2014 Season

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2014 Online Auction On Now!


We are excited to offer selected limited edition serigraphs by internationally acclaimed artist Arthur Vickers, generously donated by the Pink Family. The private collection, purchased directly from the artist, is currently on display at the Chemainus Theatre in our Playbill Dining Room. You may arrange for a viewing of the collection by contacting Marlie Kelsey or Anita McCallum. Five serigraphs are available for online auction. In addition, we are featuring a variety of other prizes and getaways!

All proceeds from this auction benefit the Chemainus Theatre Festival Society and will help us continue our passion of presenting engaging and enriching live theatre for Vancouver Island residents and visitors.

Start Bidding Now!

Message from the Artistic Director

Mark Dumez

Mark DuMez

I grew up in a small great lakes town with a population just about to crack 2000 souls when I left. I knew all my aunts and uncles – even the ones who moved “all the way” to the other side of town. Every second Sunday of the month, without fail, my father’s six siblings would gather in one of their houses for a meal and a visit – until the later years when the “cousin count” was so high that only the aunts and uncles were allowed. To this day, the living relatives still gather – to solve the problems of the world over a pot luck lunch, some coffee and Snickers bar salad. I am grateful for many blessings of my family and especially that even with their differences, they all love and respect one another when they gather together.

In this play, Joe DiPietro gives us the perfect, imperfect family. Through his hilarity, we can consider our own sense of place, our loyalties to location, commitment to culture and hopes for our legacy and lineage. In the mobility of North American culture, Tengo famiglia invites us to examine our roots, whether we love em’ or lump em’. The patriarchs and matriarchs of Nick’s world allow us to laugh at ourselves in another skin and call us to savour the tastes and conversations that shape who we are. Enjoy the feast!

By |October 1st, 2014|Categories: 2014 Season|0 Comments

Fall Message from the Managing Director

The Professional Association of Canadian Theatre recently released a study that found 80% of Canadians believe live theatre is important to making communities both vibrant places to live and helping attract visitors. Looking at Chemainus and the Cowichan region, this certainly holds true as the Chemainus Theatre has become a cultural and economic cornerstone drawing close to 70,000 theatre goers per year to our artsy seaside corner of the Island.

Even on the broad national scene, Chemainus plays an integral role. Last year, roughly 8 million tickets were sold for live theatre across our country. This means 1 out of every 114 people who attended a theatre performance in Canada did so by visiting the Chemainus Theatre.

Theatre plays a key role creating vibrancy and drawing us together to help create and support that elusive sense of community. Even if it’s just for a few hours as an audience sharing a collective experience, theatre is a living breathing thing that flourishes and grows with greater participation.

Randal Huber

By |September 29th, 2014|Categories: 2014 Season, Theatre Fundraising|0 Comments

About Over the River and Through the Woods

 Over the River and Through the Woods

The Play

Nick is a single, Italian-American guy from New Jersey whose parents have retired and moved to Florida. That doesn’t mean his family isn’t still in Jersey. In fact, he sees both sets of grandparents for dinner every Sunday. But then he gets offered his dream job. The job he’s been waiting for – marketing executive – would take him away from his beloved, but overwhelming grandparents. When he tells them they begin a series of schemes to keep Nick around. How could he betray his family’s love to move to Seattle, for a job, wonder his grandparents? Well, Frank, Aida, Nunzio & Emma have a plan but we won’t give the ending away here.

The Playwright

Joe DiPietro
Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical. His other plays and musicals include I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (the longest running musical revue in off-Broadway history); The Toxic Avenger and The Thing About Men (both winners of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway musical,); the much-produced comedy Over the River and Through the Woods; The Art of Murder (Edgar Award winner for Best Mystery Play) and the Broadway musical All Shook Up. His drama Creating Claire debuted at George Street Playhouse in 2010. His work has received thousands of productions across the United States and around the world.

The Director

Pamela Halstead

photo_over_directorPamela recently completed her tenure as the Artistic Director of Lunchbox Theatre (Calgary, AB) and is the former Artistic Producer of Ship’s Company Theatre (Parrsboro, NS). In her 10 years between these two companies she directed and/or produced over 60 productions, the majority of them premieres of new works. Pamela is Artistic Adviser to Valley Summer Theatre (Wolfville, NS), Artistic Producer of DMV Theatre (Halifax, NS) and the PERFORM! Coordinator for Theatre Nova Scotia. Recent credits include: directing Mass Appeal for Valley Summer Theatre and The Net for Theatre New Brunswick, directing and dramaturging the world premieres of Never A Syllable for Onelight Theatre and Bingo Ladies for Lunchbox Theatre, and producing White Rabbit, Red Rabbit for DMV Theatre. She also returned recently to Lunchbox to curate and coordinate the 27th Suncor Energy Stage One Festival. In 2013, Pamela was awarded the inaugural Evans Award at the Calgary Critics’ Awards for her contribution to the vibrancy of the Calgary theatre community. She recently returned to Nova Scotia and is thrilled to be back living by the sea.

By |September 27th, 2014|Categories: 2014 Season|0 Comments

Opening October 3: Over the River and Through the Woods


Meet Nick – a single Italian-American from New Jersey – and both sets of his meddling grandparents over a series of Sunday dinners, as they try to sort out his love life and their destiny through pasta and wise-cracks. This heartwarming and hilarious family comedy plays with old world values, new family traditions and the differences between the generations. Tengo famiglia!

Click here to Book Tickets

By |September 22nd, 2014|Categories: 2014 Season|0 Comments

Les Misérables Held Over by Popular Demand!


The Chemainus Theatre is proud to announce, due to remarkable demand, Les Misérables has been held over for two extra weeks – until September 20! Seen by more than 65 million people in 42 countries and in 22 languages around the globe, it is still breaking box-office records everywhere. Don’t miss your chance to see the show that everyone is talking about!

Book Your Tickets Now!

By |September 1st, 2014|Categories: 2014 Season|1 Comment

The Les Misérables Audience Says… Part Two!

For any who have yet to see LES MISERABLE in Chemainus, it is one you don’t want to miss.

Brenda, Facebook

Terrific Professional Summer Theatre…Excellent production of Les Miserables…

Freddie754, TripAdvisor

We saw Les Miserables and it was incredible!

mhbaird, TripAdvisor

This was a fantastic evening…

Ross M, TripAdvisor

It surpassed any expectations. What a wonderful job they have done, even bringing tears to my eyes…

Kathy F, TripAdvisor

Do yourself a favour and go see Les Mis in this intimate venue. Loved it!

Opinion16, TripAdvisor

Wonderful production. Loved it. So lucky to have it close to home. The set, costumes, music and actors are wonderful. I highly recommend it.

IslandGirl5265, TripAdvisor

Terrific cast, excellent small band, and excellent acoustics…

minimuffinlover, TripAdvisor

We were amazed at the production!!!! The quality and professionalism were world class. Unbelievable, we enjoyed every minute of the show. The musicians, the singing, the actors, the set…. everything was top notch.

Deborah & George, Blog Comment

WOW. Superb, heartfelt, and so moving! In the middle of an afternoon, I had tears rolling down my face!

Lynne, Facebook Comment

By |August 31st, 2014|Categories: 2014 Season|1 Comment

The Les Misérables Audience Says…

“The whole production is unbelievably good, breathtaking!!! I couldn’t single out one part or actor/actress! I came home from the show and on the same evening bought another ticket … I’m going to watch the show again in August!”

“I saw this in London – in my opinion your production was the best! Every minute was excellent! The voices were awesome – I could hear every word. Thank you for a wonderful experience!”

“Amazing production! As a volunteer usher at the Theatre, I hear people raving about the show as they leave, comparing it to other productions seen internationally. Fabulous work, CFT !!”

As residents of Chemainus my wife and I have had many opportunities to enjoy performances at the Theatre Festival there.

We constantly marvel at the professionalism and quality of everything that they do.

No surprise, then, that we treated ourselves to tickets to their most recent venture – Les Misérables.

Having seen the musical performed in London by the original cast, and, more recently, having watched the 2012 Tom Hooper movie, we went with a great deal of curiosity as to how such a lavish show could be adapted to our smaller local environment. Much curiosity, but frankly no great expectations.

Boy, were we surprised! Peter Jorgensen’s direction is inspired. The performance was superb, from the set design to the singing to the costumes to the acting. It is hard to single out any specific talent, it all worked so well together. All in all, the most memorable performance of all the excellent ones at the Chemainus Theatre festival. An A+++!

We are writing this letter to encourage anyone who may not have already booked their tickets to do so with haste. You will have a wonderful time and, like us, will be humming the melodies for weeks to come.

Peter and Margaret

As good as the large stage performance! I did not know what to expect as it is a small Theatre. It surpassed any expectations. What a wonderful job they have done, even bringing tears to my eyes.

Kathy F, Trip Advisor

We saw Les Miserables and it was incredible! We also had the buffet, which was also excellent….

mhbaird, Trip Advisor

Terrific Professional Summer Theatre! Excellent production of Les Miserables. Consistently good theatre…

Freddie754, Trip Advisor

I am a Les Mis fan, and attended this with great anticipation and curiosity as to how this small theatre company would approach the stage and setting options as well hoping that my favourite songs would be met with the vocal strength required to sing them. In my opinion, everything about this production was perfect. The staging, the singing, the actors, really everything was just excellent. Lunch at the theatre is a wonderful experience, the customer service is at every corner is great. Leave time to walk around Chemainus, great shopping too. Note that this production is a long one, just over 3 hours.

yesiamtrish2, Trip Advisor

By |August 30th, 2014|Categories: 2014 Season|2 Comments

Director’s introduction to Freud’s Last Session

cast_freud_1You’re about to meet two of the most exciting and influential intellects of the 20th century! Mark St. Germain encountered the possibility that C. S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud might have met in a book called The Question of God by Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Dr. Armand M. Nicholi Jr.. The 2002 book distills 37 years of spirited discussions with Nicholi’s students in the wildly popular seminar he had offered every year since 1967. (PBS adapted the book in a 2-part documentary mini-series in 2004).

The play you’ll see today premiered in 2009 at Mark St. Germain’s home theatre The Barrington Stage Company, and ran several months in New York where it won the Best Play Award from the Off Broadway Alliance. When my teaching colleagues Randy Ritz and Michael Peng proposed that I direct and design a production for them, I happily accepted after reading this remarkable script. At the Edmonton International Fringe Festival last summer, we enjoyed a sold-out run, were held over, and were nominated for three Sterling Awards. We are so pleased that Artistic Director Mark DuMez invited us to launch Chemainus Festival Theatre’s Studio Stage with this revival of our encounter with these two great characters!

Daniel vanHeyst

By |August 18th, 2014|Categories: 2014 Season|0 Comments