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Grease in Chemainus

Julie and Barbara take a quick break during Grease rehearsals on the (in-progress) set.

Thank you to Barbara Tomasic and Julie Tomaino, the Director and Choreographer of our upcoming production of Grease for answering a few questions!

  1. This is the 40th Anniversary of Grease! What is it about this show that has stood the test of time?

Barb: I think the spirit of being a teenager, trying to figure out who they are, is still the same.

Julie: I think there are so many popular fifties songs in this show that are still widely listened to now.

  1. Do you have a favourite memory of watching this show? Either a stage production or a movie?

Barb: When I was in grade 7 I watched the movie 8 times in one night at a sleepover. I remember thinking it was such a risqué movie, and marvelling at the freedom and joy of the teenagers.

  1. This show is so popular and well-known, what creative touches are you planning to bring to the production at Chemainus Theatre Festival?

Julie: there is such iconic choreography in Grease, and of course I’m going to pay homage to the original, but with a twist. I like to challenge myself as a choreographer with movement that tells the same story in the style of the show but with my stamp on it.

  1. The 50’s are such a fun part of Grease, how is the creative team working together to bring this decade to life on stage?

Barb: our set designer Lauchlin has based the set on a photo of Sandra Dee that I chose. I think this photo is a strong representation of the colour palette and style of the time period. We’re also using images from advertising from the fifties and of course the costumes.

  1. Be honest, do you constantly have the soundtrack going through your head? Any songs in particular?

Julie: yes. Because I need to know all the accents and orchestrations so well I had ALL the songs running through my head for over a month. Today, it’s We Go Together.

Barb: Freddy My Love is the one I’ve had over and over in my mind.

We’re both happy to back in Chemainus, a town we hold close to our heart.

 

Thai Chicken Salad Recipe

It takes many players to provide the world-class service of a Chemainus Theatre experience. Of course there are the actors on stage and the designers who work so hard to entertain and inspire you, but the team in the Playbill Dining Room also continues to impress visitors with friendly service and delicious food! The reviews for the Playbill Dining room from both critics and theatre-goers have been outstanding lately!

“Could you please extend our thanks to the Executive Chef? We really enjoyed the cold buffet with Asian themed salads in addition to the relatively new waffle station. Service was, as always, friendly and attentive.”

“The new salad bar, plated menu, dessert bar combo on Friday nights is fantastic!”

“Dinner buffet is exceptional with very attentive and friendly staff.”

Congratulations to our Executive Chef, Nick Caulford, his entire kitchen staff, and the busy dining room service staff on these great reviews!

Check out the menu for every show. It is always changing and with so many options to choose from you will find something to suit your tastes and budget!

Thank you to Chef Valarie Butler for sharing the latest recipe that we are sure you will be serving all summer long!

Thai Chicken Salad

Dressing For the Noodles:

½ Cup Canola Oil

3 Tbsp Sesame Oil

½ Cup Rice Wine Vinegar

2 Cloves Crushed Garlic

1 Lime – Juiced

1 Tbsp Garlic Chili Paste (Sambal)

1 Tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce

2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Salt & Pepper to Taste

Dressing For the Vegetables:

3 Tbsp Canola Oil

3 Tbsp Sesame Oil

3 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar

1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 Cup Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp Honey

1 Tbsp Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp Water

1 Tbsp Minced Fresh Ginger

2 Cloved Crushed Garlic

Ingredients For The Salad:

1 Pack Dried Chinese Egg Noodles

Mushrooms

Cilantro

Green Cabbage

Green Onions

Chicken Breast (Cooked and Diced)

Carrots

Method:

Make both dressings separately. Add the noodle dressing to the dried noodles and mix thoroughly. Don’t worry if the noodles break up a bit. Let noodles soak in dressing in fridge covered. Approx 1 hr. While noodles are resting in the fridge, prepare your dressing for the vegetables. Slice your vegetables thin and then marinate them in the dressing. Once the noodles have softened, mix all ingredients together. Strain the vegetables before mixing into the noodles. Garnish with Sesame seeds and more green onion if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kim’s Convenience Video

 

We were lucky enough to sit down for a short interview with James Yi, who plays Appa in the play. You also get a peek at the stage design and some of the other characters you’ll meet. This play is on until May 26th, don’t miss your chance to see this moving and funny play that audiences are falling in love with!

By |May 4th, 2018|Categories: 2018 Season, Videos|0 Comments

The Little Prince Feature

The Little Prince has been adapted for the stage by Roderick Glanville. Thank you to Roderick for answering our questions about our upcoming summer KidzPlay. To get tickets for you and your favourite child click here!

Question: Our young audiences are looking forward to this show! Can you tell us a little bit about this show and what makes it unique?

Answer: This story is magical as it works on two levels.  For the most part, The Little Prince characterizes narrow-mindedness as a trait of adults. In the very first chapter, the narrator draws a sharp contrast between the respective ways grown-ups and children view the world. He depicts grown-ups as unimaginative, dull, superficial, and stubbornly sure that their limited perspective is the only one possible. He depicts children, on the other hand, as imaginative, open-minded, and aware of and sensitive to the mystery and beauty of the world.  The Fox is one of my favourites as the teaching are very faith based but not specifically Christian, more pure inclusive spirituality.

Question: Why are you drawn towards developing children’s theatre?

Answer: As a young person creative self-expression was critical to my fitting in.  I found community in theatre.  A place where I was accepted and not judged.  And later I was quite moved by a touring companies production of Bertolt Brecht’s ‘The exception and the rule’, from that point on I knew I wanted to be a professional actor.  I approach my work through the lens of a child, because I haven’t really grown up!  Engaging youth and their imagination is pure joy, and a young audience is the most honest audience.  Every set of eyes and ears are open to story.  Creating stories that resonate with their lives keeps me present in my own life.  This is why The Little Prince speaks so strongly to my spirit.

Question: Your version of The Little Prince has been produced for Kaleidoscope Theatre. How did audiences respond to this show, have you made any changes to bring it to the stage at Chemainus Theatre?

Answer: This will be my third production of the story.  The first was a table top puppet version for our Family Theatre Festival in our giant inflatable Igloo theatre.  The second production was a bi-lingual version presented at the McPherson Playhouse and featured live music composed by Oliver Swain.  Quite a contrast to the first one!  Everyone loves the Prince.  How could you not? The important part for me is the acting of the Prince.  It must be a female.  The child’s spirit is pure, and I find women far more empathetic.  This does not exclude men.  But children respond differently to a female voice.  It is more soothing and safe.  And the Prince is seeking emotional understanding.  Both shows were amazing.  The bi-lingual version was an experiment that really worked for both English and French and opened up new audiences for Kaleidoscope.  The show we are bringing to Chemainus will be the English version with Oliver returning to bring his magic to the show.  The scale of production will be similar to the McPherson staging.  I will have to edit some of the sections as the running time is too long for the traditional Chemainus programming, but nothing will be lost.  The story will remain intact.

Question: What about the story of The Little Prince resonates with both adults and children?

The need to question the importance of our place in the universe and how important loyalty and love are to our survival.  Timeless themes and fun characters.  Plus, everyone loves a puppet that can fly!

Question: Do you have any words of wisdom for young people hoping to make their careers in the theatre, either on stage or behind the scenes?

Answer: Follow your dreams.  Break through barriers and be kind to oneself and others along the path.  Never give up. If it makes you happy, you cannot turn away.  The art’s will heal and enlighten.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Critical thinking is so important and we can all contribute to our community through self-expression in many forms.  So, just do it!

 

 

 

Spring Shopping Guide

Spring has arrived on Vancouver Island and a stop at the Chemainus Theatre Gallery Gift Shop is well worth it, for a peek at the season’s must-haves!
 
Nothing gives us a spring in our step more than bright colours and breezy fabrics. We have dresses and blouses to fit all styles and shapes. Ask one of our knowledgeable staff members or volunteers to help you find the look which most compliments you. We have a fabulous assortment of accessories too – purses, scarfs, and hats to protect you from the sun and the rain. Don’t forget to finish with a new piece of artisanal jewelry  – from sea glass to enamel we will complete your look, on trend.
 
With the sun shining and a new season – it is a great time to give your home a freshening up! Our line of whimsical clocks add a touch of fun or you could bring home a bright painting or print to liven things up for the season. We have blown glass bulbs which will add sparkle in your windows or choose from our unique sea glass and wire ornaments that look lovely indoors or out.
 
Pop in and see us before your next baby shower or wedding. We have everything from locally made baby shoes to pottery. These pottery wall vases compliment any home with a sprig of freshly picked flowers!
 
We look forward to seeing you soon!
By |April 5th, 2018|Categories: Uncategorized|1 Comment

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