Thursday, January 30, 2014

measure for measure | more photos

More photos from MEASURE FOR MEASURE, playing until Feb. 8th!

Peter Anderson

Katharine Venour

Ted Cole

Julie McIsaac

Pippa Johnstone

Simon Webb

Amelia Gordon

measure for measure | responses

"Go see this play, Measure for Measure is considered one of the problem plays, and it is problematic. It’s uncomfortable, nuanced, and it refuses to offer simple morality. Those elements can either be the thing that makes the play brilliant, or a muddled mess. The production by Honest Fishmongers is on the side of brilliance." | Alexandra, The Play's the Thing

"Having studied the play at University of Winnipeg and seen productions of it before I loved Shakespeare all over again. Thanks for a lovely night of classical theatre done well. The Honest Fishmongers are a delight." | William Hay, Blog

"There is such talent and clarity of story in the Honest Fishmongers production of Measure for Measure it is never a ‘problem’. ... This cast is tremendous. And even as I wished for a little more lechery early-on from Simon Webb as Angelo, his contrition in the end is immensely heartfelt and redeeming moment of the play. Peter Anderson makes much of his Lucio and Julie McIsaac embraces the contradictions of her Isabella with skill. Michael Fera is a study in contrasts with a delightfully buffoonish Elbow and a tempered and reasonable Provost." | Mark Robins, GayVancouver.Net

"Well done, to the players of The Honest Fishmongers and Pacific Theatre for presenting another twist on a classic favourite." | Erin Jane, Review Vancouver

"Under Bennett’s direction all of the acting is admirable. Michael Fera impresses as both the compassionate prison Provost and the ridiculous constable, Elbow. Alison Kelly brings rock-solid authority to Escalus, the court advisor; Jeff Gladstone is moving as Claudio; and Katharine Venour brings touching depth to Mariana, a woman who is haplessly in love with Angelo." | Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

"The superb casting gives the audience fantastic guides through this story. While all players were faultless in bringing their characters to life, Peter Anderson’s perfect comedic timing as Lucio was particularly brilliant, and most helpful in striking the balance between the dark and light elements. … Though perhaps difficult to imagine, I attended a play about serious moral questions and had fun while doing it. I hope that you will imagine no further, and, instead, visit this dazzling production yourself." Robin Lawrence, The MB Herald

"If anyone can make power-mad, dissolute Angelo look repentant at the end of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, it’s Simon Webb. Woebegone, eyes averted, he speaks the lines, “Immediate sentence then, and sequent death/Is all the grace I beg” with such sincerity, Webb does tug a little on the heartstrings." | Jo Ledingham, The Vancouver Courier

"To reflect the murky subterranean currents of psychology and plot, director Bennett and designers Shizuka Kai and Graham Ockley have lit Pacific Theatre’s basement like a cave, marking each corner of the stage with a dozen small candles. Whenever an actor claps twice, the full lights go off, leaving only the candles to light the play. Each actor also holds a candle near his or her face. The visual effect is a handsome chiaroscuro, like a Michelangelo painting." | Jerry Wasserman, The Province

"This production is well worth checking out. Chances are you won’t experience the Bard in an atmosphere more intimate and collegial than this. Kevin Bennett and The Honest Fishmongers deliver a fine product and show great promise for the future." | Tony Grant, Vancouver Vantage

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

measure for measure | 8 shakespearean facts

Since this is our first time bringing the Bard to our stage for a very long time, it seemed like a great idea to indulge in some background information about the man behind MEASURE FOR MEASURE. Here are eight facts about dear old William:

  1. Shakespeare lived to 52. It is known that he was born in April 1564 and that he died on 23rd April 1616. We know that he was baptized on 26th April 1564 and scholars now believe that he was born on April 23rd. He therefore died on his fifty-second birthday, coinciding with St George’s Day.
  2. Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway when he was 18. She was 26 and she was pregnant when they married. Their first child was born six months after the wedding.
  3. Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway had three children together – a son, Hamnet, who died in 1596, and two daughters, Susanna and Judith. His only granddaughter Elizabeth – daughter of Susanna – died childless in 1670. Shakespeare therefore has no descendants.
  4. Shakespeare died a rich man. He made several gifts to various people but left his property to his daughter, Susanna. The only mention of his wife in Shakespeare’s own will is: “I gyve unto my wief my second best bed with the furniture”. The “furniture” was the bedclothes for the bed.
  5. Shakespeare was buried in the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon. He put a curse on anyone daring to move his body from that final resting place. His epitaph was, Good friend for Jesus’ sake forbear,
 To dig the dust enclosed here: 
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
 And curst be he that moves my bones.  Though it was customary to dig up the bones from previous graves to make room for others, Shakespeare’s remains are still undisturbed.
  6. During his life, Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets! This means an average 1.5 plays a year since he first started writing in 1589. His last play The Two Noble Kinsmen is reckoned to have been written in 1613 when he was 49 years old. While he was writing the plays at such a pace he was also conducting a family life, a social life and a full business life, running an acting company and a theatre.
  7. Shakespeare’s profession was acting. He is listed in documents of 1592, 1598 and 1603 as an actor. We know that he acted in a Ben Jonson play and also in his own plays but it’s thought that, as a very busy man, writing, managing the theatre and commuting between London and his home in Stratford where is family was, he didn’t undertake big parts. There is evidence that he played the ghost in Hamlet and Adam in As You Like It.
  8. Shakespeare is the second most quoted writer in the English language – after the various writers of the Bible.

jan 28-feb 1 | new generations | twu

Our friends at TWU's SAMC are putting on another round of NEW GENERATIONS this weekend, and they've made a fun trailer to get us excited.


THE ESCAPER’S SONG by Jessica Walters
If you could leave the drudgery of everyday life behind, and disappear forever into an exotic new world…would you do it?
Directed by Charissa Hurt. Stage managed by Mikayla Wust. Featuring Alice Best, Mackenzie Cameron, Alec Gloanec, and Keenan Marchand.

HERE by Erik deLange
A young couple’s grief dissolves into a dream world of love made new, memories made beautiful, and a forest where the wild things are.
Directed by Amy Dauer. Stage managed by Mackenzie Johnson. Featuring Graham Boldt, Emily Herbison, Rena Iwasaki, Jordan Klassen, Esther Owobowale, and Sam Ravensbergen.

FEMINIST FAN CLUB by Dillon Dean James
Welcome to The Feminist Fan Club, where the cookies are gluten-free and the politics are devoured with a touch of sass.
Directed by Matthew Wigmore. Stage managed by Hannah Stover. Featuring Graeme Geddes, Amara Gelaude, and Rachael Norman.

Tickets and info here.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

feb 6-22 | michael kopsa in 'art' | richmond gateway

Michael Kopsa has a long history of memorable roles in quintessential Pacific Theatre shows. Hospitality Suite, Shadowlands, The Woodsman, and his Jessie-awarded turn as Satan in The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot. Now he's at The Gateway - longtime home of Pacific Theatre before we opened our own space at 12th and Hemlock - in Yasmina Reza's widely-produced three-actor play...


If friendship is based on common likes and values, what happens when someone does something outrageous? Serge spends 200,000 francs on an all-white painting and inadvertently lobs a grenade into his circle of friends. Marc is enraged Serge would blow his money on something he judges to be worthless. Yvan wants to remain neutral, but just adds fuel to the fire by not taking a stand. Get ready for fireworks as friendships implode in this Tony Award-winning black comedy.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

jan 24-26 jan 31st- feb 2 | human library | maki yi, rudi krause

Associated Artist Maki Yi and dear PT friend Rudi Krause are involved in THE HUMAN LIBRARY as part of the PuSh Festival. Take out a human book and have an interactive experience where you can learn about someone very different from you. Borrow a book, discover a person. 
Enter the Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch and head up to the third floor where a special PuSh Festival circulation desk will register you with your own human library card and offer to lend you one of thirty possible human books. Choose from a variety of titles. Sign one out and be connected to the person behind that title. A 20-minute one-on-one conversation will begin and the rest is up to you.
THE HUMAN LIBRARY initiative is an international phenomenon, started in Copenhagen as a project to fight hate in communities. It is designed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and encourage understanding. By connecting people who under normal circumstances might not have had a chance to just sit down and talk, the library enables groups to break stereotypes by challenging common prejudices in a positive and humorous manner.
Presented by the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival and grunt gallery.

Jan.  24-26, 31, Feb. 1-2
Noon – 5 p.m.
Level 3
Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street

Friday, January 24, 2014

measure for measure | theatre club tomorrow

Tomorrow is our next Theatre Club. A great way to dig a little deeper on our plays, already known for creating discussion (and maybe the occasional debate). Come get Shakespearean with us!

Saturday Jan 25th at 4:45pm - following the matinee

Discussion guide available to download here.

measure for measure | preparing the script

Director Kevin Bennett spends a lot of time researching and preparing the script for all his Shakespeare productions, and MEASURE FOR MEASURE is no different.  Here's some shots of his workspace in the months leading up to the show.  Just a few different versions of the script, a few commentary texts… or a desk full.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

missions fest | we make stuff | artists panel

Vancouver's Missions Fest is taking place this weekend, Jan 24th-26th. On Saturday, Kaitlin (our community engagement manager), will be at the We Make Stuff booth chatting about Pacific Theatre. She'll also be on a panel of artists later in the day. If you're at Missions Fest this weekend, pop by and say hi! Details below:

Panel Discussion: Artists Unnoticed - How can the church engage the arts community in Vancouver?
When: Saturday Jan 25th at 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Where: Missions Fest, 999 Canada Place Vancouver, Rm 19
Hosted by: We Make Stuff

More info:

one little accident | jeff gladstone

Jeff Gladstone is performing in MEASURE FOR MEASURE (opening this Friday!), but this fellah has been busy putting together a music career.  He'll be releasing his full-length album Hell of a Girl on April 19 at the Rio Theatre, but in the meantime, you want to check out the music video for his single "One Little Accident Away".

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

measure for measure | 6 unexpected canadian laws

In MEASURE FOR MEASURE the trouble arises when Angelo enforces a law that, while technically on the books, had not been enforced for a long while.  This made me think - what laws are hiding in Canada's Criminal Code that have been forgotten, or perhaps ignored?  Turns out there are a host of laws in our country that would surprise everyone if they were suddenly enforced (although perhaps not quite as dramatically as in MEASURE FOR MEASURE).

1. Comic books that depict illegal acts are banned by the criminal code.

This law came into effect after WWII with a rash of "crime comics" that were somewhat graphic in their depictions of crimes and were feared to increase juvenile delinquency.  However, technically most (if not all) super hero comics would actually fall under this law, as well as an educational graphic novel about Louis Riel.

2. In Nova Scotia, it is against the law to water your lawn in the rain.

Not sure why you would, but don't.

3. In Ottawa, it is illegal to eat ice cream on Bank Street on a Sunday.

There are actually a lot of laws restricting activities on Sundays - this one is the funniest though.  Who wouldn't want an ice cream?

4. In Petrolia, Ontario "yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling, or singing is prohibited at all times."

The law was actually put in place to keep people quiet from 12am-7am, but for some reason those stipulations were left out of the law in favour of the all-encompassing "at all times."  Sounds like you need to keep a lid on the fun in Petrolia.

5. In Souris, PEI it is illegal to build a snowman taller than 30 inches.

Apparently there were problems with giant snowmen running amok.

6. In BC it's illegal to kill a Sasquatch.

Perhaps actually intended to protect other large animals that might be mistaken for Sasquatch by an over-eager monster hunter.  Or maybe our fabled Sasquatch is an endangered species - there is allegedly just one of him, after all.

Monday, January 20, 2014

measure for measure | opening night

We had a great time at opening of MEASURE FOR MEASURE on Friday night!  Here's some shots from the post-show reception.

The directing team! Kevin Bennett (Director) and Katrina Darychuk (Assistant Director).

PT Staffers Cara Cunningham and Alison Chisholm with their partners.

Season Apprentice and Actor Pippa Johnstone with a group of friends.

Actor Michael Fera with Tanja Dixon-Warren.

Actor Simon Webb with our Artistic Director Ron Reed.
Actor Ted Cole with Costume Designer Christopher David Gauthier.

Kevin Bennett and Katrina Darychuk with Set Designer Shizuka Kai and Actor Julie McIsaac.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

measure for measure | weekday matinee

Need to add a little Elizabethan flair to your work week?  Stop by PT for a weekday matinee of MEASURE FOR MEASURE!

Weekday Matinee: Thursday, January 23 at 2pm
To book:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

jan 15 | jonny lang concert

Blues-rocker prodigy Jonny Lang is coming to town! He will be playing at the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam on Saturday January 18th. Jonny Lang is regarded as one of the best live performers and guitar players of his generation! Find more information at the Church for Vancouver blog following a segment on thePT/Honest Fishmonger's Measure for Measure publicity protest march. 

measure for measure | an interview with ron reed

A brief interview with Artistic Director Ron Reed about MEASURE FOR MEASURE.

Pacific Theatre is not exactly known for working with the classics or Shakespeare. Why this play?

This is a play that I wanted to produce when I first thought about having a theatre company with a faith mandate. I was at CalArts thirty years ago and I did some scene work from it and went ‘if I ever had a theatre company, we would do that play!’ It’s such a complex, in-your-face challenge about moral quandaries.

How does MEASURE FOR MEASURE connect with Pacific Theatre’s faith mandate?

I believe that Isabella is one of the great characters of faith in all literature.  She chooses a life of faith, but when her own devotion, her own commitment to her faith jeopardizes her brother’s life, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

When I studied the play at theatre school, I read an essay by G. Wilson Knight called "Measure for Measure and the Gospels."  The title of the play itself is a quote from Jesus about forgiveness – the measure you give is the measure you’ll receive.

This is one of Shakespeare’s most explicitly spiritual plays. It's explicitly about the life of faith colliding with a different set of values and expectations.

How does this play connect with our contemporary culture?

The situation Isabella finds herself in couldn’t be more contemporary - that toxic blend of sex and power is constantly in front of us.

There is a problem that arises when people in power use that power to force people into difficult situations – specifically, men in positions of power using that power with a sexual expectation. This is a very real problem today; it simply has not been fixed yet.

I’m also a believer that some things are an issue in human lives all the time, and these questions are an issue in human lives all the time. So it does have a particular contemporary edge, but even without that, it is a deeply human story.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

jan 14 | word becomes flesh: thoughts on theatre and faith |ron reed & regent college

Have you ever wondered where the roots of  Pacific Theatre's mandate lie? In this candid interview with Artistic Director Ron Reed you'll learn about a relationship between faith and art that lies at the core of what we do. Regent College's Tim Bratton brings Ron back to the beginning; to his decision to pursue theatre while studying New Testament Greek at Regent College. Ron talks about the relevance of theatre in our culture today, his personal experience being a Christian and an artist, and the correlation between faith and storytelling. 

"It’s not a coincidence that in theatre, you take the words of a script and you enflesh them—you live them out. If that doesn’t sound familiar to people, they haven’t read their New Testament lately. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” [John 1:14] God wouldn’t have done that if it wasn’t the best way, and there’s an echo of that in my craft." 

The full interview is found at the Regent World website  

measure for measure | pay-what-you-can preview

There are TWO pay-what-you-can previews for MEASURE FOR MEASURE - tonight and tomorrow.

Pay-What-You-Can Preview
Thursday, January 15 & 16th at 8pm
(reserve in advance for $13.99 or pay-what-you-can at the door)

When Vienna’s ruthless morality laws are revived during the Duke’s absence, a young nun is confronted with a terrible ultimatum: her soul for her brother’s life. A surprisingly contemporary tale of scandal, abuse of power, and the balance of justice with grace.

Directed by Kevin Bennett
Featuring Simon Webb, Julie McIsaac, Peter Anderson, Katharine Venour, Ted Cole, Alison Kelly, Michael Fera, Jeff Gladstone, Emmelia Gordon, and Pippa Johnstone.

“Kevin Bennett proves once again that he is one of the most interesting and innovative young talents in town.” Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

ovation awards | connected the musical | alison chisholm

Congratulations to our Operations Manager and Producer Alison Chisholm!  Her musical CONNECTED, THE MUSICAL, has been nominated for three Ovation Awards: Best Direction (Chris Lam), Best Set Design (Lauchlin Johnston), and Best Original Creation.  Plus, they'll be performing the song "Am I Really" at the awards on January 26th.  Go team!

measure for measure | protest march video

Last week the team from MEASURE FOR MEASURE took to the streets to promote the show through a mock protest of Angelo's oppressive regime.  Here's the video they made of the event, plus a few more pictures.

Monday, January 13, 2014

measure for measure | subscriber appreciation saturday

Our first Subscriber Appreciation Saturday of 2014!  For MEASURE FOR MEASURE we'll have director Kevin Bennett and Artistic Director Ron Reed discussing all things Shakespeare, including the many interpretations of the Bard's work, as well as the theological connections in MEASURE FOR MEASURE.

Subscriber Appreciation Saturday
Saturday, January 18th at approx. 4:45pm
(following the matinee performance)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

january 23 - february 20 | square foot prayer | regent college

Have you ever been to an artistic prayer labyrinth? A number of artists from Regent College are putting together an art and prayer combination that you don't want to miss. Pacific Theatre has many ties to the artistic community at Regent College and we are excited about this unique exhibit. 

The Lookout Gallery's next exhibit is SQUARE FOOT PRAYER: A Regent Community Art Project open from January 23rd - February 20th.

The SQUARE FOOT PRAYER project is an artistic prayer labyrinth hosting a compilation of artwork done by members of the Regent community. Each artist has created a square foot prayer window—a visual and symbolic representation of the artist’s prayer. The hope is that it will prompt onlookers to pray as they gaze. To participate, please come and give yourself time to pray through this exhibit. We encourage you to bring a non-perishable food item that will go to support Jacob’s Well on the Downtown Eastside. 

Lookout Gallery 

5800 University Blvd

January 23 - Feb 20

Mon - Fri  8:30am - 5pm
Sat  12pm - 4pm 

Friday, January 10, 2014

measure for measure | costume preview

Christopher David Gauthier is the man behind the costumes for MEASURE FOR MEASURE, and he stepped up to a big challenge: to somehow combine Elizabethan and contemporary style.  Here's a sneak peek at some of the inspirations he drew on and the design drawings he came up with.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

vancouver sketch fest | peter carlone | jan 23-25

Pacific Theatre audiences will remember Peter Carlone from his many hilarious roles on our stage. He has joined us at SIDESHOW the past two seasons as one half of the comedy duo Peter 'n Chris, he was featured in FUNNY STUFF last year, and who could forget his turn as Ellard in this year's THE FOREIGNER?

Now Peter is donning a new hat as Artistic Director of Vancouver's Sketch Comedy Festival coming up January 23rd-25th. More info about the festival below:

This January our city will be overrun with Canadian funny folks as Vancouver Sketch Comedy Festival offers professional workshops for aspiring comics and a full weekend of laughs!

The Vancouver Sketch Comedy Festival (Sketch Fest) is returning to Granville Island this month with a host of hilarious characters guaranteed to tickle your funny bone. Over three days and ten show-times, 27 hilarious groups of comedians perform some of the best comedy you’ll see this year from all across the country.

Sketch Fest’s line-up is curated by Artistic Director, and Canadian Sketch Comedy Award Winner, Peter Carlone. Artists include Canadian Comedy Award nominees Hip. Bang!, Hot Thespian, Action, Morgan Brayton and Mark and Kyle and, of course, Peter n’ Chris. Acts will be coming to Vancouver to perform from all over Canada and the USA. From across the pond England’s critically acclaimed comedy duo James and Jamesey will also be making an appearance.

Tickets are on sale now for Sketch Fest’s workshops as well as each of the ten show times on Granville Island. Early bird tickets are amazingly priced at $8 while lollygaggers will have to pay a mere $15 for each performance. Scheduling, sketch group biographies, workshop details and more can all be found at

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

measure for measure | words of the day

The team from MEASURE FOR MEASURE have taken over our green room!  Every day they post a new "Word of the Day" on the board, as well as any questions people have about the referenced scene. Take a peek at some of the words of the day and get some insight into what themes and traits are key to this production.