• 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
Celebrate BC history this Canada Day and beyond, with an online broadcast of 
STUMP CITY STORIES!
Edited archival footage of the 2009 light-hearted musical based on New Westminster's history, along with a talk-back panel of local historians, is available here .


And on facebook  https://www.facebook.com/citystagenewwest/ (Unedited archival musical here.) 


2009 poster design by Lucian Leibman
This Ovation Award-nominated musical by George Ryan was commissioned in 2009 as our contribution to New West's 150th celebration. It was featured news on CBC radio, Omni TV, in Sing Tao Daily and locally. In 2010, it was brought free of charge to over 1500 New Westminster students. A professional cast album was made in 2015 as a cultural legacy gift to the City.  A remarkable cast (the late Broadway actor Sean Allan, Damon Calderwood, Dora Brooks, and Jeremy Lowe) depict lives and events in New West since 1858, including in New West's Yi Fao district, once British Columbia's largest Chinatown.  

Per union regulations, no sets or costumes were allowed for this filmed Workshop performance in 2009, but the great music, stories, and heart-felt performances prompted enthusiastic responses nonetheless, such as director Scott Swann's of Applause Musicals/Ovation Awards: "Busloads of British Columbians should see this musical!"

Due to Covid 19, special permission was granted by Canadian Actors Equity and the Union of British Columbian Performers to make archival footage available free to the public. We hope the joy of the musical and its tales of resilience will lift hearts once again during these challenging times, as we all--to quote the musical--"imagine the future [we] dream of...now".

Stump City Stories tells only a part of New West's and British Columbia's history. Guest speakers and local historians Wayne Wou, Arwinder Kaur of New Westminster's Sukh Sagar Gurdwara, Oana Capota of New Westminster Museum & Archives, 
and Gavin Hainsworth, co-author with Katherine Freund-Hainsworth of A New Westminster Album join artistic director Renee Bucciarelli for a chat about New Westminster's diverse communities, and to answer audience questions.
 
2015 professional cast recording CD cover by Kaitlyn Hunter


Link to song lyrics by George Ryan.
Link to Omni TV interview with actor Jeremy Lowe.
Link to 2013 Kickstarter video with show clips.


Explore our History Resource List of diverse New West stories, videos, texts.

Find us on Twitter @CityStageNW 
  
City Stage New West wishes to thank Canadian Actors Equity Association and UBCP/ACTRA for their special permission and cooperation, and the City of New Westminster for making this project possible through the Social and Cultural Vibrancy grant.


                                                     
CANCELLED DUE TO COVID 19: our free 2020 Sips 'n Scripts season detailed below.

SIPS 'N SCRIPTS is part of City Stage New West's "Bringing Back the Living Room" initiative, inspired by  the ideas of Canadian Indigenous author Richard Wagamese, brought to you in partnership with the Anvil Centre with support from the City of New Westminster. In this free play reading/performance series, audiences can sit back with their 'sip' and enjoy our leading professional actors, or get more actively engaged by reading small supporting roles, providing sound effects, and/or engaging in talk-backs and other specially-designed activities at each event. A cash bar features a special-themed beverages at each reading. Artists, audience, friends, and strangers connect and create!  

CANCELLED: 
THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT, by Jean Giradoux, adapted by Maurice Valency
Was to be performed Friday, May 22, 7-9 pm.  Free, at the Anvil Centre
                  
Find us on facebook: www.facebook.com/citystagenewwest/ 
Read about the impetus for the series in The Record.
About THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT:
Oil is discovered under the streets of Paris. When fat cats plot to cash in at the publics expense, a kooky Countess and her rag-tag coterie vow to stop their destructive exploits. But can they save the world from corporate greed and corruption? Can they bring back its Beauty?
Originally a response to Fascism in World War II-era France, Jean Giradoux's whimsical comic-fable of 1943 speaks presciently to a modern world gone out of its mind.
The New York Drama Critics' Circle hailed the 1948–50 Broadway production as "one of the most interesting and rewarding plays to have been written within the last twenty years", "pure gold", with "an enveloping and irresistible humor". Giradoux's play and Valency's adaptation later inspired the 1969 musical DEAR WORLD, starring Angela Lansbury, who won a Tony for her portrayal of the Countess Aurelia, the Madwoman of Chaillot.

Directed by Renee Bucciarelli, featuring special guest artists (tba) with City Stage New West ensemble actors.
 “Nothing is ever so wrong in this world that a sensible woman can’t set right in the course of an afternoon."

CANCELLED:
WAR OF THE WORLDS 
War of the Worlds, adapted by Howard E. Koch from H.G. Wells' original novel
Was to be performed Friday, October 16, 2020, 7-9 pm. Free, at the Anvil Centre

About WAR OF THE WORLDS
 In 1938, Orson Welles’ theatre company adapted H.G. Wells’ sci-fi thriller about a Martian invasion of Earth, radio-broadcasting the play from CBS in New York as dramatized news bulletins, on the night before Halloween. Despite disclaimers, a public panic ensued—prompting a cycle of actual ‘fake news’ that threatened Welles’ company and career. Join professional actors re-creating what may have been the biggest Halloween hoax of all time, followed by a talk-back that looks at how this famous fake news event continues to haunt us.




SIPS 'n SCRIPTS HOLIDAY EDITION: 
DECEMBER 19,  2019, 7 - 9 pm at the ANVIL CENTRE
Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Our free, 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 in 2018 and returned again in 2019, with violinist Cindy Kao joining Clothier as featured artists. Audience members read supporting roles, threw 'snowballs', joined the Christmas sing-along, donned Dickensian costume pieces--or just sat back and enjoyed the fun!  "Smoking Bishop", a warmly spiced wine loved by Dickens, was the featured 'sip', with free cocoa and goodies for kids. 

Right: Dave Clothier returns as "Scrooge".


Left to right: Violinist/performer Cindy Kao plays a jig for volunteer audience members as "Mrs. and Mr. Fezziwig"(center), with Howard DaiCallyn Dorval. 








2019: CENSORED! FORBIDDEN CLASSICS OF THE WICKED STAGE Audiences loved this sold-out series that looked at 3 banned classics spanning 2300 years of history, all addressing still-controversial themes of women's sexual and financial agency. 

MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION, by George Bernard Shaw, was performed October 11, 2019, 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 Artists arranged by permission of Canadian Actors' Equity Association under 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! 
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, & SHOCKING! Literary genius George Bernard Shaw (actor Simon Webb, below, leftdefended his censored play MRS. WARREN's PROFESSION in his own words, adapted by Renee Bucciarelli (below, centre, appearing as Mrs. Patrick Campbell, Shaw's colleague/muse) at the Anvil Centre's Culture Forward New West celebration, Sept. 28, 2019, here with Board Director Kris Kuruneri (below right).

"Mrs. Warren's Poll": 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!

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. 
Below: Dave Clothier, Melanie Germain, Donny Lucas, Jeff Cooper, Nicola Whitney-Griffiths, Michael McIntyre, Howard Dai, Kris Kuruneri, Callyn Dorval, 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 2018, December 12, 7-9 pm at the Anvil Centre:
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol 

Right: Actor/musician 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
in HOW HE LIED TO HER HUSBAND
(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