Thursday, October 3, 2013

Coffee Talk with Alex Rose

Our last but definitely not least coffee talk with a member of the Speech & Debate team.  Meet Alex Rose who plays "Solomon" as his Twenty Something debut! It's been awesome working with him!

(Alex Rose)

Tell us your I wanna be an actor story...

In high school I got to play Ebenezer Scrooge and then a pimp. I was told at the time that I was convincing in both so I figured I had range.

What is your favourite role to date and why? 

John Proctor. Favourite role because I can't wait to play it again when I'm older and can bring even more of myself to the part. It's a demanding role but the best ones are because it can teach you more about yourself and the craft in general.

If you could be part of any theatre production in the world, what would that be?

Anything by Chekov, Glengarry Glen Ross, What the Butler Saw, and The Crucible.

Why do you think Speech & Debate is an important story to tell?

It's the way in which the play uses topics and themes like homophobia, adolescence, and the relationships between adults and teenagers to tell such a compelling and funny story.

If you had one piece of advice for aspiring young actors, either just starting a training program or going to their first audition, what would that be?

Since I am a relatively new graduate I will pass the buck and let this guy answer the question for me:

Great advice! Speech & Debate opens TONIGHT (Oct.3rd) at Studio 1398 in Granville Island! Make sure you see Alex Rose on stage sometime between now and October 12th (Tues-Sat)!

-Jess Van Elk
Producing Assistant

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Coffee Talk with Jennifer Suratos

Meet Jennifer Suratos who plays the "Teacher/Reporter" in Speech & Debate! Normally a musical theatre performer, we are happy to have her with us on this production as her Twenty Something debut!

(Jennifer and Apollo's head at the British Museum)

Tell us your I wanna be an actor story...

I'm a bit of a fraud in that I never really, truly wanted to be an actor. But theatre has just been so much fun that once I tried it, I couldn't leave. Then first time I fell in love was with Enjolras in a big, professional production of Les Miserables at the Queen E. My 14 year old self swooned. The more I learned about theatre, the more I loved it. I mainly do musicals, so this show is a nice change for me, and a real challenge too. I admire people who commit their lives to the craft of acting, it's tough!

What is your favourite role to date and why?

I have many favourite roles, but my most favourite - right now - was the last one I did: Miss Jones in "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." It was in Stanley Park this past summer with Theatre Under the Stars. I got to do a fun number with just me and all the good-looking men in suits. Plus it was an outdoor stage, so that was fun. One night a bug flew up my nose but hey, the show must go on.

(Jennifer in "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" at TUTS)

If you could be part of any theatre production in the world, what would that be?

Something with the Royal Shakespeare Company. I am a huge fan of Shakespeare, though I have not yet attempted to perform any of his work. I have studied him quite a bit in school so to do any kind of work with the RSC would be a dream.

Why do you think Speech & Debate is an important story to tell?

It's important because it accurately represents real teenagers and the issues they go through. These three teens are quirky, unique, intelligent - and all trying to find their place in the world. I wish I was this weird and wonderful in high school. Instead I was falling in love with fictional characters from musicals.


If you had one piece of advice for aspiring young actors, either just starting a training program or going to their first audition, what would that be?

Don't be afraid to make mistakes - just give 'er! It's part of learning and honing your craft. And it makes you human.

I couldn't agree more. Make sure you see Speech & Debate at Studio 1398 from Oct.2-12! Tickets available at or at the door!

-Jess Van Elk
Producing Assistant

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Coffee Talk with Scott Button

Meet Scott Button playing "Howie" in Speech & Debate as his Twenty Something Theatre debut! We are very excited to have him with us!

(Scott [far left] in a wedding photo booth with friends)

Tell us your I wanna be an actor story...

I went through a phase of re-creating famous movie and TV scenes with my friends when I was growing up. After seeing the movie "Psycho" when I was nine or ten, I re-created the famous shower scene and presented it at a party my parents were having. I played both the murderer and Janet Leigh getting stabbed, and cast my friends as various inanimate objects (shower curtain, door, bathmat, etc.) It was great.

(On stage in Wild Honey at UBC with Christine Quintana and Ben Whipple)

What is your favourite role to date and why?

I really enjoyed playing "John" in A Gaggle of Saints, from Neil Labute's trio of short plays, BASH. It's a dual monologue about a young, mormon couple's weekend trip to New York - where some crazy, scary stuff goes down. Recently, I had a blast performing The Story of You and Me, which was performed as part of the site-specific play installation, Hive 3: New Bees. I co-wrote the piece with my good friend Christine Quintana, who performed in it with me. It was fifteen minutes long, made for an audience of two, and set in a winnebago from the '70s. It was fun.

If you were given the opportunity to play any role in the world, what would it be and why?

There are too many! Roles from Shakespeare, Chekhov, Edward Albee, Harold Pinter...

(Jumping for joy with cast mates Agnes Tong and Curtis Tweedie while on tour for Night Light (Green Thumb Theatre))

Why should people come out to see Speech & Debate

It's very funny - growing up can be brutal and the play pulls no punches. Despite this, it's an incredibly compassionate and hopeful story. There's also singing, dancing and flesh-coloured body suits (spoiler alert).

(Scott fending off a hair sprayer at a crowded night club)

If you had one piece of advice for aspiring young actors, those starting a training program or going to their first audition, what would it be? 

For those starting a training program, all I can say is don't compete - with others or yourself. And enjoy the people that you get to work with! 

That's some good advice! Make sure you see him on stage from Oct.2-12 (Tuesday-Saturday) in Studio 1398! Tickets on sale now -

Jess Van Elk
-Producing Assistant

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Coffee Talk with Claire Hesselgrave

Meet Claire Hesselgrave who plays the role of "Diwata" in Speech & Debate! She moved here from Washington five years ago where she received her BFA in Acting from UBC and began her journey in Vancouver's theatre community! We are excited to have her with us as her Twenty Something debut!

(Claire [right] with Eric Freilich in Wild Honey at UBC)

What is your I wanna be an actor story... 

I remember performing plays and operas for my mom at a very young age. I was a pretty shy kid in public, but in the safety of my own home, I would let 'er rip. I danced my whole life and our annual show in June was something I always looked forward to. Ballet storytelling is, without a doubt, where it all started. However, it wasn't until high school drama class that I started performing with words. That was awesome. And I haven't stopped talking since.

What is your favourite role to date and why? 

We did Chicago in in my senior year of high school. I played Velma Kelly the only way I knew how: loud and proud. Sure, I played an attitude most of the time, was a terrible listener and had no idea what breath support meant, but I had so much fun. A first and a favourite, for sure.

(Claire and her friend Leeann)

What are you most excited about in playing the role of "Diwata" in Speech & Debate

I'm looking forward to playing a 17-year-old girl who says and does what I wish I could have when I was in high school. She's a bold one. Fierce, for sure.

If you were given any opportunity in the world to do that is un-related to theatre, what would that be? 

International dogwalker? Based out of Kauai, perhaps.

(Claire at her wedding with her dog, Buster [Photo Credit: Kirk Mastin])

Why do you think Speech & Debate is an important story to tell? 

Teenagers are incredible. They're stubborn, they're fragile, they're invincible, they dream big, and they don't take things lightly. Karam has written three real teenagers without any sitcom, patronizing bullshit. Speech & Debate is important because it is genuine. It's full of truth, humour, and heart. How lucky are we?

(Claire on holiday)

I completely agree! Make sure you don't miss Claire belting out some tunes in Speech & Debate from October. 2-12 at Studio 1398! This dark comedy will be unlike any thing else gracing a Vancouver stage this year! Tickets are available now through

-Jess Van Elk
Producing Assistant

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Coffee Talk with Christina Dao

Meet Christina Dao! She is our awesome costume designer for Speech & Debate! We are very excited to have her with us on this production and it was fun getting to know her...keep reading!

(Christina Dao)

What inspired you to pursue costume design?

I actually fell into theatre and costume design by accident. My mother was a fashion designer while I was growing up, so I always loved clothes and evolving my own personal style, but prior to attending theatre school, I didn't know the first thing about theatre. I had never sewn a piece of clothing and I didn't even really know how to draw. In university, I took a couple of theatre courses as electives because I thought they might be fun and here I am four years later, still kickin' it in theatre. Still learning. Always learning!

What has been your favourite design project so far and what is your dream project?

My favourite design project so far has been Rhinoceros, which was presented by Theatre UBC in the winter and directed by Chelsea Haberlin. It was a huge and challenging show but the reward was so worth it. My dream project would probably be an epic TV series like Game of Thrones. Or Mad Men! I love the costumes on Mad Men. Janie Bryant is one of my idols. I love when designers inject a bit of their own personal style into their costumes.

Christina and a loved one! 
If you could do anything in the world that is un-related to theatre, what would that be?

Be that guy on the Food Network who goes around North America eating at different diners. Guy Fieri. That would be dope.

What is something really good you've seen recently?

It's not out yet, but I just finished working on a film about Eadweard Muybridge. It is going to be amazing and you should definitely look out for it next year.

(Christina with her friends, Florence Barrett [centre] and Polina Boltova [right])
What is your favourite thing about Speech & Debate and why should people come see it?

It's extremely intelligent while also being very funny. The cast is stellar and I have not seen a play like this performed in Vancouver before!

I agree, I'm pretty excited for this production! Make sure you see Christina's costume work in Speech & Debate from October 2-12! Thats all for now folks, watch out for our next coffee talk!

-Jess Van Elk

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Can we get to the creative part now?

Huge thanks to new & old friends for making the Double Play Party a rockin’ way to spend Saturday night! The silent auction was a hit, Shank Lovebone had the audience doing an extended acapella singalong to Hit Me Baby One More Time, and the keg was bested by a determined coalition of aspiring Cicerones. We even sold a couple more passes right at the stroke of midnight…

The Double Play Party

Due to one thing and another and another, we are sad to report that Kathryn Kirkpatrick will not be performing in Speech & Debate. Fortunately, Kathryn is going to be onstage at the Firehall Arts Centre this Fringe with her brand new solo show I Am The Bastard Daughter of Engelbert Humperdinck, so you can see her then!

I Am The Bastard Daughter of Engelbert Humperdinck
Written & Performed by Kathryn Kirkpatrick

Jenn Suratos has joined our cast and we are very excited to get to work with her!

We cast Speech & Debate all the way back in January. There’s been a lot of planning. A lot of running around by our tireless production assistant, Jessica Van Elk. Craig Alfredson is tackling the bulk of our design work (lights, projections, and set), and he and I braved the early morning the other day to circle around the space at Studio 1398. The transition from pre-planning to rehearsals is one of my favourite parts of this whole enterprise.

Stephen Karam's Speech & Debate
Oct. 2 - 12 at Studio 1398, Granville Island
Photo by David Cooper


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Thank You Whet & Cats Social House!

Twenty Something Theatre & Staircase XI are very excited about The Double Play Party happening this Saturday, August.31! If you haven't heard, The Double Play Party is a celebration for The Double Play Pass - an early bird ticket (only on-sale until August.31) that allows you to see Twenty Something's "Speech & Debate" by Stephen Karam and Staircase XI's "Cocktails at Pam's" by Stewart Lemoine for only $25! (Available here...

The Double Play Party is going to be an AWESOME PARTY with 90's dance music, along with super cheap beer! BUT not only that, there will be some amazing silent auction prizes that we have put together over these past few months! Among the silent auction prizes, there will be two Theatre & Restaurant packages! The packages include a series of tickets to some of Vancouver's upcoming theatre productions along with a gift card from either Cats Social House or Whet, which are both located in Granville Island!

This is how I feel about that...

Twenty Something Theatre & Staircase XI would like to say THANK YOU to Whet and Cats Social House for their generous silent auction donations!

Make sure you check their websites out!

AND REMEMBER, this Saturday, August.31 at 8pm is the Double Play Party! Where you ask? It is going to be located at Little Mountain Gallery, 195 E 26th Ave. There will be a $5 cover charge and drinks are $4 each or $15 for all-you-can-drink!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Jess Van Elk
-Producing Assistant

Friday, August 23, 2013

Coffee Talk with Meaghan Doupe

Welcome to our Coffee Talk series where we will be getting to know the members of the production team and cast for "Speech & Debate"! First off, meet Meaghan Doupe, our stage manager for the production! We are excited to have her with us as this is her Twenty Something debut!

What was your first theatre experience?

My very first theatre experience was when I was very young and my elementary school did a performance of H.M.S Pinafore. I played a part in the chorus and I got to sing and dance with all the other children in my grade. 

What inspired you to go into stage management?

Growing up near Stratford Ontario was probably how I became interested in the theatre. Being a fairly regular patron of the Stratford Festival through the years I was always amazed at the grand quality of the shows and the many interpretations of the Shakespeare classics. The complexity of the shows grabbed my interest; I always wanted to know how it all came together and what better way to discover that then by entering the theatre world itself.

 What is your dream project?

I would love to work with a travelling show that allowed for sight seeing! It would be a great way to combine two of my favourite activities: theatre and travel.

If you won the lottery, what would you do?

If I won the lottery I would love to spend the winnings travelling to places I have never been before. I would love to visit old friends who now live afar and if I could buy time with the lottery winnings I would live in different cities across the globe temporarily to get a taste of lifestyles different from my own.


Why should people come out to see "Speech & Debate"? 

It's a dark comedy with context that may challenge comfort level but addresses important societal issues. It's very active and visual and will be a blast to watch.

Thats right! "Speech & Debate" will be a blast! Make sure you get The Double Play Pass (before August.31) - an early bird ticket for $25 dollars for both "Speech & Debate" by Stephen Karam and "Cocktails at Pam's" by Stewart Lemoine (Staircase XI)! Buy it at the link below! 

-Jess Van Elk
Producing Assistant 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Directing, Zombie Shakespeare, Blank Verse, and the Double Play Party

The work of a director can be summed up in two very simple words. Why and How. – Peter Brook

I spent the bulk of the weekend directng a few scenes for a new web series called Blank Verse. Claire Hesselgrave, who will play Diwata in Speech & Debate this October, performs in the show too. It  features the design work of Carolyn Rapanos, who did great scenic painting for The Bomb-itty of Errors in 2012. Check out the trailer here.

Rehearsals are in sight for Speech & Debate. I suppose it’s no surprise that a director should enjoy rehearsing, but it really does excite me every time I start work on a new project. We’ve elected to rehearse part-time overt he course of four weeks, a process I prefer to working full-time for two weeks.


Remember to join us at the Double Play Party at Little Moutain Gallery on August 31. We’re going to get you sauced up on our cheap bar, then unleash you on a dance floor that will time warp consistently to the 1990s. 



Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Double Play Pass is LIVE

"Happiness does not await us all. One needn't be a prophet to say that there will be more grief and pain than serenity and money. That is why we must hang on to one another." -Anton Chekhov

 Speech & Debate scribe Stephen Karam quotes this in the intro to his 2012 Pulitzer Prize-nominated play Sons of the Prophet.

In the spirit of having little money and hanging on to one another, we’ve banded up with our pals at Staircase XI Theatre to launch the Double Play Pass – an early bird ticket that lets you see both Speech & Debate (Oct. 2-12) and their production of Cocktails At Pam’s by Stewart Lemoine (Nov 13-30) for just $25. It’s live now and is available until August 31. Buy it here.

But wait, there’s more! We’re throwing a Double Play Party to celebrate things like “back to school”, “the end of summer”, “the beginning of fall”, “friends”, “theatre”, and the Double Play Pass. It’s going to have cheap admission, cheap drinks, and ridiculously under-priced silent auction items. In the spirit of the Double Play Pass, we’ll be auctioning off an abundance of great theatre tickets. Just FYI. Read all about it.

Lots of exciting news for our friends and collaborators:

 Sabrina is in Africa.

 Delinquent Theatre are prepping a one-off of Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical (I wrote two of the songs and perform in it) for the Gabriola Island Theatre Festival on August 18. If you’re in the area…Also, listen to the soundtrack album.

 Mack Gordon (he helped out on the dramaturgical tip for Us & Everything We Own) wrote this great piece about Dominique Fricot (he played at our Bomb-itty of Errors fundraiser waaaaaaaaaaay back in 2012) that you should read.

 I saw Despot at The Biltmore Cabaret last week with Killer Mike & El-P and he commanded the stage in a way that very few people can. Performers should all watch him do a show and take notes. Peep this song. He’s doing an album with Ratatat and if it ever drops the world might never be the same.

In summation: Buy a Double Play Pass. We’ll try not to be annoying about it, but seriously. Buy one.



Saturday, July 27, 2013

“I believe, in the theater, something surprising should happen every ten seconds.”

This is something I read awhile ago (a year? A bit more? A bit less?) and it stuck with me. Rather than blog about some generic “we’re still working on the play” stuff (we are), I thought I’d share this in full. Link to where I found it here. There’s a link from that site to some video.


The following was written for the, “From Where I Stand”, symposium at the Under the Radar Festival.  It does not include all of Taylor Mac’s beliefs about the theater but a good number of them.  

I believe belief is for assholes.

I believe irony is useful and fun at the beginning of a performance but tedious if held on to. 

I believe that truth, in the theater, is often confused with a clearing away of theatricality.  I believe the clearing away of theatricality is as much of a glorious lie as the theatrical.  I believe homophobia, racism, and sexism—in the theater—often manifests itself through the championing of “Realism” and or “Quiet” plays.

I believe people who use quotation marks with their fingers are assholes.

I believe, as a theater artist, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.  Because I believe, as a theater artist, I’m not a teacher; I’m a reminder.  I’m just trying to remind you of things you’ve dismissed, forgotten, or buried.

I believe self-consciousness kills creativity.  So we must work together to create environments where we can kill self-consciousness first.  Make your rehearsal room a place that kills self-consciousness.  Ask yourself, “Will these florescent lights kill self-consciousness?”  No?  Then light the rehearsal room with nice pleasant lighting already.

I believe designers should be in the room everyday, playing, not just sitting and taking notes.  I believe we must give our designers things to play with in the room.  I believe designers and even stage managers should do warm ups with the company.

I believe love when used as a verb is true and when used as a noun is a lie.  

I believe in verbs.  

I believe you can make a living as a theater artist but in order to do so, without making work you don’t like, you might need to think about falling in love with verbs more than nouns.  I believe money is never really the reason but often the excuse.  So when you say you can’t do my play because it will cost too much, I know what you really mean is, “I’d rather spend the money that I have on something else”.  I believe that’s fair.  

I believe if you set a financial goal, you will reach it and if that financial goal is small, your budget will be small, artists will barely get paid, and everyone will be a little grumpy.  

I believe if NYC had no art and only Wall Street, nobody would want to live here.  And so I believe 10% of all Wall Street salaries should go to artists.

I believe administration is an art form but if you’re an administrator who really wants to do a different form of art, you should quit your administration job, do that other art, and make room for administrators to take your job who actually love what they do.  Because I believe there is nothing better than working with someone who loves what they do.  
I recognize that sometimes I hate what I do and that the grumpy people around me may be just going through one of those hate-phases as well and to give them a break.

I believe sometimes it’s good to shut up and keep swimming but I believe sometimes it’s good to say what you’re feeling when you’re feeling it.

I believe theater is a service industry.  It’s like being a plumber and theater artists are blue-collar workers who wear better clothes, for the most part.

I believe theater artists should be students of humanity

I believe, to learn what your audience needs, is the job

But caution that sometimes we confuse need with want.

Giving our audiences what they want is not the job.

Sometimes giving them what they want is a fringe benefit or happy accident but it is not the job.

I believe you may be saying to yourself, “That’s very presumptuous of him to think he knows what the audience needs”.  But I believe if I were a plumber you wouldn’t think it was presumptuous of me to say my job is to learn what your plumbing needs. You would say I was a good plumber.

I believe sometimes we confuse what the audience needs with what the artist wants.  That makes crappy art.  But I believe there is room for it all.  Including crappy art.

I believe authentic failure on stage is one of the great art forms.

I believe I sometimes fail at my job and I sometimes succeed and that humanity exists in both.  I believe if I want my audiences to experience the range of their humanity, and I do, then I must reflect back at them, authentic success and authentic failure.

I believe I am a mirror and each and every one of my audience members is both snow white and the evil queen.

I believe I did not move from the suburbs to the city to see work about the suburbs.  I believe if we model our theater after a suburban mentality we will perpetuate the status quo.  I believe the great American middle class is not great.  I believe the Greeks and Shakespeare wrote about successful people falling from grace, in their tragedies, and they wrote about down and out people rising and falling in and out of doldrums, in their comedies, but didn’t bother with the middle class because the middle class is boring.
Middle class stories are neither tragic nor wildly comedic simply because, when it comes to the middle class, the stakes aren’t high enough.  Take that, Willy Loman.

But I believe most plays nowadays are sadly about the middle class.

As a result, I believe it is hard to find works of consequence.  I believe in works of consequence and hope to make all of my plays and performances works of consequence.  I believe if something doesn’t happen in your play that changes all the characters, players, and audience then it isn’t worth doing.  

I believe if you’re a theater artist you are not cool so stop acting like you are.

I believe whole-heartedly in craft.  I believe craft is essentially a commitment to learning the past, living in the present, and dreaming the culture forward.  But I believe establishing standards for craft will not create great art but will foster the patriarchy.  I believe contradictions and inspiring questions make great theater but sometimes wish I and other theater artists would just decide already.

I believe if you don’t see your story on stage… that is a good thing.  Have a little curiosity already.  I believe the call for Universality in the theater is a way of telling minorities they should act like the Majority.  I believe minority theater artists are often asked to create work that the Majority can see themselves in.  I believe if you’re a semi-wealthy white woman and you work for a fancy theater and you go to the Humana Festival and see The Universes, a hip-hop theater company that is made up of minority theater artists, and you don’t like it because you wonder, “Where the middle aged white woman’s story was in all of that?”  The answer is, “In all the other plays at the Humana Festival”.  

Having said that, I believe the audience matters.
I believe the audience should matter so much that without them the play and players could never reach the stories end.  I believe each performance of a play or performance piece should be different from the previous performance of said piece.  And not in simple ways but in giant big brave adventurous ways.  I believe the audience deserves to alter the outcome of the events.  I believe that it is essential for performing artists, each night they go on stage, despite the author and directors intentions, to not know whether the performance will be a tragedy or a comedy.  

I believe all plays are flawed except the extremely boring ones so stop trying to make my play perfect.

I believe perfection is for assholes

I love assholes, but I don’t want them to run the theater.
It’s okay if they make some theater but they shouldn’t act like they run it.

I believe being an asshole is often a good thing but sometimes it’s, just being an asshole.

I believe we should say sorry every so often when our passions get the better of us.


I believe Artistic Directors should say hello to the performers that come to work in their theaters and that, in my experience, more than half of you do not.  I believe this is unbelievably rude, hurtful, and counterproductive.  I believe if you don’t want to meet me, you shouldn’t book me at your theater.

I believe Richard Forman is commercial theater.  I believe my work and all “experimental work”, is commercial theater.  I believe the non-profit sector is and has been incredible but that it’s taught audiences that theater is something most people won’t want to see.  I believe, like the fashion world does with experimental work, where they market it as the best of what they have and as a result Alexander McQueen is the most successful selling show in the history of the Met, that if we stopped telling a vast majority of the people that they won’t like what we do, they would actually like what we do. 

I believe experimental artists and commercial artists should collaborate more.

I believe someone reading this should give me lots of money to start my repertory theater.  I believe a culture of repertory is the answer to most of our industry problems.  I believe if you freeze a play you kill it.  I believe theater artists need long runs and need to tour in order to truly learn what their work can do.

I believe your lattzi, monologue, scene, play, manifesto, is not long enough.

I believe ten-minute play festivals should be excommunicated from our industry.

Because I believe we almost always stop before we’ve truly finished.

I believe in words and the combination of words and their ability to surprise.

Most importantly I believe in surprise and that if you want to remind your audiences of the things they have dismissed, forgotten, or buried, then you need to surprise them. 

I believe, in the theater, something surprising should happen every ten seconds.

And that, that surprise does not have to be big; it can be a breath.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 20: Peter Brook, Design Meetings, and Promotional Material

“I am ready to disclaim my opinion, even of yesterday, even of 10 minutes ago, because all opinions are relative. One lives in a field of influences, one is influenced by everyone one meets, everything is an exchange of influences, all opinions are derivative. Once you deal a new deck of cards, you’ve got a new deck of cards.”

That’s a quote from Peter Brook in The Empty Space. I find myself coming back to it continuously in the last couple of years. Hopefully it’s informing an ever-evolving approach to creativity.

Put a bird on it.

I recently met with our Speech & Debate design team: Craig Alfredson (Set/Lights/Projection) and Christina Dao (Costumes). We’re all busy bees, so we had to meet at 11pm in a bar. I’ve never worked with either of them in this capacity before and I’m excited to have the ball rolling. Christina was one of our invaluable dressers on Bomb-itty of Errors last year and Craig has been a helping hand on many things that I’ve worked on. As always, we’ll be trying to make a lot with a little, and we definitely discussed what it means if you describe your aesthetic as “shitty”. Don’t let that scare you, let that free you.

First design meeting.

We’re very excited to have Andrew Lewis on board to design yet another poster for Twenty Something. He’s due to show some ideas any day now and I’m getting excited. Of course, we’ve also got our great promotional photos from David Cooper:

Alex Rose, Scott Button, and Claire Hesselgrave will star in Stephen Karam's Speech & Debate.
Photo by David Cooper.

The Double Play Pass, our little joint venture with Staircase XI, is still coming your way August 1. Check back here and on our Facebook page when the time comes.

 Summer love,

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Speech & Debate, The Double Play Pass, The Out Vigil, and Bomb-itty

Hello Blogosphere!

Happy to be making my first post as Associate Artistic Producer with Twenty Something Theatre. It’s a very exciting time for this company and I’m happy to be here for it.

This fall I’ll be directing Twenty Something’s next show: Stephen Karam’s Speech & Debate. It’s running October 2-12 at Studio 1398 on Granville Island. Speech & Debate is a play that Sabrina passed along to me when I first came on board in the middle of 2012. It had been on her shortlist of plays for Twenty Something for a couple of years and it’s not surprise why. The script runs the gamut from hilarious comedy to tense drama, making sure to include a song or two along the way. The cast & crew are all in place and we’re already rushing around getting all kinds of “behind the scenes” things done.

On that note, we’re proud to present the Double Play Pass – an early bird special that gives people the opportunity to get a ticket each to Speech & Debate and Staircase XI’s November production of Stewart Lemoine’s Cocktails At Pam’s for just $25. The Double Play Pass will go on sale August 1 and you’ll be able to link to it from

Right now we’re busy meeting with potential sponsors and program advertisers. With the Double Play Pass, we’re able to offer great value and lots of exposure to our advertisers. If you or someone you know wants to get involved by sponsoring our production and our company, we can be reached at

On the development front, I was fortunate enough to sit in on a reading of Julie McIsaac’s The Out Vigil last week. I already knew Julie to be a great actor, and the same humanity and passion that she puts into her performances is all over the beautiful play she’s written. Watch out for our workshop production in 2014.

Speaking of 2014, The Bomb-itty of Errors, the little production that got me all wrapped up with Twenty Something in the first place, is going to appearing on the Arts Club’s Revue Stage starting April 10. I’m including a link to the Revue stage series next year, which also includes a World Premiere by Colleen Murphy (I directed her play The December Man in Saskatoon last fall and it’s BEAUTIFUL) directed by my UBC buddy and Horseshoes & Hand Grenades co-artistic director Mindy Parfitt.

Stay tuned folks. Twenty Something is in motion.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Edmonton Bound

I’m not quite sure what to say. Or, how to say it. Especially as I sit at my desk in my co-working office space preparing to pack up all my crap and my super old iMac (circa 2007 old, Firefox isn’t even compatible with this system anymore, old). But, as you may have gathered by now, by the subject heading to this blog post, I am moving. To Edmonton.

Why?! I have been accepted into the MFA Theatre Design program at U of A and I start classes September 4th.

Between now and then, I am also going to Africa for a month. I was originally supposed to go in the fall but once I was accepted to the MFA program I knew I couldn’t just give up years of planning and saving so I decided to go anyways. So, now I leave for Africa in 2 weeks. I’ll be bushwacking through the Maasai Mara and Serengeti before diving in the Zanzibar Archipelago and returning home. For 2 weeks. Then Edmonton.

Don't worry I'll still be a Canucks fan even if it means getting beaten up at Rexall Place by Oilers fans

I am so excited for all of it.

I've been dreaming about going to Africa since I was a kid and I saw Reese Witherspoon in this Disney film called “A Far off Place”. I haven’t seen it since. Who knows?! It may well be the cheesiest movie of all time. All I know is that movie made me want to go to Africa so bad it’s been stuck in my mind ever since. For 20 years. And now, as an adult, I know the movie and reality are probably far from the same but still I get to check one more item off my bucket list.

From the movie "A Far Off Place". Seriously, who wouldn't want to be on this adventure?!

And, okay, I’m not going to lie and say I’m excited about the Edmonton weather. I’ve never lived anywhere colder than Vancouver my whole life. I’ve lived in other cities but all of them fairly mild and temperate much like Vancouver. So, I have no idea how I am going to fair in -15 to -30 degree weather but, hey, it’s an adventure. But, most importantly I am very excited about the program at U of A. And, excited to be become part of a whole other theatre community.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Vancouver. As was said, many times over at the Jessie awards Monday night, we have a great community and I am so grateful and proud to be a part of it. But, I’ve been feeling for awhile now the need for a change and now the time for that change has come. So, while I feel slightly anxious about leaving the home and community I have built here in Vancouver over the past 9 years, I am excited for what lies ahead. And, what lies ahead is completely unknown and that is frightening and exhilarating all at the same time.

This pretty much says it all.
What does this mean for Twenty Something?! Well, it means that things will be changing in that department too; but, I believe that is also good thing. I founded this company and have been managing it for the past 7 years. Mostly on my own. It’s time now to let the reigns go a little and eventually let them go entirely to make room for the new “next generation of artists”. By the time I’m done my MFA I most definitely won’t be “twentysomething” I’ll be more along the lines of “mid-thirtysomething” (F*ck me, that freaks me out).

But, that’s a few years away (Thank God) so as for now and the rest of 2013, everything will continue as planned with Brian directing and producing Speech & Debate. I have been wanting to program this play for a few years now but the timing has never been right so I am super excited to have Brian directing it with a phenomenal cast. This play is funny and provocative and just a whole ton of fun. I really hope, and encourage you, to all come out and support Brian in his first project with Twenty Something.

Then for a variety of reasons nothing will be planned for 2014 until after The Bomb-itty of Errors opens at The Arts Club in April of next year. Brian will be taking on more of the day to day managing of Twenty Something while I am away but overall not much will change between now and next year at this time. After that, well, we’ll figure that out. And, we’ll make announcements as to further plans for Twenty Something’s 2014 season probably some time in December later this year.

I’m still going to be actively involved in The Out Vigil project we have in development (see previous blog post) but beyond that I have no clue what life in Edmonton will bring me. So, for the most part, I am going to hand this blog over to Brian (and Jess, Producing Assistant for this year). I might post a few things every now and then but for now I’m just going to let this little video do the talking for me...

~Sabrina Evertt,
 Artistic Producer