Wednesday, March 28, 2012

doubt | music

I just swapped emails with a PT friend who was curious about the music chosen for our production of DOUBT. In case it might interest anyone else, here's our chat. Warning: if you haven't seen the play yet, you might want to wait before reading this: it includes a mild spoiler. Better you should see it - the show closes Saturday - and then come back to read about what you saw. And heard.

The absolute highlight for me was your choice of final music. The Lauridsen 'O Magnum Mysterium' is one of my all time favourite pieces. How on earth did you come to use it?

I chose the Magnum late in the selection process. Had already settled on piano, starting with one particular piece I knew I wanted to use and then working outward from there: other pieces by that composer, other piano composers who'd influenced him, and other versions of that original piece - including a recording that used organ and choir instead of piano and solo voice. So that expanded the vocabulary beyond piano to choral work, and when I scanned my faves (either the list in my head, or iTunes, I forget which) the Magnum jumped out. Then the first time I played it over top of that final cue, it was just obvious it had to be the choice. It's the most human, relational moment in the play - the pure human, physical act of embrace, of comforting - and the warmth of the voices just seemed perfect. Enveloping them.

Working back from that, it made me decide on using solo voice for the second last cue, where Father Flynn is left alone onstage: it also needed the humanity and warmth of a voice, but a solitary, unaccompanied voice. I didn't choose it to symbolize isolation or anything - it just sounded right.

I don't recall the music you referred to for that second last cue...what was it?

In addition to the beauty of the Lauridsen piece, what also struck me was the title:
O Magnum Mysterium - which translates as What Great Mystery. That was kind of for me what the script was all about...

The "theme" piece for the play was Cantar del Alma, by Catalan composer Federico Mompou. The key recording is the one by Marisa Martins & Mac McClure. Here's a link to a live recording - it's even better in the studio version by the same artists that you can buy on iTunes. The piece alternates between a piano verse and a sung verse: I saved the sung verse to end Father Flynn's final scene, once the piece had been firmly established in the audience's mind with the organ, choral, and piano iterations.

Yes, Magnum has a nice resonance with the play: in addition to the "mystery" angle you point out, it happens to be a nativity hymn to Mary, and I see the image of Sister James holding Sister Aloysius at the end as something of a pieta, and/or a nativity image, of Mary holding Jesus.

Cantar del Alma is from a text by St John of the Cross.

Federico Mompou
Cantar del Alma
Marisa Martins and Mac McClure

Federico Mompou
Cantar del Alma
Cor de Cambra de l'Auditori Enrci Granados de Lleida & Xavier Puig

Federico Mompou
Musica Callada XXI: Lento
Yuji Takahashi, piano

Erik Satie
Gnossiennes 1: Lent
Gnossiennes 3: Lent
Gnossiennes 6: Avec Conviction Et Avec Une Tristesse Rigoureuse
Ronan O'Hora, piano

Arvo Part
Piano Sonatine, Op. 1, No.2: I. Allegro energico
Ralph van Raat, piano

Morten Lauridsen
O Magnum Mysterium
Nordic Chamber Choir

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

doubt | the real sister james

Did you know that the character of Sister James (played by Kaitlin Williams on our stage) is based on one of Shanley's childhood teachers? Well, she is! Here's an article written in the New York Times about her after the Broadway premiere of the play.

A Teacher Sees Herself Younger, and on Broadway
by Samuel Freedman
March 30, 2005
The New York Times

The phone rang in the Bronx convent last Thanksgiving morning while Sister Margaret McEntee was watching the Macy’s parade on television, just another teacher thankful for a long weekend near the semester’s end. One of the other sisters answered, listened and walked to Sister Margaret with the message, “They’re asking for Sister James.”

Now that was strange. Sister Margaret had not been known as Sister James since 1968, when she chose to adopt a female name in a personal response to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. And stranger still, the woman on the phone, her former student Gerri Cunningham, had kept in touch over the years and knew full well to ask for Sister Margaret. So why the anachronism? Why the inside joke? “By any chance did you read the write-up about this new play?” Mrs. Cunningham asked. The question made Sister Margaret remember a comment at the convent a few nights earlier, about a photograph in the paper from a play titled Doubt, a picture of two sisters in the distinctive black bonnets and robes of her order, the Sisters of Charity. One was identified in the caption as Sister James.

As Sister Margaret began to recite those details over the phone, Mrs. Cunningham interrupted to say, “That’s our school. That’s you. And the writer is John Patrick Shanley.” Nearly a half-century of cluttered memory fell away — all those schools, all those classes, an education career ranging from elementary school to college, from the Bronx to the Bahamas — and Sister Margaret saw Johnny Shanley. She saw Johnny Shanley in her mind's eye with his shaggy auburn hair, one child among 42 in class 1A2 at St. Anthony’s school in the East Tremont neighborhood in the Bronx in the fall
of 1956, and she saw herself with the red hair and toothy smile of Sister James, a 21-year-old newcomer teaching her first class.

As Sister Margaret learned in the subsequent weeks and months, Mr. Shanley had transformed his own memories of a beloved teacher in a childhood school into the stuff not of mere nostalgia but great art.

Doubt opens tomorrow night on Broadway after an acclaimed run at the Manhattan Theater Club last fall, and in it the fictional Sister James stands at the center of a piercing, relentless drama. Mr. Shanley has renamed St. Anthony as St. Nicholas and imagined an incident that never happened there — an alleged case of a priest molesting a pupil. The boy's teacher, Sister James, finds herself torn between the play’s two antagonists. One is a progressive, eloquent priest, Father Flynn, who may or may not have committed the sexual abuse. The other, Sister Aloysius, is the school principal, an educator hidebound enough to lament the demise of fountain pens and deem the song Frosty the Snowman heretical, yet acute and perceptive in her suspicions of clerical misconduct.

In a play that refuses the palliative of a clear answer, Sister James represents nothing less than the audience's conflicted conscience. “People come in thinking that nuns are funny because of Sister Act, Nunsense, Sister Mary Ignatius, said Mr. Shanley, referring to films and plays that treated the religious women as easy targets, since what could be more ripe for ridicule in a cynical age than the combination of piety, idealism and celibacy?

“But I think of the play as an homage to a time and a place and a people who gave greatly of themselves. One of the things I’m asking an audience to doubt is their assumptions about these women.”

This tribute comes not from a teacher's pet, either. Mr. Shanley’s own Catholic-school career in the Bronx included being thrown out of kindergarten for daydreaming about The Mickey Mouse Club, banned from the St. Anthony hot-lunch program for flinging leftovers at other pupils, and expelled from Cardinal Spellman High School for going three months without turning in his Spanish homework and telling the religion teacher he didn't believe in God. “I actually did,” Mr. Shanley says. “I just knew it would get a rise.”

Sister James had seen the early stages of a different Johnny Shanley, though, a quiet boy who wrote skillfully enough to win a statewide essay contest for Catholic school students. And that Johnny Shanley remembered a Sister James of patience and tolerance, a teacher who placed a cigar box under the desk of a boy whose feet otherwise didn’t touch the floor and who taught phonics with her own songs. “When two vowels go walking,” went a typical verse, “the first one does the talking.”

When the inspiration for Doubt first struck Mr. Shanley three years ago, as the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal was making national news, it was only natural that he thought back to St. Anthony and Sister James. “Eugene O'Neill used to talk about the 'poetry of the real', ” Mr. Shanley said. “I knew I had this world that I knew about and that few people knew. It's just the specificity. It let me use these youthful impressions and dream off them.”

The stage designer for Doubt, John Lee Beatty, based the set on the actual St. Anthony. In refining her performance as Sister James for Broadway, the actress Heather Oldenhersh spent a day visiting with Sister Margaret, at age 69 still teaching classes about social justice at Notre Dame high school in Greenwich Village. On the wall of Ms. Goldenhersh’s dressing room hangs a photograph of Sister James taken in the late 1950s, and the actress seems to have virtually rearranged her molecules to resemble that figure.

But those efforts at impersonation all came relatively late, months after Doubt had opened Off Broadway. For it was only after Thanksgiving that Mr. Shanley phoned Sister Margaret and only in January, on the last day of the Manhattan Theater Club engagement, that the student and teacher, both gray for years by now, met again. On the day Sister Margaret saw Doubt, Mr. Shanley sat at the end of her row, checking her face for reactions, abashed as the first grader he once had been.

“Calling her up was a little trepidatious,” he said. “But the really powerful experience was having her see the play. I hadn’t seen her since I was 6. I didn’t know what kind of person she was now. My concern was that she’d say, ‘You stole my life.’ ”

He need not have worried. “He renewed my life,” Sister Margaret put it. “I am young again.”

world theatre day | the speech

Happy World Theatre Day! This year's World Theatre Day message from the esteemed John Malkovich. He is a founding member of Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, the originators of 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW, the final play in our season!

I'm honored to have been asked by the International Theatre Institute ITI at UNESCO to give this greeting commemorating the 50th anniversary of World Theatre Day. I will address my brief remarks to my fellow theatre workers, peers and comrades.

May your work be compelling and original. May it be profound, touching, contemplative, and unique. May it help us to reflect on the question of what it means to be human, and may that reflection be blessed with heart, sincerity, candor, and grace. May you overcome adversity, censorship, poverty and nihilism, as many of you will most certainly be obliged to do. May you be blessed with the talent and rigor to teach us about the beating of the human heart in all its complexity, and the humility and curiosity to make it your life's work. And may the best of you - for it will only be the best of you, and even then only in the rarest and briefest moments - succeed in framing that most basic of questions, "how do we live?" Godspeed.

- John Malkovich

John Malkovich is a founding member of Steppenwolf Theatre Company and has worked on 33 productions with the company since 1976. In 1983 he won an Obie for his performance in Sam Shepard’s TRUE WEST. The following year, he appeared with Dustin Hoffman in the Broadway revival of DEATH OF A SALESMAN, which earned him an Emmy in 1985 when it was made into a television film. He rose to fame in cinema with his interpretation of Valmont in DANGEROUS LIAISONS by Stephen Frears, alongside Michelle Pfeiffer and Glenn Close. After this role he acted in more than 70 movies internationally, receiving Academy Award nominations for PLACES IN THE HEART and IN THE LINE OF FIRE and playing a version of himself in the films ADAPTATION and BEING JOHN MALKOVICH. He has periodically returned to Chicago to act and direct, and was recently seen in the international tour of THE INFERNAL COMEDY: CONFESSIONS OF A SERIAL KILLER. This production traveled to nearly 20 countries and received its New York premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in November 2011. He also directed his third theatre production in Paris, LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES, at the Théâtre de l'Atelier following the success of HYSTERIA (2002) and THE GOOD CANARY (2007) for which he was awarded the Molière Award for best staging.

april 4 | chamber music vignettes | twu

Another great arts event by our friends at Trinity Western University!

Collaborative Arts Evening of Story and Song at TWU

In an intimate evening presented by TWU’s School of the Arts, Media and Culture, performances by the guitar quartet and piano trio are interspersed with readings of narrative nonfiction penned by writers from SAMC’s Media + Communication Department. Chamber Music + Vignettes will be an eclectic evening of story through music and prose.

Musical highlights include the guitar ensemble’s contemporary favourites by artists like Muse and Mumford & Sons, and Glinka’s Trio Pathétique in D Minor performed by piano, clarinet, and bassoon. Rounding out the evening’s entertainment, the selection of narrative readings will touch on a range of themes; from a young boy’s solo excursion with a BB gun, to a young woman’s awareness of the ultimate femininity.

It is the first time that narration is being incorporated into TWU’s popular Chamber Music concert. Loranne Brown, MFA, who teaches narrative nonfiction and other professional writing courses at the School of the Arts, Media and Culture, says this collaborative venture “is very much in the spirit of SAMC.”

“During SAMC’s first Vignettes event,” Loranne recalls, “our emerging writers partnered with talented photographers. This year, musical vignettes will be juxtaposed with narrative nonfiction. Often, we come to understand ourselves best when we collide with a different culture, different expectations, and arrive at a greater appreciation for our origins. It’s a unique privilege to showcase the written word alongside stimulating pieces of music, for a well-rounded artistic experience.”

Performance begins at 7:30pm on April 4 in TWU’s Instrumental Music Hall. Admission by donation. Presented as part of the university’s 3rd Annual Festival of the Arts, Media and Culture, Chamber Music + Vignettes is the first in a series of spring concerts that will include the ever popular Jazz Night as well as performances in Langley and Abbotsford by SAMC’s Choirs, Orchestra, Concert Band.

For information on this and other upcoming events, visit

world theatre day | why we love theatre

For World Theatre Day the artists from DOUBT and PT staff reflect on why they love theatre...

I love the somewhat dangerous collaborative aspect of theatre, which when fully committed to can lead to moments of great grace and glory! (Once you've cleaned up the mess.)
-Erla Faye Forsyth, Sister Aloysius

I love getting to meet and understand new characters. I love learning who people are, what makes us different, what makes us the same, and how we react in different situations, and theatre is a great way of doing that. Theatre is the eavesdropping and people-watching that so many of us love to do, without the guilt or shame behind it.
-Alison Chisholm, Office and Artist Manager

I love theater because the immediacy of audience and performer keeps me on my toes--it's live, no do-overs, and anything can happen.
-Leslie Lewis Sword, Mrs. Muller

I love theatre for the magic we create as a team, which touches every audience member in a different, profound way.
-Jethelo E. Cabilete, Stage Manager

I've always felt it was the fragility and specificity in each production that made theatre beautiful, like sandcastles.
-Sydney Cavanagh, Costume Designer

I love the special magic of physical bodies all in the same place at the same time and the fact that it can't be reproduced by any other means. If you weren't there, you missed it, which is the most frustrating and beautiful thing ever.
-Andrea Loewen, Communications Manager

Friday, March 23, 2012

doubt | world theatre day

Check out today's feature on World Theatre Day on Shaw TV featuring DOUBT!

world theatre day

World Theatre Day is March 27th! To celebrate, we're offering 2-for-1 tickets to DOUBT on Wednesday, March 28th. Just ask for the World Theatre Day promotion.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

doubt | photos

Production shots from DOUBT - running until March 31st! All photos by Ron Reed.

march 22-31 | fresco

Lucia Frangione is a busy lady! She's written a play for BellaLuna Productions called FRESCO, running at the Shadbolt in Burnaby and the Cultch.

BellaLuna Productions presents the World Premiere of FRESCO, a new Canadian play by playwright Lucia Frangione, conceived and developed with the BellaLuna Ensemble (Susan Bertoia, Aaron Freschi, Stefano Giulianetti and Marco Soriano) and directed by James Fagan Tait.

On June 10, 1940, As the Canadian government enacts the War Measures Act, 44 Italian Canadians in Vancouver are interned and many more are branded 'Enemy Aliens'. Families are torn apart and struggle to cope with their new realities. A present- day woman looks into her past when she inherits the family home and uncovers generations of secrecy buried inside.

FRESCO celebrates the resilience, spirit and achievement of B.C.’s Italian Canadian community during a little-known but life-changing period in its history.

Performers: Susan Bertoia, Stefano Giulianetti, Marco Soriano and Michael Rinaldi.
Design and Production team: Carmen Alatorre (Costumes), Itai Erdal (Lighting), Catherine Hahn(Set and Props), Flick Harrison (Multimedia), Paul Tedeschini (Sound), Ben Cheung (Stage Manager), David Warburton (Production Manager), Phoebe Vlassis (Production Assistant).

FRESCO is presented in association with the Shadbolt Centre and Italian Cultural Centre of Vancouver as part of the project "A Question of Loyalty".


MARCH 21-24, 2012
(6450 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby, BC)
MARCH 28-31, 2012
(1895 Venables Street, Vancouver, BC)

Shows run Wednesday to Saturday at 8pm plus 2pm matinees on Thursdays and Saturdays.

For more information on FRESCO and BellaLuna Productions, please visit

2012-2013 season announcement

No more teasing - here it is!


music and lyrics by James Valq, book and lyrics by Fred Alley
a guest production by Kerry van der Griend and Damon Calderwood

A young woman leaves prison, only to learn that a second chance isn’t easy to come by. From the beloved film comes a powerful, uplifting musical about starting over.

WITTENBERG Oct 31-Nov 10
by David Davalos
Dr. Faustus, Hamlet, and Martin Luther walk into a bar… and the rest is history. Sort of. A staged reading in the tradition of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and Twelve Angry Men.

adapted from the novel by C.S. Lewis
Pacific Theatre’s signature take on this C.S. Lewis classic is back and, like Aslan, it’s on the move! Touring to the Kay Meek Centre, Presentation House, and the Evergreen Cultural Centre.

by Lucia Frangione
One girl’s coming of age results in a terrible crime in this searing drama of bigotry and transcendence in a small prairie town. World premiere from the author of Espresso. Directed by Morris Ertman (My Name is Asher Lev)

by Helen Edmundson
a guest production by Compassionate Bone Theatre
A conscientious mother leaves her husband, her son, and her comfortable London home without a word. Her husband tracks her down in one of India's poorest slums, working with street children.

by Bill Cain
Heartfelt and hilraious, the story of an aging mother's peculiarities and a son's flawed devotion.


SIDE SHOW Nov 22-23
Peter 'n Chris return to perform their 2012 Fringe hit - then join our improv gang for some theatre sports!

Readings, music, and all-you-can-eat Christmas feast. So popular it always sells out - so we're adding two more PT shows!

A crazy collage of comedy – scenes, monologues, songs and dances by apprentices, staff, and some of your favourite emerging artist. The crazy second-cousin of I Was Meant for the Stage.

Subscribe now! For the first time EVER we are accepting subscription requests online.

doubt | shanley's preface

John Patrick Shanley wrote a lengthy (for the internet) and provocative preface to DOUBT that is definitely worth a read.

What's under a play? What holds it up? You might as well ask what's under me? On what am I built? There's something silent under every person and under every play. There is something unsaid under any given society as well.

There's a symptom apparent in America right now. It's evident in political talk shows, in entertainment coverage, in artistic criticism of every kind, in religious discussion. We are living in a courtroom culture. We were living in a celebrity culture, but that's dead. Now we're only interested in celebrities if they're in court. We are living in a culture of extreme advocacy, of confrontation, of judgment, and of verdict. Discussion has given way to debate. Communication has become a contest of wills. Public talking has become obnoxious and insincere. Why? Maybe it's because deep down under the chatter we have come to a place where we know that we don't know... anything. But nobody's willing to say that.

Let me ask you. Have you ever held a position in an argument past the point of comfort? Have you ever defended a way of life you were on the verge of exhausting? Have you ever given service to a creed you no longer utterly believed? Have you ever told a girl you loved her and felt the faint nausea of eroding conviction? I have. That's an interesting moment. For a playwright, it's the beginning of an idea. I saw a piece of real estate on which I might build a play, a play that sat on something silent in my life and in my time. I started with a title: Doubt.

What is Doubt? Each of us is like a planet. There's the crust, which seems eternal. We are confident about who we are. If you ask, we can readily describe our current state. I know my answers to so many questions, as do you. What was your father like? Do you believe in God? Who's your best friend? What do you want? Your answers are your current topography, seemingly permanent, but deceptively so. Because under that face of early response, there is another You. And this wordless Being moves just as the instant moves; it presses upward without explanation, fluid and wordless, until the resisting consciousness has no choice but to give way.

It is Doubt (so often experienced initially as weakness) that changes things. When a man feels unsteady, when he falters, when hard-won knowledge evaporates before his eyes, he's on the verge of growth. The subtle or violent reconciliation of the outer person and the inner core often seem at first like a mistake, like you've gone the wrong way and you're lost. But this is just emotion longing for the familiar. Life happens when the tectonic power of your speechless soul breaks through the dead habits of the mind. Doubt is nothing less than an opportunity to reenter the Present.

The play. I've set my story in 1964, when not just me, but the whole world seemed to be going through some kind of vast puberty. The old ways were still dominant in behavior, dress, morality, world view, but what had been organic expression had become a dead mask. I was in a Catholic church school in the Bronx, run by the Sisters of Charity. These women dressed in black, believed in Hell, obeyed their male counterparts, and educated us. The faith, which held us together, went beyond the precincts of religion. It was a shared dream we agreed to call Reality. We didn't know it, but we had a deal, a social contract. We would all believe the same thing. We would all believe.

Looking back, it seems to me, in those schools at that time, we were an ageless unity. We were all adults and we were all children. We had, like many animals, flocked together for warmth and safety. As a result, we were terribly vulnerable to anyone who chose to hunt us. When trust is the order of the day, predators are free to plunder. And plunder they did. As the ever widening Church scandals reveal, the hunters had a field day. And the shepherds, so invested in the surface, sacrificed actual good for perceived virtue.

I have never forgotten the lessons of that era, nor learned them well enough. I still long for a shared certainty, an assumption of safety, the reassurance of believing that others know better than me what's for the best. But I have been led by the bitter necessities of an interesting life to value that age-old practice of the wise: Doubt.

There is an uneasy time when belief has begun to slip, but hypocrisy has yet to take hold, when the consciousness is disturbed but not yet altered. It is the most dangerous, important, and ongoing experience of life. The beginning of change is the moment of Doubt. It is that crucial moment when I renew my humanity or become a lie.

Doubt requires more courage than conviction does, and more energy; because conviction is a resting place and doubt is infinite - it is a passionate exercise. You may come out of my play uncertain. You may want to be sure. Look down on that feeling. We've got to learn to live with a full measure of uncertainty. There is no last word. That's the silence under the chatter of our time.

John Patrick Shanley
March 2005

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2012-2013 season

On today's "To Do" list:

Come see DOUBT tonight to get the announcement live!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

april 6 | good friday blues

Angelika Dawson is a good friend of Pacific Theatre (she was a huge help getting the word out about Christmas Presence in the Valley this year). She's planning a special blues music Good Friday service at House of James in Abbotsford this year that's definitely worth checking out.

"It's Friday But Sunday's Comin'" Blues Service
House of James
Friday, April 6th at 7pm

Read about Angelika's inspiration for the service and some of the songs that will be played on her blog.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

doubt | subscriber event follow-up

A note from Ron, following last weekend's Subscriber Appreciation Saturday event for DOUBT.

Greetings, Shanley fans!

(Oh, and if you haven't seen the play yet: this may contain an important spoiler you won't want to read until after you have.)

One afterthought that occurred to some of us while chatting after last Saturday's subscriber appreciation chat. After viewing the various clips, and hearing the excerpts from DOUBT and DANNY & THE DEEP BLUE SEA, I ended up by commenting that I'd come to see DOUBT standing apart from the other plays. Not only because the other plays had wilder language and much more use of fierce, poetic imagery...

but also because Shanley's recurring theme didn't seem to have played itself out in DOUBT.
Joe left behind his brain cloud and his the factory life to sail to sea and throw himself into a volcano;
Danny would kill himself if he hadn't changed his life by the time he turned 30, and Roberta cries "I can't stay like I am!";
Loretta the undertaker's accountant in MOONSTRUCK leaves behind besotted-with-death Johnny for "Bring me the big knife!" Ronny - "A wolf without a hand! A woman without a head!";
and Harry vows to leave behind the violence of his life in FIVE CORNERS to risk his life registering voters in Mississippi.

But in conversation afterward, we realized that the same theme is in fact played out in the characters of Mrs Muller and her son Donald: "Whatever the problem is, Donald just has to make it here till June. Then he's off to high school." She's willing for her son to pay any price to get into a good high school, and then into a good college, to leave behind the life and prospects he faces in the Bronx.

It's not the main theme, but it's the card Shanley plays when he wants to change our entire perspective on the play. Even in DOUBT, which seems quite removed from the core theme of all Shanley's other stories we looked at, it's still his trump card, his game-changer. This time,it's not what the play is fundamentally about, but it still finds a key place in the dramatic action. Fascinating.

That session was a lot of fun! We put our heads together yesterday and came up with a great plan for our 100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW event, and made the decision definitely to carry these forward into next season. We love them!


doubt | responses

"In a captivatingly restrained performance by Erla Faye Forsyth, we see the depth of Sister Aloysius’s humanity as well as the flame that ignites her unwavering commitment." | Greg Armstrong-Morris, Xtra West

"Without a doubt, director Ron Reed and his cast of four get this John Patrick Shanley play right. So exquisitely does Shanley strike a balance, we leave the theatre in the same state as Sister Aloysius (Erla Faye Forsyth) and Sister James (Kaitlin Williams): full of doubt. Did Father Flynn (Giovanni Mocibob) behave inappropriately toward his young black student? Or was he simply protecting the boy against the school bullies?" | Jo Ledingham, The Vancouver Courier

"Director Ron Reed (also Artistic Director of Pacific Theatre) leads a talented cast of actors through the tense proceedings. Erla Faye Forsyth anchors the cast as Sister Aloysius. She is a stony, unyielding force, without ever feeling cold or distant; it is ever apparent that her conviction and actions are rooted in a place of deep compassion and tenderness. As the possibly maligned, possibly predatory Father Flynn, Giovanni Mocibob brings a wounded sincerity. His Flynn is not the political, threatening figure portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman in the film, but a cornered man who lashes out. Kaitlin Williams’ Sister James is a warm, earnest woman, who is keenly conflicted at having to harbour such negative thoughts. Though her presence on stage is only one short scene, Leslie Lewis Sword’s Mrs. Muller ramps up the tension of the second act and creates a state of even more confusion." | Brian Paterson, Laura Murray PR

"Wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your production of DOUBT on Saturday night - one of the best plays I have seen in a very long time. My friend and I were SHOCKED when intermission came around - 45 minutes had passed already??!!! What the...?? The acting was superb. The cast quickly faded the image of the Hollywood actors who occupied my mind on my way in. The set was wonderful - incredibly simple and so perfect for the story. I loved how the stage crew moved in and out among the characters. The entire production was just great! Thank you so much for a fabulous evening of theatre!" | Siobhan Keely, email

"My wife and I loved it. The actors were wonderful and passionate. They were pros and the time flew by quick. The night was super and the treats and snacks afterwards were great. I appreciated the detail to excellence the actors provided through each scene and the overall experience for us was very enjoyable and thought provoking. Looking forward to attending another show soon." | audience email

"Doubt is a must-see play." | Eddie Tafbur, Taste and Sip Magazine

"I did not see the Arts Club production of Doubt, but since viewing this very 
fine production on opening night, I agree that 
the Pacific Theatre is the right home for this play. ... Clarity of vision ... very strong and balanced performances, sharp and clear. ... Erla Faye Forsyth gives a very subtle, nuanced performance, which in my opinion rivals 
Ms. Streep’s performance in the film version. ...
It really is a great choice to do it again in this city
 and this production really does do justice to the play. ... even if you did see the Arts Club production, I can assure you that 
you will be impressed by this production and the fine performances; along with the
 concise, clear and insightful direction by Ron Reed that this play demands. What 
better place to see a play that raises so many questions about faith — both religious 
faith and the secular faith in our leaders? Seeing this play restores my faith in the Vancouver theatre community to produce thought provoking 
theatre with some very strong casts. Thank you Pacific Theatre for giving us another 
chance to see this play which is fast becoming a contemporary classic and so rightly 
deserves to be one. I urge you not to miss this production." Celeste Insell, Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance blog

"I enjoyed the intimate stage setting that a small, independent theatre like the Pacific can bring to this Pulitzer prize-winning play." Ariane, Ariane C. Designs

"Gorgeous lighting and superb acting, it was a fabulous night of theatre!" | audience email

"Erla Faye Forsyth plays Sister Aloysius with severity, a convincingly immovable character throughout. Not an easy task, considering Forsyth had the burden of Meryl Streep’s memorable performance hanging over her." Erin Jane | Review Vancouver

From the Twitter Feed:
@WilkinsKate: @PacificTheatre Loved the preview of Doubt last night!
@HultonGetty: Enjoyed 'Doubt' tonight at Pacific Theatre. Just opened... Go and check it out! Tickets are only around $20. #supportlocaltheatre
@TheZooCrew: @PacificTheatre Thanks so much for a great opening night of Doubt last night. We all love the show (and the cream puffs!). Congrats!
@LauraMcln: Congratulations @PacificTheatre I was captivated by every single heartbeat of Doubt. Absolutely BREATHTAKING.
@SMLois: Really enjoyed Doubt at @PacificTheatre. Came away feeling uncertain - just as the script demands.
@cwilhelmson: @PacificTheatre "Doubt" was wonderful! A powerful piece, made more so by the intimate setting. Made for great after play conversation!
@yvrblogger: No doubts about the weather? Sunshine! Enjoy the sunrise & as the sun sets @PacificTheatre beckons with a show that delivers, no 2nd doubts!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

doubt | costumes

Costume sketches for DOUBT by designer Sydney Cavanaugh.

The Sisters:

Father Flynn:

Mrs. Muller:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

march 22-31 | spinning you home | glen pinchin

Seems like March is a busy month! PT actors Glen Pinchin (TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, YOU STILL CAN'T) and Susan Coodin (THE VERONA PROJECT) will be taking on the super-intimate space at The Havana Theatre for Tightrope Productions' presentation of SPINNING YOU HOME.

SPINNING YOU HOME introduces a remarkable chapter in Canada’s gold rush history while exploring the nature of unconditional love that binds and transcends even death.

It is 1951. A storm rages. Sarah conjures her Grandfather back from the grave and into her world. Trapped in his cottage on Salt Spring Island, Sarah and the old man, a loner with a passion for history and spinning tales, learn one another as they bring to life the bizarre and haunting story of legendary gold prospector John (Cariboo) Cameron and his beautiful child-bride, Sophia.

Inspired by true events and produced and spun by award-winning playwright Sally Stubbs, SPINNING YOU HOME is a celebration of the power of storytelling.

$20 adults, $15 seniors/students
pay what you can preview & matinee;
2 for 1 Tuesday, March 27.

Friday, March 09, 2012

doubt | meet giovanni mocibob

Meet our Father Flynn, Giovanni Mocibob!

Giovanni is pleased to be in this excellent play on the stage that gave him his Vancouver premiere! He has had a fantastic year. He’s recently been in Chemainus for Amadeus, played Charlie in Mary’s Wedding (Gateway Theatre) and had the title role in My Name Is Asher Lev right here at Pacific Theatre. He looks forward to a summer in Alberta with his beautiful wife. Come see him as Gilbert in Anne of Green Gables at Rosebud Theatre.

Lately Gio's been getting into the world of film and television! Check out his latest hilarious commercial:

Thursday, March 08, 2012

doubt | subscriber appreciation saturday

Hey subscribers! Don't forget, this Saturday is your special event for DOUBT.

John Patrick Shanley has been called one of the best playwrights of our time. His work is varied and has spanned several decades. From DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA (one of the first plays he ever wrote) to the more recent DOUBT, he continues to write deep, challenging, entertaining work that speaks to modern audiences.

For this Subscriber Appreciation Saturday we will be focusing on all things Shanley. Artistic Director (and director of DOUBT) Ron Reed will be joined by filmmaker Jason Goode (director of DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA). They will discuss how these two stories connect with each other, and with some of Shanley's film work including JOE VS. THE VOLCANO, MOONSTRUCK, and FIVE CORNERS.

Hope you can join us!

Saturday, March 10th
approximately 4pm
at Pacific Theatre
A FREE event, just for subscribers!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

doubt | meet kaitlin williams

Some of you may have already seen her on stage in DOUBT, but regardless, you haven't properly met her until you've been introduced. So, may we present to you our Sister James: Kaitlin Williams.

Here are some things you may not have known about Kaitlin, straight from the horse's mouth! (Or, more realistically, from her keyboard):
  • Ron Reed's known me since I was a baby, I've been going to PT my whole life, and I first saw Erla Faye Forsyth in Holy Mo as a young girl. So, having my professional debut on this stage, directed by Ron and acting opposite Erla, has felt pretty special!
  • Besides theatre and acting, some other passions of mine include fashion and vintage clothing. I started my own company a year ago called spirit friends vintage where I fix up old clothes and turn them into fashion treasures. You can check out my (rarely updated) blog here:
  • I love kids and teaching and I also work for Arts Umbrella as a theatre instructor and assistant.
  • My first role was a lamb in Charlottes Web.
  • My favourite movie of all time is the Tom Hanks masterpiece That Thing You Do.
  • I dabble in ukulele.

Finally, here's a lovely little video of Kaitlin once she found out she got the role in DOUBT:

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

glen workshop

Every summer Image Journal hosts a workshop for artists of all disciplines called the Glen Workshop.  Of course, calling it a "workshop" is a wee bit reductive, it's more like a workshop/retreat/conference/arts festival, but that makes for a long title.  Below is their introductory blurb on the workshop from the folks at Image Journal.  Info on all the courses available on the site.

The Glen Workshop, sponsored by Image journal, is an innovative and enriching program combining the best elements of a workshop, an arts festival, and a conference. Daily classes, taught by nationally known authors and artists, offer close attention to artists of all levels. Afternoons and evenings feature readings, lectures, concerts, and worship services incorporating the arts. Like its sponsor, Image, the Glen is grounded in a Christian perspective, but its tone is informal and hospitable to all spiritual wayfarers.

2012: The Generations in Our Bones: Art and Tradition

East: June 10 - 17 | West: July 29 - August 5

Does belonging to the tradition of religious faith change the way we respond to our literary and artistic influences? Is it possible to balance strength with humility, to develop our own voices while still engaging deeply with the great traditions that have equipped and formed us?

Why come to a Glen Workshop?

Hear from our attendees about the unique community of artists and seekers at the Glen.

The Glen Workshop: Community from Image Journal on Vimeo.

Monday, March 05, 2012

underneath the ash tree | auditions

Chris Nash was the announcer in GODSPELL. Now he's making a film called UNDER THE ASH TREE. Check out the trailer on the website, and then consider auditioning!

Wednesday, March 14th and Saturday March 17th
on Granville Island

Email for more info or to set up an audition.

They're also seeking crew and other partners, email the same address for info on how you can be involved.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

mar 12 | jesus people | tim bratton

Aside from performing in GODSPELL and YOU STILL CAN'T, Tim Bratton has been involved at PT for a few years now, developing his play JESUS PEOPLE. Now it's finally presenting a public reading at Regent College! For some background info, read this article he wrote on Lando Klassen (House of James) as a part of his research into the subject. Tim's invitation to the reading is below.

Since I first began attending Regent College in the Fall of 2008 my work as a student has been focused on integrating my many thoughts on church and theatre. This work has culminated in the writing of this full length stage play which I now present in a public reading as part of my Integrative Project in Arts and Theology; the final project in completing the Master of Christian Studies program.

Set in the city of Vancouver circa 1970, the story of "Jesus People" seeks to faithfully explore the Hippie Christian movement from which my play derives its name. Exposing the tensions and travails of what some consider the most recent revival in church history, we are confronted with both brokenness and beauty as they co-inhere in the lives of the characters.

Please join me as a cast of talented local actors lend their voice to the reading of my script at 7pm on Monday, March 12. Taking place in the Chapel at Regent College the reading of the full script will be followed by a Q&A as well as a short reception with coffee and dessert in the Regent Atrium.

Thank you all for your support!

Tim Bratton

*Language Warning* - Some foul language is used in this script and the reading may not be suitable for children.