Saturday, September 29, 2012

sept 29 | theatre club | photos

This afternoon we held Pacific Theatre's first ever in-house theatre club. Much like a book club, a theatre club offers audience members a chance to dig deeper into the play and its themes, connect with each other and create community. This afternoon's matinee of THE SPITFIRE GRILL provided much fodder for a lovely conversation:

If you missed today's theatre club and would like to host your own, you can get started by downloading The Spitfire Grill discussion guide here. The next PT theatre club will be held on Saturday February 2nd for LEAVE OF ABSENCE. If you'd like to join us, please email our community engagement manager Kaitlin at

Friday, September 28, 2012

spitfire grill | cast notes

The cast of THE SPITFIRE GRILL are all in this one as a collective of artists. That means that more than anyone, they're in it for the love of the show. Here's how they answered the question "why are you excited about this show?":

“THE SPITFIRE GRILL is a beautiful story with gorgeous music perfectly suited for an intimate space with actor/musicians doing the storytelling.” – Gordon Roberts, second piano, percussion

“I am very excited to work with my dear friend, Kerry van der Griend, for the first time, and to do this part. I find the music so haunting, and I love Pacific Theatre.” – Barbara Pollard, Hannah

“I get to play music!” – Stephen Bulat, Mandolin/Guitar Player

“I am looking forward to exercising my design muscles again at the Pacific Theatre space. It really puts me to the test!” – Francesca Albertazzi, Costumes, Props, and Set Designer

“I’m excited to hear and learn the music as it isn’t a musical that is widely known.” – Franki Lemon, Cellist

“The score is fantastic – the music is at times elegant, unpredictable, quirky, fun, and soaringly beautiful; not to mention the generous helping of Appalachia and bluegrass harmonies. And the book is so strong – such well-drawn, rich characters and taut, lively dialogue. Also: the over-arching themes of grace, forgiveness, and self-love. Always timely and essential. And I am excited to work with Kerry, and this multi-talented team of artists.” – Julie McIsaac, Percy

“The music! Bluegrass/folk/Amercana… performed by the actors themselves… so cool. Also I loved the movie and am fascinated to see the story translated into this new medium.” – Melanie Thompson, Stage Manager

“It has a simplicity that we don’t often experience in musical theatre. And a kick-ass country bluegrass score.” – Steven Greenfield, Musical Director and Joe Sutter

“An excellent ensemble, great music, and a story with heart.” – Sarah May Redmond, Effy

“The show is beautiful. The cast is incredible.” - Caitriona Murphy, Shelby

“I love smaller cast musicals, and this one has gorgeous music and a compelling story.” – Damon Calderwood, Caleb and Clarinet

Sept 21-Oct 27

sep 30 | Rose-Marie Goodwin

Rose-Marie Goodwin is a friend of PT, and an artist in her own right. Pay her a visit during Culture Days!

A Touch of Paris
Open Studios | 20 artists | 195 Pemberton, North Shore

Sunday September 30, drop in between 1–5

Come and see Rose-Marie Goodwin in her new working studio and enter her draw for an elegant box of succulent French Macaroons from Thomas Haas Patisserie. 195 Pemberton Avenue, south of Marine Drive, right side, just before Welsh Part of the national “Culture Days” celebration

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

sept 29 | spitfire grill | theatre club

This Saturday is our first official Theatre Club meeting of the season and ever! Join our Community Engagement Manager Kaitlin Williams to in a discussion on THE SPITFIRE GRILL.

Pacific Theatre Club: THE SPITFIRE GRILL Edition
Saturday, Sept. 29th about 20 mins after the matinee (approx. 4:30pm)

If you'd like to prepare, check out our official discussion guide here (pdf).

Do you already have your own Theatre Club?  Let us know, we'd love to help you out with materials and even the occasional artist chat.  If you have any questions, please contact Kaitlin at

oct 12 | hellbound | kevin miller

A new documentary about hell by Abbotsfordian Kevin Miller opens on Oct. 12th at International Village and Colossus Langley. Press release with details pasted below.

HELLBOUND?, a much-anticipated feature-length documentary that explores today’s highly contentious debate over the Christian doctrine of hell, is set to hit Canadian theaters in October 2012, hot on the heels of its September release stateside. HELLBOUND? will roll out in theatres throughout Canada, beginning on October 12 in Vancouver and Langley, followed by Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Regina on October 19, and expanding to Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa on October 26, with additional markets to follow.

Written and directed by award-winning Abbotsford-based screenwriter Kevin Miller, the film also marks Miller’s directorial debut. His previous credits include the documentaries Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, with Ben Stein; Sex+Money, spOILed, With God On Our Side and several other projects.

HELLBOUND? features interviews with an eclectic group of authors, theologians, pastors, social commentators, musicians, exorcists and other high profile participants in the debate.

“Throughout history, Christians have disagreed about pretty much everything,” says Miller. “With every debate, particular doctrines become a litmus test to determine ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders.’ That’s certainly the case right now regarding the doctrine of hell. HELLBOUND? is my attempt to get to the bottom of the current debate, to find out why challenges to the traditional ‘fire and brimstone view’ are so contentious and to discover the implications of this dispute for Christians as well as those watching from a distance.”

Miller has no illusions about the controversy this film might cause. “No matter what you believe about hell, this film is definitely going to push your buttons. But I see that as a healthy thing. Rather than just stir people up though, I hope HELLBOUND? will provoke informed discussion and get people to take a second look at the impact their religious beliefs have on the world at large.”

Production on HELLBOUND? took place in more than two-dozen cities across the United States, Canada and Denmark throughout 2011. It was produced by Miller’s own production company, Kevin Miller XI Productions Inc. The film’s ethereal music is provided by three talented musicians from British Columbia: composer Marcus Zuhr, singer/songwriter Ari Neufeld and the band YUCA.

For participating theatre locations, please visit:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

sep 6-30 | heroes | john innes

John Innes is a Stratford actor who has been back on the West Coast for some years now. As well as having acted in Lonely Planet on the Pacific Theatre stage, and having directed The Lonely Birch for the company back in 1987 - hmm, I see a certain theme emerging - John was one of only two professional actors I could find to offer a young Christian vocational advice in the days when I was considering a theatrical career in the early eighties. Eager to see him onstage again! And of course William Samples played The Common Man in A Man For All Seasons on our stage a few seasons ago. Well worth checking out.

UPDATE: Rave Reviews!

"...there is nothing like being entertained by masters of their craft." -Review Vancouver

"...a perfect vehicle for three veteran Vancouver actors... Innes, Samples and Dobbin are on top of their game." -Plank Magazine

"Michael Dobbin is affable as Henri, the sanest of the bunch. William Samples expertly taps into Philippe's clownlike innocence. And Innes' characterization of Gustave is marked by a compellingly quiet depth." =The Georgia Straight

pt poster show | holy trinity

In celebration of the launch of our 29th season, we have partnered with our landlord, Holy Trinity Anglican Church, to unveil a second instalment of our poster art show. Some may remember that this show was previously on display at Fraserview Church in Richmond last September. Check out the set up!

From now until mid-October a select collection of our show’s posters will be on display at the back of Holy Trinity’s sanctuary. This show features posters which span the past quarter century of Pacific Theatre’s production history: from the photography of Kevin Clark, to the cartoons by Dirk Van Stralen to Emily Cooper’s remarkable collages, these posters are not only pieces of art, but pieces of our history.

If you’d like more information about the poster show, or would like to have it tour to your own church, contact PT’s Community Engagement Manager Kaitlin Williams at

sep 22/23 | the end of civilization | shauna johannesen

Two more chances to see Shauna Johannesen (Wolf At The Door, Wittenberg) in The End Of Civilization - 75 minute George F. Walker play set and staged in a hotel room. Plank Magazine: "Shauna Johanneson...was so convincing, it was like someone from the Waldorf Hotel had walked in on the performance and had just gone along with what was happening on stage." Other strong performances as well: I couldn't take my eyes off Gabriel Carter. Move fast: there are only, like 17 seats per performance?
click to enlarge

Sat Sep 22  5pm
Sun Sep 23  9pm

sept 21-oct 27 | chickens

Our friends at Chemainus are producing CHICKENS - a gem of a play by our gal Lucia Frangione. Featuring Giovanni Mocibob (DOUBT, MY NAME IS ASHER LEV). The dates are an exact replica of our run of THE SPITFIRE GRILL, but I'm sure you can make it work.

Frangione's musical, a collective story about four chickens and two people, suggests that life in the farmhouse or the hen house isn't all that dissimilar. Homesteaders Liza and Pal are desperate to save their farm, but they face a serious problem – turning a profit. Liza struggles to keep the business afloat; however, Pal’s bad decisions and unusual fondness for his rare exotic chickens multiplies their money woes. Issuing the ultimate cluck would provide the financial freedom they desperately need, but Pal just can't drop the axe. When Liza issues an ultimatum - only the feathered few who earn singing accolades at the county fair will return to the farm – Pal is desperate to save everyone's neck.

In a metaphorical reflection of the farmers' relationship difficulties, winged couples “Alphonso” and “Stewer”, and “His Nibs” and “Butterball”, face their own series of fears. The former factory farm jail-hen, Stewer, reveals the harsh truth about life beyond the country farm to her unsuspecting hen house friends, and the chickens fly off the handle. Deciding on a quick plan of action to save their tail-feathers, the birds devise a scheme that will become their destiny.

Sept 21-Oct 27
Chemainus Theatre Festival
Tickets and more info here.

sep 24 | auditions | bride on credit

Our first apprentice project of the season is nigh! Our apprentices are producing a staged reading of Cara Cunningham's script BRIDE ON CREDIT. Info below the photo from last year's production of BRIDE ON CREDIT at TWU.


Audition Date: September 24, 12 - 4pm
Rehearsal Dates: November 4 - 13
Production Dates: November 14 - 17

Georgette. Mid-Twenties. A French Mail Order Bride.
Dan. Late Twenties. An Accountant who is unlucky in love.
Tony. Mid to Late Twenties. A womanizing lawyer-type.
Louise. The worst customer service representative ever.

Notes: Non-Equity. Please prepare one comedic monologue. 1 min MAX. Anyone auditioning for the role of Georgette will be asked to do a French accent and possibly speak French. This will be a staged reading with minimal costumes and set.

Contact: For an audition time please send headshot and resume to Cara @

sept 19 | janusz korczak art show | regent

Our friends at Regent College are opening a new show in their gallery: works by Janusz Korczak and The Children of the Warsaw Ghetto this week!

The Regent College Lookout Gallery cordially invites you to the Opening Reception of Janusz Korczak and The Children of The Warsaw Ghetto on Wednesday, September 19th from 4:30-7:30pm.

Janusz Korczak was one of the world’s first advocates of children’s rights. On August 6, 1942 he became a heroic figure. On that day, this Polish-Jewish doctor, writer, and educator was forced to gather together the two hundred orphans under his care in the Warsaw Ghetto and report for deportation. Refusing all offers for his own rescue, he led them with quiet dignity to the tram that would take them to the Treblinka extermination camp, where he perished with them.

Janusz Korczak was born Henryk Goldsmit in 1878. He is renowned throughout Europe, yet is virtually unknown in Canada. It was he who introduced the first progressive orphanages—both for Jewish and for Catholic children—into Poland, founded the first national children’s newspaper, and testified on behalf of children in juvenile courts. His King Matt the First, Korczak’s story of a child-king who dreamed of organizing a children’s crusade to reform the world, is regarded in Poland with the reverence we in the West accord Peter Pan.

Janusz Korczak was a man who died as he lived, with the welfare and rights of children uppermost in his mind. UNESCO declared 1979 as the “Year of Janus Korczak,” yet few Canadians know about the man or his progressive ideas on education and children’s rights. The exhibit Janusz Korczak & The Children of the Warsaw Ghetto covers the life of Janusz Korczak. The exhibit also examines the experience and tragic fate of the children in the Warsaw Ghetto and how the violation of children’s rights during the Holocaust is reflected in the fight for children’s rights in the world today.

At 5:15pm during the reception, there will be a short presentation by special guest Olga Medvedeva-Nathoo, author of May Their Lot Be Lighter...Of Janusz Korczak and his pupil.

This exhibit will run from Wednesday, September 19th - Friday, October 19th. Special thanks to the Janusz Korczak Foundation and the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre for supporting this exhibit.

For more information go to:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

oct 27 | eric whitacre | vancouver chamber choir

I first heard "Leonardo Dreams Of His Flying Machine" at a VCC concert, and I was astonished. So gorgeous, ephemeral, mystical. Turns out he's the Cool Kid on the Choral Music Block, these days - pointy-jawed handsome, charming as heck. But there's good reason: his highly accessible music is also glorious. I know it's a big venue, but if you want to hear this guy conduct his own tunes, you better buy quick - it'll be sold out.

Vancouver Chamber Choir
The Orpheum

sat oct 27, 8pm

Composer Eric Whitacre is a true choral phenomenon. His music enchants singers and audiences everywhere and his Virtual Choir experiments on the Internet have fascinated music lovers around the world. Whitacre makes his first visit to Vancouver for this concert of his music, conducting the Chamber Choir alone, with instruments and also with student singers and choirs, for a veritable festival of choral moods and colours.

Eric Whitacre - Three Flower Songs
Eric Whitacre - Five Hebrew Love Songs
Eric Whitacre - A Boy and a Girl
Eric Whitacre - Leonardo Dreams of his Flying Machine
Eric Whitacre - Alleluia
Eric Whitacre - The City and the Sea
Eric Whitacre - The Seal Lullaby
Eric Whitacre - Cloudburst
Eric Whitacre - Sleep

Eric Whitacre, composer and conductor
Vancouver Chamber Choir
Pacifica Singers
Focus! Choir of College & University Singers
Special Whitacre Choir of Secondary School Singers
Lafayette String Quartet
Stephen Smith, piano


spitfire grill | photos

by James Valcq and Fred Alley

Sept 21-Oct 27

All photos by Damon Calderwood except the last three, taken by Francesca Albertazzi.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

sept 27 | improv comedy the quadrilateral | mike deboer, john voth, frank nickel

Our friends at Artisan are hosting another night of improv comedy and jazz music to benefit UGM featuring performances by SIDESHOW regulars Mike deBoer, Frank Nickel, Alison Chisholm, John Voth and music by CHRISTMAS PRESENCE folk Nelson Boschman and Kenton Wiens.

Improv Comedy: The Quadrilateral.
A Benefit for Union Gospel Mission.
September 27 | Doors: 7pm. Show: 8pm
Tickets $10 in advance, $15 at door
Buy tickets:

A night of comedy improv and jazz - so crazy it just might work.

Artisan Vancouver Church will host a benefit evening of clean improv comedy featuring Mike deBoer, Frank Nickel, John Voth and more, fresh off the stages of The Panic Squad, Bust a Gut, Pacific Theatre, TWU's 11:07, and the Vancouver TheatreSports League.

The classier portion of the evening will be provided by jazz trio Nelson Boschman (piano), Ben Appenheimer (double bass) and Kenton Wiens (drums).

All net proceeds will go to help Union Gospel Mission eradicate homelessness in Metro Vancouver. Give the gift of laughter to your friends and loved ones while helping UGM help Vancouver's hungry, hurting and homeless.

For more info on Artisan Vancouver Church, visit

For more info on Union Gospel Mission, visit

Monday, September 17, 2012

we make stuff

There's a new book in town!  It's called We Make Stuff and it features 100 Vancouver artists of faith, including our own Ron Reed and Kaitlin Williams, plus PT friends Nelson Boschman, Lance Odegard, Anna Vandas, Mack Gordon and more...  This is a made-to-order, crowd-sourced type deal, so if you want one, go to their Indiegogo page and send in your order!  Their info below.

WeMakeStuff Volume 01 is a book showcasing 100 artists and innovators from Vancouver as they navigate the collision of creativity and faith. Crowd-fund your copy from Sept 15-Oct 15 at

This book is a joint effort, created and financed by the artists featured in the book along with their support networks and people like you. Through this far-reaching community we will share our unique and collaborative efforts with like-minded people throughout British Columbia, across the country, and beyond on an annual basis. This is year one; volume one... we look forward to building an anthology of truly inspired creative work.

Crowd-funding through Indiegogo opens September 15 and runs for one month, until October 15. This initiative is all about pre-ordering the book so that the book can actually go to print. In this way, as I order my copy of WeMakeStuff Volume 01, I am not only ensuring that I get a copy of the book, but I am enabling the book to exist, becoming a part of the team who is making stuff happen. WeMakeStuff is all about creatives coming together and supporting each other. It is an initiative to bridge the gap that too often exists between the church and the creativity we have all been invested with. If there was one thing I would say to someone who didn’t feel like WeMakeStuff was about them or for them, it would be this: we are the same, created in His image with the ability to create. Create alongside me or support me as I do, and let’s spread the kingdom with the gifts and inspirations we’ve been given.

All 100 artists/creatives featured in the book will be pre-ordering their books, as will many of the development team. We hope you will join us and make it happen. Any questions, please message us on our Facebook page, or email

spitfire grill | director's notes

Notes from THE SPITFIRE GRILL's director Kerry van der Griend.

Stuck. Seems most of us have been there, in some area of our lives: broken dreams; ill health; lost relationship; missed direction. Sometimes a trauma is perpetrated upon us. Other times we regret words or actions of our own doing. And sometimes things just happen. But we re-live that experience in our mind and body, allow it to dominate our present, tense. As one psychologist put it, “The cognitive difference between humans and animals is animals can forget.” Humans remember. And humans have the power of imagination, which allows us to create. We create connections with others, we create objects of use or beauty, we create things or ideas to make our lives better. Untrammeled, our creative power may dominate, taking us for a ride or locking us in a dark mental prison. Or it may be far less dramatic: the doldrums of habit or routine can sink into malaise over years or decades. Stuck.

In The Spitfire Grill we meet a young woman with a troubled past (stuck) who wants to start anew. She chooses a small town from a travel book picture: “Fall colors over Gilead Wisconsin. . .” A new image, a new idea. And very soon we learn that the people of Gilead are (also stuck).

Growth requires change.

We humans (some of us) court ambivalence to the tension between stasis and change. We want security, to know some thing for certain. Yet change is part of the universal design: things constantly are born, grow, move, decay, die, and are reborn into something new. If we harness the power of imagination we can change, grow, re-imagine & re-create ourselves. I like to call it forgiveness work.

If there is stuck-ness, there is forgiveness work to do.

Forgiveness of others, of oneself, of actions or events. Forgiveness is a choice. To let go. Move on. Open to something new.

We humans. . . our essential nature… is it bad?

Or. . .

Sept 21-Oct 27

oct 1 & 2 | leaps and bounds

A one woman show that combines scripture and social justice issues using dance and story. Pretty cool!

LEAPS AND BOUNDS is a one woman show about the intersection of faith, ecology and the global economy.

Accessing the transformative power of art, Leaps and Bounds weaves together biblical and personal narrative, dance, music, and a touch of economic theory to address the driving factors of our ecological crisis while awakening the imagination to a new way of living with and relating to Earth.

“Drawing from the best of modern biblical scholarship, this show embodies the values of a God-centered world where everyone has enough, everyone has a seat at the table, and we give back to the Earth God gave us” (Von Clemans, Associate Pastor at Myers Park Presbyterian Church).

With foot stomping songs, playful humor, daring dance sequences and vulnerable honesty, this show will draw the audience along a compelling journey, and ultimately articulate a hope that we can all share. The show is for all ages.

Please forward this invitation and display the attached poster to let your community know about this exciting opportunity.

Monday, October 1st @ 7:00 pm
Grandview Calvary Baptist Church
1803 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver

Tuesday, October 2nd @ 7:00 pm
Langley Mennonite Fellowship
20997 - 40th Avenue, Langley

Cost: Sliding Scale $5 - $20 (tickets available in advance or at the door)

Co-sponsored by: Streams of Justice; A Rocha B.C.; North Vancouver Anglican Justice Group; Centre for Christian Leadership at Vancouver School of Theology

For info and tickets visit

Sunday, September 16, 2012

sep 30 | martyn joseph | black hen at electric owl

One of the great concert experiences of my life was Martyn Joseph at Cap College, maybe five years ago, maybe a bit more? An extraordinary presence onstage, his voice an instrument that makes you wonder what those legendary choirs of Welsh coal miners must have sounded like a hundred years ago. Astonishing to see how beloved this man is in the hard-core far-lefty folk music scene, and how outspoken about his (admittedly hard-core far-lefty) Christian faith. Add to that the fact that Steve Dawson (who you may have heard on the PT stage once or twice) is one of the best players and band-leaders you'll ever hear, and that his band (much overlap with the players on the phenomenal Mississippi Sheiks project) is glorious fun to watch and listen to, AND that the Electric Owl is one of the best places for intimate live music in the city...  This just shouldn't be missed.

A monthly acoustic concert series in Vancouver, BC. Steve Dawson and the Black Hen House Band collaborate with a different artist each month to bring you a unique, acoustic-based concert! September's concert features Martyn Joseph, with Steve Dawson, Daniel Lapp, Keith Lowe, and Jesse Cahill in the band. Wow.

tickets are going fast

Saturday, September 15, 2012

sep 27 - oct 27 | master class | gina chiarelli

When I think of the loosely defined community of artists who are Pacific Theatre, Gina is one of the first who comes to mind. Agnes Of God, The Fever, Prodigal Son, The Busy World Is Hushed - all memorable performances in substantial, challenging shows. You will get another chance to see her on the PT stage before long, in Compassionate Bone's production of Mother Teresa Is Dead next spring. But if you can't wait that long for your Chiarelli fix...

by Terrence McNally
Sep 22 - Oct 22
The Arts Club, Granville Island Stage
Info + tickets

Gina Chiarelli stars as Maria Callas, the legendary singer Leonard Bernstein called “The Bible of opera.” This Tony Award–winning play opens in a master class at Juilliard, where the world’s greatest soprano is more interested in teaching life lessons than opera. The tempestuous yet vulnerable diva muses on her past—her transformation from stocky to sleek, triumphs at La Scala, feuds with rival singers, and a doomed affair with billionaire Aristotle Onassis. Not only a tribute to the star, Master Class is also a statement on the nature of art and the sacrifices we make for it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

sept 28 | voices for peace

A free concert to celebrate the UN International Day of Peace at Regent College. Message from the creators below.

Our world is in the midst of great political, religious and cultural unrest. A significant response to this crisis is the development of Peace Studies programs in countries around the world. Over 400 universities in many countries have introduced Peace Studies into their curriculum.

When cultures and civilizations fall apart, they fall into violence. In 1981, the United Nations Gen. Assembly announced the establishment of the International Day of Peace on September 21 of every year thereafter. The "Voices of Peace" concert which commemorates and strengthens the ideals of peace is scheduled for September 28 at Regent College on the UBC campus, Vancouver.

The "Voices for Peace" concert will feature the internationally acclaimed poet and scientist from England reading his original compositions. It will also feature the University of Western Washington music faculty members including John Friesen, cellist, pianist Jeffrey Gilliam, and violinist Walter Schwede playing music from Brahms, Massenet, Kreisler, A.Part and others.

This free concert will address the interconnected pathways to peace that transcend national, racial, ethnic, age or gender differences. Using the art forms of poetry and music, the concert will celebrate the meaning of peace. "Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding" wrote Albert Einstein. Similar sentiments are expressed by others. Jesus said; "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God". Mother Teresa insisted, "If you have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other". Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, " It is not enough to say we must not wage war, it is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it". Benjamin Franklin commented, "Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbours, and let every new year find you a better man".

Sept. 28 at 8pm
Regent College

oct 12-20 | holy mo

Remember that crazy little play using three clowns to tell the story of Exodus? What's it called, HOLY MO?  It's being produced again, this time by a brand new company called Meta Theatre (run by TWU's Aaron Caleb and Julia Church).

The Old Testament tale of Moses like you’ve never seen or heard it before! Three clowns re-enact the story of moses using singing, physical comedy and a wagon full of props.

Only Six Performances!!!

October 12-13th & 19-20th @ 7pm Fridays and Saturdays, 2pm matinee on Saturdays.

Performances at Living Waters Church in Fort Langley, BC. Tickets available at the door (cash only) or online HERE.

sept 16 | ordo virtutum

A fantastic opportunity to see a rarely produced piece by Hildegard von Bingen.

Hildegard von Bingen was one of the pre-eminent figures of 12th century Europe. Abbess, mystic, healer, naturalist, author and composer, Hildegard influenced the lives of the powerful in both Church and state and left a legacy of music, art and writing that is as eclectic as that of Leonardo da Vinci. In the last few years, much of her music has been re-discovered and recorded.

Her musical drama, Ordo virtutum (The Way of the Virtues) is the earliest known medieval drama of its kind and is rarely performed. Ordo virtutum dramatizes the struggle between the virtues and the devil for the soul of a young novice It may have been first performed by Hildegard’s nuns on the occasion of the dedication of her new abbey at St. Rupertsberg (near Bingen on the Rhine River).

The performers: The Ordo Collective, an all female ensemble, is a gifted group of Edmonton-based professional and semi-professional singers under the direction of Eva Bostrand. “These women can sing!”

Ordo Virtutum
Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver (690 Burrard Street, Vancouver)
Advance Tickets: Adults $20; Students/Seniors $15
At the door: Adults $25; Students/Seniors $20

Monday, September 10, 2012

volunteer training and appreciation day

Last weekend we had a stellar volunteer training afternoon, followed by a lovely appreciation BBQ at Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotel. Thank you to all our volunteers for coming out!

spitfire grill | advance photos

The advance photos for THE SPITFIRE GRILL!

Photos by Damon Calderwood.

Sept 21-Oct 27

Saturday, September 08, 2012

fringe | gadfly: sam steiner dodges the draft

Here's a Fringe find!  Mennonites, peace, swell poster. Oh, and check out the Theatre Of The Beat website: "Through performance and lifestyles founded in Beatniks, Beatitudes, the Beaten down, and in those moments where we stop and take a Beat to think, we actually have the audacity to believe that we can make this world a more peaceful place."

Gadfly: Sam Steiner Dodges the Draft

Sep 8 - 5:00 PM
Sep 9 - 12:10 PM
Sep 12 - 6:45 PM
Sep 13 - 8:35 PM
Sep 15 - 7:15 PM

Company: Theatre of the Beat
Duration: 60 minutes
Categories: Comedy, Drama, New Work
Revue Stage

Based on the compelling true story of Sam Steiner, an American draft dodger, Gadfly follows a rebel student as he flees to Canada during the Vietnam War. Sam runs from his conservative Mennonite upbringing amidst the political realities of the ‘60s.

"[This story] will inspire further generations to work for peace and justice." —Canadian Mennonite Magazine

(thanks, Rosie...)

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

spitfire grill | artistic director's notes

These days, all the talk in the arts community is about "community engagement" - building a real relationship with our audiences and communities, being interactive and responsive, so that the work we do really matters to the people it serves. Kinda sounds like Pacific Theatre, that's what I think.

And I guess SPITFIRE GRILL is a case in point. Last season at a Martyn Joseph concert I was talking with a couple who are long-time subscribers. PT is their "date night" - though they almost apologetically admitted that most of our shows aren't exactly "date movies." What - REFUGE OF LIES, MOURNING DOVE, JESUS HOPPED THE 'A' TRAIN? That's not romantic? What do we have to do for these people!

But yeah, I got it. Obviously, challenging, risk-taking, "morally rigorous" plays are part of what makes PT the company it is. Still… Where's the TALLEY'S FOLLY, the DRIVING MISS DAISY, the WONDERFUL LIFE lately? Because one of the other things theatre is good at is making us feel great. Making us feel alive.

Almost on the spot, I decided it was time for SPITFIRE GRILL. Audiences love this play! So do long-time Pacific Theatre artists Kerry Vander Griend and Damon Calderwood, who've both produced shows in our season, as well as directing and acting in PT productions. So I played matchmaker, they loved the idea, and…

I think we've struck a bit more of a balance this season. We added another comedy night - watch for FUNNY STUFF in the spring - and this fall Peter 'n' Chris will be back to add the flat-out hilarity of another hit Fringe show to the mix of improv comedy we call SIDESHOW.

We've brought back THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE for a visit in December, and added a couple more nights of CHRISTMAS PRESENCE so fewer people get turned away. WITTENBERG is jam-packed with ideas, sure, but it's sassy and silly and not above stooping to a cheap gag now and then. And there's a wonderful, warm humour to our season closer, HOW TO WRITE A NEW BOOK FOR THE BIBLE.

Okay, so LEAVE OF ABSENCE and MOTHER TERESA are pretty darn substantial plays. I'll give you that. But while Lucia's play is closer to ESPRESSO than to HOLY MO or CHICKENS, you know the Frangione take on tthe world balances even the darkest things with flashes of light, lightness and grace. And MOTHER TERESA - wow, can Helen Edmundson tell a story! Remember THE CLEARING? She writes the theatrical equivalent of page-turners.

I'd be stretching things to say it's "Date Night Season" at Pacific Theatre - I'm afraid there's not a romcom in the bunch. But will you have your spirits lifted, at least as often as your entire worldview is shattered? I think so.

Have fun.


sep 19 | william kurelek | the maze | cinematheque

William Kurelek was a Canadian painter whose Christian faith survived severe childhood trauma and resulting mental illness. His Northern Nativity is a favourite of mine: the images can be seen in this YouTube video (though the music seems ill-suited to the spare images: I'd recommend turning off the volume).

William Kurelek’s The Maze
USA 1969/2011
Directors: Robert M Young, David Grubin [Re-imagined by Nick Young, Zack Young]
Colour, Blu-ray Disc. 60 mins.

Pacific Cinematheque
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 7:30pm

Canadian painter William Kurelek (1927-1977) may be best known for his beautiful illustrations of bucolic children’s classics (Who Has Seen the Wind?, A Prairie Boy’s Winter) and his landscapes of Ukrainian-Canadian prairie life, but it is his disturbing early work and difficult upbringing that is the subject of this intriguing documentary.

Born on a hardscrabble Alberta farm, the oldest of seven children of stern immigrant parents, the sensitive, artistic Kurelek was an outsider from an early age. Bullied at school and at home, especially by his fearsome father Dmytro, William left the farm as soon as he could. Settling in London in 1952, he sought help at the Maudsley Psychiatric Hospital, an institution at the forefront of the art therapy movement. Kurelek was provided not only with treatment but space in which to paint. He created terrifying works with nightmarish and surreal imagery reminiscent of Bosch and Bruegel — including, in 1953, “The Maze,” a depiction of his tortured youth.

In 1969, the award-winning American filmmaker Robert M. Young co-directed a short documentary on Kurelek and “psychotic art.” Using original interviews, a new score, and modern digital animation techniques to give Kurelek’s paintings dimension and movement, filmmakers Nick and Zack Young have remastered and expanded their father’s original film into a comprehensive and insightful portrait of the artist as a young man.

PS Van Halen used the painting for the album cover on Fair Warning (1981). There's a good article on that cover here. From that article...

"The vividly brutal imagery contained in “The Maze” is remarkably different from the paintings sequel, entitled “Out Of The Maze”, painted after the artist’s recovery. This second painting reflects a pastoral countryside, as well as an artist no longer as deeply disturbed, with his wife and children enjoying a happy family picnic. However, all is not as idyllic as a first glance might suggest. An empty, open skull in the bottom left hand corner is a reminder of the psychological prison from which the artist has escaped and the impending storm on the far right horizon hints at Kurelek’s premonition that the world was heading for a nuclear holocaust."