David Adams and Sereana Malani reprise their roles in Valley Song in collaboration with Gateway Theatre. Photo by David Cooper.
David Adams and Sereana Malani reprise their roles in Valley Song in collaboration with Gateway Theatre. Photo by David Cooper.

Pacific Theatre, Vancouver’s faith-based professional theatre company, announced its 2016/2017 season that includes three new plays written by local playwrights, and collaborations with other Vancouver area theatre companies.

“A few seasons back we decided to focus on new play development, which had been an important part of Pacific Theatre’s history but neglected for a while,” says artistic director Ron Reed. “It’s incredibly gratifying to be announcing three new works for 2016-2017.”

Partnering with other local companies has also been a mainstay of Pacific Theatre’s work. This season the company partners with Vancouver’s Classic Chic Productions for David Mann’s Shakespeare/Godfather mash-up, and with Richmond’s Gateway Theatre for their production of Athol Fugard’s Valley Song.

“I’ve wanted Corleone on our stage since seeing it fifteen years ago, and Classic Chic’s track record with Shakespeare and the movies made this a natural fit,” says Reed. “And our audiences love Athol Fugard, so when I saw the Richmond Gateway’s beautiful and moving production of Valley Song I knew it was a perfect successor to Playland and Master Harold and the Boys.

Opening the season is the first of the premieres, Cara Norrish’s A Good Way Out (Sept 23-Oct 15). Directed by Anthony F. Ingram, the play tells the story of a hardworking mechanic trying to support his family who saw joining a biker gang as his only option. Now that things have changed he’s looking for choices that no longer exist.

Next up is playwright Maki Yi’s Suitcase Stories (Oct. 28-Nov 12), the story of a young woman who  leaves her home in Korea to experience home in Canada.

Longtime Pacific Theatre collaborator Lucia Frangione returns with the premiere of her Holy Mo: A Christmas Show (Dec 2-31). A sequel to past Holy Mo shows, it is described as a reverently irreverent re-imagining of the nativity story, told with gusto and a varying commitment to accuracy by three female clowns.

The year ends with Pacific Theatre’s annual holiday tradition with the gathering of musicians and actors in Christmas Presence (Dec 4-6, 11-13) for a night of music, stories, poems, and readings for the holiday season.

To start the new year, Pacific Theatre partners with Classic Chic Productions for David Mann’s Corleone (Feb 3-25), for an all-female take on the classic mob story, as if The Godfather was written by Shakespeare.

In March, Pacific Theatre and Richmond’s Gateway Theatre come together to present Athol Fugard’s post-apartheid Valley Song (Mar 24-Apr 8). The season comes to an end with a production of John Patrick Shanley’s softhearted romantic comedy, Outside Mullingar (May 19-June 10).

In addition to its mainstage shows, Pacific Theatre will also present another new work, Testament (April 12-15),  and the return of Sideshow (March 10 & 11) as part of its Artistic Director’s series.

The 2016/2017 Pacific Theatre season gets underway in September. Visit http://pacifictheatre.org for tickets and information.