Vancouver Civic Theatres steps in to bring God of Carnage to Playhouse stage

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      Vancouver Civic Theatres have taken the unprecedented step of presenting a show in one of their venues.

      The organization has stepped in to fill the gap left by the closure of the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company in order to bring the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s production of Yasmina Reza’s comedy God of Carnage to the Playhouse stage. The play will run April 14 to May 5. Tickets from $33 are available at 604-665-3470 or in person at the theatre box office.

      Rae Ackerman, director of civic theatres, admitted the move involved investing what he called “a significant amount”, but he’s confident the city will recoup the money.

      “If we can get 65 percent of capacity, then there is no risk,” he insisted. “And 65 percent should be attainable. It’s roughly what the Playhouse Theatre Company was doing all season.”

      Ackerman admitted he’s concerned about the loss of revenue to civic theatres with the demise of the theatre company. “What I do know is that outside of the Playhouse Theatre Company, we always had at least 60 to 80 dates for other events. What I don’t know is how many did we turn away because we just didn’t have a date.…We don’t know how many other theatre companies there are who are dying for a 600-seat theatre.”

      Relephant Theatre’s The Exquisite Hour, by Stewart Lemoine, was also threatened by the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company’s collapse, but a new agreement with the Arts Club Theatre Company will see the play run at the Revue Stage from May 1 to 12. Jay Brazeau’s The Cat Came Back, starring Fred Penner, was cancelled and was replaced with two family-friendly performances by Fred Penner and Friends over the April 1 weekend.