The Arts Club's Granville Island Stage will re-open for the first time since the pandemic lockdown for a production of Anosh Irani's Buffoon, part of a trio of shows to be presented this fall.
The Arts Club's Granville Island Stage will re-open for the first time since the pandemic lockdown for a production of Anosh Irani's Buffoon, part of a trio of shows to be presented this fall.

In a media release, the Arts Club Theatre Company announced a fall theatre lineup of three live shows designed around the realities of the pandemic.

These three small yet fierce shows are a testament to the resilience of the performing arts community during this time. – Ashlie Corcoran

For audiences, that means adherence to safety protocols established by the B.C. government, including an audience cap of 50 patrons, staggered admission times, and masks.

In addition to the in-theatre experience, audiences will also have the option to purchase tickets to a digital recording of each of the three productions, which will be available to view for a limited time.

For those involved in the productions, it means two rotating casts and crews will each present seven performances and rehearse in separate halls in this trio of one-person shows.

“These smaller, more intimate shows allow us to be nimbler than we would be with larger productions,” says the Arts Club’s executive director Peter Cathie White. “This bubble method of alternating casts and crews is a brand-new way of producing theatre for the Arts Club, and we hope it will become a model for performances going forward as we continue to navigate our new normal.”

While the number of artists involved in the fall shows pales in comparison to those the Arts Club would produce in a typical year, over 30 freelance artists will create these shows, with some previously contracted to work on shows for the Arts Club’s original 2020–2021 season.

“The instability of the pandemic has had an enormous effect on Vancouver’s professional theatre artists. In addition to the financial impact, it took away their ability to do the work they’re passionate about,” says artistic director Ashlie Corcoran. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with these talented artists to create live theatre once again.”

The Arts Club’s fall season kicks off in late September with Nilaja Sun’s award-winning examination of arts education in public schools. Set in the underfunded Malcolm X High School in the Bronx, No Child… features a single actor portraying 16 characters to tell the story of a substitute drama teacher who refuses to give up on a group of at-risk students.

In October, the Granville Island stage gets its first performance since the pandemic lockdown with a production of Anosh Irani’s Buffoon. This tragicomedy follows the story of Felix the clown as he grows up, falls in love, and has his heartbroken at the circus. This year’s winner of the Dora Award for outstanding new play, it was originally part of the Arts Club’s 2018 ReACT: New Plays in Progress festival, which gave audiences a glimpse at plays in the early stages of development.

The holiday season will see a production of Ginna Hoben’s comedy, The Twelve Dates of Christmas. Inspired by Hoben’s own experience re-entering the dating world and a resolve to create more lead roles for women in holiday plays, it tells of Mary’s quest for love through a series of increasingly bad dates before ultimately finding love in an unexpected place.

“Though we were heartbroken over cancelling our original 2020–2021 season, we’re excited to begin producing theatre safely once again,” added Corcoran. “The Arts Club won’t be doing any big blockbusters this year, but we are still very much committed to bringing high-quality, inspiring theatre to our stages. These three small yet fierce shows are a testament to the resilience of the performing arts community during this time.”

Tickets for the Arts Club Theatre Company’s fall season are now available. Visit artsclub.com for more information.