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january 2019 | Volume 175


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by Morris Panych
Arts Club Theatre Company
Granville Island Stage
Feb. 7–Mar. 9
From $29
www.artsclub.com or 604-687-1644

The Shoplifters, a Canadian comedy by Morris Panych, is up next at the Arts Club’s Granville Island Stage.

The play follows Alma (Patti Allan), a career shoplifter who prefers the “five-finger discount” over any senior citizen’s deal. When a grocery store theft with her anxious sidekick (Agnes Tong) goes awry, her elaborate life of petty crime is halted by an overzealous security guard (Raugi Yu) and his affable mentor (Dean Paul Gibson). With sharp-witted comic observations, Panych has expertly drawn a cast of misfit characters that will leave you rooting for all sides to come out on top.

Panych is a Canadian actor, playwright, and director who has directed over 90 plays and written 30 plays of his own. Born in Edmonton, Alberta, he works primarily in Vancouver and Montreal. He received his BFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and went on to study acting in London. His plays have been produced all over the world and translated into a dozen languages. Throughout his career, he has won numerous awards, including many Dora Mavor Moore awards in Toronto and Jessie Richardson Theatre awards in Vancouver for both acting and directing. His plays are mostly of the absurdist style, existentially reflecting on what it is to be alive.

Panych will also direct this piece. He said, “The Shoplifters is about small people with small lives—people who want something and will do anything to get it. I’m really fascinated with what’s happening in the world right now, with people being left behind, and I wanted to write about that.”

Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran notes, “One of my seminal Arts Club experiences growing up was seeing Morris Panych’s shows. The Shoplifters is a funny and idiosyncratic script, with fantastic characters and rhythm. I am thrilled for Morris and his partner, Ken MacDonald—an incredible designer—to be part of my first season at the Arts Club. They have been hugely important in our company’s history, and I am excited for them to be a part of our future, as well.”

Patti Allan (Alma), Dean Paul Gibson (Otto), Agnes Tong (Phyllis), Raugi Yu (Dom)

Alan Brodie (Lighting Designer), Melanie Coomber (Stage Management Intern), Caryn Fehr (Stage Manager), Ken MacDonald (Set & Costume Designer), Ace Martens (Sound Designer), Rebecca Mulvihill (Assistant Stage Manager), Morris Panych (Director/Playwright)

Mon–Thu at 7:30 PM, Fri & Sat at 8 PM, Wed at 1:30 PM, and Sat at 2 PM
Media opening: February 13

The Arts Club Theatre Company, founded in 1964, is Canada’s largest not-for-profit urban theatre company. Led by Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran and Executive Director Peter Cathie White, it offers professional theatre at three venues—the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Granville Island Stage, and the Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre—as well as on tour throughout the province.





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Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews