A Kay Meek Arts Centre
Play Series Presentation
VIMY By Vern Thiessen
November 2 / 7:30pm & November 3 / 3:00pm, 2018
“Gritty, personal and complex”—NOW Magazine
“A victory of a play”—The Globe and Mail
Kay Meek Arts Centre’s 2018-19 season continues with Vern Thiessen’s Vimy—a striking drama about the devastating aftermath of the Vimy Ridge offensive—playing November 2-3 at the Grosvenor Theatre (1700 Mathers Ave, West Vancouver). Produced by Western Canada Theatre and directed by James MacDonald, this production pays tribute to the upcoming centennial, marking the end of World War I.
Set in a field hospital, four Canadian soldiers are recovering after the battle at Vimy Ridge under the care of a nurse. Its historical significance—as the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought together—is demonstrated in character form. The divisions are represented by Sid (Nathan Carroll) from Manitoba and Will (Jacob Woike) from Ontario, labourers who met constructing the Winnipeg Aqueduct. A Québécois butcher from Montreal, Jean-Paul (Mark Ford) and Mike (Christopher Mejaki), a scout from Kainai Nation in Alberta, are all cared for by Clare (Lucy McNulty), a nurse from Nova Scotia. As the soldiers battle with memories from the front, the young nurse tends to their wounds, both obvious and concealed, and her own reminiscences of her fiancé Laurie (Gaelan Beatty), a Highlander who also fought on the ridge.
Delving into patriotism and PTSD, memory and multiculturalism—Thiessen based his play on the journals of World War I soldiers—shifting back and forth in time through the recollections of the soldiers on what they witnessed, both in the trenches and at home.
Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Vern Thiessen’s works have been seen across Canada, the US, Asia and Europe, and include Einstein’s Gift, Blowfish, Lenin’s Embalmers, Bird Brain, The Resurrection of John Frum and Vimy which was written for the 90th anniversary of the battle. Three of his plays have premiered Off-Broadway, and both Shakespeare’s Will and Apple have had over 60 productions worldwide.
Western Canada Theatre’s Artistic Director, James MacDonald reprises his role from directing the highly praised premiere of Vimy in 2007. He has also directed for the Stratford Festival, the Shaw Festival, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre. He has been involved in the development of over 30 new plays including Miss Shakespeare, The Myth of Summer and Chelsea Hotel.
Gaelan Beatty (Laurie), Nathan Carroll (Sid), Mark Ford (Jean-Paul (JP) / Bert), Lucy McNulty (Clare), Christopher Mejaki (Mike / Claude), Jacob Woike (Will)
James MacDonald (Director), Narda McCarroll (Set and Lighting Designer, Original Production Co-Designer), Bretta Gerecke (Original Production Co-Designer), Cindy Wiebe (Associate Costume Designer), Lukas Vanderlip (Sound Designer), Skylar Nakazawa (Stage Manager), Lisa Dalmazzi (Assistant Stage Manager)
Online: www.kaymeek.com | Call: | In person: Mon-Fri / 1-6pm Tickets from $29
ABOUT KAY MEEK ARTS CENTRE
Kay Meek Arts Centre is a professional arts venue offering world-class arts experiences and opportunities for the communities of the North Shore, and is central to its vibrant cultural fabric. Presenting more than 300 performances, to over 60,000 people every year the Kay Meek Arts Centre provides a space for artistic excellence for professional artists, youth and community groups.
Theatre Sponsor: Grosvenor
Season Sponsor: Mailey Rogers Group: Scotia Wealth Management
Play Series Sponsor: Odlum Brown Limited
Vimy Performance Sponsor Chapman Land Surveying Ltd.
Media Sponsors: North Shore News, WestVancouver.com
Public Partners: Province of British Columbia: British Columbia Arts Council; West Vancouver Schools; West Vancouver Memorial Library; BC Touring