Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Soul Food: Judas, Antichrist, Lot's Wife - do we see a theme?

With PRESENCE behind us and JUDAS opening at Pacific Theatre next week, life at PT is exhilarating and rewarding. And it's not just our stuff that swells the Soul Food buffet! Anthony F. Ingram is in FROZEN (closing Saturday), Kirsty Provan is in LOT'S WIFE, Craig Erickson is about to launch a Shakespeare class, and there are Abendmusik Vespers this weekend.

On the movie front, the Vancouver International Film Festival launches this Thursday with Lars von Trier's latest kick in the head, ANTICHRIST. If time allows, I'll be posting more about VIFF at soulfoodmovies. (And with THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO new on Criterion, I should mention a series on director Whit Stillman I've posted at Filmwell - recently named among the Top 100 Film Studies Blogs!)

That's not all, there's more Soul Food comin' right up! Mike Mason's astonishing new novel for young adults, THE BLUE UMBRELLA, hits stores in October - I held a copy in my hands just yesterday, and the publishers have done a glorious job! Not to be outdone, Bob Dylan is releasing a Christmas album (!) Oct 13, and Rickie Lee Jones' Balm In Gilead has an Oct 10 release date. And - very excited about this! - Michael Hart has a retrospective CD on the way entitled So Far So Good, with a release concert Oct 17 - just check out the 100% cool cover art! (Word about that concert: on bass will be Miles Hill, who played on many of Michael's recordings over the years: he'll be flying back to Vancouver for the concert, on a break from touring with... Van Morrison! Sheesh.)


But let's get back to Pacific Theatre.

I'm going to make a very serious request of you. Would you please subscribe to Pacific Theatre this season? Of course I'd always love you to buy season tickets, but let me tell you why this is an urgent need right now.

This summer, $72,500 of anticipated income was cancelled or deferred, leaving us in a very tight spot this fall. Pacific Theatre will survive - we always have, this is a calling not a hobby - but we haven't ever before faced this sort of shortfall. We'll survive, but it's very much up to our community - our audience, the people who love the work we do, the people who believe Vancouver needs a theatre like ours - to determine in what form we move forward. Without you doing what you can right now, Pacific Theatre will look very different in six months or a year's time.

We have the most loyal and generous donors of any theatre I know: truly, other companies and funding agencies marvel at the unheard-of degree to which our audience supports us financially. But we're not intending to find our way out of this current situation by asking everyone to donate more money: we know, a lot of charities are in this bind, and your giving resources are being stretched to the max. Instead, we want to earn our way out of this predicament: we want to do what we do best, which is put on shows that change people's worlds.

I'm personally asking you to subscribe to our 2009-2010 season - which I consider to be the finest line-up of theatre we have ever offered. Right on the heart of our mandate, our 26th season offers the most extraordinary range of material imaginable. From the 20th century's most widely-read children's classic (with adult-scaled theology) to musical theatre to performance art out of New York City to my own Vancouver-based play that ran Off-Broadway last year, this is the quintessential Pacific Theatre season.

How can you help? Come and see shows. That's all we ask. But don't leave it until halfway through the run of something that may or may not be written up in the newspaper to make your decision: if you subscribe now, our shows will be in your calendar NOW. And... Pacific Theatre will know in advance that we have the funds we'll need to make it all possible.

I'm not kidding. If we can double the number of subscriptions we had last year, we'll make it intact. It's up to you.

The mainstage season starts next Wednesday.

Ron Reed,
Artistic & Executive Director, Pacific Theatre
Head Chef, Soul Food Vancouver

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