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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Pacific Theatre celebrates 40 years with returning favourites and new shows in its 2023-2024 season

Pacific Theatre celebrates its milestone anniversary with the return to a full eight-show season.

Pacific Theatre celebrates its 40th anniversary in a 2023-2024 season that includes an experimental world premiere, returning work from long-time collaborators, and the Canadian premiere of a brand-new Broadway hit.

“40 years of Pacific gives us much to celebrate, including our return to a full eight-show season, the largest we’ve been able to produce in years,” says artistic director Kaitlin Williams. “I’m over the moon to offer a little something for everyone: returning PT favourites, world premieres, and shows straight from Broadway alongside a heaping dose of home-grown talent. Next season offers a striking variety of stories that expand PT’s tradition of thought-provoking and stirring work.”

The season opens with Tetsuro Shigematsu’s Empire Of The Son (Sep 29-Oct 21). Restaged and reimagined for Pacific’s unique alley stage, Shigematsu’s transcontinental memoir of family bonds and his relationship with his ailing father returns to Vancouver after a decade of critically acclaimed international touring.

For the holiday season, Ron Reed’s two-person staging of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe returns, helmed by 2018 director Sarah Rodgers and the seasonal song-and-story Christmas Presence (Dec 10-19) also returns.

2024 begins with the world premiere of Sunny Drake’s CHILD-ish (Feb 16-Mar 9), composed of verbatim text from interviews with kids offering insights on everything from the climate crisis to what should really go into a dating profile.

“I wanted to see what would happen if we listened to children more deeply,” says Drake. “Since adults are more likely to listen to each other, having adult actors speak children’s exact words makes us hear them differently. These kids transformed my life, I have no doubt their words will transform yours too.”

Nadleh Whut’en storyteller Cheryl Bear brings Indigenous storytelling traditions to the Pacific Theatre stage with The Way To The River (Mar 22-30), and the season will close out with the Canadian premiere of Samuel D. Hunter’s existential drama A Case For The Existence Of God (May 17-Jun 9), the story of two men’s parallel desires to build a secure foundation for their families as the world around them falls apart.

Other shows during the season include local indie-pop artist Amanda Sum, fresh off her Juno nomination (Oct 27 & 28), and banjo player Keith Alessi’s Tomatoes Tried To Kill Me, But Banjos Saved My Life (Apr 10-13).

The season will also include the third annual New Roots Festival in June 2024, a three-day event featuring fresh work in progress by Pacific Theatre artists.

For more information and tickets, visit pacifictheatre.org.

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