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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Mean Girls meets Richard III in Arts Club’s Teenage Dick

The Arts Club Theatre Company presents Mike Lew's darkly comedic reimagining of Shakespeare's tale of power lust.

The teen comedy Mean Girls meets Shakespeare’s Richard III in Mike Lew’s Teenage Dick. A darkly comedic reimagining of Shakespeare’s tale of power lust, it plays the Newmont Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre from February 9 through March 5.

There’s something for everyone in this piece, whether you love Shakespeare or are a Tina Fey or John Hughes fan, there are so many Easter eggs to enjoy. – Ashlie Corcoran

Set at Roseland High School, Teenage Dick is the story of 17-year-old outsider Richard Gloucester, who is teased for his cerebral palsy and, oddly, his Shakespearean way of speaking. Making it his mission to get revenge in the only way possible, he runs for senior class president. But, as his determination to beat out the competition leads him down a terrifying path, Richard is faced with the ultimate decision between being feared or loved.

Taking a modern stance on disability, status, and perception, Teenage Dick is a darkly comedic reimagining of Richard III, which asks what is at stake when we let our ambitions take over.

“There’s something for everyone in this piece, whether you love Shakespeare or are a Tina Fey or John Hughes fan, there are so many Easter eggs to enjoy,” says director Ashlie Corcoran. “The play truly dazzles, delights, and with alacrity brings us to a shocking conclusion.”

The Arts Club will work with accessibility coordinator Amy Amantea on several events to complement their production of Teenage Dick, including Crip Cabaret: A Reclamation! on February 26. Hosted by Amantea, this one-night event will feature artists from the disability community showcasing their talent, plus a disability artists market in the Newmont Stage atrium, where local artists who live with various disabilities will exhibit their artwork. The market will also be held at select performances of Teenage Dick. The Arts Club will also present a relaxed performance on March 4, designed for those who might benefit from a more casual audience environment.

The Arts Club Theatre Company presents Teenage Dick, in collaboration with Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival and Realwheels Theatre, at the BMO Theatre Centre (162 West 1st Ave, Vancouver) from February 9–March 5. Visit artsclub.com for tickets and information.

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