news | Monday March 12, 2012

Chalk It Up to City Hall!

(photo courtesy of Phylicia Torrevillas)

Lucia Frangione protested the closure of Vancouver Playhouse Theatre in a novel way – writing out her new play in chalk all the way from the doomed theatre to city hall.

“The loss of the Vancouver Playhouse means the loss of forty nine years of Vancouver history… it also means the removal of one of the few ‘A’ Houses in Canada, producing, co-producing and supporting significant and varied new Canadian plays and creations.” she said.

Frangione also points out that the Vancouver Playhouse “donates resources, rehearsal space and manpower, giving exposure to virtually every single independent theatre company in the city doing new Canadian plays. They also support the development of new writers through Solo Collective’s emerging artist contest.”

Adding voice to the protest, playwright Morris Panych told the Vancouver Sun “It’s a huge loss and I don’t think it should happen. I think somebody should get their act together.”

Panych also noted that the loss would hurt more than the fifteen staff members and two hundred artists on contract who will lose their jobs. “The reason you go to cities is because it’s a cultural experience,” he noted, “yes, there’s football and hockey games but one of the best things about being in a city is the cultural experiences and a big part of that cultural experience is a place like the Playhouse Theatre.”

Recent successes at the Playhouse include: Hunchback conceived by Jonathan Christenson and Bretta Gerecke; The Trespassers by Morris Panych; Studies In Motion by Kevin Kerr; and, The Drowsy Chaperone by Bob Martin, Don McKellar, Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison.

The Company also world premiered some of Canada’s international successes that are still being performed today, from The Ecstasy Of Rita Joe by George Ryga in 1967, to The Overcoat by Morris Panych and Wendy Gorling originally produced in 1997. Frangione’s lastest play, Diamond Willow, was in development at the Playhouse when it closed.