ReACT: New Plays in Progress
Don’t miss this opportunity to look behind the scenes as we prepare new works for the stage. Experience live public readings and be part of the process as some of Canada’s most talented actors, directors, dramaturgs, and playwrights bring new scripts to life. After each reading, audience members are invited to take part in a discussion with Bill Millerd (Artistic Managing Director) and/or Rachel Ditor (Literary Manager), and the artists. Comment, ask questions, and learn about the process of script development.
2017 ReACT PUBLIC READINGS
Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre
November 2–5, 2017
All readings are FREE to attend!
Chloe and Simon's Blended Family
Christmas Chaunakah Ramadan Holiday: A Seasonal Fable for Changing Times
by Marcus Youssef
Monday, October 30, 4 PM
This is an invite-only reading. Location TBC
In the last few months before the holidays, Chloe and Simon’s world has changed...a lot. Their mom and dad have separated, dad has a new partner, and mom has started to rediscover her Jewish roots. What Chloe and Simon don’t know is that their Grandma Esther has been watching them, though she passed away two years ago, and it turns out that she might need their help almost as much as they need hers. It’s a Wonderful Life meets Modern Family in this contemporary fable about a blended family just trying to make things work during complicated times.
Marcus Youssef’s plays—about half of which were co-written with friends and colleagues—include Winners and Losers, Leftovers, Jabber, How Has My Love Affected You?, Ali & Ali and the aXes of Evil, Everyone, Adrift, Peter Panties, Chloe’s Choice, and A Line in the Sand. Awards include: 2017 Canada Council Staunch-Lynton Award for mid-career artistic excellence, Rio-Tinto Alcan Performing Arts, Chalmer's Canadian Play, Seattle Times Footlight, Arts Club Silver Commission, a Governor General’s Award nomination, the Vancouver Critics' Choice (three times), and numerous local awards in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. Marcus is Artistic Director of Neworld Theatre and co-founded the artist-run production studio PL1422. He is Editorial Advisor to Canadian Theatre Review, a Canadian Fellow to the International Society of Performing Arts, and just finished a two-year stint as Senior Playwright in Residence at the Banff Centre Playwrights Colony.
An indigenous man is cooking dinner in a nice log house on a remote lakeside estate, when a white couple arrives for a weekend getaway...claiming it is their dad’s house. Who is this man, and where is their dad? They ask the man to leave because this isn’t his house—and what happens next? You decide. Inheritance is a play that interactively engages you in a struggle over land reclamation and stewardship.
Daniel Arnold is an actor, writer, and producer for both theatre and screen. Thanks to a three-year mentorship with Daniel MacIvor, he is a protégé recipient of Canada’s largest theatre award, the Siminovitch Prize. Daniel co-wrote and performed the plays Tuesdays & Sundays and Any Night with Medina Hahn, both of which toured nationally and internationally for numerous years, garnered several awards, and were consistently listed among critic’s choices for Best Shows of the Year in Toronto, Vancouver, and New York. Daniel has also received two Edmonton Sterling Awards (Theatre) and been nominated for six BC Leo Awards (Film/TV), seven Vancouver Jessie Awards (Theatre), and two more Edmonton Sterling Awards (Theatre), all for acting, writing, and/or production.
House and Home
by Jenn Griffin
Friday, November 3, 7:30 PM
House and Home is a biting, comic take on our current real estate crisis. Hilary, a waitress/poet turned social worker, and Henry, a Butoh dancer turned lawyer, didn’t know how lucky they were when they managed to escape bad roommates and buy a house before the real estate market skyrocketed. Now, some years later, with both of their livelihoods at risk, they are house rich and cash poor, fending off realtors, recovering from a rat infestation, and their long-term basement tenant is threatening to move out. As they abandon their values and plunge into the world of short-term rentals, how far will they go to keep their house?
Jenn Griffin has been a Vancouver-based actor and playwright for over 30 years. She was awarded the Sydney Risk award in 1999 for best emerging playwright following the successful production of her first play, Drinking with Persephone. Into the Waves, her first full-length play, was first read at Nightwood's Hysteria Festival in Toronto in 2005. In 2007, Jenn was commissioned to write an original libretto for Fugue Theatre, called Via Beatrice, which was performed in Vancouver in 2009. Jenn was invited to join the Associates Program at Playwrights Theatre Centre from 2010–2013, where she created a new work entitled The Long Call. The Long Call was selected as one of five plays for the Advanced Works by Women series and received a public reading in 2016. Jenn has been nominated for and has received several Jessie Awards as both a writer and a performer.
The Thin Man
adapted by Lucia Frangione
Saturday, November 4, 2 PM
Based on Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man mystery novel, this classic is known for its witty husband-and-wife team, Nick and Nora, and their misanthropic dog, Asta. They unravel a murder that involves a mad scientist and his equally as mad family, the thugs frequenting the Pigiron speakeasy, and some of Nick’s old friends from his New York detective days. Frangione’s adaptation for the stage is full of fast-paced humour, intrigue, and a nod to some of the influences of the time, from Noel Coward to Anna May Wong.
Lucia Frangione is an internationally-produced and award-winning playwright and actor with thirty plays to her name. Last season, she premiered Holy Mo! A Christmas Show! at Pacific Theatre. Previously, she premiered In a Blue Moon with the Arts Club in Vancouver and toured to Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops and to Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, Ontario. Other plays include: Etienne, with Gateway and Neworld theatre; Off Leash, an operetta with Fugue Theatre; Leave of Absence, Cariboo Magi, and Espresso with Pacific Theatre; Maid for a Musket with St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival; Paradise Garden with the Arts Club; FRESCO with Bellaluna; Chickens and Christmas on the Air with Chemainus Theatre; and Wobbling Madonna with Solo Collective. Lucia has won the Gordon Armstrong award twice, the Sydney Risk award, and the CAEA emerging artist award.
Mrs. Singh and Me
by Munish Sharma
Saturday, November 4, 7:30 PM
Raj is in love, Mrs. Singh won't allow it, and Sonia is stuck in the middle. When a peculiar stranger named Raj confesses his love for Sonia, Mrs. Singh is worried about her daughter’s way of life. So when Sonia arrives, Mrs. Singh needs to find out how she has been living. This intercultural comedy-drama has a universal appeal, delving into interfaith marriages, belonging, and what it means to be Canadian.
Munish Sharma is a Jessie Award–nominated actor based in Vancouver. Having worked as a performing artist for over a decade, he has a number of theatre, TV, stage, and burlesque productions to his credit. These include writing and performing in the award-winning one-act play Mrs. Singh and Me, which was recognized with the Pick of the Fringe Award. His leading role in the Governor General’s Award–winning play Iceland (Nicolas Billon) also garnered numerous strong reviews. Additional career highlights include his leads in the stage production This Is War (Rumble Theatre, Tremors 2014), and The Invisible Hand (Jessie Award nomination, Pi Theatre). Munish also co-founded Canada’s first South Asian sketch-comedy production, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Chicken. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Munish graduated with a BFA from the University of Regina in 2006.
The Soldier’s Wife
by Sean Harris Oliver
Sunday, November 5, 4 PM
Debbie's fiancé, Trevor, has been grievously injured while serving in Afghanistan. Trevor returns home to Vancouver in a coma and doctors are convinced that he should be left in a long-term care facility to live out his final days. In this harrowing true-life story, Debbie must fight the modern medical system, advocate for Trevor's rights, and prove to doctors that she and her fiancé are strong enough to recover.
Sean Harris Oliver is an actor, director, playwright, and the Co-Artistic and Managing Director of Hardline Productions Theatre Society. In the past two seasons, Sean has had three of his plays professionally produced in Vancouver. At the 2017 Jessie Awards, his two plays, The Fighting Season and Redpatch were nominated for ten awards, including Outstanding Production in the Small Theatre Category and Outstanding Original Script. Up next he will travel to New York City to professionally workshop his newest play, The Divine Feeding of Charlie Hansen. Sean is a graduate of Studio 58 and a passionate softball player.