Thursday, June 28, 2018

year-end campaign | the tally | 106.1% | WE DID IT!!!

This year's Year-End Campaign has officially begun! We have had a truly remarkable year where we were able to produce or present 10 shows, including 2 world premieres, and now we need to close it off with one last fundraising campaign. Please consider a donation today.

Our goal is to raise $50,000 by the end of our fiscal year on June 30th. The good news is, we already have a seed gift of $25,000! The donors would like to see that gift matched, however, and that is up to you! Please donate any amount today to help match that $25,000 gift and bring us the rest of the way home.

Here's the story so far:

SEED GIFT: $25,000


40 + 40.44 + 21 + 50 + 4 + 25 + 500 + .60 + .73 + 3 + 382.74 + 480 + 50 + 50 + 30 + 100 + 150 + 50 + 100 + 200 + 100 + 100 + 25 + 500 + 1000 + 50 + 100 + 10 + 250 + 96 + 500 + 25 + 50 + 250 + 250 + 250 + 15 + 100 + 200 + 10,000 + 50 + 60 + 500 + 96 + 1000 + 20 + 5000 + 200 + 5000 = $28,074.51

TOTAL = $53,074.51  

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our growth thus far.  
Please continue to help us grow! Donate today!


Go online:

Call: 604-731-5483
Mail/Visit: 1440 W 12th Ave, Vancouver, BC, V6H 1M8

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

apprentice project | acceleration

The next apprentice project this summer is Charissa Hurt's production of ACCELERATION by Caroline Sniatynski. Charissa is directing this brand-new play by a local playwright, and we are so excited to see it!

ACCELERATION by Caroline Sniatynski
June 27-30

It’s 2011. The world’s top physicists are searching for the Higgs boson, the famous “missing piece” in our model of the universe. Graduate student Elise, who is struggling to piece back her own world in the midst of unsolved questions, joins the search. But what we’re looking for and what we find aren’t always the same thing.

Directed by PT apprentice Charissa Hurt
Featuring Brandon Bate, Tamara Hamilton, Helen Martin, and Selene Rose

Tickets $12 available here.

Monday, June 11, 2018

tolkien | notes on roy campbell and charles williams

Key complicating factors in the friendship of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were the influence of Charles Williams and Roy Campbell. When viewed as a love story (however platonic), Williams and Campbell clearly play the role of interlopers, and the ways that Jack and Tollers read these two men and respond to them so very differently provides some of the irony and complexity of the story as it played out historically.

My play has prompted one friend to dig in and read biographies of these four men, and of the Inklings as a group. Here are some thoughts I sent him.

You won’t find a lot on Roy Campbell’s role in the Tolkien-Lewis friendship, because his involvement with them was very brief. I included it because I think it is very telling, and I think highly significant - it’s the first evidence I’ve seen of Tolkien beginning to perceive Lewis as anti-Catholic, which by the time of Lewis’s death had become a virulent (and I think unfounded) conviction. Here’s all there is about Campbell’s interaction with the lads, from the letters of JRR. You’ll see how closely I stuck to the events of the two encounters, apart from the fact that I separated them by months instead of only a couple days (and put some of the content into an invented intervening scene).

Oct 6 1944: JRR Tolkien to Christopher
"On Tuesday [Oct 3] at noon I looked in at the Bird and B. with C. Williams. There to my surprise I found Jack and Warnie already ensconced. (For the present the beer shortage is over, and the inns are almost habitable again). The conversation was pretty lively... & I noticed a strange tall gaunt man half in khaki half in mufti with a large wide-awake hat, bright eyes and a hooked nose sitting in the corner. The others had their backs to him, but I could see in his eye that he was taking an interest in the conversation quite unlike the ordinary pained astonishment of the British (and American) public at the presence of the Lewises (and myself) in a pub. It was rather like Trotter [an early name for the character later renamed Strider] at the Prancing Pony... In a few seconds he was revealed as Roy Campbell (of Flowering Rifle and Flaming Terrapin'). Tableau! Especially as C.S.L. had not long ago violently lampooned him in the Oxford Magazine, and his press-cutters miss nothing. There is a good deal of Ulster still left in C.S.L. if hidden from himself. After that things became fast and furious and I was late for lunch. It was (perhaps) gratifying to find that this powerful poet and soldier desired in Oxford chiefly to see Lewis (and myself).
"We made an appointment for Thursday (that is last) night [Oct 5]. If I could remember all that I heard in C.S.L.'s room last night it would fill several airletters. C.S.L. had taken a fair deal of port and was a little belligerent (insisted on reading out his lampoon again while R.C. laughed at him), but we were mostly obliged to listen to the guest. A window on a wild world, yet the man is in himself gentle, modest, and compassionate. Mostly it interested me to learn that this old-looking war-scarred Trotter, limping from recent wounds, is 9 years younger than I am, and we prob. met when he was a lad, as he lived in 0[xford] at the time when we lived in Pusey Street... Here is a scion of an Ulster prot. family resident in S. Africa, most of whom fought in both wars, who became a Catholic after sheltering the Carmelite fathers in Barcelona – in vain, they were caught & butchered, and R.C. nearly lost his life. But he got the Carmelite archives from the burning library and took them through the Red country. He speaks Spanish fluently (he has been a professional bullfighter). As you know he then fought through the war on Franco's side... it is not possible to convey an impression of such a rare character, both a soldier and a poet, and a Christian convert. How unlike the Left – the 'corduroy panzers' who fled to America (Auden among them who with his friends got R.C.'s works 'banned' by the Birmingham T. Council!). I hope to see this man again next week. We did not leave Magdalen until midnight, and I walked up to Beaumont Street with him. C.S.L.'s reactions were odd. Nothing is a greater tribute to Red propaganda than the fact that he (who knows they are in all other subjects liars and traducers) believes all that is said against Franco, and nothing that is said for him. Even Churchill's open speech in Parliament left him unshaken. But hatred of our church is after all the real only final foundation of the C of E – so deep laid that it remains even when all the superstructure seems removed (C.S.L. for instance reveres the Blessed Sacrament, and admires nuns!). Yet if a Lutheran is put in jail he is up in arms; but if Catholic priests are slaughtered – he disbelieves it (and I daresay really thinks they asked for it). But R.C. shook him a bit....."

I believe the best-rounded source on Roy Campbell himself is Peter Alexander’s “Roy Campbell: A Critical Biography,” which not only makes clear Campbell’s, shall we say, lack of veracity (show in this excerpt, for example) but also does a good job celebrating his real accomplishments.

"The Campbells' most immediate need, once they had settled into their rented rooms [in Barcelona] was for money... He had written 20,000 words of his autobiography before leaving France, and now he raced to finish it, writing the last chapters stanidng up against a bureau so as not to fall asleep... He padded the book with any story he could remember, adapting the anecdotes of friends into autobiography, and giving himself a leading role. Few of his stories are imaginary; fewer still are entirely accurate. For example, his stories about boating on the lagoon in Durban, being chased by a python or being nearly drowned by the tidal bore, are true enough – but they happened to his elder brother George, not to himself. A tale about kidnapping dogs in Cannes was taken from a book of reminiscenses by JB Booth. Another yarn, of sailing a drunken doctor out to Bardsey Island in a storm, was the genuine feat of the barman in the Ship Inn in Aberdaron, the Welsh village in which the Campbells had lived immediately after their marriage. In most of these tales, Campbell figures as the sort of assured, devil-may-care man of action he would so much have liked to have been, the sort of man he felt his father and brothers would have admired. Of his poetic achievements he said virtually nothing. This became the pattern of his myth-making; he seldom boasted of things he could do."
Peter Alexander, "Roy Campbell: A Critical Biography"

As for Williams, the was no authoritative biography until Grevel Lindop’s 2015 “The Third Inkling”, which is a marvel of scholarship and readable writing - though he doesn’t actually devote a lot of pages to the Tolkien friendship. I corresponded with him prior to the release of that book, and while he confirmed my sense that perhaps Tolkien’s qualms about Williams (esp his involvement in the occult, and his relations with women) didn’t really flower until after Williams’ death, Grevel did feel it would be legitimate to incorporate them into the play, simply due to the timeline coherence required for the stage. They were real enough issues; there’s just no telling when exactly they materialized, and no point keeping them out of the story just because the actual timing was probably different. The other thing worth reading re: Williams is “Letters To Lalage,” his correspondence with a young woman during his Oxford / WW2 years, which makes it clear that Tolkien’s misgivings were actually very well founded. In earlier drafts of the play I had scenes showing the Williams-Lalage relationship, but they pulled the play off-centre and I cut them (along with many, many other scenes!).

So pleased you’re digging into the ground of these fertile fields. These are fascinating, and great, men!

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

apprentice project | tigers be still

TOLKIEN is about to close, and then we move right into our apprentices' year-end projects! First up will be Jalen Saip's production of TIGERS BE STILL.

TIGERS BE STILL by Kim Rosenstock
June 13-16 at 8pm
Tickets $15 ($10 for students)
Buy tickets HERE.

TIGERS BE STILL is a comedy that follows the misadventures of Sherry Wickman, a young woman who has recently earned her maters degree in art therapy only to find herself moving back home. Unemployed and overwhelmed, Sherry retreats to her childhood bed and remains there until an unexpected employment opportunity gives her a renewed sense of purpose and hope.

“Tigers Be Still will leave you with a tender ache for those moments when we all make decisions to move on, not necessarily to ‘happily ever after’ but to whatever comes next.” – The Boston Globe

“Piercing, ferocious and devastatingly hilarious.” - The New York Times

Directed by Jess Garden of Dark Glass Theatre.
Featuring apprentice Jalen Saip and talented local actors Keara Barnes, Keenan Marchand and Stephen Elcheshen.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

tolkien | audience responses

"Outstanding. Riveting. A must-see."
- Tom Cooper

"Magical. It felt like I was eavesdropping on history."
- Reinier Van De Poll

"So inspiring and affirming that it brought me to tears in the first act. Then when I saw how Tolkien and Lewis's artistic and religious convictions could create such a gulf between them as friends, it confronted me in my own attitudes and brought up so many questions. Chief among them is, how important are your convictions, artistic, religious, or otherwise, that you would allow them to erode a relationship that is potentially so rich and vital?"
- Karl Petersen

Such a stunning production! It was incredible to see these literary giants – these writers who have been with me from childhood into adulthood with their profound thoughts and stories – embodied so truthfully. The writing and performances captured both their almost otherworldly brilliance and their basic human struggles in a way that made these men completely relatable. A mesmerizing night of theatre. Huge congrats to all involved!
- Julie Lynn Mortenson

"A splendid show, splendidly performed."
Diana Maureen Sandberg

"So well done, so interesting and so intelligent. I attend many theater productions each year in Vancouver and this will be my favorite for 2018 (with apologies to productions not yet seen)."
- Karin Sipko

"Stellar performance, excellent cast. Also, I learned something cool about PT tonight. They take great care to make their props all exceedingly authentic, because the space is so intimate. So, for this production, the copy of Screwtape Letters that shows up in the third act is a first edition, and Farthing inscribed it as if it were CSL inscribing to Tolkien. (I wonder if that's going to fool some antiquities dealer 50 years from now. The manuscript for Lord of the Rings isn't just a pile of blank paper with the cover page; it is an actual print-out of LOTR! And that's a LOT of words on pages. Very impressive. And the chalkboard that Tolkien writes on in the beginning of the play is full of actual Anglo-Saxon. No detail is too small!"
- Rosie Perera

Friday, June 01, 2018

tolkien | production photos 3

J.R.R. Tolkien (Ron Reed) & Edith Tolkien (Erla Faye Forsyth)

J.R.R. Tolkien (Ron Reed), Charles Williams (Anthony F. Ingram) & C.S. Lewis (Ian Farthing)
at the Eastgate Hotel

Warnie Lewis (Tim Dixon)

The Inklings at The Eagle and Child

J.R.R. Tolkien & C.S. Lewis

Another round of photos from Pacific Theatre's production of TOLKIEN by Ron Reed. Set Design by Drew Facey. Lighting Design by John Webber. Costume Design by Christopher David Gauthier.  Photos by Jalen Laine.