Monday, November 30, 2015

christmas campaign | christmas carol solos

Our Christmas fundraising campaign has gotten off to a strong start!  As of this writing, we are over 42% of the way to our goal.  Of course, we need you to keep giving to get us all the way there.  Visit our donation page now to give, and then check out our tally post to see your gift be a part of the addition to the whole.

Phone: 604.731.5483
Mail: 1440 W 12th Ave, Vancouver, BC, V6H 1M8

Saturday, November 28, 2015

a christmas carol: on the air | subscriber appreciation saturday

Subscribers, ever wanted to try your hand at those radio sound effects?  The Subscriber Appreciation Saturday for A CHRISTMAS CAROL: ON THE AIR will let you do that and more.  Join us!

A Christmas Carol: On the Air
Subscriber Appreciation Saturday
Dec 5 at 4:15pm (approx - following the matinee performance)

How do they make all those sound effects in live radio?  Join us for a sound foley presentation and workshop with playwright Peter Church, as well as a conversation about his love for radio drama and adapting this well-loved story for a radio play.

RSVP to Jess:

Friday, November 27, 2015

city in focus arts awards presentation

We are grateful to City in Focus for giving us the Arts Award for our production of THE AMISH PROJECT this season.  They are holding an event this Monday to celebrate the four awards they are distributing, if you would like to join us.

Monday, November 30th, 2015
5:30 - 7pm
The Vancouver Club

4 Special Awards
5 Unique Recipients
4 Wonderful Causes

Part of caring for the soul of the city is recognizing when an individual or an organization does exceptional work. At City in Focus, we notice all the effort that goes into making Vancouver a vibrant community, and we appreciate it.

For more information on the event and other honourees, visit their invitation.

a christmas carol: on the air | advance photos

We've got the advance photos for A CHRISTMAS CAROL: ON THE AIR!  We tried to mix the 1940s radio feeling with recognizable images from Dickens' tale.  What do you think?  All photos by Emily Cooper.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

match girl | free christmas carol: on the air preshow

Apprentice Julia Siedlanowska has a special project she's bringing to audiences of A CHRISTMAS CAROL: ON THE AIR.  A 20-minute free preshow of MATCH GIRL, a site-specific play based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale.

Dec 5, 11, and 18 at 7:25pm

Stone’s Throw Producitons is partnering with Rebel Haunt Theatre to explore Hans Christian Anderson’s classic and heart wrenching children’s classic “The Little Match Girl” in a site-specific, outdoor performance.

This 20 minute performance begins in Pacific Theatre’s lobby and tours around the building. Please dress for the weather.

We will be accepting donations of warm clothes for Covenant House at these performances and throughout the run of A Christmas Carol: On the Air. The greatest needs include underwear, men’s shoes (size 10-13 or larger), and men’s jeans. Also needed: warm scarves, sweaters, rain gear, “teen” style clothing, and toiletries.

Artistic Team: Directed by Sarah Dixon.

Featuring Julia Siedlanowska, Sarah Roa, Carolyn Nakagawa, Andrea Ashton, Mistaya Kryder-Wu, Kaitlyn Pederson, Kimmie Kidd.

Live Music by Andrew Hartline, Richard Dixon. Original Song by Sarah Dixon. Produced by Julia Siedlanowska

No ticket reservation needed, just show up at 7:20pm.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

christmas presence | the line ups

The line ups are announced early for this year's CHRISTMAS PRESENCE!  Everything is, of course, subject to change, but here is the plan for our favourite Christmas tradition.

December 13
- Garth Bowen
- Jon Ochsendorf
- Matthew Simmons
- Nelson Boschman
- Becca Birkner
- Taylor Swindells
- Jordan Klassen
- Spencer Capier
- Lydia Collin

December 14
- Garth Bowen
- Jon Ochsendorf
- Matthew Simmons
- Nelson Boschman
- Becca Birkner
- Brett Ziegler
- Allen Desnoyer
- Corey Janz
- Jeff Hawker

December 15
- Matthew Simmons
- Nelson Boschman
- Becca Birkner
- Corey Janz
- Michael Hart
- Zaac Pick
- Steve Klassen
- James Danderfer

December 19 (Abbotsford)
- Jon Ochsendorf
- Nelson Boschman
- Becca Birkner
- Spencer Capier
- Corey Janz
- Steve Klassen
- Brian Doerksen

December 20 (mat)
- Garth Bowen
- Matthew Simmons
- Nelson Boschman
- Becca Birkner
- Spencer Capier
- Allen Desnoyer
- Anna Vandas
- Laura Koch
- Kathleen Nisbet

December 20 (eve)
- Garth Bowen
- Jon Ochsendorf
- Matthew Simmons
- Nelson Boschman
- Becca Birkner
- Spencer Capier
- Zaac Pick
- Kathleen Nisbet

December 21
- Jon Ochsendorf
- Matthew Simmons
- Nelson Boschman
- Becca Birkner
- Brett Ziegler
- Spencer Capier
- Michael Hart
- Zaac Pick
- Kathleen Nisbet

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

lost words, the religion edition | jeff gladstone

PT's Artistic Director Ron Reed spent some time speaking with Lost Words producer Jeff Gladstone (last seen on our stage in MEASURE FOR MEASURE) about faith and art, controversy and censorship. Perhaps some of that conversation will permeate this event!

Pi Theatre
DEC 1st 
Doors 7:30pm show 8:30pm
Tickets Available at the door, online, or call 604 872 1861

Lost Words is an event series focusing on banned, censored and controversial plays. Conceived by Pi Artistic Associates, Pippa Mackie and Jeff Gladstone, each Lost Words evening will feature the exploration of scripts that were vilified for their content. 

Lost Words: Religion Edition will feature an exploration of banned and controversial plays, as well as a raffle in honour of Pi Theatre's Giving Tuesday. 

Produced by Pippa Mackie and Jeff Gladstone

Dec 1st 
Doors at 7:30pm, performances start 8:30pm

The Emerald Supper Club 
555 Gore Ave. Vancouver 

By donation (suggested donation $10)
At the door, online at
or call 604 872 1861

Thursday, November 19, 2015

the amish project | playwright jessica dickey on fact and fiction

THE AMISH PROJECT is a fictional story based on factual events.  On the show's official website, playwright Jessica Dickey explains what this means and why she made this creative choice.  Below are her words, check them out in context here.

The Amish Project is a fictional exploration of the Nickel Mines schoolhouse shooting in an Amish community, and the path of forgiveness and compassion forged in its wake.

The Amish Project made its original debut at the New York International Fringe Festival in the summer of 2008 and instantly generated buzz in the theatre community. The Amish Project went on to a workshop production at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City, and on June 10th, 2009, officially opened Off-Broadway at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater to rave reviews — "extraordinary... remarkable...compelling" (The New York Times). Due to its success, the run was extended.

Since then, The Amish Project has been invited to perform in venues around the tri-state area, and interest continues to grow. We are now looking to move into the great regional theatres of the country and would love for you to consider The Amish Project for your upcoming season.

The Writing of The Amish Project

Through the making of The Amish Project, I learned that the boundary between fact and fiction is a fraught one; it feels appropriate to open a window into my negotiation with that boundary.

The Facts: I absorbed a great deal about the Nickel Mines shooting just from watching the news when it occurred, and so in preparation for writing the play, I focused my attention on researching the Amish themselves. I am indebted to Donald Kraybill for the many books he has written on the Amish; they were the backbone of my research. Once the play was written and the characters firmly established, I included more details of the shooting that I felt would strengthen the texture of the play.

The Fiction: I was highly aware through the entire process that somewhere out there are the real people who went through this event—the widow of the Nickel Mines gunman and her children, the Amish families of the girls who were targeted in the shooting... In an effort to balance the conflicting desires to remain sensitive to the real people who were affected by the shooting, while giving myself creative license to write an unflinching play, I purposefully did not research the gunman or his widow, nor did I conduct any interviews of any kind. The characters in The Amish Project are fictional, and should not be misconstrued as the real people.

The Play: July 28th, 2008, my director and I traveled to Nickel Mines to find the location of the shooting. We had read that without an informed guide, it was nearly impossible to find, as shortly after the event, the Amish tore down the school and replanted the area; it is now a simple field where animals graze. The only indications of where the shooting occurred are three maple trees.

As we drove through the small intersection of farmland that is Nickel Mines, I realized that every person we saw, gardening or hanging clothes on the line, had likely grieved the loss of a child, or the children of friends... As the sun was setting and we stood quietly looking at the three maple trees and the vacant space where they used to shade the one room schoolhouse, I could feel the tragedy that had occurred here, but even more I could feel the presence of those we had passed en route, the people who carry the memory of that day with them... It is my private prayer that this play, should they ever know about it, would not hurt them further, but somehow honor the goodness they forged in the face of such tragedy. In my mind, that is the legacy of the Nickel Mines shooting.

--Jessica Dickey

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

the drowning girls | this week

Our apprentices' production of THE DROWNING GIRLS goes up tonight!  Three late-night performances following THE AMISH PROJECT tonight until Friday.  Tickets are Pay-What-You-Think-It's-Worth after the fact!

The Drowning Girls
Nov 18-20 at 9:30pm

Bessie, Alice and Margaret have two things in common: they are married to George Joseph Smith, and they are dead. Surfacing from the bathtubs they were drowned in, the three breathless brides gather evidence against their womanizing, murderous husband by reliving the shocking events leading up to their deaths. Reflecting on the misconceptions of love, married life, and the not-so-happily ever after, The Drowning Girls is both a breathtaking fantasia and a social critique, full of rich images, a myriad of characters, and lyrical language.

Tickets: Pay-What-You-Think-Deserves (cash after viewing)

Directed by Ulla Laidlaw
Featuring Kim Larson, Jess Amy Shead, and Julia Siedlanowska

ADVISORY: Contains descriptions of domestic violence.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

you will remember me | craig erickson

Craig works all over Vancouver (and western Canada), doing shows with all kinds of theatres.  But when we can have Craig in a PT show, he always feels like family; from THE FURNITURE OF HEAVEN in 1990 before he headed of to get his MFA, through GOD'S MAN IN TEXAS when he moved back to Vancouver in 2003, to LEAVE OF ABSENCE a couple seasons ago.  Here's what he has up next...

Ruby Slippers Theatre (Vancouver) 
Nov 17 – 28   
Tickets available at 

From the company that brought you The Duchess a.k.a. Wallis Simpson. A deeply personal and moving new play about family and memory from Francois Archambault, one of Qu×™bec’s most compelling writers. When the aging patriarch of a modern family suffers from dementia, the people who love him struggle to care for him.Age 12+ (some swearing)

Directed by: Diane Brown*
Stage Managed by: Lois Dawson*
Set and Props Design by: Heidi Wilkinson
Lighting Design by: John Webber
Composer and Sound Design by: Joelysa Pankanea
Costume Design by: Jessica Oostergo
Projection Design by: Corwin Ferguson
Assistant Stage Manager: Melissa McCowell
Assistant to the Director: Julian Legere
Kevin McNulty, Patti Allan, Marci T House, Craig Erickson, Sereana Malani
The Cultch Historic Theatre - 1895 Venables 

Nov 17, 8 PM: PreviewNov 18, 8 PM: Opening
Nov 19 – 21, Nov 24 – 28: 8 PM
Matinees: Nov 22, 28: 2 PM
Post-show talkbacks: Nov 19, 22, 24


the drowning girls | photoshoot

Matt Rezenek came in to our dress rehearsal last night to take some photos of THE DROWNING GIRLS- opening tomorrow!!! It runs Wednesday November 18, Thursday 19, and Friday 20 at 9:30pm (following The Amish Project.) The Pacific Theatre apprentices have been hard at work on this show for the past few months after falling in love with the script. They hope you will too. Tickets are Pay-What-You-Think-It's-Worth, cash only after viewing. 

Starring Kim Larson, Jess Amy Shead and Julia Siedlanowska

the amish project | more photos

This is the last week of THE AMISH PROJECT!  There are still seats left, but don't wait too long to book, last week was a full one.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

drowning girls | interview with director Ulla Laidlaw

Pacific Theatre apprentices Jess Amy Shead, Kim Larson, and Julia Siedlanowska have been hard at work producing, acting in, and being part-time professional movers for THE DROWNING GIRLS. Written by Beth Graham, Charlie Tomlinson, and Daniela Vlaskalic, the play is based on the historic case of late twentieth century killer George Joseph Smith and the wives he murdered. THE DROWNING GIRLS is a social critique on the misconceptions of love, married life, the "not-so-happily ever after," and features three bathtubs on stage! 

Drowning Girls Director Ulla Laidlaw

What is a past production or project of yours that sticks out as a favourite?

Oh my gosh, this is really about me - I thought it would just be about the play! …. I think the last piece I directed. Which is Sasha Singer-Wilson’s My Ocean. It's a one man show featuring Nadeem Phillip as an impassioned 12-year old environmentalist . It was a favourite because it was an opportunity to work with two people I admired and trusted.  I found that the work that we were able to do was really deep because of that.  And, we three are all also impassioned environmentalists so our bond to the material was inherent.

What drew you to this piece?

I value the challenge of directing something that I don’t select. It’s a different skill-set than when I direct something that’s of my initiation - it's a different side of creativity. 

And, The Drowning Girls had its own unique draws for me:  It's Canadian work, and it features three women - hard to find. 

And finally, when I first read it, I didn't feel I understood it.  I felt it had something to teach me.

What in your life do you feel has equipped you best for directing this particular production?

I actually keep drawing a lot on my university education, and I graduated 10 years ago.  I keep thinking of one of my professors, Kim Renders, who directed me in several pieces of physical or movement theatre.  Some days in rehearsing The Drowning Girls, directing is more like choreographing.  The physical pictures we create play such an important role, and I haven't worked on a piece like this in years.  So I draw a lot on my experiences with how Kim beautifully navigated work like this.  Kim is also one of the founders of Nightwood Theatre, so it's interesting because what I learnt from Kim's feminist politics have informed my approach to this material as well.   

I went to school at the University of Guelph in Ontario, graduating with a degree in Drama and Psychology.

Why do you feel it’s important to present this piece today?

Because we still live in patriarchy and it's important to understand how that shapes us. 

Come join us on one of three nights of The Drowning Girls.

November 18-20 – Following The Amish Project (approx. 9:30pm)
Pay-What-You-Think-Deserves (cash after viewing)
Pacific Theatre 1440 W 12th Ave. Vancouver
Directed by Ulla Laidlaw
Featuring Kim Larson, Jess Amy Shead, and Julia Siedlanowska
Set, Props and Lighting Design by CJ McGillivray
Lighting Design by Milly Mumford
Costume Design by Rebecca Burks
Stage Management by Monique Fillon
Assistant Stage Management by Diana Bartosh

ADVISORY: Contains descriptions of domestic violence.

the amish project | photos

Here are some of the production shots for THE AMISH PROJECT.  All photos by Ron Reed.

christmas campaign | a christmas carol quiz

This year for our annual Christmas campaign, we've dressed up as a series of our favourite Christmas carols!  Can you tell who is dressed up as which carol?  Underneath is a little story with a few hints built in.  First and foremost, of course, please give to our campaign!  You can give online HERE or you can call in and talk to Alison (604.731.5483).

A Christmas (Campaign) Carol

The First Christmas campaign for Pacific Theatre brought great Joy to our World. Some staff thought “What idea is this? Is our December not busy enough?” But I saw three apprenticeships come through and offer support in accepting and counting all the gifts. And so they did for several weeks! On the last evening of the campaign it was a fairly silent night as we all huddled around the Christmas Tree counting the final total. As the last few dollars were counted we had a little drum roll as we waited to see the final tally. Suddenly the silence ended, for we had made our goal! Filled with the riches supplied by countless supporters, we felt like good kings, once at last! It truly was A Holy Night. Because God blessed us … through everyone!

Thank you for the ongoing support!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

the amish project | remembrance day hours

Please note that we do still have a performance of THE AMISH PROJECT today, Remembrance Day, but our box office will not open until 4:30pm.  Thank you for your understanding.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

the amish project | responses

"The bulk of the show rests with actor Susie Coodin who must jump back and forth at breakneck speed between characters. Adopting a different posture and tone for each, she clearly delineates whether she is a young lady or the killer. It is an impressive feat." | Vancouver Presents

"Coodin steals your heart in this heart-wrenching but uplifting tale of forgiveness... The Amish Project... does what we have come to expect at Pacific Theatre. Highly polished. Thought provoking. Spiritual. Theatre that stays with you." | Jo Ledingham

"Coodin embodies seven vastly different characters with exuberance and joy. She deftly exchanges one character’s set of gestures and postures for another. Her characterizations are usually consistent and convincing and always entirely enjoyable to watch. Her unearthly radiance as the innocent child Velda is most striking in her performance... Dickey weaves these threads from different character’s perspectives to show that forgiveness is not cheap mercy, nor religious pretension." | MB Herald

"A play of profound emotion and heft that speak to very deep parts of human nature in a very honest way." | The Ubyssey

"Under Evan Frayne’s direction, Coodin ably takes on the task of playing these characters with a common truthfulness." | Review Vancouver

"My wife and I were overwhelmed by how well the actress, Susie Coodin, performed for the entire time on her own. When she switched characters by voice and posture she was able to convince us of the different people she portrayed. The theme of the play had us talking on the way home." | Audience Response

"Thank you to all who made this such a wonderful experience." | Audience Response

the amish project | theatre club

This Saturday is Theatre Club day for THE AMISH PROJECT!  Stick around after the matinee performance to enjoy a guided group discussion about the play, or come on down, even if you already saw the show earlier.  All are welcome.

the amish project | forgiveness

We want to bring the theme of forgiveness in THE AMISH PROJECT into our lives. To do this, we are asking our community to share examples of forgiveness. You can email it in to or share it online tagging @pacifictheatre and #tapforgive. We will compile everyone's contributions into a Forgiveness Wall, to be displayed in the lobby as a visual story of forgiveness in our lives.

Monday, November 09, 2015