Vancouver’s Expressions Theatre Festival Spotlights Young Theatrical Talent

Outside In; Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

Vancouver’s Granville Island, with its bustle of activity and vibrancy, is the perfect setting for the 2018 Expressions Theatre Festival.

The Festival, just over a week long, is a showcasing of young and emerging theatre artists in a variety of classic, as well as original productions. Be prepared to be dazzled by their talent and energy on stage!

The Expressions Theatre Festival runs May 17-26, 2018 at Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright St) on Granville Island, and is a celebration of young artists honing their craft in the Intensive, Pre-Professional, and Theatre Conservatory Programs at Arts Umbrella, a not-for-profit company that helps to foster the creativity of children in theatre, visual arts, and dance. More specifically, the Theatre Conservatory Program is meant for 17-22 year olds who are preparing to audition for professional theatre schools.

The six productions are the result of collaboration and mentoring with professional directors and designers in order to give the young artists a real taste of the industry and the demands of mounting works. They also performed at schools in the Lower Mainland leading up to the Festival as a way of increasing their comfort and confidence being in front of an audience.

The six works are as follows:

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

May 19 & 25 at 7pm
Who doesn’t love Roald Dahl’s classic narrative? Watch the adventures of Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory in a production performed by the Junior Theatre Troupe.


Missing; Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

May 24 at 7pm (Double Bill with The Phoenician Women)
Those familiar with the story of Hansel and Gretel will enjoy Charles Way’s modern take on the fairy tale in which Hansel and Gretel must struggle with dysfunctional family dynamics, one of them disappearing, and the complexities of their “evil” step-mother. Arts Umbrella alumnus Douglas Ennenberg will star in this production.


Oklahama; Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

May 18 – 20 at 2pm and May 18, 20, 22, 23 & 26 at 7pm
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ever popular musical is brought to life by the Arts Umbrella Musical Theatre Troupe who will explore the irrepressible course of true love in the American Western frontier.

Outside In

Outside In; Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

May 17 at 7pm and May 25 at 9pm
In this original student-created production, the Arts Umbrella Laboratory Theatre Troupe tackles questions of exterior and interior identity in this social media age. The play takes place in a weeklong camp (complete with cabins and camp fires) as the youth question who they are and how others perceive them.

The Phoenician Women

The Phoenician Women; Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

May 17 & 19 at 9pm and May 24 at 7pm (Double Bill with Missing)
Masks and large questions surrounding fate and choice dominate this modern interpretation of Euripides’ classic Greek tragedy. The Senior Theatre Troupe mounts this production that centres on the Phoenician women who are journeying to Delphi, but trapped in Thebes by the war between Oedipus Rex’s sons. 

Theatre and Music Showcase

Performed by Theatre Intensive Program students
May 26 at 11:30am & 4pm
Students from the Theatre Intensive Program will be performing a variety of short musical and theatre works that span a variety of genres.

Further info and tickets ($15-$20 each) are available on-line.

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