Friday, September 26, 2014

the rainmaker | preparing for the role

We've been overhearing the team for THE RAINMAKER talking about the research they've been doing to prepare for the show, and we thought it would be fun to let you in on what helps shape the actors' perception of the world of the play.

A four-part documentary created by Ken Burns in 2012 for PBS on the Dust Bowl, a period of about eight years in the 1930s of severe drought and dust storms in the US and Canada.  

The stories of individual Canadians who survived the depression and droughts of the 1930s, including many stories from farms and ranches similar to the Curry Family Ranch in The Rainmaker.

The story of the Dionne quintuplets, born in the 1930s, giving another picture of that time.

This classic story gets right into the world of The Rainmaker, depicting the Great Depression and Dust Bowl through the lens of one farming family.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

the rainmaker | set design

As the actors started rehearsing, we starting to build the world of THE RAINMAKER on our stage!  Here's a preview of the design and building process.

Set Designer John Webber unveils the maquette at the first read.

The maquette up close.

Set installation in progress.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

sept 28 | poetry in transit | diane tucker

Our board member Diane Tucker is going to have some of her poetry featured in the Poetry in Transit program! No confirmation yet which shelters she'll be on, but she'll be doing a reading on the Poetry in Transit bus parked at Homer Street as a part of the Word Vancouver Festival.

Diane Tucker Reading - September 28th
Word Vancouver Festival
12:15 and 4pm
Poetry in Transit Bus (Homer St.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

meet the apprentice | kayla heselwood

The final apprentice for your to meet is Kayla Heselwood!

Kayla Heselwood

What were you doing last year?:
Last year I was working at Arts Umbrella; a non-for-profit arts education centre. I was mainly a teaching assistant for drama, visual arts and creative movement classes. The majority of my time I worked with the Outreach program going into schools and community centres bringing art classes to children and youth. Over the summer, I worked for a children's theatre company in Winnipeg called Manitoba Theatre for Young People. I worked as an instructor and teaching assistant. It was a lot of work, but very rewarding.

What are your favourite shows you’ve worked on so far?:
The most recent show I performed in was the Welcome Aboard show on the Disney Fantasy. Getting to perform on the stage of the Walt Disney Theatre was pretty darn cool! This past year I assisted the very talented Orsy Szabo in directing Alice in Wonderland for an Outreach program at Arts Umbrella. Being a part of the creative process with the teens including the performance for their parents, was a truly moving experience.

What’s your non-theatrical specialty?:
My non-theatrical specialty is working with children and youth. I LOVE working with kids! In fact, I started off in the Education Program at the University of Winnipeg. I soon realized how unfair I was being to myself and to the kids as I was encouraging them to pursue their dreams while putting mine on hold. That is when I set my eyes on Vancouver.

What’s the number one thing you’re excited about doing during your apprenticeship?:
Honestly, everything! I cannot wait to be a part of the creating process and then seeing a project through to the stage.

Where have you trained in theatre?:
I received my BA from the university of Winnipeg in English and Theatre. I received my diploma from Vancouver Film School after graduating from their full time Acting for Film and Television Program.

What was your favourite part of your training?:
Scene study class was one of my favourite parts of training. Being able to play, explore and continually be in the moment was a huge breakthrough for me. I also loved movement and voice class. Oh! And massage Wednesday to help with vocal warm up. What a great way to start off the day!

Is there anything coming up in your apprenticeship that will be a totally new experience to you?:
Yes! Being a part of a staged reading in March. I have no idea what to expect and I think that is what makes me most excited. Also, working in the box office.

What would be your top three categories in Trivial Pursuit (invented or real)?:
Sandwiches, desserts and film.

Monday, September 22, 2014

the rainmaker | first read

Today we had the first read of THE RAINMAKER!  We can't wait to see what happens with this charming little tale, but in the meantime, we have some photos from the read to tide us over.

Friday, September 19, 2014

meet the apprentice | shona struthers

Here's your introduction to the third of four apprentices this season: Shona Struthers!

Shona is so excited to be working at Pacific Theatre! Fresh out of high school, she is excited to be learning and growing a lot this year. She was trained for 8 years in acting at Grace Academy for Dance and Performing Arts, as well as West End Studio Theatre in Oakville, ON.

Shona Struthers

What were you doing last year?:
I was in high school (yawn)

What are your favourite shows you've worked on so far?:
God of Carnage has to be my favourite, Waiting for Godot, The Heist (original production)

What's your non-theatrical specialty?:
Kayaking, playing piano + singing, knitting.

What's the number one thing you're excited about doing during your apprenticeship?:
I am very excited to be involved with all aspects of theatre, and just learning all the time.

Where have you trained in theatre?:
I have been trained in acting for 8 years at Grace Academy of Dance and Performing Arts, with additional classes at W.E.S.T (West End Studio Theatre) in Oakville, ON. (also drama class at high school, but I don't know if that really counts...)

What was your favourite part of your training?:
My favourite part of training had to have partner and scene work.

Is there anything coming up in the apprenticeship that will be totally new to you?:
Hanging lights is totally new, and incredibly nerve wracking at the moment; WHAT IF I DROP ONE

What would be your top three categories in Trivial Pursuit (invented or real)?:
Geography, Star Wars Characters, Food

oct 7-18 | my rabbi

PT audiences will remember Kayvon Kelly from his charismatic performance in MOTHER TERESA IS DEAD a couple seasons ago. After that production we talked together about a two-hander Kayvon had created with his close friend Joel Bernbaum, exploring the challenges faced by friends who find themselves on different sides of a religious, cultural and politically charged divide. We haven't found a place for it yet in a Pacific Theatre season, so I'm thrilled that they found a home for the show at the Firehall.  If THE RAINMAKER rehearsal schedule allows, I'll definitely be going to see this one. (Oh! And it's directed by Julie MacIsaac - MEASURE FOR MEASURE, SPITFIRE GRILL, MOTHER TERESA...)

oct 7-18
tue - sat 8pm | wed 1pm pwyc | sat 4pm | sun 3pm

Arya and Jacob were both born in Saskatoon and have been best friends since high school. Arya’s father is Iranian and his mother is Irish-Catholic. Jacob comes from a long line of rabbis. The unlikely pair laugh at their respective cultural differences; dubbing themselves ‘the Jew and the Muslim’. As they grow up, their own spiritual journeys lead them in divergent directions that will change their lives forever. This thought-provoking comedic drama about the lines that occur between faith and friendship is created and performed by real-life friends Kayvon Kelly (Chelsea Hotel) and Joel Bernbaum.

“Kayvon Kelly and Joel Bernbaum show the grey areas around this contentious subject… funny and poignant… its message of togetherness has never felt more vital.” The Stage, Edinburgh

“I’m glad we’re telling our story when we are because this is the time to encourage dialogue,” Kayvon Kelly, Globe & Mail interview


“This play was my favourite show this year, the topic was hugely relevant and the actors moved me to tears. We took a punt on this play after having been handed a flyer something we rarely do, but I’m so glad we did. Many thanks to the fantastic actors who clearly put their hearts and souls into this performance.” Karen

“Phenomenally relevant examination of perception, culture, pre-conception, religion and conflict. Well worth seeing.” Elizabeth

“The two actors were very credible and talented, taking you on a journey of humour, sadness and poignancy… A must see. One of the best things we have seen over nearly 20 years of Edinburgh Fringe attendance.” Michelle

Thursday, September 18, 2014

beautiful things | shots from the rehearsal room

Our currently-on-hiatus Community Engagement Manager Kaitlin Williams is directing the staged reading of BEAUTIFUL THINGS, opening tonight!  Here's some shots she took of the team in this morning's rehearsal.  BEAUTIFUL THINGS by Shauna Johannesen runs Sept 18-20 at 8pm, and is a script-in-hand workshop presentation.

sept 24 | miriam jones concert

Miriam was a Vancouver gal, part of the Regent College community, before heading to England. We hosted a concert of hers, along with Jer and Sher, a couple summers ago. Ron's a Big Fan, and we bet you will be too if you check her out!

On Wednesday September 24th, our friend Miriam Jones ( will be playing a concert in anticipation of the release of her fourth studio album.

The concert will be at held at Grace Vancouver Church, 1696 West 7th Avenue. Doors are at 7:00pm and tickets are by suggested donation of $10. A portion of all proceeds will be going to aid the work of Helping Point Canada (

Facebook event here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

meet the apprentice | eleanor felton

The next apprentice we'd like you to meet is Eleanor Felton!  Eleanor will be developing her work as a director this season.

Eleanor graduated with a BA in Theatre from TWU in April where she studied mainly directing and acting. Over the last four years, she assistant stage managed Romeo + Juliet, stage managed Bride on Credit, wrote/acted/danced in Picture This!, directed Building Blocks, and assistant directed Much Ado About Nothing, all at Trinity Western. Additionally, last September, she and some other theatre graduates (including fellow apprentice this year, Brandon) produced The Pavilion, which she directed. She has been a long time admirer of the work at Pacific Theatre and is excited for all she will learn this year.

Eleanor Marie Felton

What were you doing last year?:
I was finishing my four year stint at TWU, Front of House Managing, produced a show for the first time, assistant directing/choreographing a Shakespeare show, and taking a first year art class which may or may not be useful in my future.

What are your favourite shows you've worked on so far?:
1. The Pavilion. I directed and produced this show last September with fellow apprent Brandon Bate, as well as Amy Dauer, and Cody Friesen. I learned much and was very proud of our work by the end of it - we will definitely be remounting it one day.
2. Much Ado About Nothing. I assistant directed/assistant choreographed for Angela Konrad in this show at TWU. Not only was it a Shakespearean comedy, it was also a musical and set in the late 1930's. Never has Shakespeare been so fun.
3. Oliver Twist. Grade 5. I played The Artful Dodger. This is where theatre started for me.

What's your non-theatrical specialty?:
I have no idea. I dance and I play violin, but I consider these both kind of theatre-y... Oooh! I can wiggle my ears!

What's the number one thing you're excited about doing during your apprenticeship?:
Shadowing any and all directors I possibly can: I want to learn as much as I can from all the professionals that work at this theatre. I'm looking forward to working as an assistant director on The Rainmaker this season with Ron Reed.

Where have you trained in theatre?:
Trinity Western University

What was your favourite part of your training?:
Acting classes (mask work and physical theatre!), my professors (would it be mean to list one?), my classmates (again, would it be mean?), the shows (TECH DAY: my favourite day of rehearsal), and directing class (obviously).

Is there anything coming up in the apprenticeship that will be totally new to you?:
I think I've had a small taste of just about everything that I will encounter this year (as far as I'm aware), so I'm really excited to dig even further in.

What would be your top three categories in Trivial Pursuit (invented or real)?:
Musical theatre, 101-Ways-to-Not-Succeed-in-the-Kitchen, 100-Survival-Techniques-Required-In-Felton-Family-Adventures. (I don't play Trivial Pursuit. Ever. I'm really awful at it.)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

sept 23-27 | eva cassidy: how can i keep from singing | tom pickett

Tom Pickett is one of our favourite guys to work with.  He'll be in THE WHIPPING MAN later this season, but before that rolls around, he'll be playing Chuck Brown in EVA CASSIDY: HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING at the Evergreen Cultural Centre.  Those guys will also be bringing the Arts Club tour of our production of THE FOREIGNER to their stage in the new year!

Eva Cassidy: How Can I Keep From Singing is a hot new show featuring two of Vancouver’s finest vocalists – Cayla Brooke and Tom Pickett – and a red-hot four-piece band.

It tells the story of Eva Cassidy, from her humble beginnings in DC to her untimely death at 33. Showcasing 25 incredible songs from jazz, gospel, blues, country to folk, this audience favourite is not to be missed. Where else can you hear Stormy Monday, Over the Rainbow, Wayfaring Stranger, Fields of Gold and Danny Boy all in setting? Cayla deftly blends these songs together seasoning them with her own brand of wit and sparkle.

September 23 - 27, 2014, 8pm + 4pm Saturday
TICKETS: Adult $39 | Senior $30 | Student $15
Tickets and info here.

sept 25-26 | verge conference | twu

Coming up our friends at TWU are hosting their 8th annual VERGE CONFERENCE, exploring artistic enquiry as research.  Info below.

Verge Conference 2014

Join scholars and artists from around the world at TWU's School of the Arts, Media + Culture for our 8th annual Verge Conference.

"Human production encounters an enormous variety of ways of trying things out, rejecting them, succeeding, or failing. Art begins precisely there, where we are able to do otherwise." (Hans-Georg Gadamer)

How do material, experiential, transitory, and performative practices constitute research? Connect with a community of scholars on September 25 + 26: explore the implications of the question for the artist, the academy, and the wider communities in which artists work.

Verge Conference on Arts + Re/Search
September 25-26, 2014 | TWU campus, Music Building
Register online at

Friday, September 12, 2014

sept 14 | we make stuff

Remember We Make Stuff? The anthology of Christian artists that featured Ron, as well as a whole host of other PT artists? They're back with a second edition, and this Sunday is the kick off party to their Kickstarter campaign! Below is their event information, go to the Eventbrite page to RSVP.

WeMakeStuff Volume 02 Pre-Order Kick-Off Party
Sept 14, 6-9pm

5 Stones Church (near New Westminster skytrain)
612 Columbia Street, New Westminster

This evening kicks off the crowdfunding campaign for WeMakeStuff Volume 02 at our homebase studio.  Come out, support, and celebrate this incredible initiative featuring 100 artists and innovators from around the Vancouver, British Columbia area.

Why you should come:
- To pre-order WeMakeStuff Volume 02!
- Meet the artists and see old friends.
- Special limited-edition products: combo book packages, freshly designed tees and much more! First come first served.
- Meet the WeMakeStuff team (Pretty awesome bunch!)
- Yummy food and drinks (Light food. Cash Bar.)

Let's get WeMakeStuff Volume 02 off to a strong start. It's been a labor of love and we are really proud of it. We know you'll love it too. It takes a village to raise a child, and together, we can bring this baby to life. By coming to this event, you can purchase your Volume 02 copy at cost ($35 versus the $50 retail price tag.) And since WeMakeStuff Volume 02 will be released in time for Christmas, you get your Christmas shopping done early. Dress classy and wear your best smile. :)

WeMakeStuff is a not-for profit initiative with the simple purpose of showcasing creative people within our community who are doing amazing things.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

meet the apprentice | brandon bate

It's time to get to know our latest season apprentices!  After all, these folks will be taking care of all your ticketing needs and creating their own artistic projects for you to check out, so it only makes sense that you learn a little about them.  Up first we have Brandon Bate.

Brandon Bate

What were you doing last year?:
This time last year I had just started my fourth year of university. I was also just finishing up a one week run of “The Pavilion” by Craig Wright, and moving into the first rehearsals of “Crimes of the Heart” by Beth Henley.

What are your favourite shows you’ve worked on so far?:
“The Pavilion” was definitely my favorite. I discovered the script with four of my friends and founded our own theatre company in order to mount it. I got to play the role of “Narrator” who plays a total of 17 different characters: male and female.

What’s your non-theatrical specialty?:
Photography and guitar!

What’s the number one thing you’re excited about doing during your apprenticeship?:
Getting to watch incredible artists work!

Where have you trained in theatre?:
Trinity Western University

What was your favourite part of your training?:
Being able to be in so many shows and work with 6 different directors.

Is there anything coming up in your apprenticeship that will be a totally new experience to you?:
Working in a box office and selling subscriptions.

What would be your top three categories in Trivial Pursuit (invented or real)?:
How to survive bear attacks. Justice League characters, and Homestar Runner Trivia

sep 18-22 | rome open city | pacific cinematheque

Classic Soul Food movie at Pacific Cinematheque next week 

dir. Roberto Rossellini

Pacific Cinematheque
Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 6:30pm
Friday, September 19, 2014 - 8:40pm
Saturday, September 20, 2014 - 6:30pm
Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 8:40pm
Monday, September 22, 2014 - 6:30pm

Cinematheque program notes: "Rossellini’s masterpiece of neorealism — now newly restored and newly subtitled — is one of cinema’s landmark works, and features the celebrated Anna Magnani in the role that first brought her international fame. Magnani is stirring as proud, working-class Pina, pregnant fiancĂ©e of an Italian resistance fighter caught up in the struggle against the brutal Nazi occupation. Aldo Fabrizi co-stars as Don Pietro, a partisan priest. Shot in the war-torn streets of Rome only weeks after the liberation, Rome, Open City stunned audiences around the world with its dramatic intensity and unvarnished, newsreel-like directness. The American critic James Agee was so awed by the film that he publicly proclaimed himself unable to review it! Fellini co-wrote the script and served as assistant director. “All roads lead to Rome, Open City” (Jean Luc-Godard)."