Celebrate 50 Years of Groundbreaking Theatre in Vancouver

photo: artsclub.com

photo: Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata | artsclub.com

Today, Vancouver is celebrated as a cosmopolitan oasis of art and culture on Canada’s west coast. But it wasn’t always that way.

Just 50 years ago, live theatre was almost unheard of in the city. That’s when a little company called the Arts Club opened its doors in a converted gospel hall in a rough-and-tumble section of downtown.

Fast-forward to the present and the Arts Club is Western Canada’s largest theatre company, staging more than a dozen world-class productions every year at three state-of-the-art venues around the city. Offerings range from timeless dramas and musicals to edgier, alternative shows that represent the cutting edge of the city’s drama scene.

Here’s a look inside the Arts Club’s three stages and what’s on tap this spring:

  • Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage: Located on trendy South Granville Street, this Art Deco classic was rescued from the wrecking ball and reopened as a swanky, 650-seat theatre in 1998. Grab a seat on the balcony and enjoy the hit musical Dreamgirls this month, which traces the rags-to-riches story of a group of Motown singers. Dreamgirls runs May 9-July 7. Tickets start at $29.
  • Granville Island Stage: This waterfront, 450-seat theatre is located on scenic Granville Island, downtown Vancouver’s hub of food and artisan culture. Premiering later this spring is the decidedly adult Broadway musical Avenue Q, which follows a bright-eyed college grad looking for love, purpose and puppets on New York City’s streets. Avenue Q runs June 20-Aug. 3. Tickets start at $29.
  • Revue Stage: Just next door on Granville Island, the Revue Stage is an intimate venue for unconventional, experimental and alternative performances. This spring, catch Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata. This sidesplitting production sets the Internet’s weirdest classified ads to music, exploring humanity in the digital age. Do You Want What I Have Got runs April 18-May 18. Tickets start at $25.
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