While the exotic entertainment continues downstairs at Vancouver’s infamous Penthouse Night Club, art of a different kind is being created upstairs in the Tyrant Studios theatre.
First opened in May 2018, the 45-seat studio theatre, plus a lounge stage with a full-service bar will be the venues for a season of four plays, plus weekly live music and comedy shows during the company’s 2018-2019 season.
“This kind of ongoing programming is new for our company, but we’re having a blast and we’ve received a tremendous amount of support from the Vancouver music and comedy communities,” says co-artistic producer Daniel Deorksen. “Some top-notch acts are coming through. We’re excited to be able to provide performance space for them and it has been a very positive experience.”
Along with the weekly music and comedy, Seven Tyrants have programmed a season of four plays, with a mix of contemporary stories and adaptations of classics.
“We wanted to select plays that would tell terrifically entertaining and engaging stories, but also give us a chance to highlight the unique intimacy of our space,” says David Thomas Newham, the other half of the Seven Tyrants producing team. “Our new black-box studio theatre is only 45-seats, so it’s a small stage and the audience is seated very close to the action.”
Newham says the intimacy of the space will work well for plays like Samuel Beckett’s absurdist one-man play Krapp’s Last Tape, which opens the season for the company in October. The same, he says, is true for their second season offering, with Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning drama Doubt, which will run this November.
The season will continue in March 2018 with a new adaptation of one of a Shakespearean history plays.
“Camyar Chai’s revitalized version of Richard III will also remind our audiences of some of our earlier work, producing new adaptations of well-worn classics,” says Newham.
The fourth production is a remount of the company’s production of the Keith Huff drama that not only helped to open the new space earlier this year, but was also the winner of this year’s Jessie Award for outstanding sound design or original composition.
“We also felt that remounting our production of A Steady Rain would be a good choice since it did not get a full run last season and we wanted to share that work with more people,” he continues.
Calling it an exciting team for the company, the new space will allow Seven Tyrants an opportunity to present a larger number of shows than in the past.
“Our two stages allow us to bring together different styles of performance under one roof and offers something special to our audience base, a home for performing arts and live entertainment of all kinds,” says Newham. “Our audience can come watch a wonderful play like Krapp’s Last Tape and then afterwards head in to our lounge to catch Juno Award-winning jazz artists, or famous comedians doing standup comedy.”