Pippa Mackie and Daniel Doheny

A teenage boy’s arrest on a SkyTrain platform is the catalyst for the Arts Club Theatre’s newest production, The Valley, a topical story about closing personal divides and the contradictory attempts to balance care and public safety.

According to playwright Joan MacLeod, “The play resides on the same turf as most of my work. It looks at an issue through the lens of family—or in the case of The Valley, two families—and tries to figure out what makes these families, and all of us, connected.”

The Valley is an ensemble piece featuring four characters: recent college dropout Connor (Daniel Doheny); his mother, Sharon (Kerry Sandomirsky), struggling with her son’s recent behaviour; Dan (Robert Salvador), the police officer involved in the SkyTrain incident, and Dan’s wife, Janie (Pippa Mackie), whose own state is driving a wedge through their relationship.

The stories and families intertwine as the characters struggle to stay connected despite the internal strife that threatens to separate them.

Director Mindy Parfitt adds, “The Valley is about people trying to find each other. Reaching across divides. We have created a design that allows for fluidity between time and space. The urban, pared-back set supports the quick rhythm of the play and accentuates the intimacy of the scenes.”
A prolific Victoria-based playwright adept at writing delicate, character-driven stories, Joan MacLeod was awarded Canada’s Governor General’s Award in Drama for Amigo’s Blue Guitar (1990) and both Jessie Richardson and Betty Mitchell Awards for her highly regarded play The Shape of a Girl (2001).

Arts Club audiences last saw Mindy Parfitt’s directorial work in 2013’s Armstrong’s War. Parfitt has extensive experience directing Canadian plays through Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, a theatre company that she co-founded and where she currently serves as co-Artistic Director.

Parfitt’s select directing credits include Judith Thompson’s Palace of the End (Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Direction), Daniel MacIvor’s You Are Here, and, most recently, This Stays in the Room.

Arts Club Theatre Presents The Valley

Arts Club Theatre Presents The Valley

Dates: April 7 to May 7; Mon. to Thur., 7:30 pm; Fri., Sat., 8 pm; Wed., 1:30 pm, Sat., 2 pm
Venue: Granville Island Stage, 1585 Johnson Street, Granville Island, Vancouver
Tickets: From $29, including taxes and fees; available online or via phoning 604.687.1644

Pippa Mackie and Daniel Doheny photo by David Cooper.

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