fine
cast and I will be presenting a reading of the script at the Arts Club
(Granville Island) this Sunday afternoon at 4 pm. Admission is by donation.
You won't be able to see the operatic staging planned with Morisseau's
fabulous paintings brought to life (I don't get to fly either) but you will
surely be able to imagine it. Even though Vancouver figures prominently in
the story (Morisseau spent time on East Hastings selling his paintings for
booze) it will be years if ever a production is mounted here. Please come by
if you can. And pass on this notice to anyone you think may be interested.