Allan Louis, Lisa Ryder, Nicholas Lea

Acclaimed visual artist Stan Douglas and award-winning screenwriter Chris Haddock will make their theatrical debuts in highly-anticipated, mixed-media spectacle Helen Lawrence, set in 1948 Vancouver. Visit the vanished worlds of the old Hotel Vancouver and Hogan’s Alley—the city’s hot spot for gambling and vice. Helen Lawrence is an intriguing, hard-boiled tale of loyalty and money that illuminates our city’s politics during a time of historic upheaval.

“Throughout the show, there are typically two ideas in play at the same time—one derived from the literal reality on stage, and the other from the images projected on screen,” according to Douglas. “The images are fundamentally unstable and depict relationships that could change at any moment. As such, these visuals are much like the futures the characters are trying to forge for themselves in the story.”
The most prominent feature of Helen Lawrence is the blue-screen enclosed stage on which the play itself is performed. Both filmed and live images of the actors are projected into detailed and fully furnished virtual spaces, so the story unfolds simultaneously as a film and a play. If live television is, in essence, filmed theatre, this is “live cinema” and more than that, it is an opportunity to think cinema through the theatrical and theatre through the cinematic simultaneously.
“I took up Stan’s offer to collaborate on this project knowing it was a huge challenge to create a script and characters that would work in the combined mediums of live theatre, film, and computer-generated imagery in a way that’s never been done before,” said Haddock. “That’s almost as good as walking a tightrope blindfolded with no net—hard to resist for someone like me.”

Following the world premiere run in Vancouver, Helen Lawrence will tour in Montreal, Munich, and Edinburgh, and later this fall at Toronto’s Bluma Appel Theatre.
Stan Douglas is an internationally acclaimed Vancouver-based visual artist. Douglas’s work has been included at some of the art world’s premier exhibitions—including the Venice Biennale (1990, 2001, 2005) and documenta (1992, 1997, 2002)—and is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Gallery, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Vancouver Art Gallery, among many others.
Chris Haddock is an award-winning Canadian screenwriter, director, and producer. His television projects include Da Vinci’s Inquest, Da Vinci’s City Hall, and, most recently, Intelligence. In addition to his own series, Haddock has contributed writing to various shows, including HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. He is the recipient of 35 Gemini nominations, and has won 15.
Helen Lawrence stars Crystal Balint, Sterling Jarvis, Nicholas Lea, Allan Louis, Ava Markus, Hrothgar Mathews, Tom McBeath, Haley McGee, Mayko Nguyen, Gerard Plunkett, Lisa Ryder, and Adam Kenneth Wilson and is directed by Stan Douglas.

Helen Lawrence

Dates: March 13 to April 13; Tuesdays, 7:30 pm; Wednesday through Saturday, 8 pm; Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday matinees, 2 pm
Venue: Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, 2750 Granville Street, Vancouver
Tickets: From $29, including tax and fees; available online or via phoning 604.687.1644

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