Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Pacific Theatre blog now part of Soul Food

To avoid confusion and the need to post Pacific Theatre notes in two different places, I'm going to try consolidating the Pacific Theatre blog with the Soul Food Vancouver blog. So for all the latest on PT, as well of lots of other arts events around Vancouver, click here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kyle Jesperson in the other WONDERFUL LIFE

Hello all,

Short and sweet: If you'd like to have your heart warmed, come and see "It's a Wonderful Life" at the Arts Club, Granville Island stage, Nov.29-Dec.29.

This show is truly a marvelously inventive adaptation of the classic film.

All info is at

Book soon; tickets are selling fast (even though I am in it)!

With seasonal love,
Kyle Jespersen

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Michael Kopsa, Adam Bergquist and Corina Akeson are in...

November 16 – December 9
Preview: November 15 ($6.00) Opening: November 16
Talkback: November 22

Eugene O’Neill, America’s greatest modern playwright, tells a beautiful comic story of two lost souls and a chance encounter under the full moon. A story of love, forgiveness and hope Moon for the Misbegotten is considered O’Neill’s most honest, immediate, and lyrical play. Director: Jack Paterson

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

REMNANT in St Louis

Noël Depression
Remnant, Mustard Seed Theatre's inaugural production, hits the mark.

Review by Paul Friswold, River Front Times, November 21, 2007

All Christmas stories have a villain who is to be redeemed by the spirit of the season; it's a requirement of the Lollipop Guild. Very rarely do you find a Christmas story where the extremely pro-Christmas hero is the character most in need of redemption. Rarer still is the Christmas play where a hulking nomad called Loner, a twenty-inch hooked blade jutting wickedly from his coat sleeve, arrives on Christmas Eve to help bring about the hero's redemption or to murder him. You know, either or.

But Ron Reed's Remnant is clearly of another world from the moment you step through the theater door. For Mustard Seed Theatre's inaugural production, set designer Dunsi Dai and sound designer Kareem Deanes have crafted a full-sensory simulacrum of a post-apocalyptic world, with the detritus of the twentieth century strewn about the stage, seats, theater walls and suspended from the ceiling; time-warped Christmas music warbles from somewhere, adding another layer to the chaos.

This is the home of Barlow Sho'r (Jerry Vogel), a tinker who studies and fixes the crap of another age, attempting to revive an America he never knew. It's Christmas Eve, and Barlow has drawn together his family: his wife, Delmar Nu1 (Kelley Ryan), sister Annagail Booker (Michelle Hand) and friend Kristn Taler (Peggy Billo). The group will perform the Christmas rituals, which, in Barlow's mind, will begin the resurrection of society. And as we see when Loner (Robert A. Mitchell) arrives, Barlow will eagerly kill to ensure Christmas serves its holy purpose.

Director Deanna Jent has assembled a fantastic cast to go with this gorgeous set. Reed's script is written with a broken, awkward syntax to reflect the nature of his world, but the cast delivers the lines with a fluidity and passion that never obscures meaning. Vogel imbues Barlow with a tempestuous power, part nervous energy but mostly zealous belief. His initial showdown with Mitchell is jaw-achingly tense; Mitchell stands fairly rippling with sullen violence, and Vogel faces him with jutting chin and legs locked straight. Moments of silence crackle by, the two locked in a struggle fought internally. As the storyteller Kristn, Billo paints a tale of death and misery when she recounts the history of this world; it's a mastery of understatement, her voice becoming quieter but more forceful as the litany goes on. Michelle Hand breathes a luminous mystery into the ghost-seeing Annagail; she moves with a spidery delicacy, a woman passing between two worlds. Ryan brings an appropriate frontier-wife mentality to Delmar, indebted to her husband but also quietly resentful of his domineering ways.

As with all Christmas stories, the issue of "what is Christmas?" drives the play. Barlow's belief in his own vision reveals a venal fear; secrecy and exclusion are the keys to his power. Only he can bring about the change, only he can understand the mysteries. But rather than argue the point, the foolishness of this creed is revealed in a scene between Annagail and Loner: With palpable fear of what her brother will do, and unsure of the rightness of her own actions, Annagail gifts Loner with a Bible. At the moment both hands touch the book, Annagail's face is radiant, lit from within — and Mitchell's face reveals a joy that is terrifying to behold. Whether Christmas is your holiday or just a seasonal nuisance, you can't help but be moved by the performance. Chalk it up to the spirit of the age. 

RemnantThrough December 2 at the Fontbonne University Fine Arts Center Theatre, 6800 Wydown Boulevard, Clayton. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students and seniors). Call 314-719-8060 or visit
Subject(s): Mustard Seed Theatre, Remnant, Ron Reed

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Help out a needy theatre this Christmas!

A number of years back we launched a special Christmas Matching Fund, where donors' gifts between Nov 1 and Jan 15 are doubled from a special fund put together by a foundation and a few other PT supporters. Part of that tradition has been a Christmas postcard. We'll post this year's as soon as it reaches us from the designer, but in the meantime, here are a few from previous years...







As a non-profit society, Pacific Theatre depends on the generosity of individuals like you. Each year we look to our Christmas card donation campaign to raise over 30% of our total donor revenue for the year. Your gift, if sent by January 15, 2007 will be matched dollar for dollar, to double the amount of your donation. Tax receipts will be issued on all donations.

You can make a donation with your credit card by calling our office (604 731-5483) or online, or by mailing a cheque to us at...
Pacific Theatre
1440 West 12th Avenue
Vancouver, BC, Canada
V6H 1M8
Or you can drop off copious amounts of cash in person at that same address. Unmarked bills, please.

But all financial fun and finagling aside... Merry Christmas from all of us at Pacific Theatre!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nov 15: PARADISE GARDEN reading, Lucia Frangione

In addition to LEAVE OF ABSENCE, which Lucia has been developing for Pacific Theatre, she's working on a commissioned piece for the Arts Club. If you want a sneak peek...

I have a reading of my new play Paradise Garden at the React new play reading series at the Arts Club. It's 8pm this Thurs. Nov 15 at the Granville Island stage.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Article: Taproot Theatre, Seattle

Nice piece on Seattle's Taproot Theatre in the current Comment Magazine. Taproot is something of a sister theatre to Pacific, and provided an inspiration and model as Pacific Theatre was being formulated and launched. Kevin Brady, one of PT's apprentices (you saw him in HOSPITALITY SUITE and THE CLEARING), moved to Seattle as soon as he finished his time with us and has acted in many of their mainstage shows.

Bringing beauty and hope to the social discussion
November 02, 2007
by Rick Barry and Luann Jennings

For American theatres, longevity is success. Success doesn't show up in financial statements  all theatres live on the edge. Just sticking around, being allowed to continue doing what you're doing, is the mark of a successful theatre. By this standard, Taproot Theatre Company of Seattle, Washington, is a wild success.

"Taproot" started as a touring company dedicated to "creating theatre that explores the beauty and questions of life while providing hope to our search for meaning." After thirty-one years, during which dozens of other theatres in Seattle have opened and closed, Taproot performs for more than 100,000 people every year: for 34,000 on their permanent, main stage, and double that with over 250 touring performances.

The idea for Taproot surfaced during spring break in 1976. A half dozen friends, all in their senior year of college at Seattle Pacific University, realized that they should start thinking about what to do once they graduated. Seattle had a deep love for the arts and a deep aversion to religion, so the friends decided to start a theatre company that would produce work that discussed issues from a redemptive, Christian point of view. They were too young and too brash to realize what they were in for.

Read the rest of the article here