Arts Club Theatre unveils eclectic 2019-20 season, including A Thousand Splendid Suns, Noises Off, and Pulitzer Prize–winner Cost of Living

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      Today at the Arts Club's BMO Goldcorp Centre, artistic director Ashlie Corcoran unveiled an eclectic array of programming for her second season, 2019-20. Shows for next year span a stage adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's bestselling tale of two Afghani women, A Thousand Splendid Sunscarried away on the crest of a wave, David Yee's Governor General’s Award–winning series of nine playlets that humanize the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; a new Christmas comedy from local playwright Marcus Youssef; and a straight-from-London's-West End production of Mischief Theatre’s production of Peter Pan Goes Wrong.

      Corcoran said she was guided by her seven goals, including taking a leading role in creating new work, supporting diversity, and "what I call 'conscious eclectisism', which is in this case a lot of things that are really different from each other."

      In the new-play category, two shows will have their world premieres: the 2018 Alberta Playwriting Competition winner Cipher, a conspiracy thriller by Ellen Close and Braden Griffiths, in partnership with Calgary's Vertigo Theatre; and local Siminovitch Prize–winner Youssef’s It’s a Wonderful Christmas-ish Holiday Miracle, a story about a blended family trying to make things work during the holiday season that was an Arts Club Silver Commission. At the same time, Corcoran announced the Arts Club’s newest Silver Commission—Mom’s the Word 4, the latest from the B.C.-based Mom’s the Word Collective. The Arts Club has also partnered with Theatre Calgary to commission B.C. writer Hiro Kanagawa’s stage adaptation of Forgiveness, Mark Sakamoto’s family memoir of World War II. The book won the Canada Reads 2018 competition.

      In all the Arts Club is undertaking five coproductions with other countries. In partnership with Edmonton's Citadel Theatre, the Pulitzer Prize–winning play Cost of Living will be produced for the first time in Canada, and Mischief Theatre’s production of the compedy Peter Pan Goes Wrong, by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields, will be produced for the first time in North America. Presented by arrangement with Mischief Worldwide (with the same production design but an all-Canadian cast) it was originally presented in the West End of London by Kenny Wax and Stage Presence as a followup to the wildly popular The Play That Goes Wrong.

      “I believe that collaborations with other artistic institutions are vital to the health of any modern theatre company,” Corcoran said in the announcement. “By partnering with organizations across Canada, the Arts Club is participating in a national conversation about Canadian identity and art, and sharing the work of our local artists with a national audience.”

      Corcoran named rice & beans theatre as the Arts Club’s 2019–20 Company in Residence. The Arts Club’s newest initiative, the Emerging Playwrights’ Unit, will include Scott Button, Bronwyn Carradine, Mily Mumford, and Zahida Rahemtulla.

      Some of the coming season remains a secret as the rights to two big musicals prevented Corcoran and her team from revealing a large-scale family holiday musical and a summer musical in 2020, both at the Stanley. They should be announced later this spring.

      The Stanley season kicks off with A Thousand Splendid Suns, adapted by Ursula Rani Sarma, and described by Corcoran as "epic and sweeping", requiring the partnership with Royal Manitoba Theatre Company to pull off. The stage will also be home to the city's first rendition of Noises Off , the 1982 farce about a farce by the English playwright Michael Frayn.

      Meanwhile, the Granville Island stage kicks off its season with the modern-day sex farce birds and the bees, focusing on two adjoining bedrooms on a Canadian farm. It will also host the city's first production of Trey Anthony's musical Da Kink in My Hair.

      And the BMO Goldcorp space, which Corcoran says she uses to "continue to play with the audience-performer relationship", Cost of Living kicks things off October 10 to November 3, with Corcoran directing the story that challenges traditional perceptions of those living with disabilities. Later on, in April, Naomi Wright takes on  Duncan MacMillan's hope-filled and heartbreaking one-woman show Every Brilliant Thing, about a daughter who tries to help her mother through crippling depression.

      The full season release is as follows:

      The Stanley Industrial Alliance Theatre kicks off its season with A Thousand Splendid Suns.
      Mark Halliday

       

      STANLEY INDUSTRIAL ALLIANCE STAGE


      A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS
      By Ursula Rani Sarma
      Based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini
      In partnership with Royal Manitoba Theatre Company
      Director Haysam Kadri
      The gripping story of two Afghan women, based on the best-selling novel
      September 12–October 13, 2019


      WINTER MUSICAL TBA SPRING 2019
      A family-friendly musical masterpiece for the holidays
      November 7, 2019–January 5, 2020


      NOISES OFF
      By Michael Frayn
      Director Scott Bellis
      The classic play-within-a-play farce
      January 23–February 23, 2020 


      CARRIED AWAY ON THE CREST OF A WAVE
      By David Yee
      Director Stephen Drover
      A boundary-pushing theatrical journey
      March 19–April 19, 2020


      SUMMER MUSICAL TBA SPRING 2019
      A big-hearted modern musical
      May 21–July 5, 2020

       

      GRANVILLE ISLAND STAGE


      THE BIRDS AND THE BEES
      By Mark Crawford
      Director Lauren Taylor
      Love, lust, beekeeping, and the artificial insemination of turkeys meet in this raucous comedy
      September 26–October 26, 2019


      MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY
      By Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon
      Director Roy Surette
      The festive Pride and Prejudice follow-up returns
      December 5, 2019–January 4, 2020


      CIPHER
      By Ellen Close and Braden Griffiths
      In partnership with Vertigo Theatre
      Director Craig Hall
      Hipster noir meets corporate thriller—an investigation of a decades-old Vancouver Island cold-case murder
      February 6–March 7, 2020 

      ’DA KINK IN MY HAIR
      By Trey Anthony
      A resonant musical celebration of women of colour, set in a vibrant Toronto hair salon
      April 16–May 16, 2020


      Arts Club Theatre Company, Vancouver, and Citadel Theatre, Edmonton, present the North American premiere of
      The Mischief Theatre Production
      PETER PAN GOES WRONG
      By Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields
      Director Adam Meggido
      Set Designer Simon Scullion
      Lighting Designer Matt Haskins
      Costume Designer Roberto Surace
      Sound Designer Ella Wahström
      Composers Rob Falconer and Richard Baker
      Presented by arrangement with Mischief Worldwide
      This production was originally presented in the West End of London by Kenny Wax and Stage Presence
      June 25–August 22, 2020

       

      GOLDCORP STAGE AT THE BMO THEATRE CENTRE


      COST OF LIVING
      By Martyna Majok
      In partnership with Citadel Theatre
      Director Ashlie Corcoran
      The 2018 Pulitzer Prize–winning drama about caretakers and the realities of disability
      October 10–November 3, 2019


      IT’S A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS-ISH HOLIDAY MIRACLE
      By Marcus Youssef
      Director Chelsea Haberlin
      A new play that embraces the love and foibles of family
      November 21–December 22, 2019


      THE WEDDING PARTY
      By Kristen Thomson
      In partnership with Prairie Theatre Exchange
      Director Ann Hodges
      A ringside seat for all the laughs, debauchery, disagreements, and love at a family wedding reception
      February 27–March 22, 2020


      EVERY BRILLIANT THING
      By Duncan MacMillan
      With Jonny Donahoe
      Director Ashlie Corcoran
      Starring Naomi Wright
      A daughter aids her mom through depression by listing everything worth living for, with help from the audience
      April 2–April 26, 2020 

       

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