Tuesday, November 30, 2010

michael hart | new instrumental cd + christmas presence

Michael Hart is PT favourite. He was there, along with Allen Desnoyers, Dirk Van Stralen, Evelyn Loewen and me (and maybe Michael Hart?) the first time we tried the Christmas Presence experiment at the Regent College bookstore, and he's been indispensable since. His album Dulcimer Light is at the top of the Reed Family playlist each Christmas, and his other recordings have all been well played around our place over the years.

A gifted guitarist as well as singer and songwriter, Michael has just released a cd of instrumental recordings. All The Things I Feel But Didn't Know How To Say can be ordered at Michael's website, where you can hear samples of all the tracks.

From the website...
Known as a singer songwriter and guitarist from Canada, this time it's his Gurian steel string and Bill Lewis nylon guitars that do the singing. He brings a rich diversity of original acoustic fingerstyle compositions from Celtic, nouveau Spanish, open tunings, folk-blues. These are visually evocative pieces that bear both motion and emotion. The upbeat "Travelogue" takes off on the album, then a myriad of styles - an Eastern desert caravan, a jazzy dog on a bone, a Celtic jig for a friend, a raw steel, wire & wood, a haunting Sati-esque elegy for a father, a high capo sunset through a loved ones eyes, and harmonic raindrops falling through a bluesy tapped riff. The last cut "Journey Home" is apropos given that this project takes you to just a few different places. The melodies creep up on you and connect through the pristine production. Light touches of mandola, dulcimer, balalaika and percussion grace this album, yet never too much, and the overall effect is inspiring. It's a wonderful recording, and with twelve original tracks you can't go wrong. Did I say I love the title?

Influences: John Martyn, Jessi Cook, Bruce Cockburn, Pat Methany, Phil Keaggy, Eric Clapton, Mason Williams, Paul Simon, Michael Hedges, Joni Mitchell.
Michael can be heard at Christmas Presence this year on the Pacific Theatre stage December 14 and 20, and at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium December 18. On December 18 he'll be joined by an extraordinary line-up including Carolyn Arends, Anna Vandas, Lance Odegard, Jonathan Anderson, Spencer Capier and Nelson Boschman!

Tickets at the PT website or by phone: 604 731-5518

dec 4 | karly warkentin

Karly Warkentin is a Vancouver actress and singer who's been around PT a lot, though - apart from a memorable appearance at Christmas Presence - she hasn't been on our stage so far. But she's known to many Soul Foodies. Here's a note from Karly...

i want to invite you all to a concert that i am playing at the biltmore in vancouver-this saturday dec.4th.
it is a fundraiser for a walk-a-thon that my friends and i are doing across swaziland
-variety bill-several local bands involved
-early show so come at 7pm
-min $10 donation at the door
if you cannot make it, please tell your friends to come!
for more info about the walk,
check out our website

thanks so much!
karly warkentin

nelson boschman | $10 cds!

Jazz pianist Nelson Boschman is our regular band leader for Christmas Presence and all those sorts of shindigs, and was music director for Godspell. Hear him live this year, Dec 14, 17-20. Here's a missive from the lad about a sweet deal on his sweet tunes...

Dear Music fans,

Just a quick note to let you know that Communitas is holding a major sale on all their recordings, including both my trio albums. This is the best deal they've ever offered, and music always makes a great Christmas gift. See below for all the info.

Happy Advent,



Infant King Records is hosting a Winter Music Sale!
Buy online

November 1 - December 24, 2010

All CD's are $10 + shipping costs

Artists include:
West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir (choral)
West Coast Mennonite Quartet
Nelson Boschman Trio (jazz)
Calvin Dyck (violin)
Larry Nickel (requiem)
Gemma (Taize)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

christmas presence | peter la grand | free download

Peter La Grand sings at Christmas Presence sometimes.
This year, Dec 17 on the North Shore, Dec 18 in the Valley.

Here's a free download of some of his Christmas music.  Wow.

Advent has begun.

Friday, November 26, 2010

dec 3 | magnificat! | vcc


A Festive 40th
Anniversary Christmas

8 pm Friday, December 3
Orpheum Theatre

Vancouver Chamber Choir
Pacifica Singers ~ Martha Guth, soprano
Vancouver Chamber Choir Alumni Chorus
Vancouver Chamber Orchestra
John William Trotter, conductor
Jon Washburn, conductor

Meet composer Stephen Chatman
at a pre-concert talk at 7:00 pm

VANCOUVERCANADA – Celebrating their milestone concert season, the Vancouver Chamber Choir and Artistic Director Jon Washburn will present MAGNIFICAT! A Festive 40th Anniversary Christmas at 8pm Friday, December 3 at the Orpheum Theatre. Joining the festivities will be Martha Guth (soprano, pictured below), Pacifica Singers, the Vancouver Chamber Choir Alumni Chorus and the Vancouver Chamber Orchestra.

This is the Vancouver Chamber Choir’s gala 40th anniversary Christmas concert. One highlight will be the world premiere of Stephen Chatman’s Magnificat, written for this occasion. It’s the fifth of the Choir’s outstanding 40th anniversary commissions, composed for soprano solo, choir and orchestra.

The Choir will also sing an earlier rendition of theMagnificat text by Antonio Vivaldi and a newly revised orchestral version of Jon Washburn’s A Silver Christmas. To close the evening, the present choir will be joined by former singers of the last 40 years for a rousing carol sing.

Join in celebration of those who have given us the last four decades of wonderful music-making!

Antonio Vivaldi - Magnificat
Jon Washburn - A Silver Christmas
Stephen Chatman - Magnificat world premiere
David Willcocks - Five Carols

Thursday, November 25, 2010

playland | responses

"On all counts, a superb production. Both Micheal Kaposa and Tom Pickett gave brilliant performances and the work behind the scenes was equally masterful. I brought my 3 young teenagers to introduce them to the potential richness of small theatre, and was thrilled to see them engaged in something quite off their radar. No small accomplishment. Great job delivering an important message. Really enjoyable." - David Evans (audience email)

"Loved it. Right up there with Master Harold, in the top 10 PT shows of all time, and that's 25 plus years my friends, a long time for any small theatre in this town. Kudos to Anthony, Tom, and Micheal, three of my favorite thespians, and crew. I took a friend. The emotional journeys of these two men from Confrontation to Revelation and Redemption - we were right there the whole way. So human, so well crafted. Tight and telling. Deeply satisfying artistically - story-wise, truth-wise and emotionally. The climax and resolution to this production hits you right in the gut, twists, and then liberates you. Not a note contrived." Karl Petersen

"Director Ingram gets the tension right as the two men gradually let their stories emerge, with both Kopsa and Pickett delivering solid performances ... I was completely engrossed in the play and Gideon's experiences on the border ... a good production and a play worth seeing, especially because of that relevance to our times." | Gillian Lockitch, Review from the House

"A couple of actors, a barren setting, and a single confrontation. This is by far the most powerful and the most beautiful play I have ever seen." | Grace Tu, arts blogger

"Just wanted to thank you for/congratulate you on Playland. We saw it tonight, and I'm so glad we did - I had seen it here years ago, but didn't remember much from the last production.
I'm often frustrated (with myself) coming out of a play when I know the story didn't 'get me' like I know it was meant to. Tonight, I was got. There were snot and tears.
The design elements were gorgeous, the actors fantastic, and the story, beautiful. Simple, and so gripping. The kind of theatre that makes me so grateful for Pacific Theatre." | Rebecca DeBoer

"Playland is powerful, hard-hitting and asks us to weigh the passionate revenge killing of one man against the cold-blooded slaughter of 27 freedom fighters; it's no playground, but Fugard does leave a spark of hope." | Jo Ledingham, The Vancouver Courier

"This is some of the best acting you'll see on any stage in our city. Honestly, if you have a cultural bone in your body you'll buy a ticket for you and someone else and go. Michael Kopsa and Tom Pickett star in this south african play by Athol Fugard - its a deeply human story." Rory Holland

"I loved it. Two amazing actors on an amazing set. I can't believe they got the South African accents down so well yet so understandable! Very moving. Thank you for bringing plays like this." Marianne Mendgen

"Playland is a thought-provoking story of redemption that should be of interest to anyone fascinated by politics, history and the continuum of humanity." | John Jane, Review Vancouver

"The actors – Michael Kopsa and Tom Pickett – were absolutely excellent. They had tough and meaty roles full of emotion and heavy in dialogue and they played them beautifully and with such strength and conviction. Similarly, the set dec was impressive. Drew Facey should be commended on the thought and creativity that was put into this." | Emme Rogers, Being Emme

"There's some powerful storytelling in Playland." | Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight

"Very moving. A lot of the truth about South Africa made evident. I am married to a South African and I believe the circumstances in that country remain much the same." | Sylvia Mandryk, Email

"Drew Facey’s set design is a marvel complete with what must be a truckload of gravel and the fraying fringes of the amusement park. Jeff Tymoshuk gives us both a quiet exterior soundscape and the full-on noise of the midway." | Mark Robins, GayVancouver.net

"play good. go see." | anon

alison chisholm | sweet soul gospel choir

'Tis the season!  Christmas concerts are cropping up all over the place and The Sweet Soul Gospel Choir (populated by our administrator Alison Chisholm and friend-of-PT Karina Nickel) will not be left out!  Here is Alison's email invitation to their various seasonal performances.

Hey folks.

It's the Christmas Season which means the VOC Sweet Soul Gospel choir has a LOT of performances coming up that you should check out. I'm tagging you in this note because you have either expressed interest in seeing a concert, or I just think you would really enjoy the shows. They're all free with the exception of our big concert on Dec. 22nd which is $15 for adullts. And I suppose you would also have to pay for the Gondola up Grouse Mountain if you want to check out any of those. Though it's probably worth it, because it is so friggin' beautiful up there. Here's the list of all the concerts that I will be singing in:

Nov. 28th: Grouse Mountain 1-3pm
Dec. 2nd: Grouse Mountain 7-9pm
Dec. 4th: Dundarave Festival of Lights in West Vancouver (25th & Bellevue) 2-3pm
Dec. 4th: North Vancouver Festival of Lights - Foot of Lonsdale Ave just East of Lonsdale Quay 7-8pm
Dec. 5th: Grouse Mountain 1-3pm
Dec. 11th: Plaza @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre Vancouver 5 - 7pm
Dec. 12th: Grouse Mountain 1-3pm
Dec. 19th: Grouse Mountain 1-3pm
Dec. 22nd: St. Andrews Wesley Church 1022 Nelson St. (Nelson & Burrard) 7:30 - 9pm

Let me know if you plan to come out to any of the shows, so I can make sure to find you afterwards. Hope you can make it out!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

more from the christmas card shoot

Here's a few more images from our photo shoot for our Christmas fundraising campaign.  This year we tried Dr. Seuss on for size, and had a blast!  Each staff member dressed as their best Who, with Ron as the Grinch, Alison as Cindy Lou, and Frank as Max the Dog.  Check out the finished Christmas card and poem here.  If these images tickle your fancy and your heart grows three sizes from looking at them, consider donating here.

Ron "Grinch" Reed.  Photo by Kevin Clark Photography.

Alison "Lou Who" Chisholm.  Photo by Kevin Clark Photography.

Frank "Max the Dog" Nickel.  Photo by Kevin Clark Photography.

Andrea "Who" Loewen.  Photo by Kevin Clark Photography.

Cindy "Who" McPherson.  Photos by Kevin Clark Photography.

Evan "Who" Frayne.  Photos by Kevin Clark Photography.
Jess "Who" Howell.  Photo by Kevin Clark Photography.

Phil "Who" Miguel.  Photo by Kevin Clark Photography.

Shalyn "Who" McFaul.  Photo by Kevin Clark Photography.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

soul food menu

If you'd like to receive occasional Soul Food emails - news about art around Vancouver with a spiritual flavour - just like this, but in your very own in box - let Andrea Loewen know: andrea@pacifictheatre.org. No spam, nobody gets your email address, and you can opt out any time.

Pix & Raves
I've posted some more of my Playland photos on the blog. Need to see it again this week: shook me to the core. Some other people too: here's a sample of our viewer responses
"By far the most powerful and the most beautiful play I have ever seen..." 
"I'm often frustrated (with myself) coming out of a play when I know the story didn't 'get me' like I know it was meant to. Tonight, I was got. There were snot and tears... The kind of theatre that makes me so grateful for Pacific Theatre..." 
"powerful, hard-hitting: it's no playground, but Fugard does leave a spark of hope..." 
"Some of the best acting you'll see on any stage in our city. Honestly, if you have a cultural bone in your body you'll buy a ticket for you and someone else and go..." 
"A thought-provoking story of redemption..."
"Powerful storytelling..."
"Drew Facey’s set design is a marvel..."

Soul Food 2.0
Now, just so you know I'm no mere huckster, I will say there was one stalwart PT attender who wrote me with a divergent opinion. You can weigh this into the mix as you consider attending. "Too much anger. Too much strong language. No sense of a significant change of hear at the end: there was movement to reconciliation and forgiveness but a sense that they only got a quarter of the way to where I hoped it might have gotten to. I am often moved to tears by many of the Pacific Theatre plays but there was not even a hint of that emotional connection." As my friend writes, "you can't please all of the people all of the time, so we shall look forward to plays that have more resonance for us in the days to come." 

Playland Deets
One friend asked me if there are still tickets available. You don't even need to ask: when it's not a comedy, a musical, or something everybody's already seen, there will be tickets.  The strange thing is, substantial, human-scale stories like Playland are why people love Pacific Theatre -- though they don't necessarily show up!  So when you see a play like this on our calendar, make sure to add it to your own. Unless you'd rather we switch over to a steady diet of musicals, comedies, and things you've already seen...
closes November 27
Michael Kopsa, Tom Pickett, directed by Anthony F. Ingram
Tickets: 604 731-5518 | www.pacifictheatre.org

Christmas Campaign
Pacific Theatre has launched its annual Christmas silly-postcard-asking-for-money campaign. Check it out: it's kinda cute, and I make a great Grinch if I do say so myself.  (Though my most Grinchly pose won't show up until you hold the actual postcard in your hands.)

Other Soul Food
There's also a swell Playland video by The Province you'll want to check out, as well as notes from the director and artistic director....  Dan Amos (The Quarrel, This Wonderful Life, A Bright Particular Star) and Erin Pennington (Remnants) launch a new web series today...  Kat Gauthier (Godspell, You Still Can't) is onstage now in Hamlet...  Diane Tucker ia reading at the Jewish Book Festival this Sunday... That huge favourite The Foreigner opens next week at Trinity Western University...  And there's some Noah's arkliterary tattoos and whole pile of photos on the Oblations blog....  Also, do you know TWU grad Kaylee Harwood?  Guess where she just got a job....

Soul Food Movies
We've got a Catholic-O-Rama coming our way!  With a single imminent screening of the Cannes-winning Of Gods And Men (the Soul Food film of the year, in my opinion), and a week-long run of the Hildegard biopic Vision, not to mention the DVD release of the previously unfindable Edith Stein film The Seventh Chamber, we've all of a sudden got monks and nuns all over the place!  Heck, there's even a showing of The Portuguese Nun pending, but it's not right away, so I'll post on that in a bit.
Bit of a lull in the commercial big screen new releases just now, before the end-of-year stuff really kicks in - I can't wait for The King's Speech, and Julie Taymor's Tempest - but you can  catch an old Soul Food favourite, Millions at Cinematheque this Sunday, or The Maltese Falcon at some multi-plexes November 28. A new Roy Anker faith-and-film book "Of Pilgrims And Fire: When God Shows Up At The Movies" will point you to lots of rentable Soul Food, and hopefully this weekend I'll get around to posting something about the bumper crop of small, independent and foreign films we've had so far in 2010 - check back to the Soul Food Movies blog in a couple days for some titles to consider renting, including Please Give, Animal Kingdom, Me & Orson Welles, Winter's Bone....  And how great is this: Of Gods And Men is the hottest movie in France right now! One of the most deeply Christian films you'll ever see, a boffo box office smash in "godless France." Go figure. Hope it gets a decent run here in Vancouver....

Friday, November 19, 2010

guenevere = kaylee

We've not yet found a chance to have Kaylee Harwood on our stage, but she's definitely part of the PT community. She graduated from the TWU Theatre program around 2009, has already played roles at Chemainus Theatre and the Arts Club (Cosette in Les Miserables) and Western Canada Theatre (Eliza in My Fair Lady) and lots of others. I've had her in mind for a couple shows I'm looking at for next season at Pacific Theatre, but now that looks a lot less likely - for reasons of geographical impossibility, if nothing else.

It has just been announced that Kaylee has been cast as Guenevere in Camelot. At a small rural theatre somewhere in Ontario. Stratford, I think it's called? Of even more Soul Food interest, she'll also be seen in Jesus Christ Superstar. Looks like a trip to the backwoods of eastern Canada might be in order next summer...

Heartfelt congratulations, Kaylee!

PS  Just found out that Kaylee's in the cast of SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL at Carousel, Dec 4 - Jan 1.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

nov 17 - dec 11 | kat gauthier | hamlet

Kat was Goldie Hawn in GODSPELL, and Sky Poppins in YOU STILL CAN'T. Now she's in a HAMLET in a nice long run on Commercial Drive...

Hamlet At Havana Doth Delight | Vancouver Sun

"Marci T House gives a great dignity to Queen Gertrude, and is especially attuned to "speaking the speech" as it should be heard, with perfect pronunciation and great clarity. So, too, do Gauthier and the other young women in the cast -- Julie McIsaac as Ophelia and Courtney Lancaster in a variety of roles -- offer ample evidence they're up-and-comers worth watching. Ophelia's mad scene is both hauntingly beautiful and tragically accurate in McIsaac's intelligent rendering, Gauthier is especially funny as a wildly hammy "player queen.""

more playland pix | closes next week!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

nov 21 | diane tucker | jewish book festival

PT poet pal and member of my Artist Advisory at the theatre writes...

Diane Tucker
Mrs America 2007
Mrs World 2008

Hello all,

I’ll be reading at the event below this coming Sunday afternoon (I know, I’m about as Jewish as Conan O’Brien, but I do fall into the Northwest category). After my poem appeared in Drash, I went to Seattle to read there and it was a great experience. It’ll be a fun event. Hope you can make it!



Drash: Jewish Writing from the Rainy Cities
Hosts: Claudia Goldman & Wendy Marcus


At the Jewish Community Centre, corner of 41st Avenue at Oak Street in Vancouver.

Talk about niche! The newest kid on the literary journal block, Drash: Northwest Mosaic, tilts towards Northwest and Jewish themes. Yet its particular bent has intrigued a growing, international audience of readers and submitters, building a community of diverse religions, locations and literary styles. Who starts a literary journal in these perilous publishing times? And is this good for the Jews?

Drash editor and award-winning writer, Wendy Marcus holds forth about the first four years of this literary start-up, and how and why Drash readings are life-affirming experiences, cultivating readers and writers, and connection in these troubled, overly technological times. Marcus is joined by Drash contributors from British Columbia, Claudia Goldman and Diane Tucker; from the Seattle area by Don Kentop, Joan Moritz and Michael Schein; and visual wizard and Drash graphic designer Robin Asher.

Read about the whole Jewish Book Festival here

(Okay, so that's a different Diane Tucker. But I do like to jazz things up now and then with a photo...)

Monday, November 15, 2010

dan amos, erin pennington | secret millionaires

Cool. Thursday Nov 18 will be the launch of a web series written by PT actor (now moved to L.A.) Dan Amos - This Wonderful Life, The Quarrel, A Bright Particular Star - featuring Dan and his wife Erin - PT apprent, Remnants: A Fable, etc. I saw an early cut of the series when I visited them in October, and really got a kick out of it. Very deft writing, nicely played. Here's a trailer.

Friday, November 12, 2010

playland | about the playwright

A little background information on Athol Fugard, playwright of PLAYLAND, running at PT until November 27th.  

A South African playwright, he's been challenging the politics of his country his entire life, with earlier works that often centred directly around the themes of apartheid.

Born to English and Afrikaner parents in Middleburg, South Africa in 1932, Fugard became keenly aware of the injustices of apartheid when he moved to Johannesburg in 1958. There he began a multiracial theatre group, writing, producing, directing, and acting in several plays. This began a long career of politically charged theatre that put him in direct opposition with the national government. To avoid persecution, Fugard later had the majority of his plays produced and published outside South Africa. He didn’t, however, shy away from making a stand in his home county. In 1962 he publicly supported the Anti-Apartheid Movement, an international boycott of South African theatres and their segregated audiences.

In the 1960’s Fugard formed a new theatre group, The Serpent Players. Named after their first venue, an old snake pit at a zoo, The Serpent Players featured a group of black actors performing for poor migrant labourers and residents of “coloured” areas in different venues every night. The work of Bertolt Brecht was a powerful influence on The Serpent Players’ work: they performed an all-black production of his play Caucasian Chalk Circle and made frequent use of Brecht’s techniques of gestic acting, the A-effect, and social critique. Their most Brechtian productions are considered to be Sizwe Bansi is Dead and The Island, plays in which the participants were reported to not only represent social relationships on stage, but to revise their dealings with each other and institutions of apartheid – a possible testament to Brecht’s ideal of abolishing separation between player and audience.

He wrote Playland in 1993, just before the final abolishment of apartheid. It is one of the last of his political plays, as his later work became more personal in nature.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

the foreigner | november 23-december 4

It's been six years since THE FOREIGNER took the PT stage, now our friends over at Theatre at TWU are putting it up.  Press release below.

Warm-Hearted Comedy Offers Winsome Winter Escape

A holiday in peace and quiet was all Charlie had in mind when he turned up at a small-town fishing lodge posing as an “exotic” visitor. He never dreamed that pretending not to understand English would turn him into the locals’ most trusted confidante. Suddenly saddled with secrets, scandals, and sinister plots, the hapless “foreigner” finds himself in a race against time to save the town from its nasty secrets…without betraying his own.

Larry Shue’s wildly popular farce, The Foreigner, plays November 23 to December 4 at Trinity Western University. From love triangles to remote-detonated explosives, the foreigner’s high-jinks in the heart of the Deep South should make for an entertaining night at the theatre.

Cody Friesen, a bright talent in his first year of a Theatre and Education degree, is loving his role as a sweet-hearted meathead who befriends the foreigner with his clumsy antics. “I’m getting in touch with the redneck inside,” laughs Cody. “Ellard is such a character – he really is easy to love. He takes the foreigner under his wing – explaining, for example, that when ‘fork’ is pronounced by proper Southern folks, it’s a 2-syllable word. But really, the foreigner is teaching Ellard how to believe in himself. He’s proof that when someone gives you a chance to do something amazing, you can surprise everybody. I love that.”

For director Lloyd Arnett, one of the most enchanting parts of the story is its dramatic irony. “The audience is in on a secret that only the foreigner knows,” he explains. “Everybody onstage is fooled, and we’re along for the ride watching the whole situation get funnier and more confusing by the minute.”
The Foreigner offers more than just laughter – it’s also providing a vehicle for mentoring new artistic talent at TWU. Under the direction of Dr. Arnett, SAMC Theatre’s second production of the season will feature the work of both professional and student designers, and performances by senior Theatre students alongside promising newcomers.

“In a story about community, and people from different worlds coming together to bring out the best in each other, we’re very proud to see our cast doing exactly that,” remarks Arnett. “We have an actress from Alabama helping the others perfect their accents, first year students getting the chance to learn from those who are graduating; and the result is theatre magic.”

“You can’t help loving the crazy characters in this town,” Cody agrees. “As ridiculous as they are, they’re familiar enough that you can see yourself in them. There’s a lot of humour, but a lot of heart as well.”

Starring Brandon Bate, Alicia Cerny, Cody Friesen, Gwendolen Groen, Ian Hengeveld, Luke Hull, and David Shoffner. Stage managed by Stephanie Priolo, Rachel Bell, and Brittany Gainer. The set is designed by Jay Havens with costumes by Tracy Wright and lighting by Crystal Dodding.
Performances are Tuesday through Saturday from November 23 to December 4. For more information and tickets, visit www.twu.ca/theatre or email theatre@twu.ca.

'night mother | to nov. 13

Two years ago Christie Maxson was an apprentice here at PT (you saw her onstage in YOU STILL CAN'T).  Since then she has been a stage manager, assistant stage manager, and props assistant all over town.  Currently she is working with The Good Company Collective in 'NIGHT MOTHER, running now until November 13th at PAL Theatre to amazing reviews.  Below is their press release.


VANCOUVER, BC: The Good Company Collective is pleased to present 'Night, Mother by Marsha Norman. 'Night, Mother is an intimate portrait of a mother-and-daughter relationship, set in an intense, edge-of-your-seat drama that will keep the audience guessing the outcome to the very last second. It runs October 29-November 13 at the PAL Theatre.

"I'm going to kill myself, Mama", says Jessie, on page 13 of the script. She informs her mother, Thelma, that this will be the last evening of her life, and proceeds to put her affairs in order. What follows is a verbal tug-of-war between these two women as Thelma tries to keep her daughter from carrying out her plan. Set in the living room/kitchen of their small family home, tension rises as time ticks closer to the deadline Jessie has set. Marsha Norman's Pulitzer Prize and Susan Smith Blackburn award-winning play is a lucid and penetrating drama performed by Bronwen Smith and Wendy Morrow Donaldson in one-act over 90 minutes

"I came across 'Night, Mother while I was in theatre school", says Carol Hodge, who directs "Night, Mother brings forth many issues that are rarely talked about, issues that are still considered taboo and shrouded in shame. My hope is that this production will aid in facilitating discussion around some of these issues while at the same time being a first-rate theatre production from an emerging theatre company. I don't believe that 'Night, Mother is a play about suicide but rather a play about tragedy and triumph."

'Night, Mother, by Marsha Norman is produced by The Good Company Collective, which is a Canadian Actors' Equity Association approved Co-op. It previews Thursday, October 28 and opens Friday, October 29 at 8 pm. It then runs through until November 13 (Sunday and Monday nights dark). There will be weekend matinees at 2 pm on both Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $15 & $20, except for the preview, which is Pay-What-You-Can and Tuesdays, which are Two-for-One. Tickets are available through BizBooks.net, or at the door. Reservations can be made by calling 604-365-9445. All performances take place at the Performing Arts Lodge Theatre, 581 Cardero Street.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

nov 6 + 7 | arends, capier

Ah! Two more Carolyn Arends / Spencer Capier concerts in the lower mainland before they head out on their cross-country tour. Missed these in my earlier post.

November 6 Coquitlam, BC -- Blue Mountain Baptist
November 7 -- Langley, BC -- North Langley Community Church

Deets and tix here.

By the way, Spencer Capier has been described as having "stunning good looks" and being "a really talented musician also." I couldn't have said it better myself.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

playland | province article and video | OPENS NOV. 5

This week we had the treat of hosting Hans Ongsansoy and Gerry Karhmann from The Province.  They chatted with Anthony F. Ingram about PLAYLAND and shot some video of the rehearsal.  Below is the article that came out today (read it in its original context here), or check out the video here.

Vancouver now has two Playlands.

Of course, one is the amusement park at the PNE you know and love. The other is a play that’s actually set at an amusement park.

But that’s where the similarities between the two end.

Playland the stage production takes place on New Year’s Eve, 1989, in South Africa. It’s still a few weeks before Nelson Mandela’s release and the first steps toward apartheid reform. The country is at the apex of its civil unrest.

Enter actors Tom Pickett as a black carnival worker and Michael Kopsa as a white ex-soldier who somehow keep bumping into each other and you have a recipe for sparks.

Amazingly, however, you also have a recipe for dialogue, greater understanding and, possibly, hope?

“It’s two people who are trying to resolve issues of their past, which are tied into the cultural past of South Africa and the racism that went on,” says director Anthony F. Ingram. “So they’re both guilty of crimes against the other race.

“They’re seeking some kind of personal reconciliation for what they’ve done and also bridge that gap of racism and see the other person as a human being rather than someone of a different colour.”

Ingram credits South African playwright Athol Fugard, and his ability to take political issues and show how they might play out on a personal level, for the story’s underlying positivity.

“Let’s move forward and work on reclaiming what was lost, and we expect you to help us do that, and we want to give you something that is maybe better than what you have — um, I mean that’s utopia, right?” says Ingram. “My rational brain says there’s no way that can happen, but, I think, Fugard somehow says, yes, it can.”

hongsansoy@theprovince.com< twitter.com/hans_ongsansoy

playland | photos

All photos feature Michael Kopsa & Tom Pickett

by Athol Fugard

runs November 5 to 27

Tickets available online
or at our box office | 604 733-3880

directed by Anthony F. Ingram

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

nov 10-13 | i r l (in real life) | shadows & dreams

PT's publicist Andrea Loewen is an actor too - you might have seen her moving a tremendous amount of furniture in YOU STILL CAN'T, when she was an apprentice with our company - and she's back onstage! She was in the Shadows & Dreams production of TWELFTH NIGHT this summer - directed by PT's Frank Nickel, with PT faces Alison Chisholm, Kerri Norris and Stephen Elcheshen also in the cast - and now the Shadows & Dreams connection continues...

Shadows & Dreams Theatre Company is proud to present the Canadian Premiere of...
irl (in real life)
by Rick Robinson

Nov 10-13 @ 8pm
Havana Theatre

When the four characters in "i r l (in real life)" arrive in Los Angeles for a convention of their favorite online game they are thinking of more than just swords and dragons: longtime friends online, they've decided to use this convention as an excuse to meet for the first time "in real life." What they find at the convention hall is sometimes more and sometimes less than what they'd hoped, and they all must struggle to come to grips with the differences between their idealized online personas and their more complicated real-life selves. A "Critics Pick" at the 2002 Los Angeles Edge of the World FestivalDirector: Stephen Elcheshen. Cast: Nigel Brooke, Michael Chase, Andrea Loewen, Paul Schulz.

“This light but psychologically weighty play,...is a fetching fable for our times.” (Backstage West)

“Writer Rick Robinson has crafted a bittersweet comedy about the lost and lonely addicts of an online role-playing fantasy game.” (Backstage West)

tickets $15 at the door CASH ONLY (Seating is limited)
reservations/ info (604) 515-0704

nov 3 | zaac pick | federico's

Zaac Pick is playing a solo set at the Tall Poppy Cafe series (Federico's Supper Club, 1728 Commercial Drive) Wednesday night in Vancouver, 8:30PM (though I bet it wouldn't hurt to arrive by eight). Sort of an early first stop on a BC / Alberta tour with Joshua Hyslop.
Nov 3: Vancouver, BC
Nov 19: Kelowna, BC
Nov 20: Creston, BC
Nov 21: Cranbrook, BC
Nov 23: Medicine Hat, AB
Nov 24: Calgary, AB
Nov 26: Edmonton, AB
Nov 27: Lacombe, AB

I first heard Zaac at his Fierce Wind cd release concert, August 2009. I went to hear Jeremy Eisenhauer and Sheree Plett, just back from a summer on the road, stayed to hear Zaac, and was he ever fine. Noticed Rachel Pick taking photos of the gig, it was only later I made the connection.

I played Zaac's disc a lot last year, especially the song Foot Of Pride. This past summer I replaced the stereo in my car (can a stereo with only one working speaker technically be called a "stereo"?), took it on a road trip to Alberta to get better acquainted, and the prairie feel of Fierce Wind made it more or less the theme music for the trip (along with Calexico and the Avett Brothers). It was on endless repeat the day I took pictures of the places my family farmed east of Camrose.

Scout Magazine did a profile on Zaac last week, 10 MINUTES WITH LOCAL MUSICIAN AND EX-LEAGUE BOWLER ZAAC PICK. And you can hear some of his music at zaacpick.com, or now and then on CBC.

Show up at Federico's tonight, I bet you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

playland | director's notes

You've seen Anthony F. Ingram on the PT stage many times, most recently REFUGE OF LIES and THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT.  This time around he's sitting in the director's chair and he's sent in some notes on PLAYLAND, opening this Friday, November 5th!

What amazes me about Athol Fugard is his optimism. He’s a man who has watched the injustices around him and refused to accept that they could not be changed. He sees the humanity in those that his society discounted and denigrated. Me, I’m a pessimist. I expect the worst from humanity and I see my expectations confirmed everywhere I look. So, I’m fascinated by Fugard’s dogged optimism and his faith in the possibility of good triumphing in the oddest places.

Playland – set on the New Year’s Eve before the release of Nelson Mandela from prison – anticipated South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation process. And while we in the West seem to think that South Africa is “fixed”, it’s not. The consequences of European subjugation are still playing themselves out in South Africa and throughout the African Continent. And, as a Canadian of European descent, I find myself ashamed of what my ancestors perpetrated not only in Africa but right here in America. When the Canadian government made its apology to the First Nations, I wept – in fact, I still get choked up when I think about it and not because I feel the government had done a good and brave thing, but because of the shame I feel over what has happened wherever and whenever Europeans have pushed other cultures aside. I can’t help but ask, “How can a simple apology, no matter how contrite, possibly make up for the decimation of a way of life, the slaughter of almost an entire population, the dehumanization of people just because they don’t speak our language or wear the same clothes as us?” Really, I get so angry at the arrogance. And because I don’t have an answer, I feel so helpless in the face of the generations of injustice. And then there’s Athol Fugard, who somehow manages to distill what to me is such a massively overwhelming chasm between two peoples, into two men who are guilty of fighting on opposite sides of the race war – both with blood on their hands and hatred in their hearts. He puts them face to face and we get to watch them spar, dance, bleed, weep – and somehow, and I’m still trying to figure out how, Fugard imparts this hope. That’s what pulls me into this play. I’m trying to find Fugard’s hope. Because, he doesn’t give us a couple of nice guys here. These two guys are culturally and politically poles apart. The violence and hatred that they hold toward each other is right on their skin. But Fugard sees hope!

From a professional point of view, I love working with Pacific Theatre and in the magical alley space. Ron Reed and Pacific Theatre have given me so many opportunities to take first steps into various parts of my art. Ron has always been there encouraging me to take risks, and giving me room to make mistakes and explore some the crazier ideas I’ve had – right from the beginning of my career. And the other great thing about Pacific Theatre is that they’re willing to explore uncomfortable ideas. They take their audience to places they can’t or wouldn’t go in “real life”. Pacific Theatre is willing to offend a part of their audience, and then they’re willing to talk to that offended audience in an intelligent way. They stick to their principles. Sure they have a comfy Christmas show – though not all of them are so comfy – and they have a loopy comedy that everyone can enjoy, but Pacific Theatre is going to take you into the heart of a Nazi war criminal and make you examine the ease of some of your convictions. Well, this time we’re taking you to Apartheid Era South Africa and we’re going to drop you right into the middle of a cage match.

-Anthony F. Ingram, Director

nov 5 OPENING! | playland | photos

Tom Pickett, Michael Kopsa
photo by Tim Matheson

Tom Pickett, Michael Kopsa
photo by Tim Matheson

Michael Kopsa, Tom Pickett
photo by Tim Matheson

nov 4 | carolyn arends, spencer capier | love was here first

November 4
Lynn Valley Full Gospel Church
1160 E. 29th Street, North Vancouver | 604-980-0307

featuring Carolyn Arends, Amanda Falk, Spencer Capier and Trevor Dick
doors 7pm, event 7:30

and receive a FREE COMPILATION ALBUM featuring music from all 4 artists!
(Free Album Download exlusive to Online Ticket Sales)

Tickets also available at:
Glenn: 604-825-0746
The Church 604-980-0307
Or email: Glenn@mayiprayforyou.com

All the details about more tour dates here - Nov 5 Victoria, Nov 6 Coquitlam, Nov 7 Langley, then across Canada through November.