Atomic Vaudeville in Vancouver for this weekend only!

For the uninitiated, Atomic Vaudeville is a Victoria institution, putting on monthly plays consisting of “short-form mélange of theatre, music, song, dance, puppetry and sketch”. Co-creators Britt Small (read her Next Stage interview here) and Jacob Richmond have carved out a rabidly popular entertainment alternative in their home town, and this weekend they’re bringing it to the Anza Club on Friday and Saturday night. Should be a riot.

Tickets are $15 for students and $18 regular available at the door or reserve through email:

Click here to reserve tickets

“This guy is going to be a star”

Checked out Zee Zee Theatre‘s Nelly Boy at the PAL tonight in Coal Harbour. Local Playwright Dave Deveau’s new play discussing the marginalization of non-specific gender identity, it’s an intimate and language-driven work that spotlights the work of an actor about whom Colin Thomas writes in the opening line of his review:

Remember the name Amitai Marmorstein. This guy is going to be a star.

We talk a lot about what the next generation of Vancouver theatre is going to look like, and Nelly Boy indeed offers a chance to watch the work of a burgeoning professional. The kind you hope is going to sink his teeth into the industry here and not let go. Just listen to the way seasoned co-star Allan Zynik talks about him in their Video Listing…

Nelly Boy runs until this Sunday. Click here for full details on this production.

Couldn’t say it better myself

The problem with being a producer marketing a show is the feeling that everyone is kind of putting up with your patter. Like there’s a certain “of course you’re going to tell me it’s good, that’s your job” chorus playing behind the constant sales pitch of our social marketing efforts. Hopefully we’re good enough and human enough to push through that. But for Gift of Screws I thought that maybe I could get some non-sales types to help me out a little with the marketing.

So here we begin a little series giving the spotlight to the really interesting people in the production: the artists. I think the sacred mystery of what goes on behind the scenes in theatre is just plain boring, so I’m asking the crew to share some of their process with you, to hopefully offer you something besides the usual party line.

I’m honoured to introduce you to Mr. Shane Michael Leydon, one of the cast members of Muzzle of Bees and the very model of a modern artist-in-process, as he talks about working with the company, his character, the plays, his instrument and in theatre…

Theatre party alert!


Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love


A Killer of A Good Time

Day: Wednesday August 19th, 2009, 7pm

Location: Roxy Burger, 910 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC

Tickets are $10 which includes 1 free drink (approx value of $5) plus if you hold onto the hard copy of your ticket and show it at the box office during the run of the show you will get $5 off the price of admission.

So, basically it’s free. Everyone loves free stuff, right?!

All proceeds go directly to covering the cost of this production.

There will be a 50/50 draw and lots of raffle prizes. Plus we will be having a special presentation at 10pm.

What is it?! You’ll just have to show up to find out what it is…


Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love was immediately controversial for its violence, nudity, frank dialogue and sexual explicitness. But it was quickly acclaimed by critics and audiences and was named one of the 10 best plays of the year by TIME Magazine. Since then the play has been produced worldwide, translated into multiple languages and received many awards. David McMillan is a former actor, current waiter on the verge of turning thirty. Together with his book-reviewing roommate, Candy, and his best friend, Bernie, David encounters a number of seductive strangers in his search for love and sex. However, the games turn ugly when it appears a serial killer lurks among them. A compelling study of young adults groping for meaning in a senseless world Brad Fraser’s Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love will run this summer from August 25th – September 6, 2009 at the Playwrights Theatre Centre on Granville Island.

Twenty-Something Theatre is dedicated to providing Vancouver’s emerging theatre artists, in all disciplines, with opportunities to practice their craft. We are striving to enhance Vancouver’s theatre community with life-affirming, socially-relevant productions featuring the city’s best up-and-coming artists. Entering into our fourth year of production our annual summer production has included such highly acclaimed works as Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth, Neil Labute’s The Shape of Things and Eric Bogosian’s SubUrbia.

Kick-starting your Social Marketing program

A year and a half ago I met a firecracker of a theatre publicist. Her name was Rebecca Coleman. Still is, actually.

She was, at the time, busy making a name for herself in the independent arts scene here in Vancouver. A trained actor, a theatre geek, and a single mom, she was springboarding off of her passion in order to generate a steady income to raise young Michael. And, being a workaholic, she was doing just fine at it. Better than fine, actually, she was crushing it. She was attacking her new career with a voracity that you couldn’t help but notice.

I sure couldn’t anyway, because she called me up one day and said “hey, what’s this blogging thing that you’re into all about?”.

I said oh, you know, you just get to self-publish ideas and thoughts and, well, get your stuff out there, you know?

She said “cool, I want to try it. Can I write on your site?”

Instantly detecting the scent of less work in the air I said “hell yeah. Give ‘er.” Thus began one of the more popular features of this here magazine, the Art of the Business series by Rebecca Coleman.

Turned out she was really good at it. So good in fact, that the Art of the Biz – eventually and inevitably – spun off into its own home on the internets, where it flourishes to this day. And Rebecca, well, she continued deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of Social Media, discovering its secrets and realizing its highly potent applications as a marketing weapon, and using various platforms and philosophies to great success in her own business to the increasing benefit of her clients, of which she has too many today to even talk to me. (That last part was a lie. We actually have a burgeoning business giving Social Marketing seminars, workshops and private coachings together. It’s a good thing we get along so well, and that we both have great big senses of humour.)

Now that she has popped out of the other end of that rabbit hole, she has gone ahead and assembled her collected gleanings and wisdoms into a handy Guide to Getting Started With Social Media for Artists and Arts Organizations. It went on sale over at her website at midnight last night, for an introductory offer of $19.95. It’s a simple and well-organized handbook to help you cut through the noise and weirdness of the jungle that is the new way to market. This is a jungle that all businesses, from huge multi-level corporations on down to our little indie theatre troupes have to learn to navigate now. This book is a wonderful resource, and you’re in good hands with Bex as your tour guide.

Click the cover below for more information, and to purchase a copy to call your very own:


A how not-to guide to publicity photos


I stumbled across this little gem of a blog yesterday, and put out a twitter link to it that instantly became my most wide-spread Re-tweet to date. It’s an aggregation of the very worst in theatre production stills culled from the wilds of the internets, and manages to be heart-wrenchingly sad and murderously funny all at the same time.

It also includes fun activities for the kids, like this production still drinking game…

– Take a shot of Southern Comfort if there’s Equity leads in the foreground somehow oblivious to some minor character emoting real hard at them…while standing only three feet behind them.

-Take a shot of Vermouth if a child actor is being used more…more like a prop than anything else, by the looks of it.

– Take a shot of Cognac if that family looks like maybe, maybe it’s finally Coming-To-Terms with that thing that happened 17 years ago this Christmas.

You’d better believe I scrolled through these in dread of finding the ghost of some old production past in there…enjoy!

PS: Rebecca’s got a great post about the art of the production still over at Art of the Biz….