Our new season encompasses politics, racial identity, music and the environment -- some plays will startle with their depth and intimacy, while others will amaze with their bravura and inventiveness. They all share a common theme -- that of caring for one another and the need for decency in the world, no matter the circumstances.
The Belfry’s 45th Season starts in late July, concludes in May 2020 and will feature over 100 theatre artists - from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island and from Whitehorse to Stratford.
The new season includes:
BOOM X (Rick Miller - Canada)
The Children (Lucy Kirkwood - UK)
Bang Bang (Kat Sandler - Canada)
Every Brilliant Thing (Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe - UK)
The Ministry of Grace (Tara Beagan - Canada - World Premiere)
2020 SPARK Festival
1979 (Michael Healey - Canada)
2019 - 2020 Season (descriptions - in chronological order)
SUMMER - July 30— August 18, 2019
BOOM X - written, directed and performed by Rick Miller
KIDOONS IN ASSOCIATION WITH THEATRE CALGARY AND THE 20K COLLECTIVE PRESENTS BOOM X
“high energy magic carpet ride with a real genie for a tour guide” —CALGARY HERALD
“an audience-pleasing earworm for the eyes, ears and hearts” —THE GLOBE & MAIL
Rick Miller’s multimedia masterpiece BOOM struck a chord with Belfry audiences in the summer of 2015. Picking up where BOOM left off – at Woodstock in 1969 – BOOM X tackles the music, culture and politics of Generation X. Surrounded by stunning visuals, Rick plays more than 100 famous people – musicians, celebrities, politicians – in his own story of growing up and trying to navigate the tangled legacy of the Baby Boom.
MAINSTAGE 1 - September 17— October 13, 2019
The Children by Lucy Kirkwood
“richly suggestive and beautifully written…Kirkwood is the most rewarding dramatist of her generation.” —THE INDEPENDENT (LONDON)
“tantalizingly hard to define…it is very English, somewhat menacing, and often funny.” —TIME OUT LONDON
The cost of friendship. The price of progress.
Robin and Hazel are two retired nuclear scientists, living in a seaside cottage on the east coast of England. But all is not as it seems. Their electricity is restricted to evenings, and they have a Geiger counter in the kitchen. On a warm summer’s evening, Rose, an old friend and colleague arrives from America with a startling request.
WHY I CHOSE THIS PLAY
Award-winning playwright Lucy Kirkwood’s brilliant play asks big questions about the responsibility we face to leave a better world for the next generation. How do we reconcile our mistakes with their impact on the future, and who is meant to clean up after us? —MICHAEL SHAMATA
MAINSTAGE 2 - October 29— November 24, 2019
Bang Bang by Kat Sandler
“dramatically charged and very funny.” —NOW MAGAZINE
“Unsettling, intense, and very, very funny.” —THE CHARMING MODERNIST
It’s fast and furious fireworks when these egos collide.
Who gets to tell your story? Lila is a black police officer who shot a young unarmed black man. Tim is a white playwright who used the incident as a “jumping off point” for his hit play. Now that play is being made into a Hollywood movie -- without Lila’s knowledge. Desperate to save face, Tim pays a visit to Lila and her mother to pave the way for the movie’s lead, former child star Jackie Savage, who’s about to arrive with Soprano-like bodyguard, Tony Cappello.
WHY I CHOSE THIS PLAY
It’s a super-funny sitcom-style comedy – allowing us to laugh at serious issues and timely themes – including racial profiling, voice appropriation, ego, selfishness – and the sometimes incomprehensible world of the theatre! —MICHAEL SHAMATA
A CO-PRODUCTION WITH THE ROYAL MANITOBA THEATRE CENTRE, WINNIPEG
HOLIDAY - December 3—22, 2019
Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe
“If you’ve finally had your fill of “It’s a Wonderful Life” but are still in search of seasonal catharsis, might I suggest a very charming alternative, one that offers sentimentality without shame? It’s called “Every Brilliant Thing,” and it’s pretty much guaranteed to keep your eyes brimming.” —NEW YORK TIMES
Everything worth living for.
She writes lists. Lists that she hopes will inspire her mother to see the joy in life. She’s been writing these lists since she was seven. A heartrending yet hopeful play about the lengths we go to for those we love. In a transformed Belfry – with the help of you, the audience – she will deliver a list of all the things that make life worth living, starting with ice cream.
WHY I CHOSE THIS PLAY
This is simply one of the most moving pieces of theatre I have ever seen. It is so full of life, and pain, and joy, and yearning – it overflows with humanity. And its remarkable use of the audience as participants in the storytelling makes for a one-of-a-kind, unforgettable experience. —MICHAEL SHAMATA
MAINSTAGE 3 - February 4—March 1, 2020
The Ministry of Grace by Tara Beagan
“There’s a flood of human warmth and compassion in anything Tara Beagan creates.” —NOW MAGAZINE
A grand, sweeping story of friendship and redemption.
It’s 1950 in the deserts of Southern California. Evangelist Brother Cain has a booming trade; his tent revival show moves from town to town, fleecing crowds desperate for something to believe in. When he discovers Mary, a Ntlaka’pamux woman from the Nicola Valley, reading the bible, he puts her onstage, renames her Grace, and displays her as a miracle: an Indian who can read.
WHY I CHOSE THIS PLAY
It’s like a sprawling Steinbeck novel – a real saga – of encountering hypocrisy and evil, while clinging to the beliefs that guide you. Produced by the Belfry and created by an all-Indigenous team, including designer Andy Moro and writer/director Tara Beagan, one of our leading playwrights. —MICHAEL SHAMATA
SPARK Festival - March 9—22, 2020
Our annual SPARK Festival will feature four productions, along with workshops and a host of free events. SPARK Passes are on sale now and single tickets for SPARK go on sale this fall.
MAINSTAGE 4 - April 21—May 17, 2020
1979 by Michael Healey
“highly entertaining – not for political junkies only” —NOW MAGAZINE
“genuinely moving, sincerely funny – and fun.” —GLOBE & MAIL
A sharp comedy about backroom politics.
In June of 1979, Joe Clark was sworn in as Canada’s youngest Prime Minister. By Christmas, it looked as though it could be all over. 1979 is a comedy by Michael Healey (Proud, The Drawer Boy) that looks at Clark and the pressure he was under to save his government. Everyone – friends, foes, family – has an opinion about what Joe should do. Should he play the game and remain in power, or do what he thinks is right?
WHY I CHOSE THIS PLAY
Politics can be nasty; in Michael Healey’s hands, they can be very funny, too. Characters such as Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, Maureen McTeer, and even a very young Stephen Harper come tumbling through the revolving door of the Prime Minister’s Office. But what I really love is the tension between principles and politics in this play, making it incredibly apt for these times. —MICHAEL SHAMATA
Season tickets start at $70 (for our four Mainstage shows). Season tickets are available online at https://www.belfry.bc.ca/season-tickets-2019/ and at 250-385-6815.
Single Tickets - BOOM X and Every Brilliant Thing
Single tickets for BOOM X and Every Brilliant Thing are on sale now.
Single Tickets - Mainstage Shows
Single Tickets for The Children, Bang Bang, The Ministry of Grace, and 1979 will go on sale July 3.
Fall 2019 - SPARK Single Tickets
SPARK Festival Passes are available now. Single tickets for the 2020 SPARK Festival (March 9 - 22) shows go on sale this fall.
AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMS
To help everyone get more out of our productions (before and after you’ve seen them) we’ve created:
Our free magazine, providing insight into each Mainstage production and further enriching your experience, is available by mail, email, and in the Lobby.
Our live talk shows feature artists from the upcoming show, along with experts from the community, and are designed to provide you with insight into upcoming Mainstage productions. Each event is livestreamed on Facebook, and is available at belfry.bc.ca/podcasts.
Listen and download the full interviews from each B4Play and recent stories from The Flame at belfry.bc.ca/podcasts.
Facilitated discussions – audience member to audience member – follow most evening Mainstage performances. These are a great opportunity to share your thoughts and hear fellow patrons’ reactions to the show.
Meet the actors post-performance when they return to the stage to answer questions and provide insight into the play.
For our patrons with low or no vision. Trained Audio Describers provide descriptions of the visual elements of the show, allowing people with low vision to enjoy the show without missing any of the details.
For patrons who are hard of hearing, the theatre is equipped with an FM hearing assist system. We have six devices available on a first come, first served basis through the Box Office.
FREE CHILDCARE PERFORMANCES
The Belfry offers eight free childcare performances each season. We offer free professional childcare (for children between 3–10 years old) on select Saturday and Sunday performances. Please call our Box Office at 250-385-6815 for further details and dates.
About the Belfry Theatre
With love, from scratch, and with some of the country's best theatre artists, we build, rehearse and create our plays in our own home, a renovated 19th century church in Victoria, British Columbia.
The Belfry began producing plays in 1976 and we produce contemporary plays, with an emphasis on new Canadian work.
In the past 44 years the Belfry has produced 333 plays, including 252 Canadian plays, and 60 premieres. Many of those premiere productions have gone on to acclaim across Canada, in the U.S., Australia, Europe and London’s West End. Belfry productions regularly tour to other cities and have won awards in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.
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