Thursday, January 27, 2011

asher lev | director's notes

Here are the notes from director Morris Ertman on MY NAME IS ASHER LEV - running January 28-February 26th.

This story has had a profound impact on many who have read it. Chaim Potok has created an intimate tale that crystalizes the difficulty of making one’s way in the world when the vocation that calls to a young person differs from the expectations of one’s parents and community. In one way or another, that struggle has been happening in homes for generations, and across cultural boundaries. The tone of the arguments is familiar, even if the details of the conflict are different. It would be easy to focus on the romantic notion of the leaving of family, liberating oneself to become all one can be. Potok doesn’t let his characters off that easily. Anything or anyone that ever mattered in our lives will require more from us than we think we can actually give. In this story, Asher Lev’s gift requires everything.

Asher is a part of a tradition that values family, and has seen the families of it’s people torn apart and destroyed by Hitler and Stalin with the kind of savagery that marks a people, drawing their tattered remnants together in it’s wake. It is a tradition that has a very pragmatic and tangible mission in the world - a mission of cultural, religious and familial restoration. Asher Lev’s home is caught up in that mission.

It is a strange irony of life that the time when our children need us the most is also the time when our vocations demand the most from us. Generation after generation now live in that tension, creating weariness that clouds our ability to really see and hear the people who we care most deeply about. So, this story will have resonances familiar to all people who are passionate about their sense of purpose in the world, whatever side of the generation gap they find themselves on.

The brilliance of a great story, so specifically set in a given culture, is that we find ourselves inside it somehow. Chaim Potok is just such a storyteller. I encourage you to read the sequel to My Name is Asher Lev, titled The Gift of Asher Lev. Stories, like life, never really finish till life is finished.

-Morris Ertman, Director

My Name Is Asher Lev runs at Pacific Theatre until February 25

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

david adams | visiting mr. green | chutzpah

Remember David Adams? He was the funny and charismatic Joseph in 2009's JESUS, MY BOY. Here he is again, this time in VISITING MR. GREEN at the Presentation House Theatre. The production is a part of the Chutzpah! Festival, a long-running Vancouver festival of Jewish performance art. Always a place to find some exceptional performances, the Chutzpah! Festival is definitely worth checking out - a risky thing for us to say, given that their dates cut right into our production of MY NAME IS ASHER LEV. I guess that means they must really be good, doesn't it? 

"One of the most produced plays in the world."

Presentation House Theatre and The Chutzpah! Festival are pleased to present the Western Canadian Premiere of Visiting Mr. Green by Jeff Baron.

86 year old widower Mr. Green is almost hit by a car driven by young corporate executive Ross Gardiner. Found guilty of reckless driving, Ross is ordered to spend the next six months making weekly visits to Mr. Green. What starts off as a comedy about two people who resent being in the same room together develops into a gripping and poignant drama, as family secrets are revealed and old wounds are opened. The production features David Adams and Nicolas Rhind and is directed by PHT General Manager, Neil Scott. Set and Costume design is by Drew Facey. Eugene Mendelev designs the Lights and Sound is by Michael Rinaldi. Jennifer Stewart is the Props Designer and Heidi Quicke rounds out the team as our Stage Manager.

This is the Western Canadian premiere of a show originally produced in 1996. The show went on to be produced over three hundred times, in 37 countries, and translated into 22 different languages.

Visiting Mr. Green previews on Thursday, February 10, at 8 pm, and opens Friday, February 11. It then runs nightly (except Mondays) through until February 27. There will be Saturday matinees at 4 pm and Sunday matinees at 2 pm. The preview tickets are all $12. There is a pay-what-you-can matinee on Saturday, Feb 12th at 4 pm. Presentation House Theatre is located 4 blocks from the Seabus terminal.

Tickets $28. Call 604-990-3474 or click here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

feb 5 | matt epp | house concert

This summer at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival I didn't manage to hear Matt Epp, but I heard about him, and bought some of his music to listen to. I really like it: not far from Jeremy Eisenhauer, and one song - This Old House - features a duet with a woman singer who sounds for all the world like Sheree Plett. So that bodes well, wouldn't you say? My favourite is Follow Me: here's the refrain;
.    Your life is gonna change
.    I know you're gonna come through
.    There's always someone here for you.
.    Foxes have their holes and birds they have their nests
.    But I the son of God have nowhere to lay my head
.    Follow me...
Add some tasty accordion, and you've got the idea.
Anyhow, Matt is playing a house concert here in Vancouver, and provided you RSVP before you show up, and maybe bring some food to share around, you're all invited!

Saturday, February 5 · 8:00pm - 11:00pm
hosted by Katherine Ritchie
1612 East 20th Avenue, Vancouver
with special guests, Geometric Shapes! (According to facebook)
Hey friends!

Matt Epp, who recently played at the Vancouver Folk Festival, is playing at our house on Feb. 5th and you don't want to miss it!!

Matt is an exceptional performer/ singer/ songwriter (check out his music on Myspace or YouTube) and we are incredibly lucky that he wants to play here, providing us with an opportunity to invite all our friends and have an awesome time together!

Tickets, which you can get from me or one of my roommates, are $20 each. The proceeds all go towards Matt's upcoming tour with his new band The Amorian Assembly.

Their most recent CD (not to be officially released until April) will be on sale at our house!

It will be "potluck" style, so if some of you could bring an appetizer/dessert/beverages that would lend nicely to the atmosphere!

There is limited admission (our house can hold 50 odd people reasonably comfortably) so make sure to confirm your attendance as soon as possible. Preferably get your ticket as soon as you know you're coming, otherwise we can reserve a ticket for you which you can pay for some time before the concert or at the door.

If you have friends who you know would want to come, go ahead and invite them! They'll just have to get in contact with me or one of my roommates for a ticket.

I look forward to seeing you there!!


feb 5-19 | marion bridge

Daniel MacIvor is one of Canada's best-known playwrights, and he seems constantly fascinated by people of faith - usually Catholics. Definitely true in Marion Bridge, published in 1999, widely performed since.

Theatre of Infinity presents
Daniel MacIvor’s
Feb 5-19 | 8 pm
Havana Theatre | 1212 Commercial Dr


Sunday, January 23, 2011

asher lev | word cloud

click image to enlarge

The entire script of My Name Is Asher Lev was entered into Wordle,
which generates “word clouds” based on frequency of word usage in any text

My Name Is Asher Lev
runs January 28 - February 26

Thursday, January 20, 2011

about hasidic judaism

The world of Asher Lev is set firmly in the Hasidic tradition of Judaism.  While it's impossible to sum up an entire religious movement in a few paragraphs, I thought it would be nice to have a little background info on what it means to be a Hasidic Jew.  Much thanks to Rabbi David Mivasair for his assistance in weeding through the information online to find the facts.

The Hasidic movement began in the 18th century in Eastern European Jewish communities as the teachings of Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer (also known as the Baal Shem Tov or “Master of the Good Name”) spread like spiritual wildfire among the masses of impoverished Jews. Beginning as an attempt to open the Jewish religion more to the common people, Hasidism moved away from a focus on strict execution of rituals to the experience of the divine presence in everyday life. With an emphasis on God’s closeness to everyone, Hasidism made living a richly fulfilling Jewish religious life more accessible to the masses. It became incredibly popular.

Today there are many groups within the Hasidic movement, and all are united by a philosophy of joyful observance of God’s commandments, heartfelt prayer, and boundless love for God and the world God created. All Hasidim are Torah-observing Jews, keeping the same Orthodox laws as other observing Jews. This includes keeping kosher, observing the Jewish Sabbath, saying daily prayers, and keeping Jewish holy days.

Each Hasidic group is led by its own Rebbe. The Rebbe is is usually but not necessarily a rabbi, but is a saintly mystic who is seen to be more enlightened and have a closer relationship with God. He advises his followers on all matters and is the spiritual master of the group. Because each group follows their own Rebbe, beliefs and practices, such as style of service, customs, and style of dress, can differ from group to group. Therefore, something that is accepted by one group may be rejected by another. For example, some Hasidim believe that creating any visual representation of a creature (ie: a painting of a person) is forbidden, whereas for others it would be considered alright so long as it is not worshipped.

The modern Hasidic movement is sometimes referred to as Ultra-Orthodox, representing a shift in the practice back to the strict adherence to law and ritual that Hasidism originally rose to soften. Because of this there is now a “Neo-Hasidic” movement, stepping back from the formalities and returning to the basic principle of the closeness of God through experiencing the divine presence in everything around and inside us. These differences demonstrate the simple fact that Hasidic groups include a wide variety of individuals with different beliefs and preferences, much like other religious groups.

My Name Is Asher Lev runs at Pacific Theatre until February 25

jan 27 | kyle jesperson | whale

Kyle was George MacDonald in A Bright Particular Star, and in the cast of Ten November. Such an engaging performer.

Boca del Lupo presents a Whaleuva Production...
"Whale:" an intimate theatre adventure
Created and performed by Kyle Jespersen
15 minutes of exciting theatre in Canada's smallest performance space!

With 7 decades of door-knocking under his belt, 33-year old Bible salesman Manley Dunn is stuck, still waiting for his big sign. In the meantime, all he needs from you is a quick minute and a place to sit down.

ONE NIGHT ONLY: Thursday January 27th @ The Anderson Street Space on Granville Island (across from Ocean Concrete), 1405 Anderson Street
Showtimes: Every 1/2hour, first show 7pm, last show 9:30pm
Tickets: $5 at the door, first come first served (*best availability likely for the earliest and latest showtimes)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

ovation awards

Here at PT we aren't really known for musicals - over the course of our existence we've maybe staged a handful of 'em, so we're more or less strangers to the Ovation Awards, Vancouver's musical theatre awards.  Last year, however, we had not one but two musicals take our stage, and they both got nominations!  Two nominations for GODSPELL and one for THE LAST 5 YEARS.  This is a very special event not so much for us (although we are thrilled), but for Shalyn McFaul.  She produced and performed in THE LAST 5 YEARS as her apprentice project last year.  How amazing if she and her husband and co-star were able to win for their performances!

Outstanding Community Production - Small Theatre: GODSPELL
Outstanding Ensemble Production: THE LAST 5 YEARS
Outstanding Director: Sarah Rodgers, GODSPELL

The awards are given based on popular vote, so please go to and cast your vote!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

jan 8-23 | the pavilion | craig erickson

PT favourite Craig Erickson (Grace, God's Man In Texas) and familiar face on other Vancouver stages (Bard, Blackbird, Arts Club, etc) is in what looks like a doozy of a show - indeed, Angela Konrad recommended the script to me a year ago when we were looking at shows for this season, but the PT dance card was already full. (Ange directed, and Craig acted in, PT's celebrated production of Grace, by the same author). The Osimous Theatre production opens this week. You'll also remember Dawn Petten from The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot (Mother Teresa), Parnelli Parnes from Cariboo Magi, and director Bob Frazer from Judas, Prodigal Son and The Glass Menagerie.

Note added later: yup, it's a memorable show. And I'm not the only one who thinks so.  Congrats, Osimous (pronounced "Awesome Us," though I don't think they meant it that way).

The Pavilion
by Craig Wright

Firehall Arts Centre
January 8-23
Tue-Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm
2-for-1 previews Jan 8 8pm, Jan 9 2pm, Jan 11 8pm |
Pay-what-you-can Jan 19 2pm

Hailed by critics as an "an Our Town for our time," The Pavilion knits the cosmos into individual human relationships, building the entire history of the universe to one night. Peter and Kari haven’t seen each other since the day Peter left twenty years ago... and now he’s come to get her back. As the night progresses, both Peter and Kari are led, through their interactions with a host of characters all played by a virtuosic Narrator, to face the consequences of choices made long ago and start back into life with newfound strength and bittersweet resolve. By the author of Grace and Six Feet Under. Featuring Craig Erickson, Parnelli Parnes, and Dawn Petten. Directed by Bob Frazer

For more info about Osimous Theatre and behind-the-scenes info on The Pavilion visit the company's facebook page.

Tickets $25 | To book: 604-689-0926 or online

asher lev | photos

Here are a few of the promotional shots we got for MY NAME IS ASHER LEV.  Since it's a play about art, we thought we'd have a little fun and get "arty" with the shots!  All photos by Tim Matheson, featuring Giovanni Mocibob as Asher.  (Note to media: if you need less-arty, more "regular" shots we've got them too - just get in touch and we'll set you up.)

asher lev | artistic director's notes

If you are an artist of faith – especially if you are “of a certain age” – you know My Name Is Asher Lev. In a time when many faith communities had no idea what to do with the arts, or with the artists in their midst, Chaim Potok’s novel was a lighthouse glimpsed from a stormy sea. The book brought hope to a lot of people who loved God but who also loved making art – it may not have been a happy story, but at least it was their story. Somebody got it. I have met people who feel they owe their life to this book.

Artists can be intense.

Because, of course, it takes intensity to create. To wrestle into being a particular thing that has never existed before. To see vividly, to be seized by an idea, to push aside every other thing to do the work of making something new. No wonder it’s become a cliché to say that creating is like giving birth. This work is as all-consuming as it is messy, painful and – for some – inescapable. Once the birth pangs start, once you start going into labour, your other plans are pretty well shot.

That sort of fierceness can be hard for the people nearby – parents, husbands and wives and children, communities, friends, co-workers. Hard to understand, hard to live with. That sort of devotion can be particularly hard for people of faith to understand: there’s a thin, maybe indistinguishable line between holy calling and soul-corroding idolatry.

It’s hard for the people around, and maybe harder for God-loving artists. Who no more want to be enslaved to idols than their friends and lovers and pastors and rabbis want them to be. But, as Asher says, "If You don't want me to use the gift, why did You give it to me?" True, you can’t serve two masters: but what if your art is the way you’ve been given to serve your master? Perhaps your means of grace? You don’t dare cut yourself off from that. Quite apart from the certainty your soul could die of starvation, it just seems so tragic a waste. To set it aside, compromise it, bury it. “I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the earth” – not a viable solution. Not without weeping, gnashing of teeth, outer darkness, all that.

So how do these wild, all-consuming, sometimes divine obsessions fit into a family, a community, a life? In a religious community that values order, peace, humility, tradition, how does this wildness find a place? Can you really fulfill the calling, honour the gift, “in moderation”? Michelangelo didn’t paint the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday evenings and holidays.

There are times when it all works together – God and calling and family and community and all the practical demands of living a life on this planet. But there are also times when it does not. Even whole lifetimes when it does not. When those great, magnificent, terrible, maybe-holy passions collide, clash, do battle, do damage. When “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence,” when it comes “not with peace, but with a sword.”

Welcome to the world of Asher Lev.

My Name Is Asher Lev runs at Pacific Theatre until February 25

Monday, January 17, 2011

my name is asher lev | quotes

"As a matter of fact, observant Jews did not paint at all - in the way that I am painting. So strong words are being written and spoken about me, myths are being generated: I am a traitor, an apostate, a self-hater, an inflicter of shame upon my family, my friends, my people; also, I am a mocker of ideas sacred to Christians, a blasphemous manipulator of modes and forms revered by Gentiles for two thousand years.

"Well, I am none of these things. And yet, in all honesty, I confess that my accusers are not altogether wrong: I am indeed, in some way, all of these things."


"If You don't want me to use the gift, why did You give it to me?"


"An animal can't help it," my father said. "Do you understand me, Asher? The Ribbono Shel Olom gave every man a will. Every man is responsible for what he does, because he has a will and in that will he directs his life. There is no such thing as a man who can't help it."


"Everything is in the hands of heaven, except the fear of heaven," he quoted. "What can I tell you, my Asher? I do not know what the Master of the Universe has waiting for us. Certain things are given, and it is for man to use them to bring goodness into the world. The Master of the Universe gives us glimpses, and only glimpses. It is for us to open our eyes wide."


"I don't want to sit in a room painting for myself. I want to communicate what I do. And I want critics to know I can do it."

The stage adaptation of My Name Is Asher Lev
runs at Pacific Theatre January 28 to February 26

jan 7-19 | st. mark's gospel | antony holland

Antony Holland founded the Studio 58 actor training program, retired from that about a quarter century ago, and keeps on making theatre. As well as his own projects which he launches from his home on Gabriola Island, he has been a huge encourager of other theatre artists: his unconditional support for Julia Mackey's play Jake's Gift kept the momentum going on that project in early days, long before it was the nation-wide hit it has become.

Third Street Theatre presents
St. Mark’s Gospel
A No Bells and Whistles Production
January 7 (preview), 13, 14, 18, 19 @8pm and Saturday, January 8 @ 2pm
Presentation House, North Vancouver

"He has no dramatic props, no elaborate lighting, no sound system, no power point projection. There is no soft background music to stir audience emotions, just one man alone and the words he speaks for two hours with one short break.
"Mr. Holland offers a compelling presentation of Mark’s Gospel carried by the sheer power of the words and the intensity of his seasoned actor’s voice. He is clearly comfortable with the words he is reciting and has a deep confidence in the rhythm and the strength of the text. He does not embellish his recitation with theatrics. He allows the drama of the story to unfold and the strength of the text to carry the presentation.
"Hearing the text in one sitting, I am struck by the towering figure of Jesus who appears constantly throughout the story as the story moves rapidly toward its painful conclusion. Along the way Jesus appears as a figure of undeniable authority and evident power. At every turn in the text the mere presence of Jesus requires a response from every person he meets. Confronted by Jesus it is impossible to remain untouched.
"Mr. Holland’s confidence in the text carries with it the undeniable reality of the power that lies behind the words. As he completes his rendition, we are left to examine our own lives and ask how in our hearts we will respond."
Christopher Page (the Ven.)
Archdeacon of Tolmie
Rector, St. Philip Anglican Church

Thursday, January 13, 2011

jan 28 + 30 | vcc | "music from the stage"

At Pacific Theatre, we love the Vancouver Chamber Choir, we love John Trotter, and we love show tunes! Triple threat...

click to enlarge

SONG STREET Berlioz to Bernstein
8 pm Friday, January 28, 2011
3 pm Sunday, January 30, 2011
Ryerson United Church

Vancouver Chamber Choir
Pacifica Singers
Stephen Smith, piano
John William Trotter, conductor

Take a walk on Song Street, a tuneful amble through some music from the stage - opera, operetta and musicals. John William Trotter conducts, starting with famous opera choruses from Berlioz, Rossini, Verdi, Leoncavallo and Mascagni. There are G&S operetta highjinks from HMS Pinafore, songs from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, and more from several of the Broadway musicals of Stephen Sondheim. Stephen Smith is the pianist and Trotter’s Pacifica Singers also make a cameo appearance.

Hector Berlioz Roman Carnival
Giaccomo Rossini Villager’s Chorus (Guillaume Tell)
Giuseppi Verdi Matador’s Chorus (La Traviata)
Giuseppi Verdi Chorus of Scottish Refugees (MacBeth)
Giuseppi Verdi Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves (Nabucco)
Ruggero Leoncavallo Bell Chorus (Pagliacci)
Pietro Mascagni Easter Hymn (Cavalleria Rusticana)
Giuseppi Verdi Triumphal Scene (Aida)
Gilbert & Sullivan HMS Pinafore Highlights
Stephen Sondheim A Sondheim Medley
Leonard Bernstein Songs from Candide

TICKETS: $24.50 - $28
Students always $10 at the door! 604-280-3311

For more information please contact:
1254 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6H 1B6 604.738.6822, ext 24 Fax 604.738.7832

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

jan 12 - feb 11 | grace tan | lookout gallery

Reception at the Lookout Gallery today, Wednesday, January 12th from 4:30-7:30pm 
for the opening of Grace Tan’s Phases of Eve.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

rajiv joseph | bengal tiger at the baghdad zoo

A Little God, A Little Evil, A Lot Of Ritual
by Patrick Healy
New York Times, December 29 2010

When Rajiv Joseph was 13, he was voted Most Likely to Become a Priest by the other eighth graders at Gesu Catholic School in Cleveland. He wasn’t especially pious, he said — just quiet, private, observant. Little did his classmates know that their designation was apt. An altar boy, he had for years imagined becoming a priest. He loved the theatricality of Bible stories, like the big reveal of the risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus. He loved the rituals of the Roman Catholic Mass, like the blessing of the Eucharist as the body of Christ. Most of all, matters of morality and faith tumbled around in his mind. Eventually Mr. Joseph’s interest in girls made celibacy a nonstarter, but his interest in good and evil, in sin and redemption, found powerful expression in his calling as a playwright.

His dark comedy "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize, is set to open on Broadway in March, starring Robin Williams. It is in large part a morality tale about American soldiers and Iraqi civilians trying to make sense of the war. Another play, "The North Pool," which will have its world premiere this spring in Palo Alto, Calif., centers on guilt and forgiveness stemming from a death. And on Wednesday Second Stage Theater will begin Off Broadway performances of Mr. Joseph’s “Gruesome Playground Injuries,” a drama dealing with the power of rituals. Each scene revolves around a new wound — whether accidental, self-inflicted or from fights with others — sustained by two emotionally damaged friends who minister to each other’s physical hurts but struggle to tend to their psychological pain.

Played by Jennifer Carpenter (the title character’s sister on the Showtime series “Dexter”) and Pablo Schreiber (a Tony Award nominee for “Awake and Sing!”), the two characters appear at different ages during the play, between 8 and 38 — a narrative device that helps illuminate their long histories as each other’s keepers.

Over tea recently at a cafe in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where he frequently writes, Mr. Joseph recalled that his fellow middle school students found him difficult to classify during the “Most Likely To” balloting — a shy boy whose father was from India, his mother from Ohio. And as a writer he remains hard to categorize, having produced dramas, comedies and thrillers since he began playwriting seriously only eight years ago. His work can veer from intense darkness to laugh-out-loud humor, especially “Bengal Tiger.”

“I’ve always been interested in human nature and codes of behavior, how we come to make choices — moral ones, ones about love or family — and how primal forces like longing, or desire or a hunger for faith can take us to wild places,” said Mr. Joseph, now 36. “As a writer I’ve come to think of myself, among other things, as a Catholic playwright because my plays really are informed by this love and connection to storytelling and ritual.”


Scott Ellis, the director of “Gruesome,” said that part of Mr. Joseph’s talent lay in taking on sweeping moral issues with a strong sense of humor. His characters grapple with existential questions throughout “Gruesome,” and the Tiger in “Bengal Tiger” (to be played by Mr. Williams) is a kind of Mesopotamian philosopher, but they also clearly recognize the absurdities of their situations.

“I’m not sure if Rajiv could write so successfully about spiritual clarity, about moments in life that are bigger than our own selves, if he didn’t have such a strong eye for comedy and an obvious desire to entertain,” Mr. Ellis said. “It’s a skill set that most young playwrights his age struggle to develop but seems to come naturally to him.”


He enrolled in the graduate dramatic writing program at New York University in 2002 and soon turned from his first interest, screenwriting, to playwriting. “I loved the urgency of two or three characters talking to each other onstage, confronting each other, and the art of stripping away any part of the scene or story that didn’t have to do with what those characters needed,” said Mr. Joseph, who cited the playwrights Lynn Nottage (“Ruined”) and Stephen Adly Guirgis (“Our Lady of 121st Street”) as key influences. ...

Carole Rothman, the artistic director of Second Stage, used the same word — “urgency” — to describe her attraction to Mr. Joseph as a writer and to “Gruesome Playground Injuries,” which has played in Houston and Washington.

“Rajiv understands that part of success in live theater is grabbing hold of your audience so they don’t want to take their eyes off the stage,” Ms. Rothman said. “And Rajiv’s own appeal is that he is hard to pin down. He’s very thoughtful, but he writes bad-boy plays and has this sparkle that draws artists and women to him.” (For the record Mr. Joseph is single.)

Once “Gruesome” is up, Mr. Joseph will turn to preparing “The North Pool” for TheatreWorks in Palo Alto and “Bengal Tiger” on Broadway. After two productions of that play in Los Angeles, it will be his Broadway debut.

While disappointed that his friend Kevin Tighe won’t stay with the play as the Tiger, Mr. Joseph said that he was thrilled to have Mr. Williams in the role (“it’s like adding plutonium to a milkshake”), and that casting a star was essential to landing the show on Broadway, a prospect that still dazzles him.

“It’s kind of daunting, thinking about what 2011 will be like for me and my life,” Mr. Joseph said. “Right now I’m just very glad and grateful that I found my way to playwriting, and that from what I can tell from audiences I’m not the only one interested in the questions in these plays.”

Thanks to Chris Domig for letting me know about this article. Chris was Sad in "Dirt" in this year's fringe of the Fringe at Pacific Theatre this year. But he's much happier now.

Friday, January 07, 2011

a new floor for pt!

By now our audiences are used to seeing our intimate theatre space transform from show to show - we've taken you from a warm and cluttered living room to an outdoor amusement park to a church basement gymnasium in the matter of months.  Now when our space is transformed for MY NAME IS ASHER LEV (and you'll be thrilled to see what we're doing with this one!), look closely at the floor, because that will be new as well.  Here are some pics of our crew treating the new floor before it gets delivered to our space.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

music @ pacific flyer

Check out the cool e-flyer the good folks at The Pacific Rim String Quartet put together for their performance at PT this weekend!

jan 21 - feb 5 | glen pinchin in tuesdays with morrie

Remember Glen Pinchin? The perfect Grandpa Vanderhof in You Can't Take It With You, and the perfect Grandpa Tony in You Still Can't. Well, he's in the next one at Gallery 7 in Abbotsford, a two-hander adaptation of a well-loved best-seller by sports writer Mitch Albom - though it's not a sports story. Quite inspiring. Here's a note from Glen...

"Tuesdays With Morrie" is a beautiful true story of life, death, friendship and love. If you've read the book, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't read the book, you should....right now!...and then you'll want to see the play!!

Here's a link to the details.

January 21 & 22, 27 - 29, February 3 - 5, 2011 @ 7:30 PM
Discount Matinees: January 22 & 29 @ 2:00 PM

jan 8 | tracy neff in concert

Ovation Performance Series presents its very first concert

Jan 8 @ 7pm
Performer's Chat to follow

For all music theatre buffs, you don't want to miss the incredible talent of Tracy Neff along with singers Tony Barton and Deanna Gutierrez and pianist Larry Enns. Ring in the New Year with your friends and family by joining us in a fabulous evening of music from Broadway shows you know and love from this star-studded ensemble.

Tickets $15
Proceeds will be donated to Delta Hospice Society

Tickets 604.946.7410 (Cedar Park Church) or 604.720.3392 / ((Michelle Jones)

Cedar Park Church
5300 44th Avenue
Ladner, BC

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

in development | reunion | sean devine

Pacific Theatre is working with another Vancouver company, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades (with the dramaturgical support of the Playwrights Theatre Centre) to develop Sean Devine's new play Reunion. We're considering it as our season opener for the fall.

Can't tell you much about it at this point, I'm afraid, but it's really something. What I can do is share this peek at Sean's writing process, which came in an email this morning...
Honestly, the rewrite was so much fun to do. Especially the last chunk, where I had 5 days in a row all to myself. It's significantly different, at least structurally, plot development, and character focal points.

There was one point in the writing where I could tell how much fun I was having. You know when a momentum starts and the characters control the writing more than the writer. Well, that had been happening. One of the characters had just done something that was inevitable and had to happen, but it still caught me off guard. I was at Starbucks when I wrote it. After writing it I needed to take a break cause I didn't know what to write after that point. On my way back, I said out loud to myself "I can't believe [that character] just did that!"
We'll be aiming to line up our 2011-12 season by the end of February. In March we work on practicalities - scheduling theatre and rehearsal space, lining up artists, finalizing performance rights, all that - and it all falls apart. By the end of March we get it rearranged and all firmed up again, dig in on the season brochure, and have it all ready to unveil at the opening night of our final mainstage show. This year, the announcement will come May 20,when the curtain goes up on our production of C.S. Lewis's The Great Divorce.

Definitely one of the fun parts of my job.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

jan 9 | diane tucker | poetic justice

Diane Tucker will be the featured reader at...

January 9 @ 4 pm

Renaissance Books
43 - 6TH St New Westminster BC
(½ block up from Columbia Station)

604-525-4566 |

Come early & sign up for Open Mic
only ½ hour from downtown Vancouver by Skytrain
a large collection of fine used books,
including out-of-print & hard-to-find copies,
and new books by local authors

Check out this recent poem by Diane, written after she got home from a Pacific Theatre board meeting. It's a knockout. Diane sits on PT's Artist Advisory.