The Shoplifters Cast

The next production at the Arts Club Theatre is The Shoplifters, a Canadian comedy written by Morris Panych.

The Shoplifters follows Alma (Patti Allan), a career shoplifter who prefers the “five-finger discount” over any senior citizen’s deal. When a grocery store theft committed together with her anxious sidekick (Agnes Tong) goes amiss, her elaborate life of petty crime is halted by an overzealous security guard (Raugi Yu) and his affable mentor (Dean Paul Gibson).

Dean Paul Gibson, Patti Allan
[Dean Paul Gibson, Patti Allan]

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.

Edmonton-born actor, playwright and director Panych has penned 30 plays and directed over 90. He received a BFA in Creative Writing from UBC and went on to study acting in London. Though he currently works primarily in Vancouver and Montreal, his plays have been produced all over the world and translated into a dozen languages.

Agnes Tong, Raugi Yu

Throughout his career, he’s won numerous awards, including Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards in Vancouver for both acting and directing. His plays lean towards the absurdist style, existentially reflecting on what it is to be alive.

Panych will also direct this production, stating, “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.”

Raugi Yu, Dean Paul Gibson, Patti Allan
[Raugi Yu, Dean Paul Gibson, Patti Allan]

According to Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran, “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.”

The Shoplifters stars Patti Allan (Alma), Dean Paul Gibson (Otto), Agnes Tong (Phyllis) and Raugi Yu (Dom).

Arts Club Theatre Presents The Shoplifters

Dates: February 7 to March 9; Monday to Thursday, 7:30 pm; Friday, Saturday, 8 pm; Wednesday, 1:30 pm; Saturday, 2 pm
Venue: Granville Island Stage, 1585 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Tickets: From $29; available online or via 604.687.1644

Photos by David Cooper.

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