Announcing Our 2016 Season

CTF 2016 Season BrochureTITLEpage

Digging into the Chemainus Theatre Festival 2016 Season is both a gift and a thrill. Whether it’s the ache for nostalgia, the need for a good belly laugh, the swing of a well-played tune or the crackle of a well-turned phrase – something in us longs for a great story well told.

2016 starts with a new production of the Million Dollar Quartet, as the bad boys of SUN records tear their way up the charts. With Harvey and Hilda, laughter connects character to family, imagination and love. We will rollick through the summer musical with Footloose as generations clash and dance. Four strong women bond together in A Lovely Sunday, our first Tennessee Williams work in over a decade. And the holidays bring it all together in Ralphie’s quest for a Red Ryder, a leg lamp prize and a dream Christmas with A Christmas Story.

The Chemainus Theatre Festival thrives as people from all over Vancouver Island congregate to enjoy the intimate energy of high caliber professional actors and creative teams from across Canada. We delve in together, taking in the textures of well-made costumes, intrigued by the clever use of sculptural scenery and vivid lights and sound – all this goodness in a sea-side town full of artistry and eclectic adventure.

We invite you to dig in! Grab a pack of tickets and come see everything or treat a few friends to the Chemainus Theatre Festival experience – the Gallery Gift Shop, the Playbill Dining Room and a soulful show. Discover again, or for the first time, theatre that explores and nourishes the human spirit.



Mark DuMez
Artistic Director
Randal Huber
Managing Director
By |December 1st, 2015|Categories: 2016 Season|0 Comments

Elf: Director’s Notes

MarkMark DuMez

Let me start by thanking all of you for an incredible 2015 Season! The enthusiasm, energy and vigour you’ve brought into this gathering place and the shows at Chemainus have been remarkable. Together, as partners in this creative work, we’ve enjoyed a place where imagination rules the day and stories sing. Thank you for your appetite for live, professional theatre in Chemainus – and for your willingness to take the plunge into our Mainstage shows, in the intimate Studio or with one of our many Education or Outreach programs. Through it all, together, we enrich the region, advance the arts, and build community while examining and celebrating our unique place on Vancouver Island.

In this holiday conclusion to 2015 – we get a bit silly. Ok – really silly. Now on many top ten holiday films lists, ELF is a jubilant celebration of innocence, hope and naivety. It invites us to see the world through the eyes of the child. This Broadway musical treatment builds on many of the film’s eccentric delights. In staging the show we want to do the same. Christmas to the max! So, feel free to take an elfie with Santa before the show, tap your feet when Buddy clogs or try to say “Sparklejollytwinklejingley” three times fast. We hope this show brings you laughter and joy as we celebrate being human (or elfin) during this festive time of hope, love and peace.

About Mark

Mark is a proud resident of Vancouver Island and has enjoyed directing Sherlock Holmes, Jeeves in Bloom, A Pretty Girl (A Shayna Maidel), Delicious Lies, Harvest, The 39 Steps and Amadeus for Chemainus Theatre. Other favourites include: A Christmas Carol, Strindberg’s Easter, Anne, Mr. Pim Passes By and Pet the Fish. He has collaborated with companies including Theatre X, Pacific Theatre and TheatreOne to develop over a dozen new plays. Favourite acting credits include: Mass Appeal, Enchanted April, Queen Milli of Galt and Streetcar Named Desire.

By |November 17th, 2015|Categories: 2015 Season|0 Comments

Get Your Family Cameo in Elf: The Musical!

Santa Claus sitting at home with family - little girl and her mother and reading book all together

Get Into the Act With a Cameo Onstage During Elf: The Musical!

Ever dream of getting to take a turn on stage?  This could be your chance as we are providing a genuinely unique opportunity to enhance your Chemainus Theatre Experience during the run of this years’ Christmas show.

Available on a first-come, first-serve basis to patrons that have purchased show tickets, you can reserve the chance to be a shopper during the Santa scene at Macy’s in the first act. This cameo is for up to 4 people (ages 6 and up with a maximum of 2 children age 6-12) and can be reserved by making a donation to the Golden Neighbour Fund (suggested amount of $50 per person).

You will get to feel the raw back stage energy, the sensation of waiting in the wings under the blue lights and the thrill of walking out on stage. It will be an exhilarating experience and a special, memorable way to mark the Christmas season.

You will be required to arrive at the Theatre at 30 minutes before show curtain and so that we can show you when, where and how the Cameo will happen during the first act. You are asked to wear neutral colored outerwear; hats, scarves and coats. After all, it will be freezing in New York City. If you don’t have suitable attire, that’s no problem, we’ll have some spares on hand.

Have we peaked your curiosity?

Reserve your cameo appearance now by calling the box office 1-800-565-7738

By |November 10th, 2015|Categories: 2015 Season|0 Comments

Featured Artist Winter 2015

M. Morgan Warren

November 20 to December 31



M. Morgan Warren lives and maintains a working studio at Canoe Cove Marina, North Saanich, B.C. During the past thirty years she has made an in-depth study of the fauna and flora of the region, recording her observations in hundreds of photographs, sketches and notes. Best known for her highly detailed realistic watercolours of the birds of North America and her native Britain, she strives to give the viewers of her work a special glimpse into the hidden lives of her subjects.

Morgan’s paintings and reproductions can be found in many private collections all over the world, including those of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth ll and HRH, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. In 1996 she was the special guest of the DeYoung Museum of Fine Arts in San Francisco where she demonstrated the techniques of John James Audubon for visitors to the national Audubon Birds of America Exhibition. Save the Children Fund Christmas cards, the international Sierra Club Foundation Annual Report, and Ducks Unlimited, among others, have all featured her work. Rogers Chocolates recently chose one of her images to be included in their special Canadian Art Collection.

Already a published poet with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, Morgan Warren recently released her first book, “Through Their Eyes and Mine”. In it she combines her love of birds and the ability to empathize with them in paint, together with thought -provoking text in both poetry and prose – the culmination of a four-year project.

As well as gathering ideas for a children’s book which she plans to write and illustrate, she is currently working on a waiting list for her commissioned original paintings, which are now in high demand with discerning collectors.

By |November 8th, 2015|Categories: 2015 Season|0 Comments

Coming Soon! Elf: The Musical Opening Nov 20


Nov 20 – Dec 31, 2015

When Buddy the Elf discovers he’s actually an ordinary human, he has just one wish – to discover his true identity! Off he goes on a solo journey from the North Pole to the big city. But finding his father, and reuniting his family, brings more surprises than a Christmas morning! As Buddy encounters skeptics, scrooges, and people on the naughty-list, he realizes that his greater purpose is to bring back the holiday spirit! It will take every elfish trick he knows, maybe a miracle, and a lot of holiday cheer for his plan to work.

Elf: The Musical, based on the motion picture of the same name, is a smash hit – a “tight, polished, expensive-looking affair that has enough jokes for adults and enough special effects for kids,” (Mark Kennedy, Associated Press). The acclaimed show promises a wonderful experience of live music, superb singing, energetic dancing, laughable follies, and a charming story of togetherness. Featuring 18 seasonal songs, and an incredible ensemble cast!


By |November 5th, 2015|Categories: 2014 Season|0 Comments

Grace & Glorie Tickle Funnybones and Warm Hearts


Erin Ormond and Valerie Pearson

“Grace & Glorie, superb.”
Andrea Rondeau, Cowichan Valley Citizen – 20 Oct 2015

Grace and Glorie touches the heart and stays in your thoughts long after you have left the theatre.

Here is a story about the meaning of life, what it means to be a woman, what it is to die, what’s really important and the joys and sorrows that make up every day. But this isn’t some tedious lecture on the nature of the human condition from playwright Tom Zeigler. While you might reach for a tissue a few times during the show, you’ll also laugh out loud, particularly at the antics that ensue from Gloria being such a fish out of water in the lessthan-modern cottage that Grace has chosen to die in. Whether the ladies are debating using an heirloom soup tureen as a bedpan or talking about what it’s like to endure the death of a child you’ll be riveted to the stage by Ormond and Pearson.

Download the rest as PDF


By |October 21st, 2015|Categories: 2015 Season|0 Comments

Grace and Glorie: Director’s Notes


Pamela Halstead

At first glance Grace and Gloria could not seem more opposite – old vs young, rural vs urban, educated vs uneducated, faithful vs atheist, extravagant vs frugal, and the list goes on. yet they not only forge a bond, they discover they have valuable insights to give each other. The journey through life to death is complex; guidance and inspiration can come from unexpected places. If you stay open to possibility, no matter how far along the journey you are, you may find there are still surprises. And at any point in the journey, no matter how closed your heart is, it can still be opened.

I have been blessed in my life with a number of elder women who have not only inspired me, but offered me rare and lovely gifts through their wisdom and friendships. I am still always surprised when their time comes, as I think of them no differently than my closest contemporary girlfriends. Age seems irrelevant when there is shared laughter and tears!

I dedicate this production to Phyllis Gray, my newest “Grace”, who inspires me daily with her courage, determination, kindness and laughter as she faces the greatest challenge of her journey.

About Pamela

As Artistic Director of Ship’s Company (Parrsboro, NS) then Lunchbox Theatre (Calgary, AB), Pamela produced or directed over 60 productions, mostly world premieres. Based in Nova Scotia, she artistically helms DMV Theatre, advises Valley Summer Theatre and coordinates PERFORM! in the Schools. In 2013, Pamela received the inaugural Evans Award for her contribution to the Calgary theatre community. She is thrilled to return to Chemainus after directing last season’s Over the River and Through the Woods.

By |October 4th, 2015|Categories: 2015 Season|0 Comments

Coming Soon: Grace & Glorie, Opening October 16


Deep in the mountains of Virginia, a determined hospice worker meets her match in her 90-year-old patient. Grace, an altogether feisty, illiterate, and “amazing” woman, is living out her final days. By her side is Glorie, a lonely ex-New Yorker; a begrudging, woeful, and Harvard-educated hospice volunteer. They couldn’t be less alike. Or could they?

Confined in the remote forest cabin, the odd couple struggle to find common ground. Each has powerful things to confess and insight to share with the other. They tackle the great unknown that is death, with varying degrees of horror and humour. Hilarity ensues as the two overcome their culture clash and they begin to rely on each other. Two very different yet ordinary women, the stories they share reveal the honour in an ordinary life well lived. Grace and Glorie is a tale of hope and connection, its homespun wisdom born of hardship appeals to audiences of all ages and experience.

Join us for a play of easy laughs, a few tears, new perspectives and inspiration. This show runs October 16 to November 7, 2015. Tickets for Grace and Glorie are available now for evening and matinee performances.

By |September 29th, 2015|Categories: 2015 Season|0 Comments

Jeeves Intervenes: Sample Menus


Jeeves Intervenes

September 11 to October 3

JEEVES Hote gold edge

During the run of Jeeves Intervenes we are offering a table d’hôte in the Playbill Dining Room. This is a set menu with your choice of three main courses and served with two selections from the available sides. The regular salad and dessert bars will also be included. Your server will be pleased to take your order when you arrive at the Playbill Dining Room.

Feedback Survey:

We appreciate your time and invite you to provide us with your honest and constructive feedback. All submissions are confidential, anonymous, and secure.

Your feedback is extremely important and will help us determine the future direction of what we offer in the Playbill Dining Room.

As a thank you for completing our survey and sharing your expreince and valuable insights, we are offering a chance to win two Dinner and Theatre tickets to Elf: The Musical.

To enter the contest, please complete the survey, then enter your information before submitting your responses. All submissions must be received by Oct. 13, 2015.

Please follow this link to the survey:

Jeeves Table d’Hote Survey (Now Closed)

Thank you.

By |September 22nd, 2015|Categories: 2015 Season|0 Comments

Jeeves Intervenes: Director’s Notes


Ian Farthing

We all need to laugh. Life has many trials, complications and hurdles and laughter is often the best medicine. The wonderful world of Jeeves and Wooster created by P.G. Wodehouse offers us a welcome respite for a couple of hours.

There’s something endearing about the innocence of Bertie Wooster and something comforting about the constant, calm and efficient presence of his butler, Jeeves. Watching them, it helps us feel that no matter what goes wrong in the world, it can always be fixed – with a few chuckles along the way.

So sit back and enjoy these colourful characters, their silly scrapes and their wry wit – hopefully some of that enjoyment will spill over into your lives after you leave the theatre!

About Ian

Previously seen on stage at Chemainus Theatre Festival in A Christmas Carol and Jeeves in Bloom, this production marks Ian’s directorial debut in Chemainus. Other directing credits include award-winning productions of Macbeth, Othello & Two Gents of Verona at the St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival in Prescott, ON. His acting career has seen him perform in London and across Canada with Shakespeare’s Globe, Arts Club, Pacific Theatre & Mirvish Productions amongst others.

By |September 18th, 2015|Categories: 2015 Season|0 Comments