Max Reimer, Artistic Managing Director of the Playhouse Theatre Company, announced some of its show castings for their 2009/2010 Vancouver Playhouse season including a top-six finalist from season two of Canadian Idol and Spirit of the West’s John Mann.
“I am really excited about how this season is taking shape,” says Reimer. “As I’d hoped, these plays of my first full season are attracting some of the brightest new and established stage stars. It’s going to be a great year at the Playhouse.”
Director Meg Roe has assembled a strong company around two talented young girls for The Miracle Worker (October 10-31). Margot Berner and Emma Grabinsky will both tackle the challenging role of Helen Keller in the Playhouse’s season opener.
“We were lucky to have a rush of extremely talented girls audition for the part of Helen,” says Roe. “Once we decided to use a younger person for the role it became clear that we might want to use more than one actress to share the part. Helen is a complicated, physical, and emotional character that would demand a lot out of anyone, and lucky for us we had two young people who seemed more than up to the task. Margot and Emma both bring an original and authentic take on Helen and I’m so looking forward to seeing their two versions develop,” Roe says.
Reimer himself is set to direct and choreograph Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (November 21 to December 27) starring Elena Juato as Christine Colgate. Juacto was a top-six finalist in season two of Canadian Idol.
“I’m really excited that Scoundrels will star Elena; we are going to have so much fun with this show,” Reimer says “especially when you add Andrew Wheeler as Lawrence Jameson and Josh Epstein as Freddy Benson. The chemistry between these three will be electrifying.”
The Playhouse’s Olympic year starts with Bruce Ruddell’s musical spectacle Beyond Eden (January 16 to February 6), part of Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. “This million-dollar musical is co-produced with Theatre Calgary and directed by their Artistic Director, Dennis Garnhum.
“The cast of 14 is headlined by two of Canada’s most renowned performers,” says Garnhum, “actor and musician John Mann of the band Spirit of the West and singer, actor and humanitarian Tom Jackson. I am honoured to have these two men join the cast and look forward to directing them in this play,” he says. “Their respect in this country, matched with their dynamic stage presence and singing, will make for a thrilling experience on our stage.
Laurie Anderson is one of North America’s most renowned and daring creative pioneers and she is bringing A New Work to Vancouver for one week only (February 16-21) as part of Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. This 90-minute technodrama combines technology, mystery and contemporary short stories to create a unique new art form.
“This Vancouver-first premier will travel to five international festivals,” says Reimer. (Reimer also pointed out that this particular production was initially known as Two Sided Plays. Patrons with tickets that say Two Sided Plays will be honoured).
Reimer will also direct The Love List (March 6 to April 10) by playwright Norm Foster. “I believe this is one of the funniest shows that Foster has written and it’s going to star Norm himself,” says Reimer. “Norm started his career as a radio man and after 25 years he found theatre. He has produced an astonishing output of work, nearly 40 plays in all, which has made him the most prolific playwright in Canada,” he says. Foster will be paired with Vancouver favourite, Peter Anderson, star of The Overcoat.
The casting for Dangerous Corner (May 1-22) that Reimer is working on with director Bill Dow is taking them down some very interesting roads. “Some of the strongest actors in Western Canada are wanting on this first journey into the delicious actors’ world of the modern classics since we re-opened the mandate,” says Reimer. “Watch for updates as Bill makes his choices for a very strong finish to our 2009/2010 season!”
“I’m very glad that this first season of mine is shaping up to be such a good one,” says Reimer, “because this is only the beginning!”
The Vancouver Playhouse 2009/2010 Season
Subscriptions and single tickets for all productions are now on sale with subscription packages starting at $120 and single tickets starting at $33.
For tickets and information call 604.873.3311 or go online at http://www.vancouverplayhouse.com, or visit the the Playhouse Production Centre, 127 East 2nd Avenue, Vancouver.