TheatreOne celebrates 40 years with a spectacular new season of professional live performances.
Nanaimo’s very own professional theatre company, TheatreOne, is thrilled to announce our 40th Anniversary season. Founded in November 1983 as The Vancouver Island Shakespeare Festival Society, TheatreOne has brought over 250 professional productions to our community.
“As we approach our 40th anniversary season, with a new strategic plan in place, TheatreOne is excited to offer programs that build on the very best of our past professional theatre performances and that will engage with more diverse communities over the next forty years”, said Graham Pike, TheatreOne’s President of the Board of Directors.
The 2023/24 season kicks off with the first show in our Just Kidding for Kids’ series, Through My Eyes, by Quebec dance company Bouge De La on Sunday, November 26th at 2:00pm. This spectacular explosion of colour, shape, and movement will keep your young theatre lovers totally entranced. An ode to the power of imagination, Through My Eyes stimulates the child’s senses and brings us back to one of the loveliest things about childhood: a tireless capacity for wonder.
The Just Kidding for Kids’ series continues with two more great performances – Penny Pom Pom on Sunday, March 10th and a return of Dufflebag Theatre with their hilarious interactive retelling of Cinderella on April 13th.
The Penny Pom Pom show is an exciting multimedia experience for young kids full of music, storytelling, and magic. Penny is a colourful ball of energy who embodies creative confidence and artistic freedom. Kids will sing and dance along to her catchy and original guitar-driven music about magic, creativity, nature, animals, and the seasons.
Dufflebag Theatre returns to Nanaimo for a single performance of Cinderella with all the familiar characters including the lovely Cinderella, a flitting fairy godmother, an ugly stepmother, a dedicated messenger, and of course, the handsome prince making appearances in this family friendly interactive version of the much-loved story. In this refreshing adaptation of the classic fairy tale, DuffleBag Theatre invites audience members into the show to play the main parts!
All Just Kidding for Kids performances will be held at the Malaspina Theatre (Vancouver Island University). Tickets are available online through the TheatreOne website TheatreOne.ca .
The Mainstage Series Kicks off with a stunning new production of the Canadian classic musical Billy Bishop Goes to War. From feats of derring-do flying in the skies, to the horror of the trenches, through the halls of Buckingham Palace, to inside the human spirit, Billy Bishop Goes to War follows the incredible adventures of Canada’s greatest WWI flying ace. Damon Calderwood brings a fresh interpretation to one of Canada’s most enduring plays, making this musical full of humour, hellfire, and the boldness of an extraordinary career of this military hero. We join Billy Bishop as he reconciles the ecstasy of flying with the horrors of war. The show runs December 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, at the Malaspina Theatre.
In May, TheatreOne returns to our roots by producing the World Premiere performance of Jennifer Wynne Webber’s Wild Geese. TheatreOne initially workshopped the show in 2019 as part of our ongoing efforts to support local British Columbia playwrights. Wild Geese is a moving and uplifting play about learning to follow your heart, even when it feels like you might be on a wild goose chase, and learning to love, even when people change beyond recognition — yourself included. This heartfelt comedy will run May 15th to 18th at the Malaspina Theatre.
Tickets for the Mainstage series are available online through TheatreOne.ca
Finally, TheatreOne’s Emerging Voices series returns in the new year. Emerging Voices is an annual series of workshops and public readings of three new, original plays by local and regional playwrights. Participating playwrights benefit from dramaturgical support before, during and after the workshops and have the opportunity to engage with professional artists during the workshops. Ultimately their plays will be read before live audiences, and the playwrights will receive valuable feedback from actors and patrons.
Workshopped plays this year include Lily Chang’s Leila Roils the Seas (January 28th), Olivia Etey’s Woman Against Gravity (February 11th), and Brianna Bock’s Diving Bell (March 24th). The readings are by donation and will be held at 2:00 pm in The Port Theatre’s Harmac room.
David Mann, TheatreOne’s Artistic Director says “As we move into a new season, we are carrying forward our ongoing commitment to bringing the best in live performing arts – and especially theatre – to Nanaimo audiences of all ages. Whether produced locally or invited to our stage, our Just Kidding, Main Stage and Emerging Voices series are curated to bring artistic excellence to the community, to entertain, and to move hearts and minds.”
TheatreOne’s 40th anniversary season is generously supported by the City of Nanaimo, Mid Island Co op, and The Province of British Columbia.