Max Reimer, Artistic Managing Director of the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre, announced the company’s 49th season line-up of shows yesterday. What a variety and wealth of productions in store for Vancouver!

The Mainstage Season, Recital Hall Series, partnerships and collaborations should fill any theatre-lover’s calendar for the coming months. Here’s a look at the main productions on offer for the 2011/12 Season:


[scene from Hunchback, Citadel Theatre]

The Tosca Café | October 8 to 29, 2011
A co-production with Theatre Calgary and American Conservatory Theater. This radically original fusion of movement and theatre conjures a world in which love, betrayal, and hope emerge from the shadows and disappear with the clink of a glass. Drawing inspiration from the infamous North Beach watering hole that bears its name, The Tosca Café brings internationally acclaimed artists from San Francisco Ballet, including prima ballerina Sabina Allemann, together with a cast of renowned actors, including Peter Anderson of The Overcoat. Set to some of the best music ever made from Hendrix to Puccini, this imaginative new work is gorgeously choreographed and achingly moving.

La Cage aux Folles | November 26 to December 24, 2011
La Cage aux Folles is a tuneful and touching tale of one family’s struggle to stay together, stay fabulous, and above all else, stay true to themselves! Georges owns a glitzy nightclub in lovely Saint-Tropez and his partner, Albin, is the glamorous chanteuse Zaza. When Georges’ son brings his fiancée’s conservative parents home to meet the flashy pair, the bonds of family are put to the test as the feather boas fly! With a glorious score of hummable melodies and a dynamite cast featuring the “notorious and dangerous Cagelles,” this extraordinary new version shows you why this hilarious musical comedy is back on Broadway in a smash-hit, Tony Award-winning production that garnered rave reviews and has audience members in stitches every night!

Red | January 14 to February 4, 2012
A co-production with Canadian Stage and The Citadel Theatre. “There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend… One day the black will swallow the red.” Under the watchful gaze of his young assistant and the threatening presence of a new generation of artists, Mark Rothko takes on his greatest challenge yet: to create a definitive work for an extraordinary setting. Red is a moving and compelling account of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century whose struggle to accept his growing riches and praise became his ultimate undoing.

Hunchback | February 18 to March 10, 2012
A presentation of Catalyst Theatre with The Cultch. A darkly romantic musical set amid the buttresses and shadows of Notre Dame Cathedral, Hunchback tells the tale of a tormented priest, a beautiful dancer and the deformed bell ringer Quasimodo. Swept up in a vortex of lust, fear and the desire to control a destiny that will ultimately destroy them all, they are consumed by love in its most potent, merciless and obsessive form. This surprising new take on Victor Hugo’s famous story comes from the multi- award-winning creative team at Catalyst Theatre.

God of Carnage | April 14 to May 5, 2012
A co-production with Manitoba Theatre Centre. When two young boys get into a playground fight, their parents meet to discuss the incident in a civilized manner. But what begins as a calm and rational debate between grown-ups, soon degenerates into a hysterical evening of name-calling, tantrums and tears before bedtime. A West End and Broadway hit, God of Carnage is fast, furious and very, very funny.


The Exquisite Hour poster

Gunmetal Blues | January 21 to February 4, 2012
The first Playhouse production in the Recital Hall is a musical parody of the hard-boiled detective story. Set in the Red Eye Lounge, a piano bar in a second-rate hotel, Gunmetal Blues tells the story of a world-weary private eye solving the mystery of a missing blonde, while lounge singer Buddy Toupee narrates and comments on the action through song.

The Exquisite Hour | April 23 to May 5, 2012
A Relephant Theatre Co-op revival of its Vancouver Fringe production. A simple question doesn’t always have to have a simple answer. This is the lesson learned on a late summer night in 1962 by confirmed bachelor Zachary Teale. Sweet like lemonade but cut with a kick of bourbon, The Exquisite Hour sees Teale’s world turned upside-down after meeting the lovely, mysterious, and alluring Helen Darimont who leads Zachary to question knowledge, imagination, and the value of time.


Kahawi Dance Theatre
[Kaha:wi Dance Theatre]

A Story Before Time | Dates to be Confirmed
Presented by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre. Explore the Sky and Earth Worlds in Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s enchanting interpretation of the age-old Iroquoian Creation Story. The exquisite musical score blends traditional Iroquoian social songs and contemporary music, with narration by Drew Hayden Taylor. Visually stunning, musically rich and theatrically compelling, this spectacular dance work for children and families is entertaining and insightful.


Falling in Time | November 4 to 12, 2011 (Performance Works)
Produced by Screaming Weenie Productions in association with Meta.for Theatre. Developed in partnership with PTC From one of Vancouver’s major playwrights comes this bold, epic exploration of war, sexuality, personal boundaries and love. Steve is an ailing, embittered Korean War vet. Jamie is a cold, unfeeling ESL teacher. Chang Hyun is a Korean ESL student brimming with anti-Western sentiment. Eun Ha is a Korean woman who, against all odds, finds the will to survive. Across two continents and over a span of more than forty years, the lives of these four characters miraculously intertwine. Brutally honest yet lyrical and compassionate, Falling in Time asks the question: How do we let go?

Confessions of the Other Woman | March 1 to 11, 2012 (Performance Works)
A co-production with urban ink productions and Visceral Visions. In association with The Shadbolt Centre. What would you do if you met your soul mate – and he was married? Eve, a 40-something Asian-Canadian woman, begins to question her very existence at the end of a passionate love affair with Sam. Her search for answers launches her on a liminal journey through memory, fantasy and recurring encounters with a mysterious being whose motives aren’t always clear. Veering between hard scrabble insights and emotional honesty – all leavened with a fine appreciation of the absurd – Eve finds herself trying to make sense of her beloved grandmother’s legacy as she seeks to reconcile personal integrity with true love.

125 Short Plays About Vancouver | Fall 2011 (Vancouver Playhouse)
In collaboration with Touchstone Theatre. Led by local director/playwright Amiel Gladstone, 125 Short Plays about Vancouver is a theatrical celebration of the City’s 125th birthday, produced by two of Vancouver’s most important local companies. Working with E-stage, the youth playwrights program at the Vancouver Playhouse, young writers will coax their impressions about the city into theatrical form in a guided process over a series of months. Chosen selections will be performed in and around the Vancouver Playhouse civic theatre site. A series of plays set in and around our various recognizable locales, dealing with the day-to-day life and what it means to be living in our city right now. What are Vancouverites talking about? What are their dreams? Their conflicts? How do they feel about living here? The final product is imagined as a thoroughly dynamic theatrical experience that celebrates our young city through the excitement and vision of our young artists.

The Webster/Herzog Project | August 2011 (Vancouver Playhouse)
In collaboration with Ruby Slippers Theatre. A portrait of Vancouver in the 1950s, as seen through the artistic investigations of photographer Fred Herzog and the journalistic investigations of reporter Jack Webster, The Webster/Herzog Project is a collaboration between the Playhouse, Ruby Slippers Theatre, and award-winning local writer Timothy Taylor (Stanley Park). The public will be invited to explore the results of the collaborators’ own investigations into Vancouver’s neon- lit past at an open house at the Vancouver Playhouse in the summer of 2011. The event will include dramatic presentations of both Herzog’s and Webster’s work and readings of the developing script.

Vancouver Playhouse is also striking up a new producing partnership for the 2011/2012 season: The Vancouver International Fringe Festival. In addition, the Playhouse/Fringe Award has been created. Annually, the winner at the Fringe Festival will present an encore presentation of their production in the Recital Hall during the upcoming Playhouse season. The Playhouse is also working with The Cultch, a long-established relationship.

Nationally, the Playhouse is working with Theatre Calgary, Canadian Stage, The Citadel Theatre, Catalyst Theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre and San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater.

The Playhouse is also working in association with urban ink productions, Visceral Visions, Touchstone Theatre, Meta.for Theatre, Ruby Slippers Theatre, and Screaming Weenie Productions on various other projects.

Working with our local and National partners the Playhouse’s 49th season promises to be a season full of hits.

Bluewater Adventures
[Image courtesy of Bluewater Adventures]

Subscribers to the Mainstage Season before June 29 (renewing or new) will be automatically entered into a draw for a chance to win an adventure for two in mystical Haida Gwaii with Bluewater Adventures. Enjoy nine days of exploration aboard the 68’ vessel Island Roamer and venture into the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve. On your journey along east Moresby Island, you’ll see an abundance of wildlife and outstanding wilderness scenery. Haida Watchmen will guide you through history as you walk among the totems in ancient villages. Discover why this stunning place is called Canada’s Galapagos.

For more information or to purchase a subscription call the Playhouse Box Office at 604.873.3311 or visit their website.

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