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Kim’s Convenience at Chemainus Theatre Festival

You’ll get more than you bargained for at Mr. Kim’s downtown Toronto convenience store. Along with his enormous variety of groceries and knick-knacks, he dispenses amusing folk wisdom, quizzical Korean trivia, and a peculiar type of pride. The hilarity and the business may be short lived if a big box store invades the neighbourhood, his daughter rejects the family shop, and his prodigal son returns. Is there a future for Kim’s Convenience?

Kim’s Convenience debuted at the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival, where it won the Best New Play award. Written by celebrated Canadian actor, playwright, and poet Ins Choi, he also directed the play and acted the part of Jung in the debut production. The play has been produced all over North America to outstanding reviews. It has since become a ground-breaking CBC TV series which you can also catch on Netflix. As one review of an earlier production of this play states: “the comedy is funny, and the emotions genuine, and at its best, the play combines the two”.

Delivering amusing folk wisdom, quizzical Korean trivia, and touching on themes of immigrant experience, change, and generational conflict, Kim’s Convenience is as poignant as it is humorous. It breaks through boundaries and explores some universal truths in a way that brings the powerful combination of both laughter and learning to the audience.

Appa and Umma speak to each other in Korean, treating one another with tenderness and humour as they lead their little family toward the future while forgiving the past. Janet and Jung speak English, asserting themselves with the sharp wit of youth who identify with two cultures. What comes of it all are hysterically funny jokes and comedic situations which help the audience to more comfortably question our assumptions of stereotypes, immigrant experience and family conflict.

Bringing the hilarity to life for this production of Kim’s Convenience are: James (Jimmy) Yi as the fiery and proud Appa; Susan Hanson bringing quiet warmth to the role of Umma; Agnes Tong playing artistic daughter Janet; John Han brings poignancy and laughs as prodigal son Jung, and Michael Clarke plays the amusing array of minor characters.

Rounding out the creative team for this socially relevant satire are Director Mark DuMez, Set Designer Craig Alfredson with Associate Set Designer Coralee Draginda, Costume Designer Michelle Lieffertz, Sound Designer John Han, and Stage Manager Lois Dawson. Matinee and evening shows for all ages run April 27 to May 26.

To purchase tickets call our friendly box office at (250) 246-9820 or our easy-to-use online box office.

By |March 29th, 2018|Categories: 2018 Season|0 Comments

Chocolate Guinness Cake Recipe

If you were able to catch our recent production of Once we hope you enjoyed the Irish comforts from the music to the on-stage pre-show pub experience. We also hope you saved room for dessert because the Chocolate Guinness Cake was melt-in-your-mouth delicious! The Playbill Dining Room is wonderful from the soup to the decadent desserts, so keep your eye on the ever-changing menu – everyone is welcome! Thank you to Pastry Chef Ally Taylor for sharing the recipe for the glorious Chocolate Guinness Cake served during the Once buffet!

Ally Taylor’s Chocolate Guinness Cake

1 Cup Guinness Stout

1 Cup Unsalted Butter

¾ Cup Unsweetened Natural Cocoa

1 ½ Cup Superfine Sugar

½ Cup Brown Sugar

¾ Cup Sour Cream

2 Eggs

1 tbsp Vanilla Extract

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

¼ tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 350 Grease 9” springform pan with butter and line the bottom of pan with parchment paper.

Heat Guinness, butter, cocoa and sugar over medium high heat until mixed together. Let cool to room temperature.

In another bowl beat sour cream, eggs and vanilla until very well combined. Add the butter stout mixture and whisk together.

Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Mix Bailey’s Irish Cream into whip cream to top your cake if desired.

 

By |March 15th, 2018|Categories: Playbill Dining Room|0 Comments

Highlights of Chemainus

Chemainus is a highlight of many tourists’ holidays on Vancouver Island. It has wonderful shopping, great food, historic homes, and colourful murals providing a beloved ambiance. With the arrival of Spring Break and sunny days it is easy to see there are so many things to do in our little town. To make your trip here extra memorable we want to share with you our top 5 things to do before or after a show at Chemainus Theatre:

  1. If the weather is cooperating (or you have a good umbrella and boots) go for a walk and enjoy one (or two) of Chemainus’ many parks, trails, beaches and lakes – Stocking Creek and Chemainus Lake boast beautiful walks through scenic West Coast forests, Kin Beach is a perfect place to have a picnic or sit on a bench and enjoy the panoramic views of local islands and sometimes Mt. Baker on a clear day.
  2. Chemainus boasts many delicious eateries to satisfy all tastes. For a satisfying lunch try Chemainus Theatre supporters Owl’s Nest or Willow Street, they are right across the street from each other and you are guaranteed yummy food while you eavesdrop on local gossip. If you are craving something more exotic try Odika Café for good food and great service. There are also great Thai, Japanese, bakeries, and pub-style options in town. Our biggest tip for any lunch in town – don’t eat too much so you still have room for dinner at the incredible Playbill Dining Room right before your show.
  3. Discover the history of Chemainus – check out the museum next to the visitor information centre to learn about what makes Chemainus special, walk amongst the murals to see the history larger-than-life, or take a horse-drawn wagon tour for a laid-back, delightful experience.
  4. It’s easy to treat yourself in Chemainus. Locals are lucky to live here and often comment on how we don’t have far to go for great boutique shopping. Get a new outfit or a quality pair of shoes at a store like ‘Beyond the Usual’ or Kinney Clothing. You can find opulent handmade soaps, beautiful gifts, and maybe even a spa treatment. If you are in the market for antiques you will definitely be able to find something special in Chemainus.
  5. Chemainus is a unique town, full of unique experiences. Many visitors who have been here before have enjoyed listening to live music in Waterwheel Park, right in the middle of town. Even if there isn’t a concert during your visit grab a hot chocolate or ice cream cone (depending on the time of year) and walk the park’s newly installed labyrinth for a meditative experience.

We hope you enjoy your next visit to Chemainus. We encourage you to take your time and stay a while to soak up that slow, small-town charm. The Best Western Plus offers great deals on your next stay – you can even book when you call the Chemainus Theatre Festival box office to get a great package deal. Drop in and say hello to the friendly folks at the Chemainus Visitor Centre while you are here too – they can give you more information about self-guided walking tours, dining and shopping option, local parks and more!

 

Interview with Daniel Kosub from Once & Million Dollar Quartet

Hi Daniel,  thank you for agreeing to do an interview with us.  We really appreciate it!
Thanks for having me!
 
1. One of the special things about living in Chemainus is spotting actors around town while they are here for a show. What are some of your favourite spots in Chemainus to spend time between rehearsals and shows?
 
I’m a homebody, but I like Kinsman Beach Park, and the Willow Street Cafe quite a bit. Their scones are my kryptonite, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. 
 
2. The role of Guy suits you. What drew you to this character and how do you identify with him?

Allison Lynch & Daniel Kosub as Girl and Guy in Once

Guy is a musician at a crossroads that, as a singer/songwriter myself, I experienced in my 20s. That crossroads entails deciding whether or not you’re going to let fear and self-doubt dictate your decisions in life. It entails deciding whether or not you are going to let difficult circumstances stop you from pursuing your art, and your passions. The life of an artist can be very isolating, and sometimes you need a push in the right direction. That’s where Girl serendipitously comes into play. 

3. The response to Once has been positive, what do you think makes it such a special show?
There is so much to love about this show. The the sets, the talent of the cast and crew, the costumes. It’s all incredibly moving, and incredibly fun to watch. However, at its core, what makes the show special is that both the music and the story tap into a depth of honesty that as an audience member you can’t help but personalize. This story is such a specific and real experience between two people. We all cherish memories like this, and carry them with us. Even brief moments live on, as they inform our character as we move forward through life. That is the beauty of this show. 
 
4. You will be playing the part of Carl Perkins in our upcoming reprisal of Million Dollar Quartet. What can audiences expect from this play if they haven’t seen it yet?
 
The Million Dollar Quartet is a jukebox musical featuring the hits of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.  You can expect a rip-roaring blast of classic 50s Rock & Roll tunes, and a great night of music and laughs. I highly recommend it!
 
5. You have a music career of your own (check out Daniel’s CDs in the lobby after the play). How do your musical theatre roles influence your writing and performing of your own material and vice versa?
 
That’s a big question. My music career has greatly influenced my theatrical work. For the role of Guy in ONCE I’m drawing from a big well of personal experience as a musician, and as someone who has gone through my fair share of concrete and ambiguous relationships. Conversely, my theatre work has informed my music in subtler ways. Whether I’m watching or starting work on a piece of theatre, in the back of my mind I’m always paying attention to the arc of the story, and the craft of the text. When I’m taking in any art (visual, stand-up comedy, theatre, etc) on some level I’m always observing which elements connect with people, and considering how I might derive those to grow as an artist.  
 
Come meet me after the show and grab a copy of my CDs! www.dankosub.com 

 

By |February 27th, 2018|Categories: 2018 Season|0 Comments

Chemainus Theatre Presents Once

From February 9 to March 10, visit Chemainus Theatre Festival and see the winner of 8 2012 Tony Awards® including Best Musical.

Emotionally captivating and theatrically breathtaking, Once draws you in from the very first note and never lets go. It’s an unforgettable story about going for your dreams and the power of music to connect us all.

Once is a story built on chance meetings and the connections that can form through the people who come into our lives unexpectedly. As an audience member the experience begins from the second you walk into the theatre. Instead of taking your seats and perusing the program as usual, you connect with the show and the cast right away – the stage is built to extend out into the audience, breaking down that invisible fourth wall that is so often experienced in live theatre. There is a bar set up on stage, not merely a set piece of an Irish Pub, but a functional bar where audience members can purchase a pre-show beer or glass of wine to enjoy on stage while the cast comes out and has a music session! This is as close to an authentic, energetic Irish pub experience you will get this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

The audience sits down, already knowing from that first experience that this will be a special play. All the elements weave together through the lighting, the set, and the music bringing you into the lives of the characters and connecting your heart to them. Although the plot of Once takes place over a period of less than a week we see through the characters how those who we only know for a short time can change us forever. One of the beautiful things about this show is that the musicians are also the actors, always on stage, providing a rich, orchestral sound in an informal, personal way. The songs are unbelievably beautiful and integral to the plot and the feeling of the show. The music is almost a character all its own, a blend classic, folk, rock, Eastern, and Irish music – a truly soul-filling sound.

Chemainus Theatre Festival is proud of Once and the reviews have been positive. New for 2018 in addition to a variety of buffet options, Fridays nights are now featuring a ‘Table d’Hôte’ experience, having a selection of plated entrees while still experiencing the buffet salad and dessert. Delicious food and you can choose what suits you best. We can’t wait to welcome you in.

Helpful Links

 

By |February 16th, 2018|Categories: 2018 Season|0 Comments

Season Tickets at Chemainus Theatre Festival

Season tickets for Chemainus Theatre Festival have never been a better idea! With a subscription or Flex Pass, you can fill your year with theatre in the best way to suit your busy lifestyle. With so many people looking to create simpler lifestyles and choosing experiences over material purchases theatre will allow you to laugh, love and learn with people you love. With shows like Once, Little Women, Grease and Kim’s Convenience it will be hard to pick just one person to bring along – additional tickets can be purchased on top of your season ticket package with a 15% discount.

If a whole season package isn’t feasible for you this year, smaller packages of tickets offer a lot of flexibility and you can choose your ideal times, shows that inspire you, and dates that fit around your yearly calendar. Try out a 4 or 5 season package; you will have the first opportunity to purchase a package next year. Select your show to suit your tastes – Chemainus Theatre Festival always tries to appeal to a variety of audiences. If you are a musical buff or can’t resist a tear-jerker we encourage you to try one new show in your package you might not have bought tickets for before. Silent Sky was a lesser-known show last year and we heard more than once that it was the best thing Chemainus Theatre Festival has ever done – try something new!

However you like to purchase your tickets, we work hard to meet you your needs. New this year, patrons can order season tickets by filling out the online form on our website and pay their balance online. Our team is here to support you as needed. Our

Box Office Manager, Andrea, has a few tips for you:

  • With a season subscription, patrons don’t have to book their dates and seats when they buy their package. They can book throughout the year if they wish, keeping in mind that seating choice is based on availability. We always recommend booking early to get the best seats.
  • If they DO want to book all of their dates, then having your first choice and alternative choices for dates and seats is helpful and will speed up the booking process.
  • If they are not familiar with the seating plan in our theatre, the box office staff are happy to assist with selecting seats for them as we know the theatre very well.

Chemainus Theatre is a fully professional theatre. Your patronage ensures the continuation of live theatre on Vancouver Island for future generations. You support not only the production team, actors, musicians and all the talented people who provide the quality you’ve come to expect but great incentives like our education program which fosters the love of theatre for young people. However you come to see us, we hope you are inspired and entertained by the great line of plays we have for you to come enjoy at Chemainus Theatre Festival!

By |January 24th, 2018|Categories: 2018 Season|0 Comments

Introducing Executive Chef Nick Caulford

Thank you to Nick Caulford for taking some time to answer our questions and share a recipe!

Q: Can you tell us about your background and training?

A: I moved to Vancouver from Toronto when I was 20 to attend Culinary Arts/Hotel & Restaurant Management school at Dubrulle Culinary Institute. I worked in restaurants in Vancouver and Toronto before moving to London England where I worked for a restauranteur group travelling from location to location throughout Europe training staff and performing Quality Assurance programs and initiatives. When I returned to Canada I moved to Banff where I began working for Brewster Hospitality, managing Food & Beverage Operations in their hotels.

Q: What led you to Chemainus Theatre Festival’s Playbill Dining Room?

A: My wife and I had always wanted to raise our children on the Island as the majority of her family lives in the Cowichan Valley, and I was always interested in getting back to my culinary roots where my initial training was, in Pacific Northwest cuisine. We moved to Chemainus in 2016. I have to admit that I was quite fortunate to become the executive chef at The Chemainus Theatre Festival, the timing just seemed right as our previous executive chef Steve Hewson was set for retirement. I had started as the part time evening sous chef of the theatre in March of 2017 working just 2 evenings a week. The theatre had such an impressive reputation amongst the locals and through word of mouth, I was excited to apply for employment.

Q: Farm to Table is important to you. Can you tell us about some of the partnerships you have formed with local farmers?

A: To me, Farm to Table is a wonderful concept. I have had the luxury of working for a Resort in Ontario on the shores of Rice Lake that had its own farm on location (Elmhirst’s Resort) that was doing a wonderful job with the Farm to Table concept. The farm would produce annual yields of vegetables from their own gardens of around 2 tonnes. They raised ducks and chickens for egg production as well as their own Beef Cattle on property. These items produced on the farm were exclusively used in supplying our dining rooms. It’s a special accomplishment not many can say they have the ability of bringing to market. To me, I am more focused on and passionate about fresh and local ingredients from the Island and the Lower Mainland. There are so many independent and micro farms, wineries, breweries and fisheries in our community. It’s really quite an exciting place to be. The Cowichan Valley is especially growing more of a food & wine culture. I have been reaching out to many of these local businesses to begin forging relationships hopefully for many years to come. We are all part of this community and supporting our neighbours will help showcase to locals and tourists what our region can do.

Q: Audiences love to see how the show is highlighted in the menu. Any shows for 2018 inspired you in particular?

A: They all have in some way. It is really fun creating menus that theme with a particular show or region of the world. I think I am most excited for Million Dollar Quartet and Glorious! Grease should be really fun as well. It’s difficult to not get carried away and want to over-theme every dish. We always try to have a good balance of dishes available to please everyone.

Q: Fridays in the Playbill Dining Room will have a new feature, the Table D’hôte. Can you tell us what Friday night audiences can expect with this wonderful new service?

A: The New Friday Night Table D’hôte experience will be a hybrid of a buffet and a plated dinner service. The Soup and Salad Buffet will still be in existence as well as the Dessert Buffet. The concept of the Table D’hôte portion of Friday nights will be a 3 choice plated main course menu that will feature and showcase items never before offered in the Playbill Dining Room. Offerings from Prime Rib to Lobster Tails depending on which shows you attend.

Q: The Scalloped Potatoes in the ‘Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas are like something out of a dream. Could you please share your recipe if there are any patrons who would like to impress their dinner guests this season?

Thank you for the kind words. It would be my pleasure.

 

Potatoes Au Gratin (Scalloped Potatoes) Serves 4-6

2lbs Russet Potatoes

3 Cups Whipping Cream

1 tsp Kosher Salt

1/8 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper

Pinch of Nutmeg

2 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled & Smashed

¾ Cup Gruyere Cheese Finely Grated

½ Boursin Herb & Garlic Cheese

  • Heat the oven to 400°F. Using a very sharp knife or a mandolin, carefully cut the potatoes into 1/8-inch slices (no thicker).
  • Put the potatoes in a large heavy-based saucepan and add the cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and garlic. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat until the cream is boiling, stirring occasionally (very gently with a rubber spatula so you don’t break up the slices).
  • When the cream boils, pour the mixture into a 2-1/2- or 3-qt. baking dish. Shake the dish a bit to let the slices settle and then sprinkle the surface with the cheese.
  • Bake in the hot oven until the top is deep golden brown, the cream has thickened, and the potatoes are extremely tender when pierced with a knife, about 40 minutes. Don’t worry if the dish looks too liquidy at this point; it will set up as it cools a bit. Before serving, let the potatoes cool until they’re very warm but not hot (at least 15 minutes) or serve them at room temperature.
  • Garnish with Fresh Parsley & Chives.

 

Come Together with the Cornwall Family

Christmas is a time for people to come together and Chemainus Theatre Festival is proud to be a part of this tradition for the past 25 years. It is the talented directors, musicians, actors, and designers who come together to create the shows that bring friends and families coming back, again and again, to settle in a darkened audience and share a special story. Theatre can bridge gaps between people from different places, cultures, generations, and backgrounds. The ‘Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas’ is a sweet way to mark the end of a great year for Chemainus Theatre Festival – a joyous tale of a family coming together, sharing traditions, starting something new, and making friends along the way.

Come spend an evening (or afternoon) at Chemainus Theatre Festival and enjoy the ‘Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas’. Time, budget, work, family won’t allow everyone to get away to Mexico this Christmas (it took Harry and Judy Cornwall 25 years to get there) but allow us to take you away on a musical journey to the mid-1980s with some of your favourite Christmas and retro tunes along with a whimsical story of a family doing their very best to create a memorable Christmas holiday vacation.

‘Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas’ Director Barbara Tomasic has this message for audiences: “My wish for you is that our show offers you a good laugh and a reminder of what I think are the good parts of the Holiday season; joy, music, peace, and love. And may you embrace change as exuberantly as the Cornwalls!”

Come to laugh and leave with a song in your heart. ‘Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas’ runs until New Year’s Eve with a fabulous buffet to rival any Mexican all-inclusive resort. Tickets go fast for our Christmas shows so book yours today.

2018 Season at the Chemainus Theatre Festival

2017 was a banner year for the Chemainus Theatre Festival. After all, it was our 25th Anniversary and we had a wonderful community celebration with music, tours, dress-up, ice cream and more! Our summer show, ‘Rock Legends’ broke a 9-year box office record and we explored classic love stories, children’s adventures, distant galaxies, and tales full of love and laughter.

It is hard to not get excited about the 2018 season; it’s easy to imagine yourself in your favourite seat of the theatre for any of these shows. To kick off our season perhaps you will enjoy a special escape to watch a young couple find love in a Dublin bar in ‘Once’, or share cross-cultural family challenges in ‘Kim’s Convenience’, or laugh with/at the delightful ‘Glorious!’ Florence Foster Jenkins. 2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of the movie ‘Grease’ and many of us have a happy memory of bopping along with the tunes, whether it was during the original movie theatre release or perhaps at a pajama-clad sleepover in high school. Theatre can take you away and we invite you to come along for the whole 2018 season – maybe back to Ireland, in a rural county this time, in ‘Outside Mullingar’ or to a familiar but distant time with ‘Little Women’. There will even be a bonus show this year – we are re-launching our hit show ‘ Million Dollar Quartet’. Are you inspired yet? Don’t forget about the little ones – the summer run of our Kidzplay ‘The Little Prince’ will plant a seed for the lifelong love of theatre for many children this summer.

We welcomed a new Executive Chef in our kitchen, Nick Caulford, in late 2017 and if you have dined in the Playbill Dining Room recently we are sure you will agree that his dishes are inspired. For our 2018 season, we are trying something new, on Friday nights only we will have a new service, Table d’Hôte. For this special service, you will enjoy a multi-course dinner with your choice of four special plated entrees inspired by the season and the show. The salad and dessert buffet will remain the same and we promise not to judge if you go back for a second piece of cake!

With tickets starting at $25 and an option to get 4, 5 or 6 show packages you can customize your season to suit your tastes, budget, and calendar. Call soon to get your choice of seats and dates and best of all, if you purchase a season ticket subscription by December 8 and you be entered to win a Theatre Extravaganza Trip for 2 to New York.

By |November 24th, 2017|Categories: About the Shows|0 Comments

Remembering Kenneth O. Smith

The Chemainus Theatre Festival is saddened to announce that its founder, Kenneth O. Smith, passed away peacefully on November 14th, 2017 at the age of 90.

Ken was the driving force behind the founding and development of the Chemainus Theatre in 1993 and, with his wife Ruth, stood faithfully behind it, seeing it through to present-day maturity.

He was passionate about theatre and inspirational to artists and staff, while serving many years as Board Chair.  Ken played a lead role in all of the Theatre’s campaigns and capital projects over the first 25 seasons – including the construction of the Theatre’s Production Centre and the development of the Chemainus Best Western Hotel.

Ken was the ultimate theatre angel; unwavering in his support and constantly brimming with vision and enthusiasm.   He was gracious and kind, quick to offer his thanks and words of encouragement, and would always encourage Theatre management to “dream big.”

Ken’s substantial impact on the arts and artists in BC carries on through the creative and artistic role Chemainus Theatre Festival plays in the arts and culture sector.   The Theatre has grown to become the third largest producing theatre in British Columbia, drawing 75,000 theatre goers per year.  Over its first 25 seasons, over 4,000 artists, actors and directors have worked at Chemainus Theatre while creating theatre for over 1.3 million attendees.

Ken’s legacy stretches beyond Chemainus Theatre to include instrumental roles in the founding of Regent College at UBC, Pioneer Camps (Thetis Island and Chehalis), Honeymoon Bay Retreat Centre (Honeymoon Bay) and the Calling Foundation in Vancouver.

His last public outing was attending the Theatre’s 25th season celebration on June 23rd 2017 and we will forever cherish the long and enthusiastic standing ovation that the packed house gave Ken when his enormous contributions were recognized.

Rest peacefully, Ken.  We will miss you and always be thankful for the impact you’ve had on our lives and the great opportunities that your faith and generosity have afforded us.

By |November 22nd, 2017|Categories: Theatre News|0 Comments