A New Holiday Play about Stanley Park: The Patron Saint of Stanley Park

There’s plenty of great theatre on offer in Vancouver during the holiday season (check out this Georgia Straight article for a rundown).  But there’s only one play in town that’s actually about a famous Vancouver landmark.

The Patron Saint of Stanley Park, playing at the Arts Club Theatre Company’s Revue Stage until Dec. 26, is a modern-day fable set in Stanley Park.  Although it has a warm Christmas message and is suitable for all ages, it’s definitely not just for kids.  Like many of the best Christmas productions, the play grapples with serious and sometimes dark themes in an effort to make sense of community and the real meaning of Christmas.

The play starts on a somber note.  Josh and Jennifer, two kids, have come to Stanley Park for a memorial service commemorating the death of their father, a floatplane pilot who disappeared one year ago.  While attending the service at Prospect Point (incidentally, one of the most scenic spots in the park), the two children get caught in a vicious winter ice storm.

They’re rescued by a homeless man by the name of Skookum Pete, who happens to have visionary powers and is a kind of gatekeeper to another realm.  He shelters them in a magical bunker located beneath Prospect Point, helping the kids get a handle on both the recent changes in their family and the importance of togetherness.  Though the plot may sound a bit hokey, the play has just enough edginess to make it an original and entertaining production.

Here’s the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXpMwqAclYg

Interestingly enough, it was written by Vancouver’s own Hiro Kanagawa, an actor who has appeared in dozens of TV series over the years, including X-Files, Highlander and Smallville.

The Patron Saint of Stanley Park will be playing at the Arts Club Theatre Company’s Revue Stage through Sunday, Dec. 26.   Showtimes vary and can be found on the Arts Club website.  Tickets start at $25.

Has anyone seen The Patron Saint of Stanley Park?  What did you think?  Please share any thoughts by leaving a comment.

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