Ashlie Corcoran, who was born and raised in White Rock, is in her second year as artistic director of the Arts Club Theatre Company. (submitted photo)

Surrey stage for ‘Kim’s Convenience’ and two other Arts Club theatre shows next season

‘Bed & Breakfast’ and ‘The Shoplifters’ also on tour, White Rock-raised Corcoran annnounces

A trio of Arts Club Theatre Company productions – Bed & Breakfast, The Shoplifters and Kim’s Convenience – will tour to Surrey Arts Centre next season.

The shows are among several announced by the Vancouver-based company during a media event Tuesday morning (Feb. 5).

Second-year artistic director Ashlie Corcoran, born and raised in White Rock, announced the company’s 56th season, one she calls “a carefully curated mix of what Arts Club audiences love: great storytelling and fantastic theatricality.”

She aims to offer “eclectic programming that sparks a connection with the audience,” Corcoran said in a release, “and to create theatre that celebrates local talent, emerging artists, and diversity, through this season and beyond.”

• RELEATED STORY: Arts Club’s Corcoran has waited a long time to direct Thornton Wilder’s ‘The Matchmaker’

The company’s three touring shows next season include a Corcoran-directed production of Mark Crawford’s Bed & Breakfast (“A charming comedy about being out and finding home”), with Surrey dates, among others, planned this fall.

Touring in early 2020 will be Morris Panych’s The Shoplifters (“comic mishaps for society’s haves and have-nots”), followed by a Kaitlin Williams-directed production of Ins Choi’s Kim’s Convenience (“the wildly popular, award-winning play, now a CBC TV series”).

The Arts Club’s 2019-2020 season will open at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage with a co-production with Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre: A Thousand Splendid Suns, “the hauntingly beautiful play by Ursula Rani Sarma based on the best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini.”

Four other shows are programmed for the Stanley, including Noises Off, the play-within-a-play that was revived twice on Broadway, and Carried Away on the Crest of a Wave, the Governor General’s Award–winning play about the cataclysmic 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. The winter musical and summer musical at the Stanley will be announced in the spring, as per their licensing agreements.

Among other shows, Corcoran announced the Arts Club’s new Silver Commission, Mom’s the Word 4, the latest instalment from the B.C.-based Mom’s the Word Collective.

The Arts Club has also partnered with Theatre Calgary to co-commission Hiro Kanagawa’s stage adaptation of Forgiveness, Mark Sakamoto’s family memoir of the Second World War. The book won the Canada Reads competition last year, and is currently being developed into a TV miniseries. Kanagawa is a Governor General’s Award–winning playwright from B.C.

Arts Club Theatre Company, founded in 1964, is currently led by Corcoran and executive director Peter Cathie White.

More details can be found at artsclub.com.

Starting Feb. 20, the company closes its current season of plays at Surrey Arts Centre with a production of Circle Game, based on the music and life of Candian folk-music icon Joni Mitchell. For details, call 604-501-5566 or visit tickets.surrey.ca.

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