Friday, November 29, 2013

christmas presence | artist profile | the tourist company

Another set of newbies to the CHRISTMAS PRESENCE scene, we've got The Tourist Company for one night only!  A local progressive folk group, these guys ooze with a cool factor.  You can listen to some of their songs on their website here, but before you do that, watch one of their performances right here, right now.

The Tourist Company are playing CHRISTMAS PRESENCE in Richmond on Sunday, November 8th only!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

christmas presence | 2013

This year's CHRISTMAS PRESENCE is bigger than ever - 10 performances at PT, plus we're hitting North Vancouver, Abbotsford, and, for the first time, Richmond!

An ad-hoc gathering of musicians and actors who meet day-of to trade songs and choose readings, CHRISTMAS PRESENCE is both everything you might expect from a holiday show, as well as the exact opposite. Setting aside the lavish sets and costumes that dominate the season for what Artistic Director Ron Reed likes to call “the un-slickest Christmas show in town.” The vibe is that of a family gathering that has burst into song – if you happen to have a family of diverse and talented musicians who harbour an equal love for David Sedaris, Stuart McLean, and Madeleine L’Engle.

Pacific Theatre: Dec 11-21
Richmond: December 8
North Vancouver: December 15th
Abbotsford: December 22nd

Tickets and info on our website here.

aslan is on the move | tales from the tour

Last Friday our signature production of THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE began its month-long tour with a stop in Chilliwack. Up next is Mission, and then the show will move on to Kelowna and Kamloops. Over the next few weeks the cast and crew will be blogging with stories and pictures from their experiences on the road called "Tales From the Tour". Read our first entry 
from actor Mack Gordon below:

Kaitlin and the requisite venue photo. 

When we walked into the Chilliwack Cultural Centre, the house was black and the stage lights were up. Lauchlin and Kerri were hard at work setting levels for the show. We didn't have access to the Wardrobe itself during our week of rehearsals leading up to the one-night-only in Chilliwack. Kaitlin and I opened the doors of the cupboard, climbed inside, rummaged the hangers about the bar. I stepped off the stage and into the audience. It took me almost a minute to get to the back of the house. Kaitlin was on stage muttering lines and polishing blocking. I could make out her words all the way from the back. Good acoustics. I spoke in my thirty cm voice to see if I could get her attention. She was in her own world. I returned to the stage and lay down, stretching my back bone, raising my arms above my head. We could hear Lauchlin and Kerri chattering about something. We looked up into the shadows. For a brief moment, I still don't know why, the house lights came up. We feasted our eyes on the empty audience that we would soon be playing. The seats were bright as cardinals. 

The house was so wide it was like looking through a cinema lens. The walls were coated in the taught fabric you see when you dream about movie theatres. Kaitlin's eyes widened. She'd never played a house this big. Her laugh pinballed to every corner of the auditorium. I laughed too. I shouted a few lines about bugs and bears to wake up my voice. And then my warm-up was done. We left the stage, ready for the first show of our 2013 Winter tour.

Mack takes in the 600 seats of the Chilliwack Cultural Centre!

Up next, THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE stops at the Clarke Theatre in Mission on Saturday November 30th at 7:00pm. Ticket info and more can be found here.  

christmas presence | artist profile | peter la grand

Peter La Grand has been a CHRISTMAS PRESENCE favourite for many years now, and we are thrilled to have him back!  One of the bands he plays with, Ordinary Time, has released a new CD called Joy Brand New.

Get a preview of some of Peter's other music on his website here.

Peter La Grand will be performing with Crystal Arnold at CHRISTMAS PRESENCE on Dec. 14, 15, 19, and 20.

See the rest of the line up here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

pt's 30th agm

Last night we had our latest Living Dreams AGM, and this was a special one because it was also our first time gathering our members together in our 30th anniversary season! Aside from all the business, we were treated to some music by Allen Desnoyers, one of the three artists who started Pacific Theatre with Ron, and had a lovely birthday cake!  Thanks to everyone who came out.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

christmas campaign | happy holidays photo booth

Photo booths are pretty hip right now, and here at PT we're nothing if not hip, so here's some photo booth-style shots of our staff in their Happy Holidays alter-egos.  We're raising $50,000 for our Christmas campaign, see the original postcard and poem here, and then go here to donate!

Visit us online here or call 604.731.5483.

wardrobe tour | aslan is on the move!

This winter's tour of THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE has begun with a full house in Chilliwack.  Still to come: Mission, Kelowna, and Kamloops.  

christmas campaign | happy holidays postcard

Our Christmas fundraising campaign is getting started!  This year we decided to bring all the holidays into the mix because, well, don't you think they get lonely around this time of year?

We’ve all heard the saying, each year in December,
“Happy Holidays” is warbled from early November.
But most of the Holidays are anything but happy--
In fact they feel lonely and left out and crappy.
It’s all about Christmas - the Eve and the Day -
With all of the others swept out of the way!

But we at PT have compassion on all
those neglected Occasions not asked to the Ball--
Thanksgiving and Easter, New Year’s and Labour
Saints Patrick and Valentine - each is our neighbour!
We’ll throw them a party! Send out invitations
To the birth days of two North American nations!

Now, parties ain’t cheap - and that’s why we need you
To finance a blowout they all can come to!
A cool fifty grand more than adequately pays
For their shindig - with leftovers funding some plays!
Make the holidays happy! Not just Christmas, but all!
Here’s to year-round festivities - spring, summer and fall!''

Visit our donation page online here.
Call 604.731.5483 (ask for Alison!)
Mail 1440 W 12th Ave, Vancouver, BC, V6H 1M8

christmas presence | artist profile | sheree plett and jeremy eisenhauer

Sheree and Jeremy are mainstays of CHRISTMAS PRESENCE, and their Christmas albums are always tope sellers at the show.  Check out one of their Christmas songs, "Oh Emmanuel."

Sheree Plett and Jeremy Eisenhauer will play CHRISTMAS PRESENCE on December 14, 18, 20, and the Abbotsford performance on Dec. 22.

Monday, November 25, 2013

top ten thousand | playlist

Well, that's it for The Top Ten Thousand Of All Time, at least for now. Folks have asked about various tunes that were played in the show, so here's the rundown.

Be My Baby, by The Ronettes
Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes featuring Veronica (1964, Philles Records)

Northwest Passage, by Stan Rogers
Northwest Passage (1981, Fogarty Cove Music)

Statesboro Blues, by The Allman Brothers Band
The Allman Brothers Band At Fillmore East (1971, Capricorn Records)

Theme From A Summer Place, by Percy Faith
Percy Faith's Greatest Hits (1960, Columbia Records)

Mysterons, by Portishead
Dummy (1994, Go! Discs)

I'm Beginning To See The Light, by The Four Freshmen
First Affair (1960, Capitol Records)

Long, Long, Long, by The Beatles
The Beatles ["White Album"] (1968, Apple Records)

Tomorrow Never Knows, by The Beatles
Revolver (1966, Parlophone / Capitol Records)

Sugar Sugar, by The Archies
Everything's Archie (1969, RCA Victor)

Terra Tremuit, by Les Peres du Saint-Esprit de Chevilly
Gregorian Chant: Easter Liturgy / Christmas Cycle (Seraphim)

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat by Charles Mingus
Mingus Ah Um (1959, Columbia)

The End Of The World by Skeeter Davis
The End Of The World (1962, RCA Victor)

Dance Of The Dream Man by Angelo Badalamenti
Twin Peaks (1990, Warner Brothers)

Are You Going With Me? by Pat Metheny
Offramp (1982, ECM)

I also played tunes before the show began, and during the intermission. (Apologies to anybody who came up to chat, and got snubbed: I should have had a sign, "The DJ only appears to be here right now. Please do not disturb."  Something like that.) At any rate, people have also asked after some of the songs played during those sets.  Here are a few of the nearly 100 that got played over the course of the five shows:

Blackbird by Dionne Farris
Wild Seed - Wild Flower (1994, Columbia)

Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) by US3
Hand On The Torch (1993, Blue Note)

Awungilobolele by Udokotela Shange Namajaha
The Indestructible Beat of Soweto (1985, Earthworks)

Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone by Leon Redbone
Champagne Charlie (1978, Warner Brothers)

The Nightfly by Donald Fagen
The Nightfly (1982, Warner Brothers)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

top ten thousand | supreme dream

The Top Ten Thousand Of All Time
includes a piece by Canadian playwright Frank Moher called "The First White Supreme" - which is, essentially, the opening of the first draft of the play that became Supreme Dream. It's the story of Rhonda Trodd, who grew up in Calgary in the sixties (as did Frank and I) dreaming of one day being a Supreme (as didn't Frank, or I).  Here's a link to more about that show.

That Calgary connection with Mr Moher doesn't stop there. I vividly remember a high school drama festival at Lord Beaverbrook, a heady experience meeting theatre students from all over the city. Most impressive of all to me was that one of the plays, "Damn You Shakespeare," was actually written by a high school student.  It awed me that somebody my age could actually write a play: in fact, it awed me to realize that anybody could write a play. That human beings actually made up these things that we acted in.  The earliest seed of my own life as a playwright.  (You've got a lot to answer for, Frank).

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

top ten thousand | in the province

Thank you to The Province news for a fantastic preview article on TOP TEN THOUSAND OF ALL TIME today!  There's a snippet below, or read the whole thing in its context (and help support arts journalism) by clicking here.

top ten thousand | more photos

TOP TEN THOUSAND OF ALL TIME opens tonight!  Here's some more shots from the show.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

top ten thousand of all time | playwright's notes, 2004

Writing my notes for the Top Ten Thousand program, I happened upon these, from the play's September 2004 run at Fire Exit Theatre, in Calgary - where I saw Diane Tucker's play Here Breaks The Heart premiere a couple weeks ago. Bravo, Fire Exit!

There came a time when the theatre company I founded was on the ropes. My cohorts and I laid ourselves off, we put Pacific Theatre on barest life support, not knowing if the patient would ever recover, and I spent well over a year unemployed. Before then, most of my artistic work was as an actor, but during that long dark night of the vocational soul, I kept alive creatively by writing. THE TOP TEN THOUSAND OF ALL TIME came out of that period, written entirely as an act of self-indulgence, a kind of messing-around-in-the-sandbox exercise I was sure would never be performed. To this day I'm astonished that such a quirky and personal piece manages to connect with an audience of anybody but my own peculiar self - sometimes quite powerfully. Check your eschatology at the door, crank up the volume and enjoy!

The Top Ten Thousand plays Pacific Theatre this week only, Wed through Sat

Monday, November 18, 2013

selections from autobahn | a late-night stone's throw production

We've got our first apprentice showcase of the season coming up quick!  Following performances of TOP TEN THOUSAND OF ALL TIME, stick around and see selections from Neil Labute's AUTOBAHN, each piece directed and performed by our three apprentices.  Or come out at about 10pm to only see this show.

In Autobahn, Neil LaBute’s provocative collection of one-act plays set within the confines of the front seat, the playwright employs his signature plaintive insight to great effect, investigating the inchoate apprehension that surrounds the steering wheel.

Tickets Pay-What-You-Can at the door.
Audience Advisory: Contains strong language.

Directed by Kenton Klassen
Featuring Ryam Scramstad, Kirsty Provan

Directed by Ryan Scramstad
Featuring Pippa Johnstone, Kenton Klassen

Directed by Frank Nickel
Featuring Kenton Klassen, Kirsty Provan

top ten thousand | be my baby

TOP TEN THOUSAND OF ALL TIME includes some of Ron's favourite songs of all time, including The Ronettes' 1963 hit, 'Be My Baby'.  Take a listen and guess what number this would make in the countdown from ten thousand to number one.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

green room | extreme makeover

This past week a group of volunteer PT artists, staff, apprentices and even an audience member took on a project that has been a long time coming: The PT Green Room Makeover! Anyone who has worked at PT in the past knows that our green room serves many functions: staff room, dressing room, rehearsal hall, work area etc. It's a tiny space with no windows and poor lighting which easily becomes cluttered and disorganized. 

As a gift to the theatre, we artists and staff members decided to give the green room an extreme makeover. Check out some before and after photos below and enjoy what a fresh coat of paint and elbow grease did to our beloved little space:




Many artists not only volunteered their time to make this project possible, but also donated funds to go towards the transformation. On behalf of Pacific Theatre, thank you so much! We now have a peaceful,  clean and beautiful green room for you to to enjoy. Come on by and check it out!