City Stage New West presents Shaw Shorts!

City Stage New West will present Shaw Shorts!, an evening of naughty Edwardian theatrical hijinks, at New Westminster’s opulent Galbraith Manor, from January 24 through February 5.  The show opens with the rollicking How He Lied to Her Husband, a one-act comedy by George Bernard Shaw, and ends with Love Letters to Mrs. Patrick Campbella new telling of the story of Shaw’s own scandalous affair with his muse, Beatrice Stella Campbell, based directly on their historical correspondence, edited and arranged by Renée Bucciarelli, City Stage New West’s producing artistic director.

“The Galbraith couldn’t be a more perfect setting for these pieces,” said Bucciarelli. “It is exactly the right period for a Shaw comedy, built in 1892 in the Queen Anne revival style. We co-produced Freud’s Last Session there a couple of years ago—a World-War II era play–and have been thinking ever since of doing another site-and-time-specific piece there. It’s an incredibly intimate and sensual experience for the audience and the actors when the entire House becomes the set for the shows—quite transporting.” The Galbraith’s ornate period drawing room is the setting for the matrimonial boxing ring of How He Lied to Her Husband. In this comedy of manners, the gloves quickly come off, and when “He”, “She”, and “Her Husband” hilariously duke it out, all bets are off—Shaw turns all expectations on their heads. This gem of a bedroom farce, which Shaw wrote to parody his own mega-hit Candida, features multi-award-winning veteran actor Simon Webb as “Her Husband”, Luc Roderique (a Jessie-Award-winning Bard on the Beach regular) as “He”, and Renee Bucciarelli as “She”. Jessie Award-winning director Laura McClean, recipient of the 2015 Elsa Roberts Directing Prize directs.

Love Letters to Mrs. Patrick Campbell amply reveals Shaw’s own real-life amorous shenanigans. Culled from hundreds of scandalous love letters between him and Beatrice Stella Campbell–one of the great theatrical stars of her time—Love Letters runs the course of their passionate, creative, and challenging relationship, while shedding light on Shaw’s work, creative process, and sources of inspiration.

George Bernard Shaw was a literary giant of astonishing range whose modern ideas shocked Victorian sensibilities and influenced political and cultural thought. The only Nobel Prize laureate to also win an Academy Award, he prolifically wrote music, art, and theatre criticism, social, religious, and political commentary, and plays that, according to his greatest biographer, combined a “mixture of rare sense and inspired nonsense that the world has come to refer to as Shavian” (Michael Holroyd). He is considered one of the greatest English playwrights.

Shaw Shorts! Presented by City Stage West, directed by Laura McLean | Venue: Galbraith House, 131 Eighth Street, New Westminster | Map: http://goo.gl/maps/z5moq | Box Office: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2716145 |Run: January 24-February 5 – 7:30pm, 2pm matinees on Jan 28, 29, Feb 4 & 5. | More: http://www.citystagenewwest.org/

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‘Masterpiece of disguise, deception and desire’ on stage in Queen’s Park

Shadows & Dreams Twelfth Night
Shadows & Dreams presents William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Saturdays & Sundays at 2pm from July 17 to August 1 at the Queens Park Bandshell.

Vancouver may have Bard on the Beach, but New Westminster has Bard in the Park, and it’s free to boot.

Shadows & Dreams Theatre Company returns to the Queens Park Bandshell every Saturday & Sunday at 2pm from July 17 to August 1 to perform William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

Here’s a summary of the plot of Twelfth Night, according to Wikipedia:

Like many of Shakespeare’s comedies, this one centres on mistaken identity. The leading character, Viola, is shipwrecked on the shores of Illyria during the opening scenes. She loses contact with her twin brother, Sebastian, whom she believes is dead. Masquerading as a young page under the name Cesario, she enters the service of Duke Orsino through the help of the sea captain who rescues her. Orsino is in love with the bereaved Lady Olivia, whose father and brother have recently died, and who will have nothing to do with any suitors, the Duke included. Orsino decides to use “Cesario” as an intermediary to tell Olivia about his love for her. Olivia, believing Viola to be a man, falls in love with this handsome and eloquent messenger. Viola, in turn, has fallen in love with the Duke, who also believes Viola is a man, and who regards her as his confidant.

Set in the Regency period in England, Twelfth Night is fast, witty and full of biting humour. Shadows & Dreams calls the play a ‘masterpiece of disguise, deception and desire.’

Twelfth Night is part of the New Westminster Parks and Recreation Sunday Summer Revue. For more information on the other Summer Revue productions call the Parks Info Hotline at 604-527-4634 for schedule information or visit www.nwpr.bc.ca.

In brief:

  • What:
  • Where: Queen’s Park Bandshell, New Westminster (For directions visit: http://www.nwpr.bc.ca/parks)
  • When: 2pm, Saturday July 17th, 24th, 31st & Sunday July 18th, 25th, August 1st. Performances are rain or shine – if there’s an audience there’s a show.
  • Tickets: Free! (Come early to score the best seats)
  • More info: call 604-515-0704 or visit www.shadowsanddreams.org

New West playwrights invited to submit scripts

If you’re passionate about theatre and New Westminster history, this could be right up your alley:

The Backroom Theatre Club is issuing a Call for Plays to the many playwrights in New Westminster to write short play vignettes, of about 10 minutes duration, on any New Westminster history theme of their choice. These vignettes will be produced throughout 2009 to celebrate New Westminster’s 150th anniversary.

It is expected that the vignettes will provide theatrical snapshots of what life was like in New Westminster in the past 150 years.

More: BTC 150th Vignettes Project Overview (PDF file)

If you’re interested, call the Backroom Theatre Club at 604.523.1523 or 778.868.2254. You can also watch the New Westminster Arts Council website for more details as the project progresses.