Artists from the 2019–2020 season discuss what storytelling means to them, and why it's such a powerful connective tool.
A CLOWN FALLS IN LOVE AT THE CIRCUS Born to circus folk who prefer trapezing over parenting, Felix quickly learns to turn life’s misfortunes into jokes. His longing for family and home is piqued at the tender age of seven, when he falls for an older woman, age eight—an event that kickstarts his journey to becoming a true buffoon. A story of love, loss, and the fate that binds us, Buffoon is a gut-wrenching one-man show that expertly walks the tightrope between hilarity and heartbreak.
Provocative and insightful, No Child... transports the audience to the underfunded Malcolm X High School in the Bronx, where an intrepid substitute drama teacher refuses to give up on a group of at-risk students—despite their hardened attitudes and tough-talking attempts to push her away. This play within a play, with 16 characters portrayed by one actor in a tour-de-force performance, is a powerful reminder of the transformative role of the arts in our lives.
A CORNER STORE COMEDY Mr. Kim, a Korean shopkeeper, grapples with both a changing neighbourhood landscape and the chasm between him and his second-generation offspring. This journey of a fractured but loving family forgiving the past and confronting the future is a new Canadian classic. Ins Choi’s hilarious and touching debut play inspired the hit TV show of the same name.
CIPHER By Ellen Close and Braden Griffiths
After 63 years, the Beacon Hill Body remains a Vancouver Island cold-case murder. Forensic toxicologist Grace Godard thinks her scientific expertise is leading her close to an answer, closer than anyone has come before. But when she meets Aqeel Saleemi, a young man with a personal stake in the mystery, their efforts to crack the case have consequences neither of them imagined.
NOISES OFF By Michael Frayn
Hailed as the funniest farce ever written, treats audiences to a hilarious peek at a second-tier acting troupe performing a show. With egos, insecurities, and tempers flaring backstage—and forgotten lines, missed cues, and misplaced sardines onstage—this cast threatens to strike the old adage “the show must go on.” Michael Frayn’s dizzying play-within-a-play classic is sure to leave you doubled over with laughter.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC Music by Richard Rodgers Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse Suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp Journey along with the spirited Maria, who takes a governess position with the von Trapp family, falling first for the children and then the widower Captain von Trapp himself, all against the stirring backdrop of pre-WWII Austria.
IT'S A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS-ISH HOLIDAY MIRACLE By Marcus Youssef EMBRACING THE LOVE AND FOIBLES OF FAMILY The holidays are all about loved ones. But what happens when your parents get divorced, your kid brother is best friends with a stick bug named Ralphie, and your grandma’s ghost starts appearing with advice—and her iPhone? OMG! It’s a Wonderful Life meets Modern Family in this new Canadian comedy about a family during a complicated season.
MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY By Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon A holiday confection filled with classic Jane Austen charm, Miss Bennet is a modern sequel about the bookish middle child of the Bennets. While Mary starts to dream of a new life beyond her boisterous family, an unexpected visitor at the Darcy household could spell romance. You’ll revel in this sparkling comic play that’s full of seasonal felicity.
THE BIRDS & THE BEES By Mark Crawford September 26–October 26, 2019 GRANVILLE ISLAND STAGE RIB-TICKLING REALIZATIONS ABOUT LIFE AND LOVE Sarah, a turkey farmer, has split up with her husband and moved in with her mom, Gail, a beekeeper. Add in Earl, the flirty neighbour, and Ben, an eager young graduate student, and you have the perfect breeding ground for unlikely attractions. Set in adjoining bedrooms, The Birds & the Bees is a Canadian comedy about love, lust, beekeeping, and the artificial insemination of turkeys.
A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS By Ursula Rani Sarma Based on the book by Khaled Hosseini In this sweeping tale set in war-torn Afghanistan, two women’s lives intersect through fate. The unlikely but extraordinary friendship of Laila and Mariam helps them cope with the tyranny and tumult of life in 1990s Kabul—and leads them to an unforgettable act.
We spoke to a few artists involved in our 2018-2019 season about what theatre and its community here in Vancouver mean to them.
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