Vancouver Wrecking Ball participant update!

Further to Monday’s post on the Vancouver edition of the upcoming Canada-wide Wrecking Ball political theatre cabaret, the Alliance for Arts and Culture have listed the complete docket of talent for the night, and it sounds phenomenal.

The writers involved are Vancouver playwright Lucia Frangioni (Espresso), Canadian theatre giant Judith Thompson (The Crackwalker, Lion in the Streets), local author Michael Turner (Hard Core Logo) and media personality Bill Richardson. They will create “brief, explosive plays about the election: the candidates, their policies, and the controversies”. Each of these new works will be written within a week of the Wrecking Ball, to ensure their topicality.

The Ball will be directed by The Electric Company’s Kim Collier and Jonathon Young, and Lyric Stage Project’s Michèle Lonsdale Smith (Jonathon and Michèle are both onstage right now in the Arts Club’s production of Doubt), among others. Music will be provided by local punk icon Joey “Shithead” Keithley of D.O.A. and host John Mann of The Spirit of the West. Featured actors will be “a luminous cross-section of talent from Vancouver’s theatre, film and television communities”.

Sounds like an awesome night even if it wasn’t politically motivated. Admission to the event is free. Donations will be taken at the door for The Department of Culture, a brand new initiative whose purpose is to challenge the political parties on funding for the arts. For more info, visit The event is on Monday, October 6th at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. Be there from 7:00-8:30 pm to hear representatives from each Federal Party debate the arts, and stay for The Wrecking Ball election cabaret from 9:00-10:30 pm.

The Wrecking Ball rolls across Canada

Toronto political theatre series The Wrecking Ball has just announced a country-wide series of brand new political theatre to support the efforts of The Department of Culture. Running all on the same day – October 6 – across Canadian cities coast to coast, the series will be comprised of staged readings of new works by several outstanding Canadian playwrights, all written for this series in accord with the mandates of the Wrecking Ball concept: that all work must be based on current world events and written in one week, with time allotted for brief rehearsals.

The Vancouver version will be held at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage at 1250 Granville, Tickets go on sale at 6:00pm and the show starts at 9:00 pm, following an All-Party Forum and Press Conference which begins at 7pm. Hosted by Spirit of the West singer John Mann, and featuring new work by Lucia Frangioni and Judith Thompson, among others.

In Victoria, the box office of the Belfry opens at 7 pm, the show starts at 8, featuring work by Judith Thompson and Dennis Eberts, Neworld Theatre founding member Marcus Youseff has been tapped to come on board as a director.

The Wrecking Ball was founded in Toronto in November 2004 to “address a nagging imbalance: too much theatre in our politics, not enough politics in our theatre”. Past WB playwrights include Jason Sherman, Judith Thompson, Karen Hines, Norm Foster, David Young, Michael Healey, Morwyn Brebner, Daniel MacIvor, Hannah Moscovitch, Andrew Moodie, Morris Panych, d’bi.young.

Each performance is Pay-What-You-Can, with proceeds going to The Department of Culture.

Update from Peter Boychuk at the Alliance for Arts and Culture: We’re taking questions for the forum. To submit, email me directly at Please keep them simple and be specific.