2017 Season

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Get Away with the Cornwall Family this Christmas

The final show for the 25th Season of the Chemainus Theatre Festival will be opening to audiences on November 17th. Rehearsals started this week and the energy was high as the cast read through the script for the first time. Everyone in attendance was bopping along to familiar tunes of the mid-1980s and, of course, a few Christmas classics.

You may have met the Cornwall family in 2011 when they spent Christmas in the Country at the Chemainus Theatre. They are back on stage again thanks to popular demand. This year the Cornwalls are on their way to Cancun on an all-inclusive holiday. Whether or not you saw the first Cornwalls’ Christmas show, you will enjoy these vibrant characters, a hilarious storyline, and given the retro setting, there is plenty of big hair, jelly shoes and neon prints to behold. One of the co-writers Nicolle Nattrass tells us that this was a special play for her to write, “Christmas is such a special time of the year and we wanted to create an original Christmas show that depicted a well-rounded, quirky family that goes through what so many of us try to create at Christmas – the perfect family Christmas”.

The community of Chemainus is full of local artistic talent and the Chemainus Theatre Festival capitalizes on this talent whenever we can. For this show, our in-house writers Nicolle Nattrass and Chemainus Theatre Festival Artistic Director Mark DuMez weave for you a tale of a loving family doing their best with challenging (and hysterical) circumstances. Thank you to Nicolle and Mark for having a conversation with our own Michelle Vogelgesang about how audience members will relate to this story if they have ever experienced the highs and lows of Christmas, an all-inclusive getaway, or, you know, family!

What are three words you would use to describe their family dynamic?

Nicolle: Funny, Quirky and perfectly imperfect.

Mark: Challenging, loving, all-in.

Are the family members modeled after people you have met (not naming names)?

Nicolle: Not specific people but with the spirit of capturing everyday family dynamics through family members- strengths, faults and quirks.

Mark: Agreed – they are created from a composite of imagination, other people and my own personal quirks. 

Do the Cornwalls have a lesson for the audience, or are we enjoying their antics for pure entertainment?

Nicolle: Both. Entertaining, funny and moving. Love is the lesson, love within families, for each other through the good times, unfortunate times and in this case, an All Inclusive Family VACATION at Christmas which has plenty of ups and downs but in the end the Cornwalls will have created new family traditions.

Mark: Any family comedy, even a wacky one, hopefully reflects a bit of our own life to us.  Through the piece, we learn to love our imperfections and turn our challenges into personal and relational triumphs – even through a goofy lens.

Will the family ever want to vacation together again?

Nicolle: YES! The Family that travels on an All-Inclusive together, stays together!

Mark: Probably? 

What do you enjoy most about writing original theatre? What is the biggest challenge?

Nicolle: I enjoy seeing ideas, characters and dynamics come alive on stage and seeing how what I have created affects an audience. I write to carry a message or an experience to the audience, to connect (in this case) to connect the audience to the ups and downs of Christmas with family. Only this time, they are traveling to a foreign country. The biggest challenge about writing original theatre is having it produced- being given an opportunity to develop a new play. I feel very fortunate that Mark & Chemainus Theatre festival have given me the opportunity to write three original plays. Wilde Holidays Shorts, Countryside Christmas and Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas.

Mark: I enjoy it when others are moved by something that does the same for me.  It’s a wonderful sense of connection – in the writing team, in the creative team and finally with the audience.  I enjoy it best when we laugh together. The biggest challenge is drilling down to specifics that do all these things.

Is there any person or practice that is particularly beneficial to your writing/directing process?

Nicolle: There are many people whom I have studied & worked with that have helped my writing process. I think it is very beneficial to approach writing using different processes and that is one thing that I have really appreciated about co-writing with Mark DuMez is that we are open to different writing processes. It was really neat for both of us ( at times in development) to say ok we are both going to go away and write this scene and then come together and talk about choices, what is strongest and build on each other’s ideas. Then, letting that writer take the next scene and trusting each other. I really value trying different processes when co-writing.

Mark: I like to take a walk to ruminate over ideas before a writing day or session – but then get down to just writing.  I find I have to throw something down on the page – usually to throw out or revise – but it gets things moving.   I agree co-writing creates energy and trust in the process (which at other times can feel quite isolated) and it’s been fun to write two shows with Nicolle.

Christmas at the Chemainus Theatre Festival is always a popular experience so make sure you get your tickets soon. Don’t forget to add on the Playbill Dining Room for the all-inclusive buffet dinner. You may not be able to travel to the tropics over the holidays but this will be a getaway to highlight your holiday season!

By |October 28th, 2017|Categories: 2017 Season|0 Comments

Community Open House

We are celebrating 25 years!

In the world of theatre, reaching 25 seasons is a grand milestone, and we’ve done it! Over the past 25 seasons, The Festival has held thousands of professional performances, with now over 300 performances per year. As one of BC’s largest performing arts organizations, we welcome over 70,000 annual patrons to enjoy live theatre experiences by notable directors, talented actors, and imaginative designers.

We are incredibly grateful for all of the support that we’ve received from the community.  Chemainus and the Cowichan region have been wonderful partners in this journey and we couldn’t wish for a better place to live and work.

To celebrate this milestone and say thank you, we are hosting an open house on Friday, June 23rd from 3:00 PM to 7:30 PM.  You are invited!

Please Join Us

Community Open House
Friday, June 23
3:00 to 7:30 PM

Take in our fabulous theatre exhibits, memorabilia, and re-live some of your favorite shows!

We’ve planned a range of free festivities for this time including:

Displays of props, costumes, set models and photographs
Pop-up readings, indoor and outdoor
Trivia quizzes & ticket contest
Prizes for the oldest ticket and the patron with the most tickets
(please bring them to the box office the day of the event)
Mix and mingle with actors, directors, volunteers and staff
Live music and entertainment
Fun for kids with interactive displays, a bouncy castle, face painting & more.

We can’t wait to celebrate and share our history with you!

Make a day of it by staying for dinner at one of the local restaurants or visiting one of the onsite food trucks.  You can also reserve tickets for the 8:00 PM performance of Rock Legends: The Sequel to Twist and Shout online or by calling the Box Office 250-246-9820 or toll free 1-800-565-7738.

By |June 6th, 2017|Categories: 2017 Season|0 Comments

New Featured Artists!

Rose Cowles, Johnny Lee, Katherine Melanie

Jun 2 – July 17

About Rose Cowles

Rose Cowles paints because she can, and in her opinion there is nothing better than getting messy in the studio, losing track of time, and mucking about with a playful attitude, knowing that her trials and errors will often churn out the most amazing results. Cowles paints what she loves and prays along the way it will eventually all come together and translate a message of sincere joy, hope and gratitude through subject matter, words, colour, and glorious textures. Her passions are varied, however her desire to lift souls in a positive way is constant.

Rose Cowles is a Governor-General Award nominated Artist and has won many awards for both book illustration and and graphic design and has illustrated and painted on a full time basis out of her home based studio in Victoria BC for the past 25 yrs.

Published:

– Gilbert de la Frogponde” by Jennifer Rae
– Dog Tales” by Jennifer Rae
– I Know An Old Laddie” by Jean Little
– The Queen, The Bear and The Bumblebee” by Dini Petty
– The F Team” by Anne Laurel Carter
– The Mysterious You Series” with Kids Can Press
– The Amazing International Space Station” with Kids Can Press
– Puppies On Board” with Orca Books Publishing
– Science Detectives” with Kids Can Press
(Not all picture books are still in circulation)

Awards:

– Recipient of two Silver Awards for illus. Studio Mag 1990
– Two Alcuin Awards for book cover design 1991 and 1997
– “GDC” Awards for book design and self promotion 1997
– Nominee for Governor-General Award (2000)
– Shortlist: 2003 Silver Birch Award
– Starred selection: Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice 2003
– Starred selection: Red Cedar Book Awards 2002-03
– Shortlist: 2005 Silver Birch Award
– Red Cedar Book Awards 2006
– Red Cedar Book Awards (2) 2008-09
– Peoples Choice award for 2D art in the International Women’s Day Show through the Victoria Arts Council 2017
– Peoples Choice Award and Best in Show through the Victoria Art Councils “LOOK”show for 2D 2017

About Johnny Lee

Honoring the gift I was given, I draw in detail believing anything worth doing well takes patience, commitment and time. I choose realism, because for me it is a lot more challenging than doodling from my imagination. Chosen subjects evolve from memories I have as a boy.

A mother’s story of her ancestry coupled with the impact a grandfather had on this boy still today. The act of illustrating gives me peace, stillness, freedom, sense of accomplishment, purpose and pride. It allows me to exit the conceptual make believe reality of society and enter a place where time, meaning, rules and logic do not exist.

I am humbled of how nature can channel creativity through a body to a page. Drawing is in my nature and may I never take it for granted.

www.wisdomstick.com

About Katherine Melanie

I was born an artist and have developed my skills through various courses and valuable instruction.

My journey began in Winnipeg, Manitoba where I studied still life drawing, calligraphy, sculpture and Life Model drawing at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. I was fourteen years old.

Advertising Art Program at Red River College, where along with various classes I first studied photography. This was 1981, and film cameras were in use then.  Working in a dark room with developer, fixer and water processing and enlarging machines was very exciting.

Art History at University of Manitoba.

I had the pleasure to teach photography at the Stz’uminus College, Ladysmith B.C.

I am a mother of two wonderful children who I draw much inspiration from the past 21 years.

I have had a career in dentistry for over 28 years.

Artists draw attention to details in life that sometimes are overlooked and make beauty out of nothing at all.

I am focusing on three exhibits at this time.  They are all composed of digital photography and are capturing my heart through vision of our valuable elements of life.

                                                        Land         Air        Water

The pieces available in the Chemainus Theatre gallery now are part of my Land and Air series.  Hope you enjoy the journey!

About Rock Legends

Alex Mustakas

Welcome to Rock Legends, our sequel to Twist and Shout: The British Invasion. Where Twist and Shout featured the British sound between 1964 and 1967, Rock Legends relives the incredible discography from the 1950s through1970s that forever changed the landscape of modern music. I suppose you could say “America strikes back!” In a similar musical tribute format, our television host Roy Solomon is about to sign off the air after 20 unforgettable years. To help him celebrate this milestone, he features some of the most important and influential rock and roll acts of the 20th century. These artistic pioneers refused to bow to industry pressure and creatively set their own musical trends, and in so doing, became enduring icons of music history. By mixing in fashions, period commercials, outstanding choreography, a stellar band, and some of the finest singers and dancers in the country, we’ve created another nostalgic walk down memory lane featuring the sounds that shaped the minds and attitudes of an entire generation.

Thank you for sharing your valuable time with us in one of Canada’s most beautiful settings for professional theatre. Enjoy the show!

About Alex

Chemainus: Twist & Shout (2015). Other: Alex is the Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment, which operates seven theatres in Ontario. He has directed over 100 productions across the country including Beauty and the Beast, Marathon of Hope (world premiere), Spamalot, Les Misérables, and more. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Arts). Follow him on Twitter/Instagram @AlexMustakas.

By |May 11th, 2017|Categories: 2017 Season, Rock Legends|0 Comments

The reviews are in!

2 Pianos 4 Hands resonates and transcends!

 

 Janice Lacouvee praises the cast of our production of 2 Pianos 4 Hands, saying that  ” Bryce Kulak and Max Roll Excel in demanding roles.”  – Read the full review

Cowichan Valley Citizen’s Lexi Bainas describes this show as “a surprising piece of theatre” that pulls “the audience rigth into the show.”  – Read the full review

The Traveling Islanders’ Gretta Kennedy “laughed out loud until tears rolled down my face!” – Read the full review

2 Pianos 4 Hands was originally produced in April 1996, and has since been seen on stages across North America

Bryce Kulak & Max Roll
(Photo: Max Telzerow)

and in London, UK. Ranked by American Theatre Magazine as one of the Top 10 Most Produced Plays in the USA, this play has won numerous awards including:

  • 2006 – Marquis Entertainment’s production won the award for Outstanding Touring Production by the Connecticut Theatre Critics Circle (winning over Broadway touring productions of The Lion King and Wicked)
  • 1996 – won Toronto’s Dora Award for Outstanding Production and a Chalmers Award (Canadian National Award) for Playwriting

Get your tickets and join the ranks of over 2 million others who have enjoyed what is arguably the most successful play in the history of Canadian Theatre!

Book online or call the box office now to book your tickets!

1-800-565-7738

New Featured Artists

Richard Brodeur and Pattiann Withapea

April 6 – May 14

 

About Richard Brodeur

Richard Brodeur is a former NHL goalie who played seven seasons in a Canuck uniform. He earned his spot in Canucks’ lore in 1982, when he backstopped the team to its first Stanley Cup final performance and was given the moniker King Richard.

The native of Longueuil, Quebec retired from hockey in 1987. According to Vancouver hockey fans, Brodeur is one of the Top Ten Canucks in the club’s 40-year history.

Richard Brodeur, the artist, utilizes oils, acrylics, and watercolours to create abstract paintings as well as images of ‘Canadiana’– fishing villages in Haida Gwaii, lakes and orchards of the Okanagan, and ports and coves of Nova Scotia.

His most popular series is a collection of paintings titled ‘My Childhood Hockey Memories” – depictions of youngsters playing hockey on frozen outdoor ponds.

As an NHLer, Brodeur understood that his on-ice brethren would likely mock his artistic endeavours. Somehow, the macho locker room culture didn’t quite gel with the fine arts.

“Painting has always been a passion of mine,” says Brodeur. “When I was playing with the Canucks I was painting at home and brought a sketch pad with me on the road. But it’s not something I mentioned to my teammates. You’re always considered a flake as a goalie anyways, and then if you walk in the locker room and tell them you’re an artist they are going to laugh.”

Now Brodeur paints four to eight hours a day.

“I have had two passions in my life,” he says. “One was playing hockey and the other one was my art. And I’m a lucky guy because I have been able to do both.”

King Richard’s passion for art is no longer a secret. And this time no one is laughing.

About Pattiann Withapea

Pattiann Withapea is a Member of the Federation of Canadian artists who specializes in Custom Painted Pet Portraits.  A self-taught artist with a whimsical style, Pattiann has been painting for just over three years and is quickly making a name for herself. She has painted for Eric Clapton, Eric Carmen, the Willie Nelson Family, the Glen Campbell Family and many other celebrities in the music and entertainment industry. Michael McDonald of the Doobie Brothers is a big fan of Pattiann’s art. Michael’s message to her in August of 2015 reads, “Pattiann, Love your portraits! I really think it’s a noble endeavor to immortalize our furry friends and you do it beautifully. “

In May of 2015,  her painting of, “ Atom the Pug”, took first place in Art Vancouver’s International Online Competition.  Her distinctive and instantly recognizable style has garnered plenty of attention and caught the eye of collectors the world over. To date, she has sold her works on six of the seven continents. Pattiann laughingly says that she is, “still holding out hope for Antarctica”.

Pattiann does not limit her artistry to portraits of pets however.  She has attracted a large audience with her unique portrayals of Music Legends and is currently working on diverse collections that capture the whimsy and incorporate imagery found in nature.  These new works will be the anchor pieces for her exhibitions in 2017.

Summer Blockbuster!

From the creators of the hit show, Twist and Shout: The British InvasionRock Legends, the Sequel to Twist and Shout will have you snapping your fingers and dancing in your seats . . . this time to the beat of classic songs by rock and roll’s musical legends. Rock Legends will hit the stage at the Chemainus Theatre from June 2 to August 26.

Conceived, written and directed by Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment, Rock Legends is a tribute to the incredible artists from the mid-1950s through the 1970s, who refused to bow to industry pressure and creatively set their own musical trends. They were courageous and outrageous, and ultimately became the most influential rock and roll acts of the 20th century.

Their unique influence is celebrated in this energetic, fun-filled musical revue fetuaring classic songs by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Beach Boys, The Everly Brothers, Elton John, ABBA, The Monkees, Simon & Garfunkel, Sonny & Cher, and many more.

Rock Legends is essentially a hit-parade of over 60 classic songs mixed with comedic sketches and exciting dance numbers,” says Mustakas. “The production pays tribute to the unforgettable sounds that shaped the minds and attitudes of an entire generation.”

A first-rate cast of performers with remarkable voices has been assembled. “Audiences are going to be blown away by the calibre of talent on stage,” says Mustakas.

Book your tickets now for this summer’s blockbuster hit Rock Legends, the Sequel to Twist and Shout.

On stage June 2 to August 26.

Call our box office now at 1-800-565-7738

or book online!

By |March 22nd, 2017|Categories: 2017 Season, Rock Legends|0 Comments

A Brilliant Musical Comedy!

Ted and Richard dream about becoming classical pianists. But they have to deal with pushy parents, bizarre teachers, life-consuming practice, stage fright and agonizing Conservatory examinations. Revel in the incredible results of this hilarious and moving journey by these talented duelling pianists.

“Simple, charming, funny, brilliant. An absolute joy. Great humour and music.”    CBC

“Magical! Superb! Laugh-out-loud funny! Poignant! Perfection!”   
The Globe & Mail

 

Bryce Kulak & Max Roll
(Photo: Max Telzerow)


2 Pianos 4 Hands was originally produced in April 1996, and has since been seen on stages across North America and in London, UK. Ranked by American Theatre Magazine as one of the Top 10 Most Produced Plays in the USA, this play has won numerous awards including:

  • 2006 – Marquis Entertainment’s production won the award for Outstanding Touring Production by the Connecticut Theatre Critics Circle (winning over Broadway touring productions of The Lion King and Wicked)
  • 1996 – won Toronto’s Dora Award for Outstanding Production and a Chalmers Award (Canadian National Award) for Playwriting

Get your tickets and join the ranks of over 2 million others who have enjoyed what is arguably the most successful play in the history of Canadian Theatre!

Book online or call the box office now to book your tickets!

1-800-565-7738

From the Director

My theatrical instincts were honed in this very theatre; it’s where I began my professional career twelve years ago, and it’s where my artistry has been prompted, encouraged and supported ever since. As such, it’s a great honour to have been entrusted with this, the first production of CTF’s 25th anniversary season.

It’s in relationship and collaboration with my mentors and helpmates here that I’ve become the artist I am today. And it’s in tribute to these tremendous artists that I offer you this music-filled story of love and family: I wanted to create a performance that, hopefully, conveys the energy, humour and familial warmth of my best Chemainus memories.

Over the years, working here has revealed to me what I love and value, both onstage and in the greater sphere of life and community. In this way, the story of Elizabeth and Darcy rings true to me, too. They realize their capacity, and finally see themselves clearly, when each is reflected in the other.

The action of Pride and Prejudice derives from a series of snap judgements. Its magic is spun from slow-dawning realizations. Here’s hoping you enjoy both its spark, and its enticing, enduring sweetness.

Julie

Book Your Tickets

Book online or call the box office now to book your tickets! 1-800-565-7738

Cast & Creative Team of Pride & Prejudice

Directed by

Choreographer/Dance Captain

Musical Director

Set Designer

Costume Designer

Lighting Designer

Stage Manager

Assistant Stage Manager

  CAST

Elizabeth “Lizzie Bennet

Kitty Bennet/Lady Anne de Bourgh

Mary Bennet/Charlotte Lucas

Mr. George Wickham

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy

Mr. Collins/ Mr. Gadiner

Jane Bennet/Georgiana Darcy

Mrs. Gardiner/Lady Catherine de Bourgh

Mrs. Bennet/Mrs. Reynolds

Mr. Bennet

Mr. Charles Bingley

Lydia Bennet/Caroline Bingley

Julie McIsaac

Kayla Dunbar

Melissa Morris

Brian Ball

Crystal Hanson

John Webber

Anne Taylor

Mel Watkins

 

Yoshié Bancroft

Julie Casselman

Kayla Dunbar

Erik Gow

Brett Harris

Matthew Hendrickson

Melissa Morris

Caitriona Murphy

Amy Lee Newman

Paul Terry

Chris Walters

Lindsay Warnock

By |February 7th, 2017|Categories: 2017 Season, Pride & Prejudice|0 Comments

Celebrating A Classic!

Our 25th Season Begins With A Celebrated Classic.

As we began our twenty-fifth season, the notion of legacy was firmly in our minds. But not just our own history here in the Chemainus community, and in Canada’s theatre scene. We were caught up in the question of why certain stories have become timeless – in the way that today’s show, Pride and Prejudice, has become a celebrated classic.

Since Jane Austen’s story was published over 200 years ago, it has inspired millions of people. Readers and audiences have enjoyed the original work (and many adaptations), while artists of all varieties have used its themes to create countless derivatives in a variety of media.

Fortunately, as we directed, rehearsed, and produced this adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, we discovered some secrets behind the story’s far-reaching fondness:

Nothing (much) has changed. Although our physical world is radically different, the essence of human nature is enduring. Two centuries have passed since its writing and yet we can easily relate to the influences of wealth, manners, and social class on our culture.

  • Good drama is addictive. A scheming plot that’s told in intelligent conversation will always bring us back for another hit.
  • Everyone knows an Austen character (or two). Maybe a social climbing mother, silly sister, maverick change agent, haughty love interest, or buffoonish cousin? You’re sure to recognize a familiar face.
  • Some snark and clever irony makes for an especially delightful kind of humour.
  • Nostalgia for country life in Regency times makes a charming way to escape to the past.
  • Love has always been wonderfully complicated.

Pride and Prejudice is a phenomenon for these reasons and more. We hope you’ll enjoy this performance and the many more experiences we have for you during our 25th Anniversary Season. Like this classic story, we hope to create a legacy of theatre that you remember fondly, and repeat often.

Book Your Tickets

Book online or call the box office now to book your tickets! 1-800-565-7738

By |January 17th, 2017|Categories: 2017 Season, Pride & Prejudice|0 Comments