Ashlie Corcoran, who was raised in White Rock, is the new artistic director of the Arts Club Theatre Company. (submitted photo)

Arts Club to bring ‘The Piano Teacher,’ ‘Blind Date’ and ‘Circle Game’ to Surrey next season

Theatre company’s new White Rock-raised artistic director detailed coming plays on Monday

Surrey audiences will see productions of The Piano Teacher, Blind Date and Circle Game as part of the next Arts Club Theatre Company season, which starts this fall.

The company’s new artistic director, White Rock-raised Ashlie Corcoran, announced its 55th season at a media event Monday (Feb. 5) at BMO Theatre Centre in Vancouver.

Taking over from local theatre icon Bill Millerd, Corcoran said she aimed for eclectic programming in 2018-19 that celebrates local talent, offers opportunities for emerging artists and strengthens diversity.

“I’ve curated 11 plays by Canadians, 11 by women, seven by B.C. artists, and four by artists of colour or Indigenous artists,” she said.

• READ MORE: White Rock’s Ashlie Corcoran has been appointed artistic director for Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre, from July 2017.

The company’s next season will open at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a Simon Stephens play adapted from the novel by Mark Haddon.

Stated Corcoran: “The original production I saw in London was one of the most compelling pieces of theatre I had ever seen. The script calls for a unique blend of theatricality—from intricate feats of technical design to low-tech corporeal storytelling by the actors. This combination creates theatrical magic, and is a form of theatre that I believe our audiences will delight in.”

The five other shows coming to the Stanley are Sweat (“a working-class drama and 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner” by Lynn Nottage), a remount of Millerd’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the Thornton Wilder comedy The Matchmaker, (“Mix-ups and match-ups in a classic farce”), The Orchard (After Chekhov) (“Set in the Okanagan Valley, a Canadian take on a timeless family drama,” by Sarena Parmar) and Matilda the Musical (“The imaginative hit musical based on the Roald Dahl story”).

The Arts Club has long presented touring productions at Surrey Arts Centre’s main stage, and next season’s offerings are a remount of Dorothy Dittrich’s The Piano Teacher (subtitled “Lessons on life and love,” touring the region from Oct. 4 to Nov. 16), Spontaneous Theatre’s Blind Date (“One actor. One audience member. One blind date,” touring from Jan. 4 to Feb. 8), and the Andrew Cohen/Anna Kuman creation Circle Game (“Reimagining the work of Joni Mitchell,” touring from Feb. 15 to March 30).

The company’s Granville Island stage will be busy next season with Mustard (“an unconventional comedy about growing up,” by Kat Sandler), Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (“The festive Pride and Prejudice follow-up,” by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon), The Shoplifters (“a hilariously biting story about society’s haves and have-nots,” by Morris Panych), Bed and Breakfast (“a charming comedy about coming home and coming out, by Mark Crawford) and Mom’s the Word: Nest ½ Empty (“a new generation of laughs, by Mom’s the Word Collective).

Elsewhere, the Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre will feature Blind Date (the Rebecca Northan play also on tour), True Crime (“a genre-mixing examination of a con man,” by Torquil Campbell and Chris Abraham), Redpatch (“a historical drama about a young Métis soldier,” by Raes Calvert and Sean Harris Oliver) and The Great Leap (“A theatrically athletic feat,” by Lauren Yee).



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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