• 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
CANCELLED DUE TO COVID 19: our free 2020 Sips 'n Scripts season detailed below.
But we're working on an exciting initiative for Canada Day--stay tuned!

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!  

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.
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. "Nothing is ever so wrong in this world that a sensible woman cant set right in the course of an afternoon."
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."

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

 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.

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
(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 made 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.

City Stage New West's Stump City Stories CD campaign was the first Kickstarter project in New Westminster, and was featured in an article in Douglas College's paper, The Other.