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It's Happening Here!

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“THE 520’s” An Evening of Two One Act Plays. FREE Admission! Dorothy Somerset Studio Theatre. Apr. 15-17.

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Theatre at UBC Graduate Symposium (TUGS) 2014: (Re)Presenting Archives: Memory, History, Text, and Performance. Saturday, Apr. 25.

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UBC COMMEMORATES KOMAGATA MARU INCIDENT: Vancouver Events Commemorating The Komagata Maru Incident. May 3.

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A memorial service will be held to celebrate the life of Klaus Strassmann. Sunday May 25, at the Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC.

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Please visit UBC’s Dr. Klaus Gerhard Strassmann Memorial site to share your memories of Klaus by adding stories, photos and videos.

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Theatre and Film Teaching Assistantships for 2014/2015 Academic Session.


Proudly Supporting our Students, Alumni & Faculty

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Congratulations to our staff member Lynn Burton on being recognised by Celebrating Women at UBC!

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Associate Professor Kirsty Johnston’s book "Stage Turns: Canadian Disability Theatre" shortlisted for Canada Prize in the Humanities.

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Assistant Professor Siyuan Liu receives review for his book Performing Hybridity in Colonial-Modern China

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Publicity Workshop with alumna Deb Pickman. $10 for non-Fringe artists2014 Fringe Festival artists FREE! Monday, Apr. 14.

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ICELAND by Nicolas Billon, directed by Kathleen Duborg (BFA Acting alumna & current MFA student in Directing). Featuring the work of BFA Alumni. Studio 16. Apr. 23-May 3.

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Theatre at UBC was recognised for it’s “boffo programming” this year in the magazine’s annual Best of Vancouver issue! 

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Theatre at UBC is a Positive Space!

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Gifts to Theatre at UBC ensure that today's Theatre students have access to the resources that give them the best education possible.


Theatre at UBC


Welcome to Theatre at UBC, where the future of the theatre in Canada can be seen on the stage today.


event start dateThe Caucasian Chalk Circle
September 19 - October 5, 2013
By Bertolt Brecht
Translated by James and Tania Stern with W.H. Auden
Original music by Richard Link
Directed by Stephen Heatley
Telus Studio Theatre

showsite Visit Showsite
showsite View Production Photos

— Epic Theatre

"Terrible is the temptation to do good!" warns Bertolt Brecht's amiable narrator. In the heat of civil war a servant girl sacrifices everything to protect an abandoned child. Their subsequent misadventures across her war-torn country become the heart of Brecht's playful parable, which calls into question our basic assumptions of right in a world that has gone wrong.

Brecht's 1945 adaptation of the Chinese play The Chalk Circle, written in 1300, speaks more directly to today's culture than do most modern political plays."
– Backstage

Visit the showsitePride and Prejudice
November 14 - 30, 2013
By Jon Jory (adapted from the novel by Jane Austen)
Directed by Lois Anderson
Frederic Wood Theatre

showsite Visit our Pride and Prejudice website
showsite View Production Photos

— Romantic Comedy

All the wit and romance of Jane Austen's novel comes to life in this fast-paced and engaging adaptation.

In a society where manners and birth mean everything, can Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy look beyond pride and prejudice to find true love? The subtleties and absurdities of Georgian England are astonishingly relevant today and Austen's characters captivate from their first line.

An exceptionally clear, funny and moving version of Austen's classic novel."
- Broadway World

event imageSeeds
January 22 - 26, 2014
By Annabel Soutar
Presented with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
Starring Theatre at UBC alumnus Eric Peterson
Frederic Wood Theatre

showsite Visit the SEEDS website

— Documentary Theatre

UBC alumnus Eric Peterson (Corner Gas, Billy Bishop Goes to War) stars in this provocative docudrama about small town Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser versus biotech giant Monsanto Inc. Based on real events, Seeds leads us through a high-voltage labyrinth of political manoeuvering, patent wars, and cashfuelled science. Passionate and thought-provoking, this deft piece of theatrical storytelling is an intellectual and emotional tour de force. Think you know what’s on your plate? Think again.

Seeds is great journalism and even better theatre... brilliantly original."
- Montreal Gazette

event start dateThe Seagull
January 23 - February 8, 2014
By Anton Chekhov, Translated by Peter Gill
Directed by Kathleen Duborg
Telus Studio Theatre

showsite Visit The Seagull website
showsite View Production Photos

— World Classic

The Seagull is a darkly comic tale of unrequited love - a story about how we create stories - and one of the greatest plays of the modern era. In it Chekhov explores emotion, creativity and romantic conflict with the clarity of a doctor and the heart of a poet. Peter Gill’s luminous version brings the characters into sharp focus as they struggle with love, failure, success, generational friction and the challenge of creating something of value through art.

In Gill's translation the play has been flooded with light, like a room with the curtains drawn back."
- Sunday Times UK

event start dateUbu Roi
March 20 - April 5, 2014
By Alfred Jarry, Translated by Barbara Wright
Directed by Ryan Gladstone
Frederic Wood Theatre

showsite Visit Showsite
showsite View Production Photos
showsite View Promotional Video

— Absurdist Drama

In 1896 with the first word of Ubu Roi, "Merdre!" (“Shitter!”), Jarry’s satire about greed and the abuse of power was outlawed for its scandalous language, violence and disrespect for authority. With resonances of Macbeth and unflinching humour, Ubu Roi was an inspiration to later absurdist playwrights and it remains a challenge to the comfortable and conventional. The play’s uninhibited tastelessness is practically sublime.

Ubu Roi is timeless, placeless, it shamelessly displays what civilization tries hard to hide."
- Translator Barbara Wright


UBC OPERA • The Tales of Hoffman 
November 7 - 10, 2013
By Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880) | Sung in French with English Surtitles
Leslie Dala Conductor | Nancy Hermiston Director | Old Auditorium

If ever a man was unlucky at love, it’s Hoffmann, the wild-eyed poet who travels the world in search of the ideal woman and ends up thwarted by villains at every turn. Impossibly beautiful music (including the famous Barcarolle) combined with flamboyant theatricality — that’s why Offenbach’s extravaganza is the perfect way to chase away winter’s woes.

UBC OPERA • Il Cappello di paglia di Firenze 
February 6-9, 2014
By Nino Rota (1911-1979) | Sung in Italian with English Surtitles
David Agler Conductor | Nancy Hermiston Director | Chan Centre 

Cappello di paglia di Firenze is an exhilarating comedy based on the 19th century French farce which inspired Rene Clair’s classic silent film An Italian Straw Hat.  Nino Rota – a celebrated composer of film music, including The Godfather and many films directed by Fellini – co-wrote the libretto for Il Cappello di paglia di Firenze and composed the music in 1945.  His witty and brilliant satire on the petty conventions of respectable society is presented in the tradition of Rossini, Puccini and Verdi.

UBC OPERA • The Cunning Little Vixen 
June 26-29, 2014
By Leoš Janáček (1854-1928)  | Sung in Czech with English Surtitles
Norbert Baxa Conductor | Nancy Hermiston Director | Old Auditorium

Inspired by a comic strip and premiered in 1924, Leos Janácek and librettist Rudolf Tesnohlidek's The Cunning Little Vixen is an endearing and enlightened glance at the circle of life amongst a cast of woodland characters.  Usually seen as a fairytale, this piece also provides us with a revealing insight into nature’s struggle to survive the devastating footprint of humanity.


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Oct 10-12
Two Tales by Carlo Gozzi:
The Love of Three Oranges
The King Stag

These two one act plays are directed by MFA Alumnus Chris McGregor and feature our talented intermediate year BFA Acting students. This is a hilarious and sinister theatrical double feature. Expect a night of outrageous comedy intended for mature audiences.

Free Admission
Dorothy Somerset Studio, UBC
7:30 pm

Nov 7-10
UBC OPERA The Tales of Hoffman.

Feb 6-9
UBC OPERA Il Cappello di paglia di Firenze (The Florentine Straw Hat).

Apr 15-17
THE 520’s Theatre at UBC MFA Directors test their mettle with two one-acts.

event image“THE 520’s”
An Evening of Two One Act Plays
FREE Admission!

Little One 
By Hannah Moscovitch, Directed by MFA Directing student Barbara Tomasic

Little One, Hannah Moscovitch’s splendidly creepy one-act, is a witty, smart and insidious psycho thriller.  It looks at the relationship between adopted siblings Aaron and Claire, who recount a life-changing moment in their childhood. It touches on mental illness, mail-order brides and taboo sexuality. Moscovitch captures the singular dread of a child whose only sibling is dangerously mentally ill. A darkly funny, suburban horror story.

Hannah Moscovitch is a Canadian playwright who has been dubbed an indie sensation by Toronto Life Magazine; the wunderkind of Canadian theatre by CBC Radio; and “irritatingly talented” by Eye Weekly.  The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and Now Magazine have all hailed Hannah as Canada’s Hottest Young Playwright. Moscovitch’s work has won multiple Dora Mavor Moore Awards, and she has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award, the Carol Bolt Award, the Toronto Arts Council Foundation Emerging Artist Award, the K.M Hunter Award, as well as the international Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. 

Watching it, I had pleasantly spine-tingling memories of Daniel MacIvor’s ‘Monster’ and Brad Fraser’s ‘Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love’. Moscovitch seems poised to join the ranks of those edgy Canadian playwrights as an artist who knows how to work our goosepimples and our grey matter simultaneously.” 
- Martin Morrow, The Globe and Mail

The production is directed by MFA Directing student Barbara Tomasic and stars BFA Acting students Helena Fisher-Welsh and Luke Johnson. The creative team includes BFA Design and Production students Curtis Li (Stage Manager) Natalia Ruiz (Set Design), Zickey Zhao (Lighting Design), Patrick Fouchard (Sound Design) and Shelby Page (Costume Design).

I Am Not A Laughing Man 
Devised Theatre, Directed by MFA Directing student Dennis Gupa

"I guess you must have a beginning to begin something really big," is a line taken from the essay "I Am Not a Laughing Man" by Carlos Bulosan. The play is a devised-theatre piece that explores extraordinary poetry and other written works of Bulosan, a self educated Filipino migrant worker in USA during the 30's. The assemblage of texts looks to reveal the depth of his penetrating vision of the world. At the age of 17, he emigrated to America to escape destitute poverty and find his dream of freedom but instead discovered many new hardships. In pursuit of his vision he became a labour organizer and socialist writer - the latter of which caused Bulosan to be blacklisted. Denied a means to provide for himself, his later years were spent in flight and poverty. I Am Not A Laughing Man looks into the migratory experiences of Bulosan's lost/found dreams amidst estrangement, displacement, and alienation.

Of the million Filipinos who found themselves in the United States in the two decades before and after World War II, Carlos Bulosan, his entire life & works, represents the heroic struggles and sacrifices of the Filipino community as a colonized and an emergent national agency in world history.” 
 - E. San Juan Jr., Panitikan sa Perlas ng Silangan

I Am Not a Laughing Man was devised using texts from Carlos Bulosan by the director, MFA Directing student Dennis Gupa along with the BFA Acting students who perform it: Jonathan Bell, Natan Cotell, Thomas Elms, Matt Kennedy and Demi Peterson. The creative team includes BFA Design & Production students Becky Fitzpatrick (Stage Manager), Chanel McCartney (Costume Design), Nick Preston (Music Director), Patrick Fouchard (Sound Design) and Shelby Page (Makeup Design).  

What are The 520’s? Directing 520 is the course of study which produces an annual showcase of two one act plays where our talented first year MFA Directing students test their mettle. Next watch for their thesis productions in our 2014/15 season of theatre and opera where Barbara Tomasic is set to direct the hilarious musical adaptation of Marivaux's satirical play Triumph of Love and Dennis Gupa will direct Charles Mee’s postmodern take on Euripides’ Theban tragedy The Bacchae 2.1.

Dorothy Somerset Studio Theatre
6361 University Boulevard, UBC V6T 1Z2
Curtain: 7:30 | Ticket Price: FREE!


May 2014


Vancouver Events Commemorating The Komagata Maru Incident:

Saturday May 3, 2pm 
Symposium | Performing the Post-colonial: The political work of theatre
St. John's College, UBC | Free!

Image Credit: By Raghavendra Rao K.V; Composite of archival photograph and a painting by the artist. Used as a set projection in "Performing the Komagata Maru". (Click thumbnail to view image detail)

This symposium is associated with the theatrical and scholarly program Performing the Komagata Maru: Theatre and the Work of Memory. Featuring a panel discussion by the playwrights included in the program - Sadhu Binning, Sukhwant Hundal, Sharon Pollock and Ajmer Rode, the event also includes remarks from Rahul Varma founder of Teesri Duniya Theatre or "Third World Theatre", Nandi Bhatia from the University of Western Ontario and a key-note address by Rana Nayar, Professor of English at Panjab University, Chandigarh and well-known translator of modern Punjabi literature. 

Refreshments during the event and light dinner to follow. Co-sponsored by St. John's College and supported by a UBC Hampton grant.

Free! | Ph: 604.822.8788 | E: | Web:

Saturday May 3 7:30pm &  Sunday May 4 2pm 
Theatre | Performing the Komagata Maru, Theatre and the Work of Memory
Frederic Wood Theatre, UBC  | Admission: $10 

In 1914, a ship named the "Komagata Maru," carrying 376 South Asian would-be immigrants to Canada, was turned away from Vancouver as a part of a larger movement against Asian immigration at that time. Join us for an intellectual and theatrical commemoration of the centenary of this incident to explore how and why the Komagata Maru incident has been remembered by Canadian playwrights in Punjabi and English. The fully bilingual program will feature the performance of selections of plays by Sadhu Binning, Sukhwant Hundal, Sharon Pollock, and Ajmer Rode by UBC students and members of Rangmanch Punjabi Theatre. Sets for the production were produced by artist Raghavendra Rao K.V. and students from Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology in Bangalore. 

$10 | Book online at

Note: This event will also be staged May 9 at the Surrey Arts Centre at 8pm | More:

Thursday May 1 at 7pm
FILM | An evening with Ali Kazimi and the film Continuous Journey 
Centre Stage, New Surrey City Hall - Free!

An evening with Ali Kazimi and his film "Continuous Journey". Join in a conversation with this artist about his film, the first feature-length documentary to examine the Komagata Maru 'incident'. Presented as part of the Surrey Art Gallery's exhibition “Ruptures in Arrival: Art in the Wake of the Komagata Maru,” in collaboration with the Komagata Maru Foundation.

Free Admission (limited seating) | Ph: 604-501-5566

Jun 26-29
UBC OPERA The Cunning Little Vixen.

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5 Play Subscription Series, including Seeds:

  • Regular $90/Senior $70/Student $40
  • Opera & Extra Events available at special Subscriber rates
  • Single Tickets: Regular $22/Senior $15/Student $10 – 16 & under $2 at the door
  • PuSh co-presentation of Seeds: $27/$29/$33 advance & $29/$31/$35 at the door.
  • Opera: Regular $37/Senior $27/Student $20/UBC Student $15, Opera Tea: Regular $22/Senior $17/Student $15

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