Thursday, July 31, 2008

Aug 1: Pickett on "Gospel Train"

A note from Tom...

Hey Everybody: In case you are going to be home tomorrow (Friday August 1) from 8 – 9:30pm I am going to be sharing some music, friendly gossip and good times on the Gospel Train on Co-Op radio.

That’s CFRO Co-op Radio 102.7FM

Love and Gratitude,

Tom Pickett

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pacific Theatre article by Rosie Perera

Nice profile of our company by Pacific Theatre regular Rosie Perera, for COMMENT Magazine....

Vancouver's Pacific Theatre: Good art with Christian motivation but no "agenda"

Since its beginnings in 1984, Pacific Theatre has become one of the premiere professional theatre companies in Vancouver, winning awards and accolades year after year. Its reputation goes way beyond the Christian audiences which were its staple during the first decade. This coming season marks Pacific Theatre's twenty-fifth anniversary. I had the privilege of meeting with founding artistic director Ron Reed and asking him to reflect on the past quarter century of producing great plays for this theatre-savvy city.  (more...)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jul 20 - Aug 10: AS YOU LIKE IT, Shadows & Dreams

One of my most memorable Sunday afternoons last summer was watching a freewheeling, hilarious Midsummer Night's Dream in New Westminster's glorious Queen's Park, with PT pals Frank Nickel, Kerri Norris, Steven Elcheshen and Mark Vandenberg.  This year, Laura Van Dyke joins the craziness - a TWU Theatre grad  who played Benjamin in REMNANTS and Gay Wellington in YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, and - now as a PT apprentice - will be seen in PT's season opener, MOURNING DOVE, this October.  

Shadows and Dreams Theatre Company Presents

As You Like It
William Shakespeare

Shadows and Dreams Theatre Company is back after last years successful productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Hamlet with another of the Shakespeare's timeless comedies. Duchess Senior has been usurped of her throne by her sister, Duchess Frederica, and has fled to the Forest of Ardenne, where she lives like Robin Hood with a band of loyal followers. Her daughter Rosalind remains at court because of her close relationship with her cousin Celia. Rosalind falls in love with Orlando. But before the two can begin a relationship Rosalind is banished and ends up disguised as a man in a nearby forest. There she tests the faith of her beloved (and also banished) Orlando who can't recognize her in her shepherd's disguise. Shepherds, fools and clowns romp through the forest sparring about love, melancholy in this family friendly production. Directed by Kerri Norris.

FREE!!! No tickets required.
Queen's Park Bandshell, New Westminster
Sun July 20th - 2pm 
Sat July 26th - 2pm 
Sun July 27th - 11am 
Sat Aug 2nd - 2pm 
Sun Aug 3rd - 11am 
Sat Aug 9th - 2pm 
Sun Aug 10th - 11am 

** Performances are rain or shine – 
if there's an audience there's a show **

For more information call 604-515-0704 or visit

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Pacific Theatre has been talking with Pound Of Flesh theatre for a couple years now about a production of Stephen Adly Guirgis' play THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT. It's an extraordinary script, perfect for PT in every way but one: a cast of a dozen, and no Emerging Artist roles. We almost pulled it off for this fall, but not quite. We'll talk some more: maybe in 2009-2010?

At any rate, this week's IMAGE Update brings word of a behind-the-scenes memoir about the show...

A Jesuit Off-Broadway by James Martin, SJ

Priests and actors don't typically run in the same crowd, but in 2004 when actor Sam Rockwell made a phone call to the Jesuit priest James Martin, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Rockwell had recently been cast as Judas in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, an off-Broadway play written by Stephen Adly Guirgis. A self-described "confused, often irate and disconsolate lapsed Catholic," Guirgis had been troubled by Judas since his Sunday school days. His play, set in modern times, follows the trial of Judas--a controversial and enigmatic (and therefore artistically compelling) figure. Guirgis and Rockwell asked the priest to serve as their theological consultant, and over the course of six months Father Martin became a collaborator with them, the rest of the cast, and director Phillip Seymour Hoffman in the making of the play.

These unlikely friendships became the subject of Martin's new book, A Jesuit Off-Broadway, which is largely devoted to recounting the many conversations they had about theology and "life's big questions." And if that sounds wearying or self-absorbed, it somehow manages not to be. Martin writes in a way that is honest, accessible, and thorough, and his book is a loving tribute to the relationships formed over those six months. He also bears witness to the cast's fascinating artistic process, watching them as they attempt to understand their characters, and the Gospel itself, through art. At one point the cast even takes a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to view paintings of Jesus, Judas, and the events of the Gospels.

This process of encountering theology through a creative endeavor is what's really at stake in the book: Martin realizes that after nearly 20 years as a Jesuit he has become overly familiar with the theology he's explaining to his new friends. "Seeing the Gospel stories through the eyes of people like Sam reminded me of the inherent shock of the story," he says. The experience, in short, became a way to rediscover the richness of his faith. And the feeling was mutual. In his foreword to the book, playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis writes, "I drown in doubt, and to the degree that that's true, Father Jim, from our first meeting and right up to today, is slowly teaching me to swim."

Jul 19: Tom Pickett, Cellar Jazz Club

Tom Pickett (DRIVING MISS DAISY, MASTER HAROLD AND THE BOYS, PLAYLAND, etc.) is the featured guest of the Bradley/McGillivray Blues Band this Saturday night. Here's what the band says about Tom and the gig;
Hi Everybody,

Don't forget we've got a very special concert coming up at the Cellar Jazz Club this Saturday, July 19th, at 8:30 pm.

Acclaimed Vancouver actor and vocalist Tom Pickett is our featured guest. Tom joined us at the "Livin' This Way" CD Release Party at the Yale last November and the crowd went wild. Many of you asked to see Ruth and Tom perform together here's your chance :-) 

We've got another treat lined up for the night...sax player Cory Weeds is sitting in for a few numbers. This is going to be one fantastic night of groove, improv and spontaneous musical magic!

Cellar Jazz is at: 3611 West Broadway (at Alma), Vancouver, B.C.
$10 cover (1/2 price with coupon below)
$15 minimum food/beverage charge
Reservations strongly recommended: 604-738-1959 or
And if you looked real close, you noticed that the graphic above is actually a coupon. Print that baby and you're into the gig for five bucks! There's a printable copy at the band's website.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Jul 20: DIRT, Christopher Domig, Seattle

I met Chris Domig at Schloss Mittersill when I was there in 2003. Last summer he presented DIRT in the NYC Fringe Festival, and received Best Actor honours.  He's taking the show to the Edinburgh Fringe, and en route, one performance in Seattle.

July 20, 7pm
Fremont Abbey, Seattle
"A play about racism and the havoc it wreaks on the human spirit. For seventy-five minutes, the stage belongs to Austrian-American actor Christopher Domig, who brings depth, turmoil, and even a touch of well-pruned humor to the lonely role of Sad, a 30-year-old Iraqi man living illegally in the United States. He sells roses on the street: his name is Sad but he is not sad.

"Sad is an Arab living in New York City in 2008. He loves the English language, and America too. He is thankful for the life he is “allowed” to live in this country, and is sensitively aware of his rights – and lack thereof. He is careful about what he says and does, to the point that he remarks repeatedly he has never once sat on a park bench in this city. To Sad, the benches are reserved for the people he at once admires and abhors, including the 40-year-old men that buy his roses but refuse to look him in the eye. He resents their behavior yet feels obligated to respect them, and the exploration of this conflict drives the play."

by Audrey Dimola, LIC magazine, Issue 10

“See this show....Christopher John Domig is captivating, highly skilled, and utterly heartbreaking“ 
-NY Theatre

“riveting Christopher John Domig“
-Time Out 

“Stunningly realized in Christopher John Domig's performance.”
- Backstage Critic's Pick 

“An exciting new actor who stands out from all the rest. Go see Dirt and discover Mr. Christopher Domig. It’s a dazzling performance.“ 
-Talk Entertainment

“A brilliant performance from Domig“
- Downtown Express

“Christopher Domig gives a stellar performance“
- Off-Off-Online

“extremely capable, charming performance of Christopher Domig“ 

“A startling young actor whose name is Christopher Domig, will not remain unknown for long. Watching Domig in DIRT brings to mind a young Dustin Hoffman or Al Pacino when they were just starting off Broadway.”
-Theater Life

“Christopher Domig is one of the finest actors we’ve seen lately. Watch for big things from him in the future.”
- Off-Off-Online

“…aptly played by Christopher Domig, who captures the subtle nuances of his dejected character”
-Show Business

“A powerful, mesmerizing and thoroughly enthralling performance by Christopher Domig“
-Talk Entertainment

“The fire and vigor in this young actor’s eyes keeps us peeled to his thoughts.“
-Theater Life

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Jul 31 - Aug 16: METAMORPHOSES in PT space

Not a PT production, but our resident Stage Manager Lois Dawson is in the booth, and you've seen the director, Christine Willes, at Pacific Theatre - she played the mother in PRODIGAL SON. For my money, one of the strongest performances I've ever seen on our stage.

The show itself has some real interest. Apart from being staged in a swimming pool (!), it's also noteworthy that two of Pacific Theatre's sister companies have staged the piece, Lamb's Players in San Diego and Theatre & Company in Kitchener. I'll definitely be checking it out.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Jul 29: Scott Cairns at Regent College

Poet Scott Cairns will give a reading (with Marilyn McEntyre) in Vancouver, B.C. as part of Regent College's Summer School 2008. The reading will be held Tuesday, July 29, from 8:00 – 9:30 p.m. in the Regent College Chapel. The event is open to the public and free of charge. Regent College is located at 5800 University Blvd., Vancouver, B.C. V6T 2E4. For further details, call 604 221-3378.

All evening special events are free and held from 8:00-9:30 pm in the Regent Chapel. These events can draw large crowds, so plan to arrive early for a good seat. Private taping is not permitted. Audio recordings may be ordered following each lecture.

Jul 1: Damien Canonized

They need a relic? Something that's been touched by Father Damien? Can I volunteer?

Celebrations Expected For Belgium, Hawaii
July 1, 2008

HONOLULU -- The Congregation of the Causes of Saints at the Vatican has voted to canonize Father Damien of Molokai to sainthood.

After the verification of two medical miracles, after decades of investigation into the life and works of Damien De Veuster, the Consisterie at the Vatican has at long last voted to elevate the Martyr of Molokai to its Pantheon of Saints. The measure now awaits the signature of Pope Benedict XVI.

"People are very excited because they know he was a great person and role model, and that is the most important thing of the sanctification, he finally can be the role model we need," Damien historian Hilde Eynikel told KITV from Belgium.

The search is now on for a relic of Father Damien, which will be presented to the pope at the sanctification. A relic can be something touched by the saint, worn by the saint, or an actual body part of the saint. The diocese in Brussels is now looking into the retrieval of such a relic from Damien's tomb in Leuven, Belgium. Damien's grave in Kalaupapa contains only his right hand, which was re-interred following his beatification in 1995.

The canonization will take place in Rome, possibly at the end of next year, with celebrations in Belgium and Hawaii. The pope will probably not travel to Hawaii. Cardinal Daneels of Belgium may be in attendance.

Supporters of the sainthood effort are overjoyed that now the world will know what Hawaii has known for 100 years -- that Father Damien of Molokai is a saint.

He was born Joseph De Veuster in Tremeloo, Belgium, in 1840. De Veuster's older brother, Pamphile, was set to travel to the "Sandwich Islands," but was too sick to go. Instead, De Veuster traveled to Hawaii in his brother's place. The Roman Catholic priest arrived in Hawaii in 1864 and took the name Damien. He served the leprosy patients at the Molokai colony at Kalaupapa for 12 years before he succumbed to Hansen's disease at age 49.

His body was exhumed from his Molokai grave in 1936 when his remains were sent to Belgium, for reburial. In 1995, a relic of his right hand was given back to the Hawaii Diocese and returned to his Molokai grave.

Jul 14-18: Kids and Youth Summer Acting Class at PT!