A Winter of Theatre January February 2018 in Victoria BC.

A Winter of Theatre January February 2018 in Victoria BC.

It’s official! There is no longer any downtime in theatre in Victoria BC.  The holiday pantomimes produced by Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People, St Luke’s Players and Peninsula Players as well as Launch Pad Theatre’s radio play and Atomic Vaudeville’s NYE Cabaret are barely finished before Castlereigh Theatre Project and Bema Productions kick the year off in high style with two shows–God’s Lake (January 4-6 only) and The Prisoner of Second Avenue (weekends during January).

From students to emerging artists, community to professional theatre, with musicals, drama, improvised theatre and a variety show there is plenty to keep theatre-goers busy. At the moment there are almost twenty productions in these two months alone, at prices that would be the envy of any audience member elsewhere in Canada.  Whether you want to learn more about complex issues or simply have a night off to laugh, there is something for everyone in January and February.

January

God’s Lake by Castlereigh Theatre Project
January 4-6
Metro Studio Theatre

Inspired by the mysterious death of a young Cree woman, God’s Lake is an original work of documentary theatre that addresses the issue of safety for young Indigenous women and girls living on isolated First Nation reserves. This production will stage the lived experiences of people from the fly-in community of God’s Lake Narrows, Manitoba. The play uses the words of real people, verbatim from interviews conducted over six months in 2017 in the community.

God’s Lake is a collaboration between playwright Francesca Albright and award-winning filmmaker Kevin Lee Burton. Directed by Atomic Vaudeville’s Britt Small.

The Prisoner of Second Avenue by Neil Simon
Bema Productions
January 7-28 2018

Mel Edison is a well-paid executive of a high-end Manhattan firm which has suddenly hit the skids and he gets the ax. His wife Edna takes a job to tide them over; then she too is sacked. Compounded by the air pollution killing his plants and with the walls of the apartment paper-thin, allowing him a constant earful of his neighbors private lives, things can’t seem to get any worse…then he’s robbed and his psychiatrist dies with $23,000 of his money. Mel does the only thing left for him to do – he has a nervous breakdown and it’s the best thing that ever happened to him…

“A gift for taking a grave subject and, without losing sight of its basic seriousness, treating it with hearty but sympathetic humor…A talent for writing a wonderful funny line…full of humor and intelligence.”
– New York Post

“Creates an atmosphere of casual cataclysm, an everyday urban purgatory of copelessness from which laughter seems to be released like vapor from the city’s manholes”.
– Time

open face beholding
PRODUCER: Delaney Tesch
An Intrepid Theatre YOU Show at the Intrepid Theatre Club
January 12: 5.30pm – 7.30pm, 9pm – 11pm
January 13: 12pm – 2pm, 4pm – 6pm, 8pm – 10pm

One-part living art exhibition, one-part theatre performance, open face beholding is an exploration of the relationship between atheist artists and Catholic iconography. Creator Delaney Tesch seeks out the liminal space between sacred and profane – a space which inspires both faith and creativity – and brings it to life in this immersive new performance piece.

The show times are similar to a gallery exhibition, you can show up at any time in the above two hour slots. Also similarly to a gallery, you only pay per day and can return whenever you like, as many times as you like on that particular day.

The Incompleat Folksinger performed by Mark Hellman
The Other Guys Theatre Company
January 14
Charlie White Theatre, Sidney

Pete Seeger (1919-2014) was a key figure in the mid-20th century global folk music revival. He sang in defence of the poor, the oppressed, and the exploited, and always to enliven and encourage, to delight, and to tell tales. This unique full-length solo performance (adapted from Seeger’s 1972 autobiography of the same name) imagines a concert ‘somewhere on the road, 1970, weaving together verbatim theatre, live music and audience participation into a journey spanning 35 years (1935-70) and featuring all or part of 29 songs.

Seeger reflects on his involvement in the union movement, WWII, his public stand against McCarthyism(HUAC), his actions in support of the Civil Rights Movement, global travels (with many stops across Canada) and visits to conflict zones overseas, while honouring his greatest inspirations: Woody Guthrie, Lee Hays, Leadbelly, Martin Luther King, and his great love, Toshi Ohta.

Invited to sing along at every turn, the audience is completely engaged and embedded in the story, and by the finale of “If I Had a Hammer” audience and performer merge into a single voice, embodying the principle that Seeger lived through his life and art:  “Participation. That’s what’s gonna save the human race.”

Consumption by Taryn Roo Yoneda, directed by Ricky Healey
SATCo Student Alternative Theatre Company, UVic
January 17-19 at 12:45pm

Set in tuberculosis-rampant London, Consumption follows a scientist’s unique struggle in mourning the loss of his wife and daughter.

Consumption delves into the genre of historical science fiction, and blends dialogic scenes with interpretive movement.

Urinetown: The Musical, by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, directed by Roger Carr
Langham Court Theatre
January 17-February 3

During a twenty-year drought and dire water restrictions, private toilets have become unthinkable. Despairing citizens must pay megacorporation Urine Good Company for the “privilege to pee.” Urinetown is a hilarious satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics – and even musical theatre itself!

SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES

“I’d certainly recommend spending a penny (and more) on Urinetown” Time Out Magazine

Single tickets on sale Mon, Dec 4, 2017

šx??am??t (home)
Theatre for Living
January 19/20

What does Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people look and feel like? How does this idea of “Reconciliation” translate into our day to day human relationships?

Created and performed by a courageous mixed Indigenous and non-Indigenous cast and production team, šx??am??t (home) weaves together stories based on real life and challenges us to make reconciliation true and honourable.

This audience interactive play puts real, tough, current issues on the stage about the blockages we all face moving towards Reconciliation, inviting audiences to try to offer solutions to the real-life problems being presented. It asks the “What now?” question in regards to Reconciliation, and compels audiences to think about Reconciliation not as a “thing of the past”, but something that permeates many aspects of all of our lives.

Forget About Tomorrow, by Jill Daum with music by John Mann, directed by Michael Shamata
Belfry Theatre
January 23-February 18
World Premiere

A tender re-imagining of a life together. Forget About Tomorrow is a play about a family – a loving family in crisis. When Jane’s husband Tom begins having trouble with his memory, she goes into denial: “you’re over-tired”…“your anxiety is making it worse”…“the doctor doesn’t think it’s anything serious”… But it is. At age 50, Tom has early-onset Alzheimer’s. The play – at times extremely funny and always deeply moving – is Jane’s long and reluctant journey to accepting her husband’s fate, and the new role that she is expected to play.

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet adapted and directed by Emma Grabinsky
SATCo Student Alternative Theatre Company, UVic
January 24-26 at 12:45pm

Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster by Nicola Gunn
Intrepid Theatre International Presenting Series
January 24
Metro Studio Theatre

A confrontational muse on peace and conflict, moral relativism and the very function of art, inspired by an incident that actually happened. A woman saw a man throwing stones at a sitting duck and she yelled at him. What follows is a dissection of the excruciating realms of human behaviour and a navigation of the moral and ethical complexities of intervention. Littered with anecdotes and digressions, critical and philosophical theory, the text is accompanied by a rhythmic electronic soundscape and a non-stop, athletic choreography that shifts from the unnecessary and incongruous to the comic and strangely affecting. These multiple layers form a work in perpetual motion, “a moral and physical workout, witty, outright funny, deeply intelligent and, as intended, morally perplexing…” RealTime.

Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster slips across tempos, ideas and performance modes – from theatre to dance to performance art and back.

Cabaret Written by Christopher Isherwood | Music by John Kander | Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Company C, the Canadian College of Performing Arts
January 26-February 3

In Berlin, the 1920s draw to a close. A garish Master of Ceremonies hosts the audience, luring them in to forget all their troubles at the Cabaret. With the Emcee’s bawdy songs, the iconic Sally Bowles and the Kit Kat Club dancing girls setting the scene, “Cabaret” explores the dark, heady, and tumultuous life of Berlin’s natives and expatriates as Germany slowly yields to the emerging Third Reich.

Ernie and Bethy, written by Sophie Underwood
SATCo Student Alternative Theatre Company at UVic
January 31-February 2 at 12:45pm

February

Standing Still & Tusk Turns 1! (Double bill)
Cory Thibert & Tony Adams / May Can Theatre
An Intrepid Theatre YOU Show at the Intrepid Theatre Club
February 2/3

Working title: Standing Still (by Cory Thibert)

A staged reading

When Cory was 18-years-old, he found life pretty confusing.

Did he really lose his virginity to his girlfriend?

Who is that man that walks out of all of his plays?

How does a pet mouse represent true love?

And how does he still not know the specifics of his Mom and Dad’s disability?

Tusk Turns 1! (by Tony Adams)

After 33 years of being alive, Tusk, is having his first ever birthday. Come celebrate with him and cousin, Tilly, as Tusk goes from zero to being one. Tusk Turns One! is a look at family and cycles of abuse that is equal parts birthday celebration, bruises, and apology (with karaoke, violence, and cake, respectively).

Writer, Creator, Performer – Tony Adams
Creator, Performer – Cory Thibert

Content Warning: Graphic Violence/ Depictions & Mention of Abuse

The Great Big Show
Lifetime Networks
February 7-10
McPherson Playhouse

The GREAT BIG SHOW is an original live musical comedy extravaganza that will upend your assumptions about what it means to be “developmentally disabled”.  Inspiring, moving, hilarious – and unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Forty unique writers, visual artists, dancers, musicians, singers and actors have crafted this extraordinary live theatrical experience.  This is a rare chance to find out what it’s like to live in their skin and see the world through their eyes.

The GREAT BIG SHOW was created by a group of artists with developmental disabilities. Supporting professional artists include Brad Fraser, Geoff Berner, Kris Demeanor, Alice Nelson and Britt Small.   Directed by Wes Borg, produced by Kathryn Popham and Delusional Productions.  Live accompaniment by the legendary Derwin Blanshard Orchestra.

Beyond Belief by J.R. Vikse
Readers’ Theatre at Langham Court
February 10
By donation

Beyond Belief tells the story of two childhood pals, reunited at the funeral of another old friend. During a weekend camping trip, they fall into discussions about faith, memories, growing up, and what really happened in the woods all those years ago

NEVA – by Guillermo Calderón
February 13 – March 3
Theatre Inconnu

Neva takes place on Bloody Sunday, 1905, the day when protesting workers were massacred by government forces on their way to the Winter Palace to deliver a message to the czar. In a rehearsal space in St. Petersburg self-dramatizing diva Olga, the recent widow of Anton Chekhov, bemoans her inability to act well any longer, paralyzed by the fear of disapointing others. Only two other actors have managed to show up due to the massacre: the slippery Aleko and the seemingly effacing Masha. They alternately engage in improvised impromptu scenes of heightened emotion, amusing themselves by blurring the distinction between the personal and the staged, finding the genuine in the counterfeit and visa versa, all the while critiquing each other’s artistic choices and moral character. Calderón, using biting humour, ironically questions the purpose and integrity of art in a world gone – and unfortunately, still going – mad.

“An extraordinary effort.” The Hollywood Reporter

The Improvised Man, An Improvised Ray Bradbury
Paper Street Theatre Company
February 14th-17th
Intrepid Theatre Club

A bleak interstellar landscape. A fading mid-western town. A dystopian future. Climb inside the imaginative world of Ray Bradbury in Paper Street Theatre’s The Improvised Man. Enjoy an evening of improvised short-stories woven together into a rich tapestry, based on the works of one of the best Golden Age pulp writers.

Crimes of the Heart
University of Victoria Phoenix Theatre
February 15 – 24, 2018
By Beth Henley
Director Peter McGuire

“While this play overflows with infectious high spirits, it is also, unmistakably, the tale of a very troubled family. Such is Miss Henley’s prodigious talent that she can serve us pain as though it were a piece of cake.” – NY TIMES

It’s been 10 years since the Magrath sisters have gathered at their granddaddy’s Mississippi home. When the youngest sister Babe is arrested for shooting her abusive husband, her older sisters Lenny and Meg rally to her aid. Through teasing and laughter, they relive sweet memories and confront past resentments. Ultimately, each sister must come to terms with the consequences of her own crimes of the heart. Humorous and heartfelt, this Pulitzer Prize-winning play beautifully captures the incredible power of family.

Recommended for ages 14+

Jesus Christ Superstar
Company P
February 16th-26th
St Matthias Church

Come and see us put a twist on a classic. Jesus Christ Superstar set in a speakeasy. The Saviour can only show you the door, you must choose to walk through it.

Pendulum Indigenous Performance Showcase
produced by City of Victoria Indigenous Artist in Residence Lindsay Delaronde
Belfry Theatre
February 23/24

“This community-focused initiative honours Indigenous worldviews as they relate to reconciliation and community healing,” said Lindsay Delaronde. “Pendulum brings new life into the context of theatre and decolonizes the art form, which Indigenous peoples are so often left out of.”

includes the following acts:

  • Ohen:ton Kariwentehkhwa, an Iroquois giving of thanks
  • Breath in the Land, a contemporary local territorial acknowledgement of welcome and holding of space
  • ANSWER, an all-female drum group who has been singing and sharing traditional songs throughout the community in order to keep tradition alive
  • Rage Flowers, a contemporary duet exploring decolonizing of the body through rage
  • Ahousat, a Bear Song composed by Guy Louis Jr. and performed by members of the Nuuchanulth community, narrating the struggle and conflict of a man and bear before they unite as one

Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen’s Classic Dramatic Comedy, Adapted by Kate Hamill
Directed by Keith Digby and Cynthia Pronick
Langham Court Theatre
February 28-March 17

You’ve never seen Austen like this! As the “greatest stage adaptation of this novel in history,” this rollicking, ingeniously-staged new adaptation follows the adventures (and misadventures) of the Dashwood sisters – sensible Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne – after their sudden loss of fortune. Bursting with humour, emotion, and bold theatricality, Sense and Sensibility asks: when reputation is everything, how do you follow your heart?

SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES

“A whirlwind of delicious gossip… furiously funny and memorably moving” New York Times

“Wry, sharp-witted, engaging, intimate, and often hysterical” Towle Road

Single tickets on sale Mon, Feb 5, 2018

About @lacouvee

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Passionate about bridging online and offline communities to effect positive change.

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