Friday, May 27, 2016

wit | responses

"It’s intelligent, witty and sometimes funny." | Jo Ledingham

"Director Angela Konrad has assembled a wonderful cast centered on the magnetic Katharine Venour, who makes Vivian stoic and droll and always likeable. Dan Amos plays the fussy Dr. Pozer with distracted charm, and Julie Cassleman gives a gentle performance as the warm hearted Susie.... it is a very tender story about a powerful and tragic woman, wrapped in a handsome production, with a luminous cast." | David C. Jones, Vancouver Presents

"Venour maintains Vivian’s intellectual curiosity without ever falling into stage-academic clichés, and she’s horrifyingly convincing in rendering Vivian’s excruciating pain near the end. The supporting cast is also very good across the board, especially Casselman as Susie and Amos as the awful Dr. Posner... Wit is a play that respects great literature and confronts big questions with intellectual honesty. How are we equipped to deal with our own death? Not very well, it seems. No pat answers here. And paradoxically, there’s some comfort in that." | Jerry Wasserman, Vancouver Plays

"You’d have to be made of stone not to be touched by the core story of Wit... Venour’s work is witty, moving, and true. Dan Amos gets all of the awkward humour and deep nerdiness that’s written into Jason. And Erla Faye Forsyth is perfection as E.M., the mentor. When E.M. visits Vivian late in the play, their interaction is heartbreaking." | Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight


"What a beautiful, poignant piece of theatre! I appreciate your willingness to tackle difficult subjects with such sensitivity and authenticity - many moments, particularly surrounding the nurse / patient relationship brought back thoughts of time I or loved ones spent in the hospital. Amazing job, again! Looking forward to next season!" | Deb Lensman, Facebook Comment

"Had the pleasure of watching 'Wit' (W;t) by Margaret Edson, at Pacific Theatre. Beautiful performance by the cast, particularly Katharine Venour in the charismatic lead role of Vivian Bearing." | Jaymee Mak, Facebook Post

"Compelling performances. A necessary view for all to remind us what really matters in this life!" | Bev Kanda, Facebook Comment

"It was funny, tragic and very moving. Thank you for bringing this powerful play so wonderfully to life in your fantastic theatre." | Robyn Roscoe, Facebook Comment

"Astonishingly beautiful: Wit at @PacificTheatre. Go see it, seriously, your heart & head will thank you." | @cheriepayne

"A stunning performance by my fabulous friend actor Katharine Venour in Wit. Get your tickets!" | @suzannescottvan

"#ptWit is skillfully clever & disquieting. Simple is honoured by complexity. This catharsis is truly "fine". Go see." | @mdkeane

"Such a profound & visceral show and such wonderful work by not just the ensemble but the creative team as a whole. @PacificTheatre" | @kathrynpreeves

"Just saw it tonight -- Powerful. One of the best PT plays I've ever seen, in 16 years of attending. Katharine was outstanding. Excellent lighting." | Rosie Perera, Facebook

Thursday, May 26, 2016

wit | costume design

The costume design for WIT may seem straightforward, after all, the lead character is in a hospital gown the whole time!  With a cast of nine incorporating the passage of time as well as the medical and everyday, however, designer Christopher David Gauthier had his work cut out for him.  Here are some shots of him discussing the design at first read ads come of the inspiration boards he used to build each character's look.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

broadWHAT?! an improvised musical | jennifer pielak, eleanor felton, peter abando, matthew simmons

No script? No score? No problem! Local musical improv company, Off Key Improv, is thrilled to announce the premiere of BroadWHAT?! - a tip of their hats to the world of Broadway musicals. Set at the turn of the 19th century and inspired by audience suggestions, BroadWHAT?! is a two act improvised musical exploring classic character-types, songs styles and choreography from favourite musical theatre hits like Les Misérables, Hamilton, Rent, Wicked, Grease, The Sound of Music and more. Directed by emerging director Eleanor Felton (A GOOD MOTHER), musical direction by Peter Abando (SIDESHOW), featuring Jennifer Pielak (SIDESHOW) and Matthew Simmons (SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, SIDESHOW.)

DIRECTED BY: Eleanor Felton 

Evan Thompson, Jamieson McCormack, Jennifer Pielak, Julia Lank, Kasia Gabinska, Katie Purych, Matthew Simmons, Mitch Boliszcuck, Morgan Churla, Riley Qualtieri, Sam Mitchell, Zach Wolfman, Zosia Cassie

June 15th-19th
8pm Wed-Sun and 2pm Matinees on Sat & Sun.

Studio 1398 on Granville Island (1398 Cartwright Street, Vancouver)

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at

wit | production photos

A few of the production shots from WIT! All photos by Damon Calderwood.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

2016-2017 season artwork

We are thrilled to release the season artwork for our 2016-2017 season, all created by the incomparable Emily Cooper!  Check out the shows on our season page, here is the artwork all on its own.

Monday, May 23, 2016

wit | opening night

What a fantastic opening weekend for WIT!  Thanks to everyone who joined us and to our amazing cast and production team for putting together this beautiful show.  Here are some shots from Friday's opening night reception.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

wit | the set design

We've got an inside look at the set design for WIT, straight from designer John Webber! Read below as he discusses the set design process he and director Angela Konrad took in coming up with the concept for the set, which is based on an open book, with a page half turned, as well as the chaos of academic research.

Set Designer John Webber explaining the set design
at the first reading.

"We had been going back and forth a bit with various concepts, and as we were discussing the frustrations of research and the quality of work submitted by most students, we joked that Vivian's reaction would probably be to take a bunch of papers and throw them in the air. There was a little 'Ah Ha' moment and we were off.

The next evolution was bringing the formalization of research into the design, as Angela wanted to focus the piece on the price that Vivian and Jason pay for the drive to research over compassion for those around us.  This is where the idea for the book, with a page in mid turn, came from.

For me I imagine the set is an extrapolation of Vivian's desk with the book being a volume of Donne's work and lots of notes and reminders surrounding it with the audience as the reader."

-John Webber

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

wit | subscriber appreciation saturday

It's time - WIT brings us to our last Subscriber Appreciation Saturday of the season!  Subscribers, we hope you'll be able to join us for this enriching afternoon.

WIT Subscriber Appreciation Saturday
Saturday, May 21st at 3:45pm (approx)
following the matinee performance

The poetry of John Donne features prominently in WIT, as our protagonist has is an expert in Donne's Holy Sonnets and finds that her exploration of mortality and the human soul becomes suddenly real with her cancer diagnosis. Join Trinity Wester University's Holly Faith Nelson, Ph.D., as she discusses John Donne's work and how it interacts with art, faith, and life.


Holly Faith Nelson, Ph.D.
Professor, Chair, and Graduate Stream Coordinator (English)
Co-Director, Gender Studies Institute
Department of English and Creative Writing
Trinity Western University

Friday, May 13, 2016

celebrazione | auction catalogue

CELEBRAZIONE, our celebration of art, music, food, and theatre, is coming soon!  We've got over $10,000 worth of auction items lined up. Here is the catalogue, updated as items are secured.

Baseball Lovers
4 tickets to a Canadians Baseball Game

Bird Lovers
Damon Calderwood Bird Lovers Basket
Admission to the Pacific Northwest Raptors

Children's Party
My Little Princess birthday party

Future Superstar
1 pass to Eastside Story Guild's summer camp
2 tickets to Carousel Theatre for Young People

Brew Package
Postmark Brewing: 2 beer bombers, hat, and gift certificate
Steel & Oak: Growler, hat, $25 gift certificate

Cinema Lovers
3 tickets and 1 membership to DOXA Documentary Film Festival
Pacific Cinematheque gift certificate

Classical Music Lover
2 tickets to the Vancouver Chamber Choir's Handel's Messiah Dec. 9
3 tickets to the Richmond Delta Youth Orchestra

Potter's Paradise
A 30-piece pottery set from Victor Harrison

Firehall Package
2 tickets to the Firehall Arts Centre
Restaurant Gift Certificate

Improv Lover
4 tickets to Vancouver Theatresports League
2 tickets to Off Key Improv June show

Movie Lover
10 tickets to the Vancouver International Film Festival
$20 gift certificate to JJ Bean

Music Lover
Chor Leoni concert package
2 tickets to Music on Main 16-17 season

Musical Theatre Fan
2 tickets to Theatre Under the Stars this summer
Book: Steven Sondheim Collected Lyrics

Nature Lover
2 tickets to Van Dusen Botanical Gardens
4 tickets Stanley Park Ecology Society

Arts Club Fan
2 tickets to the Arts Club
Gift Certificate to The Marquis Restaurant

The Drive Lover
2 tickets to The Cultch
Gift Certificate to the Havana Restaurant

Valley Package
Tickets to Gallery 7 Theatre

Experience the Okanagan
A bottle of Okanagan wine
2 tickets to see the Kelowna Symphony

Experience Victoria
6 person tour and tasting for Cherry Point Estate Wines
2 adults and 2 children passes to IMAX Victoria
2 tickets to the Victoria Butterfly Garden
Family day pass to BC Forest Discovery Centre

Victoria Culture Package
2 passes to Craigdarroch Castle
2 passes to the Emily Carr House
2 tickets to the Belfry Theatre

Experience Barkerville
Passes, Merchandise, and Photos of Historic Barkerville

Fluevog Fan
$300 gift certificat to Fluevog Shoes

Emily Cooper Enthusiast
Get 3 high resolution files from Emily Cooper's artwork for Pacific Theatre that you can print

Washington Culture Pack
Tickets to Taproot Theatre
Pacific Art Association concert tickets

Fringe Fiend
6 tickets to the Vancouver Fringe Festival

Indie Theatre Buff
2 tickets to Tremors by Rumble Theatre
2 tickets to Boca Del Lupo
Gift Certificate to Bandidas Restaurant

Coffee and a Good Read
Gift Certificates to JJ Bean Coffee
4 books from the Regent Bookstore

Vacation in the City
1 night at the Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotel
Gift Certificate to La Piazza Dario
Gift Certificate for Absolute Spa

Couples Cooking Club
Food Connections Couples Dim Sum Cooking Class
A cookbook

Become an Improviser Package
4 tickets to The Fictionals' Improv Against Humanity
Class, tickets, and a t-shirt for Instant Theatre

Out in the Wild
Gift Certificate for a Paddlewheeler Boat Tour
3 tickets to the Stanley Park Ecology Society

Sonnet Sweetheart
One sonnetgram performed by Ian Farthing

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

wit | meet the cast

WIT has a much larger cast than we normally bring to our stage - with nine actors on stage, we've got quite the team bringing this story to life for you!

Katharine Venour - you've seen Katharine on our stage many times, from MY NAME IS ASHER LEV to THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT, we immediately knew she would be the perfect Vivian Bearing.

Erla Faye Forsyth - another PT veteran, Erla has performed with us in THE FOREIGNER, HOW TO WRITE A NEW BOOK FOR THE BIBLE, and more!

Julie Casselman - despite having been considered a part of the "PT family" for some time, this is Julie's first time on our mainstage!

Jess Amy Shead - Jess is a current season apprentice, you may have seen her in the past apprentice show THE DROWNING GIRLS.

Brandon Bate - a former apprentice, Brandon played in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE RADIO PLAY and THE GREAT DIVORCE.

Dan Amos - if you've been around PT for a while, you'll remember Dan!  Before moving down to California he performed with us regularly in THIS WONDERFUL LIFE and BRIGHT PARTICULAR STAR, among others.

Ron Reed - our fearless leader, Ron is the Artistic Director of Pacific Theatre and has recently performed in FREUD'S LAST SESSION and THE SEAFARER.

Julie Siedlanowska - another current season apprentice, Julie has been busy this year with THE BOLER PROJECT and THE DROWNING GIRLS.

Baraka Rahmani - this is Baraka's first time on our stage!  A film and theatre actor, we are excited to have her join our family.

Friday, May 06, 2016

wit | international nurses day

Not only do we love nurses here at PT, but a nurse plays a vital role in WIT.  Since it just so happens that May 12th is International Nurses Day, we want to share our appreciation!


The first 10 nurses to call our box office on Thursday, May 12th will get a pair of FREE tickets to Wit, and any nurse who calls after that will get $10 tickets. Call 604-731-5518 between 12pm-4pm to get your tickets!

If you're not a nurse, but want to share the love, share a story or thank you to a nurse who helped you on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, tagging @pacifictheatre, ‪#‎ptWit‬ and ‪#‎nurseweek‬ and be entered in a draw for two free tickets to WIT!

we are hiring!

PT is hiring!  We are looking for a candidate to fill a one-year maternity leave, covering Box Office, Front of House, apprentice management, as well as some marketing and publicity assistance.  Check out the job posting below or view it on our website here.

HIRING: Box Office Manager and Marketing Assistant (Maternity Leave Position)

Start Date: June 6

Application Deadline: May 14

Company Information:

Pacific Theatre is a community-minded professional theatre producing a full season of theatre in its venue at 12th and Hemlock. Founded by a group of Christian actors who wanted to create work that reflected their perspective as artists of faith, Pacific Theatre’s mandate is to explore the spiritual aspects of life through entertaining and thought-provoking theatre.

Run by a small team of fun-loving, hard-working people, our office is a collaborative, team-driven environment. We are seeking to fill a maternity vacancy with someone who works well as a team while autonomously managing their own tasks, and who is supportive of our mission and mandate. Please read our entire About Us page before applying.


Reporting to the Operations Coordinator and Director of Publicity and Marketing, you will oversee operations of the box office and front of house, manage our season apprentices, and assist with a variety of marketing and publicity-related tasks. This position includes a diverse array of responsibilities, and is perfect for someone who is passionate about arts administration, motivated, autonomous, and enjoys variety in their daily tasks.

Hours and Remuneration:

30 hours/week at $13.75/hour, plus 2 weeks vacation and benefits. Hours will flex somewhat based on slow/busy times. Generally during regular office hours, but expect some evening and weekend shifts.

The position lasts from June 6 2016-June 30, 2017.


• Scheduling BO and FOH and managing apprentices throughout season
• Managing patron issues and generally ensuring BO and FOH runs smoothly
• Regular reporting on box office sales and implementing promotions and policies
• Managing phones, ticket sales, and customer service when needed
• Writing and sending scheduled patron communications
• Managing the blog
• Managing distribution of posters and other marketing materials
• Envisioning and running community events (Theatre Club and Subscriber Appreciation Saturdays)
• Assist with gathering information for programs and press kits
• Ensure documentation of show publicity


• Strong writing, editing, and proofreading skills
• Significant experience in customer service and personnel management
• A passion for theatre and an affiliation or understanding of the company’s mission and mandate
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite
• Proven ability to meet deadlines and self-manage while working well with a small, tight-knit team
• Understanding of social media, especially use of the Blogger platform (basic HTML/coding an asset)
• Significant Assets: proficiency with Adobe design software and Theatre Manager

How to Apply:

Submit a resume and cover letter to Alison Chisholm at Please make sure to indicate in your cover letter why you want to work at Pacific Theatre, specifically referencing our mission and mandate.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

may 11 | the pretender of sibir

The playwright got in touch with me about this play, and I must say I'm intrigued. Not sure if my WIT rehearsal schedule will allow me to attend the reading, but if I can slip out early I will. (Ron)

The Pretender of Sibir
by  Anna Russell

Reading: Wed May 11 @ 6pm
Cultch (Founder's Lounge)
pay what you can

1826. The Russian Tsar may be missing and rebellion threatens the Empire. An Envoy of the Imperial Court is abandoned by his driver on a remote stretch of the Siberian Convict Trail. Furious, he descends on three nearby strangers like an avenging god.

The four unlikely companions are forced to pass an uneasy night together. What will the Envoy learn of mercy? Will God hear the Elder’s prayers? Do the voices in the Collector’s head speak truth or lies? And will the Convict get his heart’s desire?

Each has a quest and each has a terrible secret they hope to keep through the night. But morning is a long time coming. Amid tales of mutiny and fraud of all kinds, the surprising relationship between power and insecurity plays out. By morning, which quests will be abandoned and which secrets will be revealed? In this landscape, who is innocent? And, can anyone be free?

Sparked by the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, and propelled by a 200-year-old mystery about the death of Tsar Alexander I, The Pretender is a thrilling trip through Old Russia, a true piece of ensemble theatre, and a story that cracks like a whip.

Director: Genevieve Fleming
Cast: Andrew Wheeler, Tamara McCarthy, Yurij Kis, Seth Ranaweera

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

wit | first read

Yesterday we had the first read for WIT, and we can't wait to see what this dream team pulls together.