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Hello to Vancouverplays’ New Design;
Au Revoir to Katrina and Craig

June 2016 marks the 12th anniversary of Vancouverplays.com—a pretty fantastic achievement, we think, with big thanks to the theatre companies that have supported us, the artists who have inspired us, and the more than 1.2 million theatre lovers who have visited the site to find out about the rich, vital theatrical life of our city and region. Twelve years is an eternity on the Internet and we’ve realized that our original design needs some updating and modernizing. (Because, it’s 2016!) So next week we’ll unveil our striking new design—courtesy of the amazing Linda Fenton Malloy. It will be handsomer, bolder, and easier to read and navigate, but otherwise essentially unchanged. Vancouverplays.com will still be bringing you the best, most current theatre news, previews and reviews, plus our archive of reviews that goes back to 2004.

Just for fun have a look at a couple of our very first reviews from July 2004 on the Archive page: Ziggurat! from Leaky Heaven Circus—the company now renamed Fight With a Stick Performance, currently running the show Revolutions; and Much Ado About Nothing, which opened the 15th season of Bard on the Beach, now about to open its 27th. You’ll notice some familiar names: Peter Anderson, James Long, Kerry Sandomirsky, Andrew Wheeler, Christopher Gaze and others. Continuity and innovation: important components of a vital theatre community and of the new but ongoing Vancouverplays. Hope you like it!

Congratulations, à bientôt, and best of luck to Craig Holzshuh and Katrina Dunn, long time artistic directors of Théâtre la Seizième and Touchstone Theatre, respectively, who are leaving their posts this year for new frontiers. Katrina will be starting her PhD in Theatre at UBC; Craig will no doubt be doing something equally creative. These are two terrific directors, excellent company builders and administrators, and all-around wonderful people. Our community owes them both a huge debt of gratitude. Thanks, you two.

On stage this pretty quiet week, the Arts Club’s Billy Elliot the Musical continues at the Stanley, Wit plays at Pacific Theatre, Brad Fraser’s 5@50 from Ruby Slippers and Zee Zee Theatre is at the PAL Studio, and Fight with a Stick’s experimental Revolutions runs at the Warehouse on Victoria Drive. The First Nations Dancers of Damelahamid’s Flickers opens at The Cultch, SHIFT Theatre’s 1-Act Festival has a short run at the Firehall, and Mary, Mary from the North Vancouver Community Players opens at Hendry Hall.

West Vancouver’s Kay Meek Centre is holding a fundraiser gala with special guests The Second City sketch comedy/improv troupe, June 3, 7 pm. Tickets $139. https://tickets.kaymeekcentre.com

Firehall Arts Centre holds its annual fundraiser, Eat. Drink. Play. June 16, 7 pm. Tickets $35/$20 (artists) at https://tickets.firehallartscentre.ca or 604-689-0926.

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival’s upcoming special events include Paul BudrasExploring Shakespeare series, with talks on Romeo and Juliet June 11, Merry Wives of Windsor June 25, Othello July 16 and Pericles Aug. 13, all at 11 am; and choral music with Chor Leone: Mane Stage, 2:30 and 7:30, June 20 & 27. Info and tickets at www.bardonthebeach.org.  

The Arts Club Theatre Company’s 2016-17 season features four new plays by local writers (Anosh Irani’The Men in White and Mom’s the Word Collective’s Mom’s the Word 3: Nest ½ Empty at the Granville Island Stage, Stacey Kaser and Alison Kelly’s The Day Before Christmas and Dorothy Dittrich’s The Piano Teacher at the BMO Theatre Centre), Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches directed by Kim Collier, and Vancouver’s Tony Award winner Brent Carver in concert. The Stanley season includes Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, a remount of Mary Poppins, the Sun Records musical The Million Dollar Quartet, and The Audience, a play about Queen Elizabeth II. This season’s Tomson Highway hit The (Post) Mistress will be one of the Arts Club shows on tour. www.artsclub.com

Pacific Theatre has announced an adventurous 2016/17 season marked by three premieres by local playwrights—Cara Norrish’s A Good Way OutMaki Yi’s Suitcase Stories, and the latest in Lucia Frangione’s Holy Mo series, Holy Mo: A Christmas Show—plus a collaboration with Classic Chic Productions on an all-female Corleone (“what if Shakespeare wrote The Godfather?"). Athol Fugard’s Valley Song and John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar round out the season. www.pacifictheatre.org

The Cultch’s 2016-17 lineup includes premieres from locals Dave Deveau and Anton Lipovetsky (Elbow Room Café: The Musical) and Corey Payette (Children of God) plus dance theatre premieres from Mindy Parfitt and Amber Funk Barton and Tara Cheyenne PerformancePopular returners include MotherloadTetsuro Shigematsu’s Empire of the Son, Sean Harris Oliver’s The Fighting Season, clowns Mump and Smoot, and Ronnie Burkett’s The Daisy Theatre, plus the Xmas East Van Panto. The season also includes a Bollywood version of Twelfth Night from India and shows from New Zealand, Italy, Belgium and the US, Toronto and Montreal. www.thecultch.com

Gateway Theatre’s 2016-17 season features new plays by locals Peter Dickinson (Long Division) in conjunction with Pi Theatre and Sebastien Archibald, Kevin Loring and Quelemia Sparrow (The Pipeline Project) with ITSAZOO and Savage Society, the west coast premiere of Annabel Soutar’s The Watershed, the Canadian premiere of Lauren Yee’s The King of the Yees, a remount of Ruby Slippers’ You Will Remember Me, and Christmas musical The Music Manwww.gatewaytheatre.com

2016/17 will be another rich season for Theatre for Young Audiences. Carousel Theatre will stage Anusree Roy’s Sultan of the Streets in association with the Diwali Festival, Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny, classics A Charlie Brown Christmas and Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, and the premiere of Kayla Dunbar and Dustin Freeland’s Good Day and Good Night. www.carouseltheatre.ca

Green Thumb Theatre will tour Dave Deveau’s Celestial Being and Ian Tamblyn’s Land of Trash to elementary schools, and play Rachel Aberle’s Still/Falling and the world premiere of George F. Walker’s Alone Together to secondary schools. www.greenthumb.bc.ca 

Metro Theatre’s 2016/17 season opens with the British farce Haywire, follows with an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, and continues with more comedies (Crossing Delancey, Straight and Narrow), a thriller (Guilty Conscience), and the traditional Christmas panto. www.metrotheatre.com

Fighting Chance Productions’ celebrates its 10th season in 2016/17 with a drama (Now or Later) and four big-time musicals: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Ragtime, Parade, and A Chorus Line www.fightingchanceproductions.ca  http://www.brownpapertickets.com

CALLBOARD

SFU Woodward's and the 149 Arts Society present Festival LAUNCH.  Jurors are looking for short, original works of music, theatre, dance, film & new media from professional emerging artist with 2-3 years experience in the performing arts. Successful applicants will be paid to perform in a public talent showcase at Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, receive career mentorship, and meet industry experts for arts career advice. Application deadline: May 24. Details at https://www.sfu.ca.

Neworld Theatre’s King Arthur and His Knightscrew, featuring Marcus Youssef and Niall McNeill, are offering workshops through the Down Syndrome Research Foundation for artists with Down Syndrome. Thursdays, May 19-June 23, 4:00-5:30. Cost: $50. For information and registration, contact Nimet at nimet@dsrf.org or 604-444-3773.

Registration is now open for Gateway Theatre’s Academy Summer Camps. Gateway is offering camps and workshops for kids 8-18 in musical theatre, acting, improvisation and speech. The first camp begins July 4 and others are staggered throughout the summer. Details at https://www.gatewaytheatre.com or call Education Manager Ruth at 604-247-4975. For the full Academy Brochure go to https://www.gatewaytheatre.com.

Vancouver TheatreSports League is offering Improv Summer Camp for students in grades 8-10, July 4-17, M-F 9:30-12:30 at the Improv Centre on Granville Island. Cost: $389. Information and registration at https://tickets.vtsl.com.

Jerry and Linda

THE ARTS ARE NOT SOMEHOW APART
FROM OUR NATIONAL LIFE,
THE ARTS ARE THE HEART
OF OUR NATIONAL LIFE.
— Barack and Michelle Obama, 2009
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