2015-2016 season announcement

We are thrilled to announce our 52nd season lineup! The new season includes programming at a brand-new, purpose built theatre on West 1st Avenue in Olympic Village, the West First Stage, which replaces the Revue Stage, as well as at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage and Granville Island Stage. 13 diverse and entertaining productions—including the premieres of two new Canadian musicals and an array of Broadway triumphs—promise to engage Arts Club audiences old and new next season. Three more productions will tour Metro Vancouver and throughout the province.

“Next season will be a historic one for the Arts Club as we prepare for the opening of a new theatre space  in Olympic Village,” said Artistic Managing Director Bill Millerd. “While still maintaining our roots at the Stanley and Granville Island stages, this exciting new addition will help us to expand our production of new works and allow our artists and playwrights to experiment with different seating configurations and original staging. This new stage will host the premiere of Onegin, an Arts Club Silver Commission musical by Veda Hille and Amiel Gladstone, part of the dynamic team behind A Craigslist Cantata. The shows at the Stanley include an exciting array of Broadway hits, from the 10-time Tony Award–winning Billy Elliot to the groundbreaking Disgraced, which makes its Canadian premiere. The Granville Island Stage has the premiere of The Waiting Room, the highly-anticipated musical from Spirit of the West’s John Mann and acclaimed playwright Morris Panych.”

“The upcoming season marks a turning point for the Arts Club with the opening of the new West First Stage. It will be an amazing season of productions at all three of our theatres, in three of the most exciting neighbourhoods in Vancouver,” said Executive Director Peter Cathie White. “We can now inspire and entertain a broader cross-section of our community and I very much look forward to the reaction from patrons old and new to this wonderful mix of lauded plays, celebrated musicals, and world-premieres from some of Vancouver’s greatest artists. I’m particularly proud that we are continuing our great tradition of heralding new Canadian voices and stories on our stages.”


By Ayad Akhtar
A Shattering Cultural Collision
Experience the resounding impact of this Pulitzer Prize–winning play and Canadian premiere. Amir Kapoor is a rising star in his law firm, set to make partner, who lives comfortably with his artist wife, Emily. He’s a Pakistani-American, born Muslim, who has since effectively shed his roots and religion. One evening, the couple host a dinner for Amir’s African-American co-worker and her Jewish art curator husband. Conversations around faith and politics lead to increased tensions among this diverse group of guests, as the evening unravels in a startling conclusion that burns with tension and release.

A Christmas Story, The Musical
Book by Joseph Robinette
Words and Music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
The Musical Misadventures of a Boy with a Dream
Based on the popular film, this festive musical tells a tale familiar to anyone who has ever been a kid: the dogged pursuit of acquiring a desired toy. It’s the 1940s and for 9-year-old Ralphie nothing under the tree will satisfy—save for an Official Red Ryder carbine-action BB gun. Filled with imaginative imagery, a memorable score, and energetic dance sequences, follow Ralphie’s mission to obtain his coveted prize in this Canadian premiere that’s a holiday gift for the whole family.

Pride and Prejudice
By Janet Munsil, based on the novel by Jane Austen
A Swoon-Worthy Adaptation of the Beloved Classic
When intelligent, headstrong Elizabeth Bennett encounters the dark, brooding, and wealthy Mr. Darcy, she is unimpressed, especially when he interferes with a match between his friend and Elizabeth’s dearest sister. As a series of tumultuous events threatens the Bennett sisters’ position in society and their prospects of marriage, Mr. Darcy suddenly seems a constant presence in Elizabeth’s life and they both begin to question their assumptions. Could first impressions have been wrong?  Relive the story of one of literature’s most beloved heroines and her iconic romantic hero in this elegant and lavish production.

MARCH 24–APRIL 24, 2016
Good People
By David Lindsay-Abaire
A Sharp Comedy about How We Treat Others
Enter South Boston, where paychecks hardly make the rent and a night on the town means a few rounds of bingo. When Margie finds herself down on her luck, she looks up an old fling who is now a successful doctor in the hopes of finding a job—but things don’t go quite as planned. A character-driven story with Margie at its centre, Good People digs into social dichotomies and launches questions of power, poverty, and persuasion, asking why some people manage to escape from the situations into which they are born—and some don’t.

MAY 12–JULY 10, 2016
Billy Elliot
Book and lyrics by Lee Hall
Music by Elton John
The Electrifying Musical with Unstoppable Feeling
Based on the acclaimed film, and supported with music by Elton John, Billy Elliot is an inspiring tale of courage, ambition, and overcoming adversity. It’s 1984 and County Durham’s coal miners are set to go on strike when 11-year-old Billy finds his way into Mrs. Wilkinson’s ballet class following his boxing lesson. Enthralled with dance and showing inherent ability, Billy is encouraged to audition for the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London, but he fears the reactions of his father and brother who are both wrapped up in the escalating strike situation. The astounding winner of 10 Tony Awards, this global musical phenomenon is a theatre experience that will stay with you forever.


OCTOBER 1–31, 2015
The Waiting Room
Book by Morris Panych
Music and lyrics by John Mann
A True-Life Musical about Patience and Recovery
PREMIERE A moving story about family, healing, and hope, The Waiting Room is the highly anticipated collaboration between Spirit of the West’s John Mann and renowned Canadian playwright Morris Panych. Drawn from Mann’s own experience and his solo album of the same name, follow the musician “J” as he navigates life before and after diagnosis. It’s a story told with grace, honesty, and a sharp sense of humour, with a score that adds a layer of poignant commentary and thoughtful observation.

It’s a Wonderful Life
By Philip Grecian
Based on the classic film by Frank Capra
The Holiday Heart-Warmer Returns
“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings”—the Arts Club’s acclaimed holiday production is back. George Bailey performs countless good deeds for friends and townsfolk in Bedford Falls, yet all that seems to count for naught when he faces financial adversity. At George’s most woeful moment, his guardian angel, Clarence Oddbody, swoops in to remind him that faith, hope, and family make life truly wonderful.

By Rick Miller
Presented with the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
A Multimedia Spectacle to Define a Generation
Rick Miller, one of Canada’s most noted and prolific solo performers, presents “25 years in 100 minutes” in this innovative mixed-media work that weaves characters and history. Using a selection of historical videos and photography, and giving spot-on impersonations of over 100 notable figures, Miller guides us through over two decades of history in documentary-like style. BOOM breaks down misconceptions and stereotypes, and explores the legacy of key events and figures that had an impact on the generation coming of age in the post-war years.

APRIL 7–MAY 7, 2016
The Valley
By Joan MacLeod
Two Families at the Divide
A teenage boy’s arrest on a Skytrain platform is the catalyst for this topical story about the contradictory attempts to balance care and public safety. The Valley is an ensemble piece featuring four characters: a teenager who has recently dropped out of college; his mother, Sharon, who is struggling with her son’s recent behavior; Dan, the police officer involved in the Skytrain incident; and Dan’s wife, Janie, whose own state is driving a wedge through their relationship. The stories and families intertwine, as the characters struggle to find an answer to what “doing the right thing” actually means.

JUNE 16–JULY 30, 2016
Rock of Ages
Book by Chris D’Arienzo
The Totally Rad Musical Tribute to the ’80s
Fans of ’80s music will dig this self-referential, occasionally meta-theatrical jukebox musical filled with classic rock and glam metal hits from bands such as Poison, Styx, Twisted Sister, and David Bowie.  It’s 1987 and aspiring rocker Drew Boley works at a Hollywood bar called the Bourbon Room, where he meets and falls madly in love with Sherrie, a fresh-faced Midwesterner who has recently moved to Los Angeles to chase her movie star dreams. Will their stars rise? Will their love last? Find all your favourite hits here in this musical love story that will keep you holding on. Just don’t stop believing!


Peter and the Starcatcher
By Rick Elice, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
The Peter Pan Prequel for All of Us Who Never Grew Up
How did Peter Pan become, well, Peter Pan? This story of the celebrated character with the never-ending childhood, traces his journey from lonely orphan to beloved boy hero. Audiences are transported to a magical, whimsical world filled with swashbuckling pirates, magic amulets, and singing mermaids.  Join the intrepid Peter on an adventure that takes him from the orphanage to the decks of a ship called the Neverland where he is challenged by the ship’s greedy captain as he seeks out the Queen’s secret treasure—Starstuff. Cheer for Peter and his ragtag crew as they risk their lives to protect the Starstuff and save their friends.

The (Post) Mistress
Book and music by Tomson Highway
The Small-Town Musical of Sealed Secrets
Set in the fictional Northern Ontario town of Lovely, The (Post) Mistress is a unique and quirky one-woman cabaret-style show, peppered with original music. Marie-Louise Faucon is the town’s postal worker. She is charismatic, effervescent, and seems to know everything about everyone in Lovely—and is eager to share all the gossip with the audience. But just as we begin to think we know Marie-Louise, her own story is revealed in a surprising turn. With a script by revered playwright Tomson Highway, this uniquely Canadian musical is full of character and charm.

MARCH 17–APRIL 10, 2016
By Veda Hille and Amiel Gladstone
A Passionate New Musical
PREMIERE The brand-new musical from the part of the team behind Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata that is adapted from the poem by Pushkin and the opera by Tchaikovsky. Life is peaceful, if a bit dull, on the Larin family’s Russian country estate; until the handsome, charismatic Onegin arrives to visit his old friend, the poet Vladimir Lensky. His arrival signals trouble not just for Lensky, but for everyone on the estate, especially when the youngest Larin daughter finds herself drawn to the mysterious stranger. Veda Hille’s score, paired with lyrics written by both Hille and Gladstone, draws on a variety of genres and influences to present a musical experience unlike any other.


Red Rock Diner
By Dean Regan
Vancouver’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Musical
Vancouver, 1957. Five teens come of age while DJ Red Robinson plays the biggest hits of the time—from the raucous “Great Balls of Fire” and “Jailhouse Rock” to ballads like “Diana” and “Crying.” This infectious musical captures the excitement and innocence of the city’s burgeoning rock ‘n’ roll scene.

JANUARY 8–30, 2016
In a Blue Moon
By Lucia Frangione
A Revitalizing Story of a Family and a Home
PREMIERE A visually beautiful tale about creating a new life in a new landscape. When Ava and her daughter, Frankie, move to an inherited cottage near Kamloops, they discover that Ava’s late husband’s brother is already living there. What starts as a tense relationship develops in unexpected ways as Frankie finds a role model in her uncle and Ava grows attached the companionship of this other man. Through memories and photographs, a tender love story unfolds between the three as they begin to thread together a new understanding of family.

FEBRUARY 13–MARCH 12, 2016
4000 Miles
By Amy Herzog
An Uplifting Story of Growing Up and Growing Old
This touching, vividly rendered story is about a sprightly 91-year-old New Yorker and her 21-year-old grandson. Leo, who has just cycled across the country, shows up unannounced on Vera’s doorstep with a bike, no money, and nowhere to go. In time, these unlikely roommates stop squabbling and, with humour and compassion, help each other navigate their changing worlds.

Season tickets for the Arts Club’s 2015–2016 season lineup, are on sale now. Call our box office at 604.687.1644 or visit artsclub.com for more information.

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