This morning at an Arts Club Theatre Company event, Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran revealed the show lineup for the company’s 57th season, one she calls “a vibrant combination of beloved classics and bold new productions, packed with incredible music and storytelling.” The 2020–2021 season will mark her third at the company’s helm, alongside Executive Director Peter Cathie White. “Above all, the Arts Club aspires to enrich the lives of our community members with meaningful storytelling,” Corcoran said. “This season, I aim to stay true to this goal by programming beautiful, richly textured stories that reflect our diversity and shed light on the human experience.”
The new season will open at the Arts Club’s flagship venue, the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, with Sense and Sensibility, a playful adaptation of the classic Jane Austen novel. Four other shows are programmed for the Stanley: Elf: The Musical, the holiday comedy based on the beloved film; Network, the thrilling, Tony Award–winning media satire; The Legend of Georgia McBride, a musical romp about an Elvis-impersonator-turned-drag-queen; and ELVIS The Musical, a new biographical sensation about the King of Rock ’N’ Roll.
Multiple shows will be produced for the first time in Canada, including Dance Nation, a cutthroat coming-of-age story about competitive dancers. Additionally, two plays will have their world premieres: ELVIS The Musical and The Cull, a tense drama by Michele Riml and Michael St. John Smith in which relationships unravel over the course of a dinner party. The Cull is also the latest Arts Club Silver Commission to be brought to life onstage.
The Arts Club announced its Silver Commissions for the 2020–2021 season as well: My Father Is the Greatest Man in the World, by Tai Amy Grauman, and a new adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac, by Christine Quintana.
The season will include partnerships with the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, as well as with a company in Eastern Canada that has yet to be announced. “By deepening relationships with organizations across Canada, the Arts Club not only expands its creative capacity, but also contributes to a nation-wide conversation about the importance of theatre,” said Corcoran. “These partnerships allow us to pool our resources to create productions that strive for the highest levels of artistic excellence.”
Corcoran also introduced the playwrights in the 2020–2021 Emerging Playwrights’ Unit: Erik Gow, Pippa Mackie, Justin Neal, and Lili Robinson. This unique initiative allows playwrights in the early stages of their careers to workshop and receive dramaturgical input on new works. Additionally, the Arts Club is currently accepting applications for the upcoming season’s Company in Residence, as well as the Bill Millerd Artist Fund, a program that assists B.C. theatre artists with expenses related to training opportunities that will advance their artistic development, such as courses and mentorships.
STANLEY INDUSTRIAL ALLIANCE STAGE
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY1 By Kate Hamill Based on the novel by Jane Austen Director Rachel Peake This spirited adaptation tells the story of the Dashwood sisters with a fresh feminist voice September 10–October 11, 2020 (Media opening: September 16)
ELF: THE MUSICAL Book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin Music by Matthew Sklar Lyrics by Chad Beguelin Based on the New Line Cinema film written by David Berenbaum Director Stephen Drover Choreographer Julie Tomaino Music Director Ken Cormier Starring Andrew McNee The hilarious tale of a human who thinks he’s an elf November 5, 2020–January 3, 2021
NETWORK Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall Based on the Paddy Chayefsky film In partnership with the Citadel Theatre and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre Director Daryl Cloran Starring Jim Mezon News becomes show business in this adaptation of the prophetic film January 21–February 21, 2021
THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA MCBRIDE By Matthew Lopez Director Sherry J. Yoon When his act is replaced with a drag show, an Elvis impersonator embraces a new way of life, with hilarious—and fabulous—results March 18–April 18, 2021
ELVIS The Musical By Sean Cercone and David Abbinanti
Musical Arrangements and Orchestrations by David Abbinanti. Based on a concept by Floyd Mutrux In partnership with the Citadel Theatre Director Ashlie Corcoran This groundbreaking, brand-new bio-musical tells the King’s story through the eyes of those who knew him best, and features over 40 of his greatest hits May 13–July 4, 2021
GRANVILLE ISLAND STAGE
THE CULL By Michele Riml and Michael St. John Smith Director Mindy Parfitt Secrets come to light and relationships unravel in this new dinner party drama September 24–October 25, 2020
SCROOGE IN ROUGE An English Music Hall Christmas Carol Book and Lyrics by Ricky Graham Additional Material by Jeffery Roberson Other Interesting Bits by Yvette Hargis Original Music Composed by Jefferson Turner Director Dean Paul Gibson Performed in the style of a British music hall, this zany take on the Charles Dickens holiday classic is packed with catchy songs and bawdy jokes November 26, 2020–January 3, 2021
MADE IN ITALY By Farren Timoteo. Director Daryl Cloran In this heartfelt comedy, an Italian teenager in 1970s rural Alberta reinvents himself in the stylings of John Travolta and Rocky Balboa February 4–March 7, 2021
CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND By Lauren Yee| Featuring songs by Dengue Fever
Director Ashlie Corcoran This award-winning play blends comedy, history, and music to create a fierce yet funny tribute to family bonds April 22–May 23, 2021
A CLOSER WALK WITH PATSY CLINE By Dean Regan Director Mike Payette Featuring the unforgettable music of Patsy Cline, this play tells the story of the famous country singer’s rise to fame with heart and humour June 17–August 1, 2021 (Media opening: June 23)
NEWMONT STAGE AT THE BMO THEATRE CENTRE
DANCE NATION By Clare Barron In partnership with TBA Director Meg Roe
“Cuteness is death” in this bold, blood-pumping story about a team of pre-teen dancers October 8–October 25, 2020 (Media opening: October 14) THE TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS10 By Ginna Hoben Director Barbara Tomasic This charming one-woman play offers a side-splitting, contemporary alternative to the usual conventions of the holidays December 3, 2020–January 3, 2021
TEENAGE DICK By Mike Lew In partnership with TBA Director Ashlie Corcoran Community Partner Realwheels Theatre Richard III meets Mean Girls: this clever Shakespeare adaptation reimagines the protagonist as a teenager navigating the treacherous terrain of high school February 18–March 14, 2021
EVERY BRILLIANT THING By Duncan Macmillan With Jonny Donahoe Director Ashlie Corcoran
Starring Naomi Wright. In this uplifting show, a girl helps her mother cope with depression by listing everything worth living for, with help from the audience
September 30–November 8, 2020
THE CULL By Michele Riml and Michael St. John Smith Director Mindy Parfitt Secrets come to light and relationships unravel in this new dinner party drama January 6–February 7, 2021
THE BIRDS & THE BEES By Mark Crawford Director Lauren Taylor Love, lust, beekeeping, and the artificial insemination of turkeys meet in this raucous comedy February 17–April 4, 2021
Titles, performance dates, venues, and creative teams subject to change.
ABOUT THE ARTS CLUB
The Arts Club, one of the largest not-for-profit theatre companies in the country, is the principal gathering place for the theatrical arts in British Columbia. Comprising three unique venues across Vancouver, the Arts Club welcomes more 10 Canadian premiere of the holiday comedy than a quarter million guests annually, tours provincially and nationally, and engages students and artists alike through educational and professional programs.
Above all, the Arts Club is dedicated to the advancement of local artists telling stories from around the globe and, in particular, those of our region. From this, we believe that culture expands, an understanding of differences is nurtured, and art bursts forth. The Arts Club was founded in 1964 and is currently led by Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran and Executive Director Peter Cathie White.