Monday, March 31, 2014

may 26-30 | restoring story in worship | jeff barker

As usual, Regent College is hosting a great series of summer courses this year, and one of them is taught by Jeff Barker.  Jeff is a superb teacher, as well as dramatist and director, and will definitely bring something of note to Regent this summer!

May 26-30

Every church has wonderful stories that are not being told. This course asks why churches must tell their stories and provides specific tools for including story within worship—primarily biblical storytelling, personal testimonies, and local church history. Explore the dramatic anthology of the ancient Hebrew people and examine practical tools for restaging these biblical works for contemporary culture.

Info and registration here.

the seafarer | closing

Happy closing and a sad farewell to the team of THE SEAFARER!

Top: Ron Reed, John Innes, John Emmet Tracy, Tim Dixon, Andrew McNee
Bottom: Anthony F. Ingram, Jethelo E. Cabilete, Kenton Klassen

Friday, March 28, 2014

the seafarer | interview with ron reed

An interview with AD Ron Reed about THE SEAFARER.

How did The Seafarer come to be in the season?

There is along tradition at Pacific Theatre of many of our best shows coming from people in the Pacific Theatre circle seeing a show somewhere and bringing the script and saying “Ron! You need to do this one!” And this is one of them. David Jennings, who is a long-time attender, the super-fan of Pacific Theatre, came back from New York after having seen The Seafarer and brought me a copy of the script and said “you gotta do this.” When I read it it was clear, he was completely right.

What do you love about the play?

It’s dark, but it’s also screamingly funny. One of those “I can’t believe I’m laughing at this” funny kind of plays. If people want to think of the range it’s in, it’s like In Bruges, or other plays by Martin McDonagh. The language is crude, the characters are coarse, and the humour is in those very things. What makes the play more than just brash and abrasive is that it’s absolutely looking at these events with a spiritual, even supernatural, lens.

Pacific Theatre often builds its season around the artists – how does this play fit in to that method?

We have built our 30th anniversary season, more than ever, around our artists.

We’re bringing back Tim Dixon, who may not be known to this generation of PT audiences, but anybody that goes back 15 years remembers Tim vividly. He was a member of the rep company that we established for three seasons when we first opened at Holy Trinity in 1994.

John Innes was, before PT began, one of the few voices I could find who was a theatre professional and a person of faith. At that time Christians really didn’t go into professional theatre, and that’s where I felt called and John was one of two people I found who knew that world and was encouraging about it. So before PT was conceived he was a significant voice. John and I have wanted to work together for a really long time. He’s a very very mature, substantial actor.

I built the role around those three roles and Anthony F. Ingram directing it. Anthony chose Andrew McNee and John Emmett Tracy to fill the remaining roles on a Friday, confirmed their casting, and on Monday each of them went up to collect their Outstanding Actor Jessie Awards, so I thought ‘alright, we’ve got a cast there.’

It’s the darker colours, it’s brash and audacious, and it’s a showcase for these actors.

And I get to play a blind guy, a drunk guy, and an Irishmen. Three special features!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

the seafarer | john martyn's "sweet little mystery"

*Warning: Potential Spolier Alert* If you haven't seen THE SEAFARER yet, we suggest revisiting this post after having seen the show!

Many audience members have been curious as to the lyrics of the song that plays at the end of THE SEAFARER. The song is John Martyn's "Sweet Little Mystery" and playwright Conor McPherson specifically wrote that this is the song that should end the play. You can watch a video of the song here:

Actor John Emmet Tracy (Sharky) had this to say about what the song means to him:

"Sweet Little Mystery was specifically requested by the playwright for the end of the play.  I spent a lot of time listening to the song during the rehearsal weeks and I continue to listen to it every day now that we are performing the play.  Anthony (director) and I discussed the song and the possibilities for its significance to my character Sharky.  I believe that it changed significance for Sharky after the recent end of an important relationship. The song certainly had a special place in the "soundtrack" to the relationship, but has taken on a lyrical significance that probably hadn't been clear to Sharky until after the end of the relationship.

The song has really sunk in with the cast; its not uncommon to hear somebody singing, humming or whistling it in the greenroom.  It isn't one the fades quickly from memory, and perhaps that is part of why Conor McPherson chose it to end the play..."

And here are the accompanying lyrics for a closer look:

Sweet Little Mystery - by John Martyn

Just that sweet little mystery that breaks my heart
Just that sweet little mystery makes me cry
O that sweet little mystery that's in your heart
It's just that sweet little mystery that makes me try.

My friends all tell me that I look so sad
They don't need to ask me why
They know the reason that I feel so bad
Since the night you said goodbye
It's not the letters that you just don't write
It's not the arms of some new friend
It's not the crying in the dead of the night
That keeps me hanging on, waiting for the end.

Just that sweet little mystery that's in your heart
Just that sweet little mystery makes me cry
Oh that sweet little mystery that's in your heart
It's just that sweet little mystery that makes me try.

I watch the street, I watch the radio
I don't need to turn it on
Another friend comes by and tries to say hello
Another weekend's almost gone
It's not the letters that you just don't write
It's not the arms of some new friend
It's not the crying in the depth of the night
That keeps me hanging on, just waiting for the end.
[ Lyrics from: ]
It's that sweet little mystery that's in your heart
It's just that sweet little mystery that makes me cry
Oh that sweet little mystery that's in your heart
It's just that sweet little mystery that makes me try.

The time is flying fast, and I don't care
To spend another night alone
I want to see you, but I don't know where
Till then I'm walking on my own
It's not the letters that you just don't write
It's not the arms of some new friend
It's not the crying in the depth of the night
That keeps me hanging on, just waiting for the end.

It's that sweet little mystery that's in your heart
It's just that sweet little mystery that makes me cry
Oh that sweet little mystery that's in your heart
It's just that sweet little mystery that makes me try.

That sweet little mystery that's in your heart
It's just that sweet little mystery that makes me cry
Oh that sweet little mystery that's in your heart
It's just that sweet little mystery that makes me try.

Sweet mystery, sweet mystery
Sweet mystery, sweet mystery, sweet mystery
Sweet mystery, sweet mystery, sweet mystery

Sweet mystery, sweet mystery, sweet mystery.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

the seafarer | linnet moss post

There's a great post about THE SEAFARER on Linnet Moss' blog. Moss is a fiction writer who hasn't been out to see our production, but delves into the deeper stuff underneath the story of THE SEAFARER. A great read! An excerpt is pasted below, or read the whole thing in its original context here.

Everyone who reads or watches this play feels a certain sympathy for the Devil. And if I could make a little Faustian bargain of my own, I’d go back in time to 2007 and see it with the New York cast. After all, the prospect of being dragged off to “the hole in the wall” by that particular Mephistopheles has its attractions.


The symbolic use of celestial phenomena, the intersection of the cosmic and the spiritual, is a hallmark of Conor McPherson’s work. The winter solstice typically arrives just before Christmas, so that the return of physical light is accompanied by the arrival of the Child who is, in the Christian mythos, the redemptive Light of the World. I wonder if this is part of McPherson’s fascination with the holiday (Dublin Carol and The Seafarer are set on Christmas Eve, while The Night Alive is full of references to the Nativity).

In this play, the light and the dark, Christ and the Devil meet in a struggle for one man’s soul. That man is James “Sharky” Harkin, who lives with his cantankerous older brother Richard in Dublin. Having recently lost his sight, Richard is by turns angry and depressed, and he bullies Sharky as only an older brother can. (I laughed to imagine Jim Norton, a smallish man with a big voice, chiding the towering David Morse, who must be about six foot four). Richard’s main interest in life is drink (a hobby shared by his sidekick Ivan), and the byplay between these two provides much of the comedy in the play.

the seafarer | responses

Audience and critic responses to THE SEAFARER, playing now until March 29th.

"We were all very impressed with the acting in the play, which was brilliant, and the play had us all riveted and on the edge of our seats. Superb gradual increase in suspense. And we appreciated the light at the end of the tunnel in the way it ended. Our friends really enjoyed it. We had quite a conversation about the challenges of caring for someone who needs care who is not very thankful (Ron was brilliant as Richard in this regard, in the way he treated Sharky—heart-wrenching stuff. And the off-stage calls involving Richard were hilarious.). The language did very much live up to the warning, but we had given our friends lots of headsup, and fortunately, they had both witnessed this kind of talk before in Ireland. Thanks so much for the evening! It is a very powerful, and very well-acted play. We’ve been telling other folks about it as well." | John Williams, Audience Email

"This was a treat an excellent performance by the entire cast. This venue is great, I'm never disappointed whenever I go." | Audience Feedback

"I still have not been able to shake it two days later, scenes and visions constantly flashing forward in my mind. It is a glorious feeling, not being able to stop thinking about a play, to have enjoyed something so completely that you can’t, or won’t, let go of it right away…." | Keara Barnes, Travel Theatrics

"All performances are excellent. Director Anthony F. Ingram has taken five fine actors and created an ensemble performance that may be the best production this season in Vancouver." | Michael Groberman, The Huffington Post

"Directed by Anthony F. Ingram, these are five superb performances. Tracy, as Sharky, is quiet and tense to the breakpoint as Richard, increasingly drunk and belligerent, orders him around. Dixon plays Ivan as a woolly-headed drunk, somewhat remorseful about his wife and kids. It’s Christmas Eve and he’s not home but he stays for the card game anyway. McNee’s Nicky is, on the surface, genial but there’s menace here and it has everything to do with Sharky and his ex-girlfriend." Jo Ledingham

"On the surface, it is the tale of two brothers and three friends gathered over the holidays for a friendly game of poker. At its depths, it is a brilliant exploration of the human condition and family dynamics within the context of an underemployed blue-collar family in a poor fishing village in Ireland." | Gregg Baker, The MB Herald

"Thank you, Anthony F. Ingram and Pacific Theatre for the worshipful offering of The Seafarer. It makes an impact when one sits in the tension of messy broken lives at their turning point, integrating the truth-telling in this hard-hitting work of art at a personal level, and sharing the experience of the journey with those aboard." | Deanna Pfortmueller, The MB Herald

"The actors dealt with the material in spectacular fashion, driving you from laughter to disgust to despair from moment to moment. ... Regarding the set decoration, a replica of an aging, bachelor's Irish cottage, I have to say they nailed it. Peeling paint, Gaelic Athletic Association Poster, and Sacred Heart of Jesus on the wall. Perfect. Man slumped in a heap on the floor. Takes me back. Before I sat down, I had already been transported." | Helena, The South Granville Inhabiter

"The Seafarer shines a light on the downtrodden aspects of Irish society. Bad luck, alcoholism, and poverty marks the derelict company, punctuated by copious amounts of swearing. You can practically smell the stench off Ron Reed’s turn as querulous, recently-blinded Richard. But it’s his brother, Sharky, who is at the heart of this moral tale, and John Emmet Tracy shows off his turn of portraying a despicable character while garnering our sympathies at the same time. ... The script gives each character ample time to shine, and the way they played off of each other was a joy to watch." | Cecilia Lu, VancityBuzz

"The actors are powerful, some of the best in the city. John Emmet Tracey carries the weight of Sharkey’s failure and shame so deeply that when he tells one story about getting into a bar fight his sense of humiliation is profoundly effective without being showy. Ron Reed is tragic as the happy blind drinker and he makes you laugh as you pity him. He is dirty, disgusting and mean-spirited but so happy it’s a delightful performance of a profoundly tragic man. Andrew McNee as usual charms and he is the very best at saying the line text while chuckling. Tim Dixon is also very effective as the bumbling Ivan... I have never felt so much joy during a show. As the drama gets to its end the sense of conclusive happiness made for a very powerful end to the theatre evening." | David C. Jones, The Charlesbois Post

"This intense story by Irish playwright Conor McPherson and directed by Anthony F. Ingram is sure to become one of this year’s favorite productions." | Ariane Colenbrander, Vancouverscape

"Saw this show on Saturday and it was simply outstanding. 5 extraordinarily gifted and experienced actors at the utter top of their respective games, and a script that fairly crackled with equal measures of humour, pathos and tension. We felt almost voyeuristic, peering through the windows and watching men attempt to relate to each other with the burden of their intertwined past lives burbling just beneath the surface. Ron Reed, as Richard, gave an utterly brilliant performance in a very challenging role, but the entire cast were excellent. One of the strongest plays we've attended in years. And yes, the language is strong, but entirely authentic and contextual, and no worse than what would be heard on the B-Line after 8 PM. See this show." | Ivan Van Spronsen, Audience Response (Facebook)

"There’s wit and vivacity in McPherson’s writing, and his delivery of the vernacular of Dublin’s underclass is delicious. The roles he’s written must be like blue cheese to actors: extreme, kind of disgusting, and irresistible. Under Anthony F. Ingram’s direction, this cast of five dives in with gusto—and considerable skill." | Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

"There is still some fine acting going on in this production. As the blind brother Richard, Ron Reed is almost unrecognizable as he fully embraces the confusion of the newly blinded man as much as he embraces his first sip of booze in the morning. Tim Dixon is delightfully buffoonish as Ivan and Andrew McNee brings the necessary aloofness to Nicky. It is in the pairing of John Emmet Tracy as Sharky and John Innes as Mr Lockhart though that director Anthony F Ingram gets his biggest bang. As Mr Lockhart’s identity is revealed late in the first act, the dynamic between them is at times mesmerizing." | Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents


@phildashil: "@afivancouver @PacificTheatre this is on my top ten list of 2014 of best theatre. Great ensemble especially Ron!"

@stacerchomiak: "@PacificTheatre We just had the pleasure of seeing our friend #JohnInnes in this INCREDIBLE play called #TheSeafarer - WOW! #Vancouver"

@natashaburnett: "Just enjoyed a great evening @PacificTheatre watching The Seafarer with the amazing @JohnEmmetTracy! A must see!"

@scottygbutton: "@PacificTheatre's #ptSeafarer is incredible - enviable writing and a masterclass in acting. A perfect play for dark, wet weather. Go."

@cwilhelmson: "Seeing #ptSeafarer last night made me very proud to be a @PacificTheatre donor. Simple story slowly reveals so many rich layers. #vantheatre"

@LJFaaace: "#Theseafarer at @PacificTheatre is beautifully acted and gorgeously specific from all corners. Closes March 29th."

@mackgord: "If you're into tight, well-acted, cinematic, enthralling plays go see The Seafarer at Pacific Theatre. My favourite play so far in 2014."

@localdramaqueen: "@PacificTheatre #ptseafarer Congratulations to the entire Seafarer cast for a flawless performance. A round of Jessies coming right up!"

@airambc77: "#ptSeafarer @PacificTheatre incredible acting! So interesting to watch these characters struggle through their story. Beautiful "dirty" set!"

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

april 4 | sheree plett and jeremy eisenhauer

This is a sad day!  A couple of our favourite musicians are moving out of town, but she's got one last concert coming up next week.  See the info from their Facebook event below.

As some of you may know, Jeremy and I have been talking about leaving this great, crazy city for quite some time. Well.....It's finally happening! Stop by the Main on the 4th of April to hear our last Vancouver show and say goodbye as we move to the Kootenays in just a few weeks.

The Main (at Main & 26th)
April 4 at 10pm
Facebook event

Monday, March 24, 2014

mar 27 | world theatre day | the seafarer

We've had a lot of requests for additional artist talkbacks for THE SEAFARER. Since this Thursday is World Theatre Day, we thought we would celebrate by giving you what you've been asking for! Come Thursday and you'll get to get behind the text of the show and find out what it was like for the actors to get into Conor McPherson's world.

World Theatre Day at THE SEAFARER
Thursday, March 27th
Post-show artist talkback
Tickets and info here.

april 2 & 9 | midweek escapes | twu

At TWU SAMC they are hosting two "Midweek Escapes" - classical music concerts on Wednesdays.

What is a classic? A Beethoven piano trio, a Kansas rock anthem, or a Duke Ellington toe-tapper? Decide for yourself at a pair of spring concerts at Trinity Western University. Music lovers of all ages will appreciate the wide variety of affordable entertainment on two consecutive Wednesdays: Chamber Music Night and Jazz Night, presented by TWU’s School of the Arts, Media + Culture (SAMC).

On April 2, Chamber Music Night combines classical with cutting-edge. Beginning with Beethoven’s exquisite Piano Trio in E-flat, the program slides into the 20th Century with popular music by SAMC’s three-piece acoustic guitar ensemble, and lands in the 21st with the TWU New Music Project. The tenderness of Beethoven complements the mellow melodies of John Mayer and Jason Mraz, while the third ensemble brings the best of both worlds with contemporary classical music. The TWU New Music Project, an adventurous ensemble of strings, winds, and percussion, plays a fusion of groovy, colourful fare, including three new works by local student composers Rob Workman (Abbotsford) and Vincent Clements (Langley).

On April 9, Jazz Night hits all the right notes with vocal jazz and a pair of instrumental jazz combos. The vocalists scat their way through Ira Gershwin and Louis Prima, crossing over to Billy Joel and even Earth, Wind, and Fire. Next, acoustic and electric jazz combos heat up the room with swing music from Ellington and his contemporaries, Herbie Hancock’s funky fusion beats, and the modern stylings of artists like Pat Metheny and Freddie Hubbard.

The concerts feature a total of six ensembles coached by professional musicians from around the Lower Mainland: Heilwig von Koenigsloew (Ignus Piano Trio), Tim Olsen (Guitar Ensemble), Paolo Bortolussi (TWU New Music Project), Jon Thompson (Vocal Jazz), and Tony Gallo (Jr. and Sr. Jazz Combos).

Chamber Music Night and Jazz Night are presented as part of SAMC’s 5th annual Festival of the Arts, Media + Culture. Both concerts are held in the Instrumental Music Hall on campus at 7:30pm with admission by donation ($5 suggested).

april 11-20 | the lower room | theatre in the country

Our new friends at Theatre in the Country are producing THE LOWER ROOM, a different kind of passion play.

by Pat Wooley.

This fascinating play retells the story of Jesus' passion through the eyes of those who were the last of the followers at the cross, and the first at the tomb: women. This play brings new light to the women in the Bible. It explores the often hidden world of the biblical woman - What were they doing, feeling, thinking while the men were gathered with Jesus in the Upper Room? It fresh insights into the biblical accounts of the Easter story, and all the implications it held for the next 2000 years.
PLEASE NOTE: The Lower Room is NOT a dinner theatre show. All shows are Theatre Only

April 11 - 20
Tickets and info here.

the seafarer | director's notes from anthony f. ingram

Notes from THE SEAFARER director Anthony F. Ingram.

So here I am directing a show for the theatre company that truly gave me my start in this industry. There’s a crack team of production/office staff behind me who make me feel invincible. I’ve got my three favourite designers by my side, and a fourth who is the son of my directing mentor - and he’s fast becoming another favourite. I’ve got my favourite stage-manager holding the safety-net below us as we swing through the air. And on stage... five guys who I admire beyond measure; for their talent, friendship and commitment to telling a good story the best way we can; I’m a fan of each one of these guys. I couldn’t really ask for more, could I?

Well, I’m going to ask for it anyway.

Here’s what I want: I want you, the audience, to get involved. Involved in the show, involved in theatre. If you enjoyed this show, let Pacific Theatre know. If you hated it, let them know. If you want more theatre, buy a season subscription for next year, tell your friends to come see the show, donate to the theatre or volunteer to usher or buy advertising space in the next programme. Write an email to your MLA and MP and tell them that culture matters and should have more weight in their budgeting.

You are as much a part of what happens in this space as we are. A story can’t be told unless there’s someone willing and wanting to hear it.

Friday, March 21, 2014

the seafarer | about conor mcpherson

Here's a little background on THE SEAFARER's playwright, Conor McPherson.

Born in Dublin in 1971, McPherson studied at the University College of Dublin and wrote for the school’s drama society. He then founded Fly by Night Theatre, producing several of his plays there. McPherson’s plays began winning awards early on, with his second play The Good Thief winning the Steward Parker Award, and The Weir winning the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play in 1999. He has been described as the “finest dramatist of his generation” by The Daily Telegraph, and has won 12 awards for his work. He has also written and directed several films, including the award-winning Saltwater. His work is dominantly steeped in Irish life, making him a modern icon of Irish culture.


In The Arts Desk

“The most powerful stories for me are supernatural ones ... Ireland being at the westernmost edge of Europe, part of our mythic thing is that there’s a beyond that we know nothing about.”- In The Arts Desk

In The Guardian:

“It’s like there’s a nuclear reactor of anxiety constantly churning away, and the product is these plays that pop out every so often. If I wasn’t plagued by a need to write things, that would perhaps be a blessing.”

“Human beings are animals: 90% of our behaviour is animal behaviour, and we’ve just got this 10% veneer, the semblance of civilized, rational choice. Our thoughts are always trailing around after our appetites, justifying them with language: it’s tragic and it’s hilarious. That’s the picture I put together in my plays: of the animals who can talk, and think because of that they know everything.”

“I’m living as an artist and that’s a staggering feeling, it’s a total luxury. And because you have this amazing chance, with so much freedom, I’m determined to make something that is worth that. I feel this responsibility – to create something that makes an audience feel, which takes them somewhere. But that’s very hard to achieve.”

the seafarer | title

The title of THE SEAFARER is derived from a 1200-year-old Anglo Saxon poem, quoted in the front of the script.  Playwright Conor MacPherson also cites a passage from"Kubla Khan".  

The Seafarer (c. 755)

                      He knows not
           Who lives most easily on land, how I
           Have spent my winter on the ice-cold sea
           Wretched and anxious, in the paths of exile
           Lacking dear friends, hung round by icicles
           While hail flew past in showers…


Kubla Khan 

                      Beware! Beware!
           His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
           Weave a circle round him thrice,
           And close your eyes with holy dread,
           For he on honey-dew hath fed,
           And drunk the milk of paradise.

                                      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Wikipedia summary of The Seafarer poem foregrounds the Christian themes which are also present in MacPherson's play...

The Seafarer is an Old English poem recorded in the Exeter Book, one of the four surviving manuscripts of Old English poetry....  In his account of the poem in the Cambridge Old English Reader, Richard Marsden writes, “It is an exhortatory and didactic poem, in which the miseries of winter seafaring are used as a metaphor for the challenge faced by the committed Christian….” One may say that it is a contemplative poem that teaches Christians to be faithful and to maintain their beliefs.

It is told from the point of view of an old seafarer, who is reminiscing and evaluating his life as he has lived it. ... The seafarer describes the desolate hardships of life on the wintry sea. He describes the anxious feelings, cold-wetness, and solitude of the sea voyage in contrast to life on land where men are surrounded by kinsmen, free from dangers, and full on food and wine. The climate on land then begins to resemble that of the wintry sea, and...the speaker shifts his tone from the dreariness of the winter voyage and begins to describe his yearning for the sea....

Marsden points out that although at times this poem may seem depressing, there is a sense of hope throughout it. That hope is centered on eternal life in Heaven. The poem begins as a narrative of a man’s life at sea and then changes to become a praise of God, thus giving the reader hope. At line 66b, the speaker again shifts, this time not in tone, but in subject matter. The sea is no longer explicitly mentioned; instead the speaker preaches about steering a steadfast path to heaven. He asserts that “earthly happiness will not endure", that men must oppose “the devil with brave deeds”, and that earthly wealth cannot travel to the afterlife nor can it benefit the soul after a man's death....

It is helpful to think of the seafarer's narration of his experiences as an exemplum, used to make a moral point; and to persuade his hearers of the truth of his words. .... An understanding of the poem was offered in the Cambridge Old English Reader, namely that the poem is essentially concerned to state: "Let us (good Christians, that is) remind ourselves where our true home lies and concentrate on getting there."

Thursday, March 20, 2014

april 27 - bonsai love book launch - diane tucker

Diane Tucker is an Artisitic Advisor on the Pacific Theatre board and is having a book launch for her new book BONSAI LOVE next month! 

Diane Tucker’s BONSAI LOVE is an eloquent book of poems about the sensual delicacy of love. Carefully pruned, intricate in design, and sensitive to intrusion, these poems create an image of intimacy through reflection and in relation to nature, the universe, music, literature and art.

BONSAI LOVE is a discovery of love in all levels—a deep investigation of what it means to care and be cared for. In the end, the author does not settle on simple answers: “This heart is heavy to lift but small enough/to pocket and hide.”

Sunday April 27
Reading at 7pm, Doors at 6pm
Cottage Bistro 4468 Main St. Vancouver

the seafarer | more photos

More shots from THE SEAFARER, playing now until March 29th. All photos by Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

the seafarer | theatre club | photos

 This past weekend we hosted a wonderful Theatre Club following THE SEAFARER matinee. We host Theatre Clubs after every second Saturday matinee for our MainStage productions. If you would like to join our club, or if you would like to start your own you can find more information here. If you would like to have your own copy of The Seafarer discussion guide, you can download it here. Check out some photos of our lovely group discussion below:

Monday, March 17, 2014

the seafarer | the hellfire club

THE SEAFARER is inspired, at least in part, by the old Irish tale of the Hellfire Club.

On the mountains overlooking Dublin from the south west, there is a ruined hunting lodge that Ordnance Survey maps call “Hell-Fire Club’. This building is said to be a site of satanic and other occult practices, and that the Devil himself has been there.

The tale that THE SEAFARER is based on tells of a group of powerful men playing a game of cards at this residence. They were drinking and betting recklessly money, horses, land, and women, when a knock sounded at the door. They let a well-dressed, soaking wet man and invited him to warm himself by the fire and join the game. With a quiet confidence he won game after game, slowly leaving losing players in his wake as they gave up and turned in to bed. When his lone opponent nervously drops a card, he bends to pick it up and sees the man's cloven hooves under the table. Recoiling in horror, the visitor vanishes through the ceiling in a ball of flame, leaving a thunder-clap and the smell of brimstone behind.

april 1 | my own personal jesus | tim bratton

Tim Bratton (GODSPELL, YOU STILL CAN'T) is putting on a night of storytelling and multimedia sharing called MY OWN PERSONAL JESUS.

Have you ever owned a car with a Jesus Fish on it?
Can you sing along to the song "Friends are friends forever"?
Have you ever been afraid that the rapture happened and you got... left behind?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then chances are you grew up in the same world that I did: the world of evangelical popular culture. My Own Personal Jesus is an intimate history of my own experiences and reflections on growing up in the midst of these evangelical trappings. Part story telling, part history lesson, part multimedia extravaganza, come join me as I try to make some sense out of the more challenging and bizarre forms of my evangelical pop culture past.

Tuesday, April 1 - 7:30-10:30pm
Scotia Hub - 2468 Scotia Street
Facebook event here.

Friday, March 14, 2014

march 19 | emily cooper exhibition | toronto

Hey Toronto!  Here's a chance to see some work by the gal behind our amazing brochure artwork, Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, March 19th at Arta Gallery

the seafarer | artist talkback

The artist talkback for THE SEAFARER is tonight!  Your best bet to get the inside scoop on the actors' experience of the show.

Artist Talkback: Friday, March 14
following the performance

Booking & info here.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

the seafarer | production photos

Some shots from the production of THE SEAFARER, all taken by Emily Cooper.

march 26 | the adversary

Presented by Gilmore Park United Church, THE ADVERSARY is an exploration of grace performed by Andrew Bailey as a part of their observance of Lent.

March 26, 7:30pm at Gilmore Park United Church

This one man show played to critical acclaim across Canada last summer.

Writer and Performer, Andrew Bailey is a master actor/ story-teller, telling a funny and moving story of a man trying to offer grace to street people and wondering at his desire for both grace, and vengeance.

This event is Free

march 24 | crime and punishment | auditions

Our apprentice Ryan Scramstad is producing a one-act version of CRIME AND PUNISHMENT this June and has two roles to cast. Below is the audition information. Email if you're interested.

March 24 - 4pm-on

Described as a “conversation on the nature of evil,” Crime and Punishment is the story of Raskolnikov, a university dropout obsessed with a theory and ravaged by poverty. Fighting a battle between his justification for committing a horrific crime and the guilt which stalks him, Raskolnikov searches for absolution. With a police inspector hot on his trail and an unlikely friendship with a compassionate prostitute ever in his thoughts, Raskolnikov relives the events surrounding his actions in this psychological drama.

Running June 26-28 at Pacific Theatre

Character Descriptions –

Porfiry Petrovitch – White male, late 20s-40s. Amiable but tenacious police inspector investigating the murders of the old pawnbroker woman and her sister, Lizaveta. Excels at conversational games of cat and mouse in his effort to exact a confession. Shows care for the soul of Raskolnikov. Patient and empathetic, but persistent and determined. This actor also plays the part of Marmeladov, a weak-willed older man living in regret and despair.

Sonia – White female, early 20s. Slender frame. Sweet, pure young girl who has been forced into prostitution in order to provide for her poverty stricken family. Clings to faith in God for strength in the midst of suffering. Shows great compassion and deference to Raskolnikov, who has shown kindness to her family. Submissive, sacrificial nature, but will fight for her beliefs. Exhausted by life, yet finds hope in bringing peace to Raskolnikov. This actor also plays the parts of the old pawnbroker woman (suspicious and ill-natured), Lizaveta (timed and kind), and Raskolnikov’s mother.


Email headshot and resume to

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

the seafarer | discussion guide

The discussion guide for THE SEAFARER is available for download online!  You can download it for yourself, for your own group discussion, or in preparation for out theatre club this Saturday following the matinee performance.

Theatre Club
Saturday, March 15th (following the matinee performance)

Download the discussion guide HERE.  (Warning: contains spoilers.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

march 11-22 | whose life is it anyway? | pippa johnstone

Our apprentice Pippa Johnstone is in WHOSE LIFE IS IT ANYWAY? at The Cultch. Preview tonight, opening tomorrow!

by Brian Clark

“If I can’t be a man, I do not wish to be a medical achievement.” The producers of Skydive bring you this new production of the Tony award-winning play about a sculptor who, paralyzed from the neck down after a car accident, fights for the right to die. More relevant than ever, this perversely comic and powerfully compassionate play raises important issues of medical ethics and human dignity.

Mar 11 – 22, 2014
Tickets and info here.

subscriber appreciation saturday | the seafarer

This past weekend we hosted a very fun Subscriber Appreciation Saturday - a whiskey tasting with Diageo Canada, along with a chat about how seasons are planned at Pacific Theatre. It was a very rich afternoon with great learning and conversations had by all. If you missed it, check out the photos below:

Subscriber Appreciation Saturday is just one of the many added benefits you can enjoy as a member of our subscriber community. We've just announced our 2014/15 season, and SAS will be back! Buy your subscription today and join us at one of these events next year.  

Monday, March 10, 2014

the seafarer | opening night reception

We had a fantastic opening of THE SEAFARER this weekend! Here's some shots from the opening night reception.

Actor Andrew McNee with staffer Alison Chisholm and her friends
Vashti Verbowski and Luke Timmermans.

David Jennings, the man who brought us the script for The Seafarer
with his wife Laura and Ron Reed.

Sound Designer and Composer Luke Ertman with a friend.

Actor John Innes with Company Apprentice Pippa Johnstone.

Audience member Diana Squires and Shannon Daly.

Stage Manager Jethelo E. Cabilete and Community Engagement Manager
Kaitlin Williams.

The men of The Seafarer! John Innes, Andrew McNee, Jethelo E. Cabilete,
Anthony F. Ingram, Tim Dixon, Kenton Klassen, Ron Reed, and John Emmet Tracy.


Sunday, March 09, 2014

the seafarer | weekday matinee

This Thursday we have a special weekday matinee coming for THE SEAFARER!  Take a break from your work week and join us for a game of poker.

Friday, March 07, 2014

2014-2015 season announcement

It's arrived!  Our 2014-2015 season announcement!  There is a ton of exciting stuff coming our way next year - from the heartfelt fable THE RAINMAKER to the intellectual power play FREUD'S LAST SESSION featuring a discussion between Freud and CS Lewis.  Check it all out below, and then visit our website to subscribe now and reserve yourself a spot in this diverse, challenging, and entertaining season!


by N. Richard Nash
Lizzie Curry’s dream of finding love is about as dry as the drought-whipped land of her family’s ranch. As if on cue, the charming Starbuck swoops in, selling the promise of rain and with it something far more dangerous – hope. A charming tale of faith and unexpected joy in barren times.
Director: Ron Reed.

by Ins Choi
a guest production by Soulpepper Theatre
A homeless man stands on a cardboard platform with a message from God in this unpredictable meditation on the sacred and the everyday, told through the songs, stories, and poetry of a nameless vagabond. Written and performed by the creator of Kim’s Convenience.
Performed by Ins Choi.

A rag-tag gathering of musicians and actors sharing songs and stories for the holiday season. The perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit.
Featuring: Ron Reed, Nelson Boschman, Sherri Plett, Jeremy Eisenhauer, Lance Odegard, Laurell, and more.

by Glen Berger
a guest production by Rosebud Theatre
When a reclusive Dutch librarian finds a recently-returned book that is 113 years past due, his investigation leads him to a globe-spanning obsession and an ancient ghost story. An intelligent and quirky mystery.
Performed by Nathan Schmidt.

by Matthew Lopez
The Civil War has come to a bloody end. A critically wounded Jewish Confederate soldier returns to his ruined home where two of his family slaves wait, and the three men are left to sort through the sordid legacy of slavery and a new meaning to Passover.

by Mark St. Germaine
Sigmund Freud invites CS Lewis into his home on the day England enters World War II. The result is an electrifying and enriching discourse as two of the most vibrant minds of the 20th century tackle life’s most important questions.
Director: Morris Ertman. Featuring: Ron Reed and Anthony F. Ingram.


by Peter Church
Alone and desperate on Christmas Eve, George Bailey wonders if things wouldn’t be better if he hadn’t been born at all. Tune in to this beloved holiday classic, brought to captivating life as a radio broadcast.

A recently discharged soldier turns up at a church retreat but refuses to participate. His budding relationship with the pastor’s daughter brings up old secrets and the often disturbing relationship between religion and warfare. A staged reading.

SIDESHOW Oct 21, Dec 7, Jan 20, March 10, May 5
Our annual comedy show goes musical! Enjoy a completely improvised musical show inspired by your suggestion and our 2014-2015 season. This fun and family-friendly show is performed by Off Key Improv.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

march 17-28 | kids improv camps at second storey theatre | jennifer pielak

Jennifer Pielak and a lot of folks from Second Storey Theatre joined us on stage for SIDESHOW this year.  Up next she's hosting some kids improv camps over spring break!

At Second Storey Theatre (201-2550 Shaughnessy Street, Port Coquitlam)


The Comedy Improv Camps for kids and teens are a great way to exercise your funny bone this Spring Break. Challenging and fun for students of all experience levels, you will expand your creativity, quicken your thinking and sharpen your comedic timing. Learn the tricks to new and classic improv games, create imaginary worlds and memorable characters, invent jokes and stories on the spot, and learn how to collaborate with a group of silly people in improvised scenes. Everyone will be pushed to the next level while having a blast. Plus, you get to impress everyone in a super-rockin’ show at the final performance on the last day!

March 17th-19th
Monday-Wednesday 9am-4pm | Ages 13-16 | $150
Final Show: Wed March 19th, 3-4pm

March 24th-28th
Monday-Friday 9am-4pm | Ages 8-12 | $225
Final Show: Fri March 28th, 3-4pm

Program Instructor: Jennifer Pielak
Jennifer Pielak is an improviser, actor and singer who performs in Vancouver and the Tri-Cities. She has trained as a performer in Vancouver and Chicago and also has a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from UBC. She has been teaching for 8 years and loves to share her knowledge and passion for the performing arts!