Tear the Curtain!Front Cover

ISBN: 9780889229044 | Paperback

160 pages | Pub. Date: 20141111
6 W × 9 H × .5 D inches
Backlist | Drama | Bisac: DRA013000
Rights: WORLD

In this psychological thriller set in a fictionalized 1930s Vancouver, Alex Braithewaite, a troubled but passionate theatre critic, believes he has found the legendary Stanley Lee, director of the infamous avant-garde theatre The Empty Space. Alex becomes convinced that this man’s radically subversive ideas are what the city’s arts community needs to shatter audience complacency. In his pursuit of the truth behind Stanley Lee’s mysterious disappearance and his artistic ideas, Alex becomes caught between the warring factions of two prominent mob families – one controlling the city’s playhouses, the other its cinemas, but both ensnared by the Empty Space Society. At the dawn of the Talkies, can Alex tear through the artifice of these art forms in time to save the city’s art community from ripping itself apart?


The play’s collaborators found inspiration within the walls of Vancouver’s Stanley Theatre, a space that has a dual history as a cinema and vaudeville house. Fittingly, this gritty film-noir production became an exploration of the two kinds of art and how they affect the audience. Tear the Curtain! explores global issues that consider what we want from art: to be shocked and surprised or for order to be restored.


Cast of 2 women and 8 men.

"stylish" "a rich pastiche" – Toronto Sun

"a fascinating puzzle of a production" – NOW Magazine

"prophetic" "stunning" – National Post

By Kevin Kerr

Kevin Kerr is playwright and founding member of Vancouver’s Electric Company Theatre. In 2002 he received the Governor General’s Literary Award for his play Unity (1918), which has been produced across Canada as well as in the United States and Australia. Other works include Studies in Motion (Electric Company Theatre) and Skydive (Realwheels). Kevin was Lee Playwright in Residence at the University of Alberta in Edmonton from 2007 to 2010. He returned to Electric Company Theatre in 2011 as Artistic Director.

Read more about Kevin Kerr


By Jonathon Young

Jonathon Young co-authored the play Tear the Curtain! with Kevin Kerr and Kim Collier.

Read more about Jonathon Young


With Kim Collier

Kim Collier has co-authored seven original plays with Electric Company Theatre. In 2010 she was awarded the prestigious Siminovitch Prize in Theatre for directing. She is currently resident artist at Canadian Stage in Toronto.

Read more about Kim Collier


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news | 2014-11-28
Cue the Arrival of Tear the Curtain!

Tear the Curtain! , a psychological thriller set in a fictionalized …


news | 2014-07-23
Our Fall 2014 Lineup!

…of Sweden, a feminist before her time ($17.95). Tear the Curtain! , a psychological thriller set in 1930’s …


news | 2011-06-30
Kudos to the Winners of 2011 Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards!

…the following award recipients: The Arts Club’s Tear the Curtain! (produced in association with Electric Company …


news | 2010-11-02
Electric Company's Bright Lights

…together the scintillating theatre experience Tear the Curtain! at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage in …


news | 2010-10-04
Kim Collier Short-listed for Siminovitch Prize

…has created and directed the innovative feature Tear the Curtain! with Jonathon Young and Kevin Kerr. …


news | 2010-08-18
Tear the Curtain!

Tear the Curtain! has been custom built for the Arts Club Stanley … will run from September 9 to October 10. Visit Tear the Curtain! for more information. …