• Kyra Zagorski, Vincent Tong, and Jemma Isaac rehearse Burning Up the Infield: The 1974 Frasers
  • Sean Allan, George Ryan, Damon Calderwood, and Dora Brooks in Stump City Stories

Thursday, DECEMBER 19,  2019, 7 - 9 pm at the ANVIL CENTRE
Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Back by popular demand! Our audience-inclusive, family-friendly, and joyfully interactive reading of the classic Christmas ghost story--lead by veteran actor-musician Dave Clothier as “Scrooge”--was a hit last year at the Anvil Centre--and returns again in 2019 with (jingle) bells on. 
Read a role, throw a snowball, join the Christmas sing-along, don a Dickensian costume piece--or just sit back and enjoy the fun! Featured cash bar "sip": "Smoking Bishop"--a warmly spiced wine loved by Dickens. Free cocoa and goodies for kids.
Free, all ages. Register here or call 604 527 4640. 

Right: Dave Clothier returns as "Scrooge" Dec. 19 at the Anvil. 

Our sold-out 2019 
Censored! Forbidden Classics of the Wicked Stage 
reading series looked at 3 banned classics spanning 2300 years of history, all addressing still-controversial themes of women's sexual and financial agency. At "Sips 'n Scripts", audiences can sit back and enjoy the readings, with specialty 'sips' from the Anvil cash bar--or participate more actively by reading supporting roles with City Stage New West's rehearsed professional actors, or adding sound effects, or taking part in intermission activities. Post-reading talk-backs with experts and artists discuss the plays, their impact, and their censorship. A fun, provocative night out!  

Read about the impetus for the series in The RecordMore details on https://www.facebook.com/citystagenewwest/

Audiences loved our Censored! Forbidden Classics readings and events this year (2019):

MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION, by George Bernard Shaw, was performed October 11 at the Anvil Centre. Directed by Marisa Emma Smith, this reading reunited most of Alley Theatre 's stellar 2014 cast: Linda Quibell* (Mrs. Warren), Melissa Oei*Tom Pickett*, Eric Keenleyside*, and Daniel Arnold*, with Patrick Sabongui.* *Participation of these Artists arranged by permission of Canadian Actors' Equity Association under provision of the Dance Opera Theatre Policy (DOT).
A daughter, learning that her estranged, wealthy mother funded her privileged education through prostitution, is thrown into crisis. Banned for 33 years, Shaw's sharp-witted indictment of capitalist Victorian society's moral hypocrisy remains remarkably fresh. More than a Shavian Mama, Mia! 

"Mrs. Warren's Poll" results: Of the audience polled, 3 times as many women as men considered both Mrs. Warren and her daughter, Vivie, to be heroines of the play, versus one character over the other; no one believed, as Shaw's critics had, that the playwright advocated prostitution; and men and women differed distinctly as to whether they "liked" the plays' ending (women: yes, men: no). Interesting!
Most of the original cast of Alley Theatre's 2014 Mrs. Warren's Profession returned for Sips 'n Scripts this October.
Left to right: Daniel Arnold, Melissa Oei, Tom Pickett, Linda Quibell, Eric Keenleyside, Rick Tae. 
Shameless, sharp, and shocking GEORGE BERNARD SHAW (actor Simon Webb) made a special guest appearance at the Anvil to defend his censored play MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION, (see above) at Culture Forward New West September 28, assisted by Edwardian theatre icon, Mrs. Patrick Campbell (Renée Bucciarelli) . 

Mae West's SEX, performed June 14, 2019 at the Anvil Centre, featured Nicola Whitney-Griffiths as "Margy Lamont", the role Mae West wrote for herself. An unapologetic conflagration of lust and wit, SEX was a smash hit on Broadway, but landed West in jail for obscenity and corruption. West's legendary, controversial career went on to push boundaries of feminism, race, and gender. An ad for the 1927 show warned, "If you cannot stand excitement, see your doctor before visiting Mae West." Featured sip: the Mae West Martini. Also with: Michael McIntyre, Callyn Dorval, Donny Lucas, Kris Kuruneri, Dave Clothier, Howard Dai, Melanie Germain, Jeff Cooper, and Zach Wolfman.          
Our comfy Sips 'n Scripts 'living room' setting at the Anvil Centre

Actors Simon Webb, Morgan Montgomery, Howard Dai, Viktor Barkar, Michael McIntyre, Marc Anthony Williams lead the Greek men's chorus of audience members in LYSISTRATA, actor Jolene Bernardino far right.
Bailey Soleil Creed
Aristophanes' LYSISTRATA  was performed April 26, 2019 at the Anvil CentreLysistrata was too hot for the Greeks in 411 B.C.! In this script, Greek and Spartan women join forces to drive their warring men wild by enacting a universal sex strike to end the war. Banned in America until the 1930's, it inspired a world-wide anti-war protest in 2003, and, more recently, Spike Lee's film CHI-RAQ. This free event featured multi-talented actor Bailey Soleil Creed as "Lysistrata", along with some of Creed's original spoken-word poetry. Also with actors listed above, plus Nancy Ebert, Jenna Sokalski, Nicola Whitney-Griffiths, Hilary Hin-Leung. The featured "sip" was Ouzo, a Greek liqueur.

The Censored! Forbidden Classics  reading series was made possible by a generous grant from the City of New Westminster and support from the Anvil Centre.  

SIPS 'N SCRIPTS Thursday, December 19, 2019, 7-9 pm, Anvil Centre
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol 
Back by popular demand! Our audience-inclusive/interactive reading of the Christmas classic, lead by veteran actor-musician Dave Clothier as “Scrooge” was a joyful hit last year at the Anvil Centre--and returns again this year with (jingle) bells on. Read a role, throw a snowball, join the Christmas sing-along, don a Dickensian costume piece--or just sit back and enjoy the fun. The Anvil Centre's cash bar featured "sip" will be "Smoking Bishop"--a mulled wine loved by Dickens. Free cocoa and goodies for kids.
Free, all agesRegister here (scroll to bottom of link page) or at https://anvilcentre.com/events/sips-n-scripts-2019/  or call 604 527 4640. 

Right: Dave Clothier as Scrooge in 2018.

How He Lied to Her Husband, by George Bernard Shaw
Love Letters to Mrs. Patrick Campbell, from correspondence between Shaw & Beatrice Stella Campbell, edited and arranged by Renée Bucciarelli

These short, sharp, shaw-cking Shaw-related plays were performed in  2017 at historic Galbraith ManorDirected by Laura McLean, featuring Simon Webb, Luc Roderique, Renée Bucciarelli

Entertainment Vancouver: "Simon Webb, Luc Roderique and Renée Bucciarelli bring out all the wit and clever banter that is the best of Shaw...delicious fun...you are transported to another age...Humorous, insightful and great theatre." Full review here.

Audiences entered the Edwardian drawing room--and boxing ring--of George Bernard Shaw's How He Lied to Her Husband, brought sumptuously to life at exquisite Galbraith Manor. In this gem of a bedroom farce, when the gloves come off He, She, and Her Husband hilariously duke it out. The Shavian farce parodies some of Shaw's own real-life shenanigans, as Love Letters to Mrs. Patrick Campbell amply reveals.

George Bernard Shaw, the only Nobel Prize laureate to also win an Academy Award, was a literary giant of astonishing range whose "rare sense and inspired nonsense" shocked and delighted Victorian sensibilities. A devoted partner in a sexless marriage, he famously carried on an entertainingly passionate, creative, and conflicted love-affair-by-letters with Mrs. Patrick Campbell--one of the greatest theatrical stars of her time. Selections from 40 years of correspondence tease and tantalize: did they, or didn't they?

City Stage New West engages under the terms of the INDIE 2.2, professional Artists who are members of Canadian Actors' Equity Association

"The perfect love affair is one which is conducted entirely by post." -- George Bernard Shaw

Click here to read Vancouver Sun article

Click here to hear CiTR radio interview about SHAW SHORTS!

Vancouver Presents pick-of-the-week show!

Click here to read the Royal City Record article.

Left to Right:
Luc Roderique, Renée Bucciarelli, and Simon Webb
(Damon Calderwood photo)

This production was supported by a grant from the City of New Westminster.
The original cast recording of STUMP CITY STORIES is completed! Here's a preview of the CD jacket, designed by Kaitlyn Hunter. For a preview of all related CD artwork, visit our Kickstarter page and check out the Updates on the top menu bar, or click here. For a list of all composer George Ryan's lyrics from the show, click here. 

Thanks again to all the wonderful supporters (listed in an entry below), talent, and worker-bees on this project.  Stay tuned for more updates as we work toward formalizing our gift to the City of New Westminster.

City Stage New West was proud to support FREUD'S LAST SESSION in January 2014. Click here for glowing Review Vancouver article.

Left to right: Richard Newman as Freud, Damon Calderwood as C.S. Lewis

We're making a professional cast recording of STUMP CITY STORIES—the Ovation-nominated musical based on the history of New Westminster, by award-winning composer George Ryan. Visit KICKSTARTER to find out more about this superbly entertaining and educational project that will continue to benefit and bring joy to so many.

Cast rehearsing "On the Frozen Fraser" in 2010 (Damon Calderwood, Sean Allan, Jeremy Lowe, Dora Brooks). City Stage New West photo.

With Kickstarter we raised $3,000 of the approximately $15,000 needed to produce a professional cast recording CD of STUMP CITY STORIES. We've also received generous grants from the City of New Westminster, a BC Multicultural Grant, and some awesome private donations (thank you "Chung Koh" Project Partners Dennis and Christine Magrega, and "Jim Walker" Partners Peter Julian MP, Chuck Puchmayr, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Accurate Lock Safe & Alarm Co., 5th Avenue Therapeutic Massage & Acupuncture Clinic, G & F Financial Group, Team Dave Vallee, Adam Goldberg, Patricia Curtis, Henry Chen, Raymond Burr Performing Arts Society), Anonymous, and approximately 70 individual donors from British Columbia and other Pacific North West locations, as well as from places as far away as New York, Hong Kong, and Alabama!

Chorus members Scott Grimsey and Gower Roberts with principal Jeremy Lowe, in the recording studio at Mix Media.

STUMP CITY STORIES' 18 songs tell the history of New Westminster and British Columbia in humorous, poignant, toe-tapping style, from the Quayquayt First Nations and the arrival of the British through more recent times--celebrating British Columbia’s original Chinatown (Yi Fao) and diverse populations, the dramas of the Great Freeze, the Great Fire, the Great Bank Robbery, the controversial moving of the Capitol, the blissful nostalgia of the Interurban Line, CKNW radio’s success, and the advent of more recent heroes including film-and-tv star Raymond Burr, astronaut Robert Thirsk, and professional athletes Justin Morneau and Billy Ranford.

(History buffs and project fans: Click here for the 'uncut' video which includes even more praise and info than the short version on Kickstarter. Special thanks to the New Westminster Museum and Archives for use of historic photos.)

George Ryan conducts chorus members Jackie Block and Karen Crew, with sound engineer Steve Bulat of Mix Media.

This is the third leg of City Stage New West’s ongoing cultural legacy project: to produce a lasting record of this superbly entertaining and informative musical. (Commissioned by City Stage in 2009, the musical was brought to 1500 New Westminster Secondary Students free of charge in 2010.) Once done, the CD will be donated for use to the City of New Westminster, the Fraser River Centre, the Museum and Archives, the Anvil Arts Centre, Library, and School District for future civic events or educational purposes. Many of the songs from this musical are paeans to our City and British Columbia, perfect for use at civic events and in educational settings.

Kickstarter made a splash in the news this August when it was first launched in Canada. It is a unique online crowd-source fundraising platform for creative projects only, and has a very successful international track record. Our campaign was the first Kickstarter project in New Westminster, and is featured in an article in Douglas College's paper, The Other.



City Stage New West is engaging in a fundraising drive to produce a professional cast recording of STUMP CITY STORIES, by George Ryan--the original Ovation Award-nominated musical based on the history of New Westminster which we commissioned in 2009, and brought to 1500 New Westminster Secondary Students free of charge in 2010.

If we achieve our fundraising goals, we will donate the use of the music to the City, Library, and School District for future civic and educational purposes, and donate hard copies of the cd’s to the new Anvil Centre (http://www.anvilcentre.ca ) for sale at its gift shop.

Contact us for more information on the drive and how to become a supporter or ‘co-producer’ of this exciting community service project!

Read about Stump City Stories in Sing Tao Daily,

More about George Ryan