Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women

September 10 – September 14, 2018

False Creek Gym, 1318 Cartwright Street (Granville Island);
admission by donation.

Dr. Suvendini Lena

Playwright Suvendrini Lena

Loretta Seto

Playwright Loretta Seto

Natalie Meisner

Playwright Natalie Meisner

Ruby Slippers Theatre in partnership with the Vancouver Fringe Festival and Playwrights Guild of Canada present Advance Theatre: New Works by Diverse Women. Five new plays by female-identifying playwrights will receive public readings in an exciting collaboration between some of Vancouver’s finest theatre artists. According to a national study, women account for less than a third of artistic directors, working directors, and produced playwrights in professional Canadian theatre. We aim to change that.

Curated by Ruby Slippers Theatre with priority given to diversity, the plays include: Gametes by Rebecca Deraspe, translated and directed by Leanna Brodie on September 10; The Ones We Leave Behind by Loretta Seto, directed by Donna Yamamota on September 11; Rubble by Suvendrini Lena, directed by Mindy Parfitt on September 12; While You Sleep by Kai Taddei, directed by Karin Saari on September 13; and Speed Dating for Sperm Donors by Natalie Meisner, directed by Jan Derbyshire on September 14.

Our definition of female includes trans women, non-binary, and gender queer individuals on the femme spectrum. Our definition of diversity includes cultural background, age, sexual orientation, and physical/mental ability.

Les Belles-Soeurs

September 28, 2018 – October 6, 2018

Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Street, Richmond, BC

RST’s production of Les Belles-soeurs is deeply grateful to the UBC Department of Theatre and Film and everyone who was involved in Diane Brown’s thesis production of Les Belles-soeurs there. Particular sincere thanks and acknowledgment go to set designers Nikolai Kuchin and Sarah Sako, architect and design team, who were a significant part of the inspiration behind the iteration realized at The Gateway.


Photo of Melissa Oei, France Perras and Agnes Tong by David Cooper.

“…Tremblay’s most popular and widely translated play. Almost 50 years later, the text still fells incendiary and its subject matter ground-breaking.”

-The Georgia Straight

Ruby Slippers Theatre is thrilled to announce their professional English-language West Coast premiere production of Les Belles-soeurs by Michel Tremblay, translated by John Van Burek and Bill Glassco, produced in association with The Gateway Theatre.

Les Belles-soeurs premiered 50 years ago at the Théâtre du Rideau Vert in Montreal and Canadian theatre has never been the same since. Hugely controversial and ground-breaking in both style and content, Tremblay dared to put 15 women onstage; working-class women talking about their working-class lives on upper-middle-class stages. He also dared to expose not only the hypocrisy he perceived within the Catholic Church but also the working poor carnage of our Canadian capitalist culture; its racism, hypocrisy, ageism, and misogyny. The play stands today as one of the most powerful and most relevant Canadian plays, and Michel Tremblay’s most popular.

The play was translated into English in 1973 and was produced across Canada, the first Quebec play ever to receive that level of recognition. It has been translated into 34 languages, engaging audiences around the world, but this production marks the first professional English-language production in Metro Vancouver.

Directed by Diane Brown, this incendiary production of an iconic Canadian play brings fifteen of Vancouver’s finest actors together onstage:

Patti Allan, Daria Banu, Eileen Barrett, Lucia Frangione, Emilie Leclerc, Melissa Oei, Pippa Mackie, France Perras, Sarah May Redmond, Sarah Rodgers, Kerry Sandomirksy, Ariel Slack, Agnes Tong, Tallulah Winkelman, and Beatrice Zeilinger.

With set design by Drew Facey, lighting design by John Webber, sound design by Mishelle Cuttler, costumes designed by Ellen Gu, stage managed by Lois Dawson, assistant stage manager Liz King.

Les Belles-soeurs is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter program. With this $35M investment, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada

Critic Reviews

“Diane Brown’s scathing, very funny and imaginative Ruby Slippers Theatre production features strong performances from a wonderful ensemble of women…” – The Vancouver Sun

“Director Diane Brown and her cast of 15 do a terrific job” – The Georgia Straight

“The cast is superb; the direction, by Diane Brown, spot on.” – Entertainment Vancouver

“Ruby Slippers pulls off what Tremblay wanted with panache and delight and relevance…” – Broken Leg Reviews

“The cast is exceptional” – Theatre addicts

“You know this is a winner when you realize you really care about each of those women.” – Entertainment Vancouver

Marine Life

March 14 – Preview, 

March 15, 2019 – March 23, 2019

Showtimes: Tues @ 7pm | Wed – Fri @ 8pm | Sat @ 3pm & 8pm | Sun @ 3pm | Wed @ 1pm PWYC (Mar 20)

Friday March 22 is a talkback night with the playwright after the performance.

Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC

Marine Life | Ruby Slippers Theatre

Image of Christine Quintana and beluga whale by Erin Gleig.

Next up, Ruby Slippers Theatre is proud to produce the Western Canadian premiere production of Marine Life by Rosa Laborde in association with the Firehall Arts Centre.

The story revolves around an environmental activist who falls in love with her opposite, while her co-dependent brother spirals into chaotic self-destruction and does everything he can to push the lovers apart. This smart new play asks us whether our failings at human intimacy are inextricably linked to our failure to protect our planet. Incorporating magic realism, humour and live music, Marine Life explores themes of environmentalism, creativity, mental illness and personal responsibility in a delicately dark romantic comedy, set against a backdrop of apocalyptic proportions.

Directed by Diane Brown and featuring Sebastien Archibald, Christine Quintana, and Alen Dominguez. Technical Direction by Kougar Basi. Musical Director Jeff Gladstone. Set design by Drew Facey, Lighting design by John Webber, Sound design by Malcolm Dow, Video design by Jordan Watkins and Ryan McDonald, costume design by Jessica Oostergo, stage managed by Susan Miyagishima, assistant stage manager Heather Barr.

Audience Reviews:

“Thought provoking and absorbing and so well executed”

“Excellent acting and directing.”

“Amazing work by everyone involved.”

“Very unique and captivating show. Wonderful to see something tackling a large scale issue with grace and heart.”

“Loved it!”

“What a great show. Great message. Great visual design.”

Critic Reviews:

“A wonderfully strange comedy-drama and a necessary wake-up call. Marine Life is an excellent case study in proving that a play centered around environmental activism can be as funny and charming as it is informative.” – Issie Patterson, Prism Magazine

“Marine Life is so beautiful”…“Terrific performances”…“Sensitive direction” – Jo Ledingham, Theatre Reviews

“Diane Brown’s handsome production made me laugh a lot.” – Jerry Wasserman, Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Plays

View our Past Seasons of Ruby Slippers Theatre, a Vancouver-based Theatre Company

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