Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sarah Rodgers in The Province

Our beautiful and energetic director Sarah Rodgers was interviewed for The Province. Read the full article by Glen Schaefer here.

Actor-director Sarah Rodgers looked back nearly 40 years for inspiration to an entirely different flower-power hit before restaging Godspell, the comic musical retelling of the life of Jesus.

The play became a hit on Broadway in the early 1970s, with the Gospel story reimagined as a group of players in clown makeup who fall in love with Jesus and his message, telling comic versions of New Testament parables along the way. It was made into a 1973 movie starring Canadian actor Victor Garber as Jesus.

"In essence, the set-up of a bunch of clowns falling in love with Jesus, that is something that has been done to death," says Rodgers, who was looking for a new way to bring the show to life.

A light went on while doing her research, when she saw the cast list for the show's first Canadian production in Toronto. The relative unknowns starring in that early 1970s production included future sketch-comedy giants Eugene Levy, Gilda Radner and Martin Short.

"The script suddenly made sense to me," Rodgers says. "The original script is the most annotated script I've ever seen. It explains every joke: 'In the original production, the actress mimicked Shirley Temple, but any imitation will do.' Groucho Marx shows up, constantly these little comic bits. I realized it reads like a sketch-comedy script."

Then Rodgers remembered the most popular sketch-comedy TV show of that era, which she watched with her parents as a little girl -- Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.

So when her actors take the Pacific Theatre Stage for Godspell, they'll be playing Laugh-In characters, including the snarky telephone operator originated by Lily Tomlin, Goldie Hawn's ditzy blond bikini dancer and Arte Johnson's goofy German soldier. And set designer Bryan Pollock has created a version of Laugh-In's flower-bedecked set.

"Our audience is a TV studio audience, there to watch Laugh-In, and the special guests are Jesus and John the Baptist."

The theatre's tight space is turned into an asset for this production, with a four-piece band above the audience on a platform, and cast members delivering lines from the aisles.

Rodgers, whose last directing job was a remount earlier this year of Billy Bishop Goes to War, found she didn't have to rewrite much of the text to fit the show into the Laugh-In context. Just a few names were changed.

"I've been watching the Laugh-In episodes as research. I found six episodes," says Rodgers. "I have been blown away by Goldie Hawn. She looked about 20 then and her comedy, she was so in the moment."

Some improv bits have worked their way into the show during rehearsals, but the director had to rein other scenes in.

"I'm controlling that. We don't want a four-hour Godspell, but in rehearsals we're definitely playing."


Where: Pacific Theatre, 1420 W. 12th Ave.

When: 8 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays; 2 p.m. matinee Saturdays. Ends July 3.

Tickets: $17 to $34 at 604-731-5518 or

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Video Interview: Benjamin Miller and Chris Nash

GODSPELL cast members Benjamin Miller and Chris Nash chat about why they would see the show for The Next Stage Magazine.

Kaitlin Williams in The Delta Optimist

Another article featuring GODSPELL cast, this time season apprentice Kaitlin Williams. She's been hard at work all year running the box office and front of house, as well as starring in the student matinees of THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE. Now she's taking on the mainstage! Find the original article by Dave Willis here.

This is what theatre apprentice Kaitlin Williams has been looking forward to all year.

The local actress has a role in Pacific Theatre's upcoming production of Godspell, a musical comedy.

"This is sort of the payoff at the end of the year, to be in an actual show. It's what we apprentices look forward to the whole year. I'm loving the fact that I get to be in rehearsal now, work with this wonderful director and be in a great cast with my peers," says Williams, a Delta Secondary grad who studied theatre at the University of Victoria.

Director Sarah Rodgers is setting the play, which is based on the story of the gospel, in an episode of Laugh-In, a sketch comedy TV show that aired in the '60s and '70s on NBC.

"It fits really well with Godspell and the improvisation and fun that's in the original script," says Williams.

She plays Pam Austin, "a fun and a bit of a ditzy blonde kind of character" from the TV show.

"I grew up watching Laugh-In and what's exciting about Godspell is that the same humour, delight and fun from that 1970s variety show era is in this play," says Rodgers, who's at the helm for this finale to Pacific Theatre's season.

Godspell runs from May 28 to July 3 (Tuesday to Saturday at 8 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday) at Pacific Theatre, 1440 W12th Ave., Vancouver.

Call 604-731-5518 or visit for tickets.

© Copyright (c) Lower Mainland Publishing

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pacific Theatre at the Jessies!

The Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards nominations have been announced! We are thrilled to have been nominated for three awards for our own productions, and to see members of the Pacific Theatre family get nominated for awards in other work. Way to go, guys! We're so proud of you!

PT Productions

Lauchlin Johnston - Set and Lighting Design - REFUGE OF LIES
Terrence Kelly - Actor in a Lead Role - REFUGE OF LIES

Anthony F. Ingram and Terrence Kelly in REFUGE OF LIES. Photo by Tim Matheson.

PT Family

Some highlights include the lovely Sarah Rodgers, currently directing GODSPELL who was nominated for her direction of BILLY BISHOP GOES TO WAR as well as her acting in THE PROJECT. Also currently working on GODSPELL is Itai Erdal who was nominated for his lighting design of FAT PIG, the show that Naomi Sider received her second nomination for, this time for her set design.

Anthony F. Ingram, last seen on the PT stage in REFUGE OF LIES was nominated for his role in FROZEN, and Kevin McNulty who acted with Anthony in THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT was nominated for his work in WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF. Lucia Frangione, one of our favourite playwrights, actresses, and first apprentices ever, got the nod for her new play PARADISE GARDEN.

Kyle Rideout and Donna-Lea Ford in THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE (costumes by Naomi Sider). Photo by Tim Matheson.

Remember Mack Gordon from YOU STILL CAN'T? That was his first time on a professional stage and now he's already been nominated for his acting in THE BIG LEAGUE! This season's beautiful production photography has been thanks to Tim Matheson who garnered a nomination for his production design in THE EDWARD CURTIS PROJECT. Finally, long-time PT family member Craig Erickson was nominated for his acting in WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? as well as Drew Facey, who has done costumes for us countless times, for his work on COMMENT DEVENIR PARFAIT EN TROIS JOURS. Kevin McAllister is another long-term PT pal, nominated for his set design for BILLY BISHOP GOES TO WAR.

Erin Germaine Mahoney in The Langley Advance

Check out this article featuring the lovely Erin Germaine Mahoney - she was just sublime as Rachel in REFUGE OF LIES, and will be singing and dancing her way through GODSPELL opening this Friday! Find the original article by Roxanne Hooper here.
Raised a navy brat, aspiring actor Erin Mahoney moved around a lot.

While she’s called Langley home for the past three and a half years, Mahoney admits she’s anxious to relocate again soon, this time to the “big city” of Vancouver – to be closer to all the acting opportunities.

The 22-year-old is just one summer course away from completing her bachelor of arts in theatre at TWU, and is currently rehearsing for the upcoming Pacific Theatre production of Godspell that opens next Friday in Vancouver.

While she’s lived in Connecticut, Italy, Georgia, Maine, and Washington State, she said it’s not too important to her where she hangs her hat.

Admittedly, she’s bustled around the world because of her father’s career with the U.S. Navy, and she’s now found a home for herself in the world of theatre.

“Because I moved around so much as a child, I often had to resort to my own entertainment,” Mahoney explained to the Langley Advance. “My imagination was my aid, and I would adorn myself in various costumes and go out into nature and just... play. I suppose that is what being a child is all about. I would create intricate and magical worlds and they would steal me away for hours and hours.”

Mahoney seems to have found a home at Pacific Theatre.

She is currently preparing for a role as Jo Ann Worley, where she will “be singing and clowning around” on stage in Godspell. But she also recently completed a much different role as Rachel in the same production company’s rendition of Refuge of Lies.

“Ron Reed, the artistic director of Pacific Theatre, was one of my professors at Trinity. He saw my work in TWU’s spring production of David Auburn’s Proof (Claire), and before I knew it, he asked me if we could meet together for lunch and talk. He asked me to audition for the role of Rachel, and I did, and the rest is history!”

Mahoney was asked to offer some insight into her initial introduction to theatre.

“I have been playing, story-telling, and imagining myself in created worlds since I can remember, but I discovered the theatre in Grade 6. I’ve been deeply involved in it ever since,” she said.

“My fascination with formal theatre really solidified in high school… I participated in any performance-oriented affairs as a child, whether in song or dance (I did ballet and jazz), etc., but there was never a fully developed theatre program. In high school, however, I auditioned for my school’s performance company where my training really began,” she recounted.

“Then I came to Trinity Western University and learned the importance of the theatre artist. I learned that the theatre is not about the individual but about the community. That it is precious story-telling, shared experience and togetherness that the theatre is supposed to be about.”

Asked what lies ahead – following Godspell – Mahoney simply replied: “the future, I suppose.”

You can follow this young actor, including her thoughts about theatre, life and “other good stuff” online on her blog at:

Or you can catch her in Godspell, which is running at Pacific Theatre, 1420 West 12th Ave., for more than a month.

The show runs May 28 to July 3, Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., as well as matinees on Saturdays at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $17-$34, and can be reserved at 604-731-5518, the box office, or online:

Mahoney is just one of several TWU students participating in this play. She’s joined by fellow Langleyites John Voth, Kyla Ferrier, and Ben Buckingham.

Godspell is a musical conceived and originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak with music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.

Singing! Dancing! Sheep! Goats!

Thou shalt be thrilled, aid artisitc director and TWU theatre professor Ron Reed.

Godspell, born out of a master’s thesis project, became the longest running Off-Broadway musical of all time in a turn of Hollywood-style fortune when it caught the eye of New York producers at its college premiere.

Now this rambunctious and vibrant musical is nestling a comfy home for itself on Pacific Theatre’s intimate stage, ready to fill the space with such beautiful and timeless hits as Day by Day and By Your Side.

Known for her stellar direction of everything from flashy musicals to intimate dramas, Jessie Award-winning director Sarah Rodgers takes the helm of this exciting finale to Pacific Theatre’s season.

“I grew up watching Laugh-In and what’s exciting about Godspell is that the same humour, delight, and fun from that 1970s variety show era is in this play,” Rodgers said.

Read more:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thomas Raves Nickel's Genus

Frank Nickel's OTHER theatre company got rave reviews for their piece in the recent BRIDGE MIX show...

“I loved Genus Theatre’s Done by Dinner. The concept is elegantly simple: audience members play a game of street hockey and have to get out of the way every time a car goes by. Conflict with a driver provokes a tidy narrative arc. The real joy, though, is that you get to play, holler, and form an instant community.” – Colin Thomas | Georgia Straight Review

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Why we do it

Here's another instalment in the "why we do what we do" series: thank you letters from kids who came to see THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE through Big Brothers.
"We really enjoyed the intimate feel of the theatre and the enthusiasm of the actors in their roles. It was great to see how small props effectively changed the actors into all of the different characters in the story."

"It was the first time my little brother had seen live theatre before - and at such a high calibre too! He talked about the play and its story all through our drive back to his home. We really got to enjoy something unique and captivating!"
Doesn't it just warm your heart?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

June 1: Godspell Sing-Along!

Great news folks! I am SO excited to tell you that on Tuesday, June 1 we are having an Audience Sing-Along performance of GODSPELL! That's rig - we'll be passing around lyric sheets and you'll be invited to join in on your favourite songs!

Godspell is a favourite of mine (and so many people) because of the beautiful and uplifting music, and I don't know about you but I have a hard time keeping quiet when I'm listening to it. Come to this show and you won't have to worry about it.

Tuesday, June 1st
For tickets: or 604.731.5518

Prepare Ye for a good time!

May 14-15: Side Show

They're back again! PT's own Frank Nickel leads his troupe of bizarre and hilarious comedy improvisers in SIDE SHOW. This year he's wrangled not only the usual suspects from Bust a Gut and Panic Squad, but PT apprentices Kaitlin Williams, Joel Stephanson, Benjamin Miller, and Shalyn McFaul, as well as staffer Alison Chisholm. This is going to be a blast!

Pacific Theatre is proud to present SIDE SHOW, comedy improv with a dash of chaos. Good clean fun for the whole family with our zany friends from around the city. Let the games begin!

May 14-15 at 8pm.
Tickets $17-22
Call 604.731.5518 or visit to book

Stick around afterwards to see Joel Stephanson's directorial debut with a collection of David Ives Comedy Shorts for free!

May 12-15: David Ives Comedy Shorts

Apparently apprentice Joel Stephanson doesn't think he's busy enough. Working the box office and front of house, performing in SIDE SHOW, and rehearsing for GODSPELL wasn't enough for him - he's also directing a series of short plays written by the always hilarious David Ives.

May 12, 8pm
May 13, 8pm
May 14, 10:15pm (after improv)
May 15, 10:15pm

Norm only has ten minutes to buy a souvenir and fall in love. His interpreter may have other ideas.

Eight outrageously hypothetical conversations between the great political theorist, his wife, and his homicidal gardener. Hilarity ensues.

Don runs a school where he teaches the little known - yet somehow universal - language of Unamunda. Dawn is his first student. As their lesson begins, Dawn finds herself giving a dazzling display of English gone loco, and her persistent stutter disappears. Suddenly, she is thrown into a life of linguistic exhiliration - but not without uncovering her teacher's troubling secret.



$11 in advance, Pay-What-You Can at the door.
To book call 604.731.5518 or visit

Howard Siegel in PLAN B

Howard Siegel (who played Simon in REFUGE OF LIES) is onstage now in Sea Theatre's production of PLAN B, a political Canadian farce addressing the complexities of intimacy using the tenuous relationship between Québec and English Canada to explore the topic of betrayal, both personal and political. It's written by Michael Healey, who won the Governor General's Award for THE DRAWER BOY. PLAN B won the 2002 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best New Play.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Publicity Shots for GODSPELL!

The publicity shots for GODSPELL are in! This shoot was so much fun - channeling the free-wheeling spirit of Laugh-In and the loving spirit of GODSPELL to the fullest. All photos by Tim Matheson.

The guys were very serious about their work.

Godspell | dressing room

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

jonathan, inc | lost:time

I just ordered the brand new record from Jonathan Anderson. I mean, literally, a record!

You've heard Jon at PT - Christmas Presence, Presence, that sort of thing. Well, the new disk is really enjoyable, AND you can order it on vinyl!! Of course you can just download the digital if you want, but hey - when's the last time you bought an actual record? I'm listening to the tunes right now on my computer, but come mid-June, there'll be something groovy in my mailbox. . . .

Click here. Or be square.

May 12 - Jun 18 | Heart Hands Head | Lookout Gallery

This just in from the Lookout Gallery at Regent College

We welcome you all to come out May 12 and join us for the opening of Heart, Hands & Head: The Show

This Lookout Gallery show is presented in conjunction with Paul Stevens’s Spring Session course Heart, Hands, and Head: Crafts, Creativity and the Spirited Art of Making Things and with the involvement of a number of the Grünewald Guild, Leavenworth, WA.

Opening reception
Wed May 12, 4:30 – 7:30
5800 University Boulevard., Vancouver BC
604 224.3245

Gallery hours:
Mon–Fri: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Sat: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Monday, May 10, 2010

Godspell | The Lord Is My Happening

The Lord is my happening.
He's where it's all at.
He tricks me sweetly, He never bugs me.
He says make it when the duds put me all down.

I keep my cool 'cause he straights with me.
Even though my head's torn up in the world of plastic mushroom
and I'm crawling on my face,
everything is cool because he's there digging me.

When everybody is faking and stabbing he's super cool,
and he's with me baby.
He craves my face when it's ugly, man.
He lays abundance on me.
Baby, ain't no way I can get hung up,
He's my life time trick.

WFMU's "Beware of the Blog" has an archive of Pastor John Wydgren's 1967 "Silhouette" radio spots. It's also the source of these 1988 illustrations by D. Worden.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Godspell | army jacket

Jesus Freak...

1971, Vietnam Vets Against The War...

Country Joe MacDonald at Woodstock...

"SDS" character from Across The Universe...

War protest, 1969...

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

May 7: The Series - Nelson Boschman Trio and Cut by a Triangle

Remember The Series? Last time we had the wonderful Sheree Plett and Peter La Grand take our stage. This time around we're bringing you a night of local jazz artists.

A night of inspired jazz with the NELSON BOSCHMAN TRIO and CUT BY A TRIANGLE

Friday, May 7
Pacific Theatre
1440 W. 12th at Hemlock, Vancouver
Tickets $12.50
To book call 604.731.5518 or visit

Nelson Boschman Trio
The Nelson Boschman Trio has been playing jazz throughout Vancouver and BC’s Lower Mainland since 1997. They met while studying in the Jazz Studies Program at Capilano College in North Vancouver. The group's creative, interactive style appeals to a wide audience. Nelson Boschman (piano) studied with Miles Black and Brad Turner during his time at Capilano. Adam Thomas (bass) has studied and performed all over North America with some of the world's finest musicians. Kenton Wiens (drums) is currently teaching and performing with various groups in the Vancouver region.

Cut by a Triangle
Made up of Tom Wherret on guitar, Josh Cole on electric fuzz bass, and Joe Poole on the drums, Cut By A Triangle is a band dedicated to the ferocity of geometric warfare.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Luci Shaw, Books & Culture podcast

Luci Shaw is interviewed on this week's Books & Culture podcast.

May 9 / Jun 5: Eastside Story Guild

A note from a Soul Foodie...


Some of you have heard of the Eastside Story Guild and their bi-annual productions at Grandview Calvary Baptist Church (1803 E. 1st Ave: First Avenue, one block of east of Commercial). For others this may be complete news.

The productions are best characterized as gospel-pageants with local children, youth and a few adults, using music, dance, props, some recitation and dialogue. I have seen a few of these and have always been deeply moved. The next pageant will be mounted next Sunday, May 9 at 10:30 am and 5 pm. It will also be repeated on Saturday, June 5.

I urge you to consider coming to this production which tells the story of the New Creation in Jesus by focusing on "Mother" Eve and Mother Mary (since it is Mothers' Day). It is a good idea to come early enough to get a good seat.

Hoping to see you there. . . .

Monday, May 03, 2010

Pacific Rim String Quartet May 8

PT's resident string quartet, The Pacific Rim String Quartet, is back! This Friday, May 8 they'll be featuring works by Beethoven, Kodaly, and Brahms. For tickets visit or call 604.731.5518.