From left, TJ Dawe, Charles Ross and Shannan Calcutt.

From left, TJ Dawe, Charles Ross and Shannan Calcutt.

Theatre comes home for Phoenix 50th

For 50 years UVic's Department of Theatre and Phoenix Theatre have been cultivating and unleashing an incredible array of talent.

For 50 years the University of Victoria’s Department of Theatre and Phoenix Theatre have been cultivating and unleashing an incredible array of talented, passionate performers and crew, whose reach is felt far beyond the borders of Victoria’s theatre community.

Part of the 50th anniversary celebrations involves bringing back these far-flung stars of stage for a reunion weekend, including an alumni dinner.

“We have generations of alumni,” said Adrienne Holierhoek, marketing and communications manager.“We have people who have graduated and had kids, and sometimes they’ve married other Phoenix alumni, and their kids are now here, or graduated from here.”

Alumni are also coming back to perform, and the normal quota of one alumni performer per season has been expanded to three, with returning performers presenting five different shows over three weeks, from October 11-29.

Charles Ross, known for his One Man Star Wars show, will be performing his “nerd trilogy,” one man performances of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and The Dark Knight. Fringe star TJ Dawe, also known for writing a play that later became The F Word, a movie with Daniel Radcliffe, will be performing The Slipknot, an autobiographical piece about dead-end service jobs.

The third performance will see the return of Shannan Calcutt, who has spent the past 10 years in Las Vegas performing with Cirque du Soleil. Her performance will see her alter-ego clown Izzy try to spark her romantic life with a series of blind dates.

Holierhoek said all of the alumni who are coming to either perform or attend the festivities are excited to reconnect with their peers and the community Phoenix Theatre has created over the past 50 years.

“When we talk to our alumni they say things like ‘this is where I really found out where I was as a person and an artist,’” Holierhoek said. “This is where they found themselves.”

Its reach may be far, but the local influence and importance of the department and Phoenix Theatre can’t be overstated, Holierhoek said. Local live theatre was scarce at the time of its inception and since then the creation of The Belfry Theatre, Atomic Vaudeville, Theatre Inconnu, the Greater Victoria Shakespeare Society, the Fringe Festival and Intrepid Theatre, SNAFU dance theatre, Giggling Iguana, Theatre SKAM and more have all involved UVic theatre alumni.

“The nature of theatre in this community is built on our alumni, and that’s kind of amazing,” Holierhoek said. “They’ve made the community richer in that way, which is nice.”

To round out this special season, Fran Gebhard is directing her favourite show ever, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, in November and Linda Hardy, a long time faculty member, is directing a classic political satire, The Inspector, in March. In February, a MFA directing student project called Gut Girls, about women who work in a Victorian-era slaughterhouse, will hit the stage.

Learn more about the history of Phoenix Theatre and its 50th anniversary season at finearts. uvic.ca/theatre/50th/.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Blue Bridge Theatre
Stratford star teams up with Blue Bridge Theatre

A New Take on a Perennial Favourite

The COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on film production on central and north Vancouver Island, says Vancouver Island North Film Commission. Pictured here, production of TV series Resident Alien in Ladysmith earlier this year. (Black Press file)
Film commissioner says COVID-19 cost central Island $6 million in economic activity

Jurassic World: Dominion, Chesapeake Shores among productions halted due to pandemic, says INFilm

Chelsey Moore’s character Chloe in the upcoming virtual reality game Altdeus: Beyond Chronos. Screengrab
Vancouver Island actress finds success in a virtual world

Black Creek’s Chelsey Moore lends her voice to a new video game set for release in December

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

Dennis and Jenny Shorty, from Ross River, Yukon perform with others as Dena Zagi – combining traditional Dena First Nations themes and lyrics with contemporary musical styles. (Courtesy West Coast Reach Association)
National names mingle with Greater Victoria talent for diverse, free concert

Virtual event commemorates Human Solidarity Day, International Day of Persons With Disabilities

The Chemainus Theatre Festival’s Playbill Dining Room reopened to host small musical performances. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus Theatre receives Island Coastal Economic Trust funding

Project will involve recording and live-streaming Playbill Presents series content

Nanaimo ballerina Jillian Vanstone is giving a hometown performance at the Port Theatre on Dec. 12. (Photo courtesy Karolina Kuras)
National Ballet of Canada principal dancer’s hometown return postponed

Nanaimo’s Jillian Vanstone will celebrate favourite choreographer at the Port Theatre at a later date

Stephen Laidlaw, prepator with Nanaimo Art Gallery, hangs a photograph of Anna Wong, a B.C. print maker whose works are on display at the gallery. The exhibit opens Friday, Dec. 4, and runs until Feb. 7. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibit explores life work of overlooked B.C. printmaker

‘Anna Wong: Traveller on Two Roads’ features more than 70 art works and personal belongings

Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus released their first joint album, <em>The Invasion</em>. (Photo courtesy Raymond Knight)
Nanaimo rappers Konfidential and Teus release first joint album

Duo plan elaborate live-streamed CD release for ‘The Invasion’

Next month Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases his solo debut album, ‘Wildlife.’ (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra releases solo debut album

New record ‘Wildlife’ about taking chances and going through changes

Dover Bay Secondary School student Victoria Hathfield’s poem <em>Dear Santa</em> appears in<em> Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air</em>. (Photo courtesy Darren Lee)
Nanaimo high schooler has first poem published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

Victoria Hathfield’s ‘Dear Santa’ appears in new Christmas-themed edition of anthology series

Nanaimo graphic designer Amy Pye has written and illustrated her first children’s book, <em>G is for Grizzly Bear: A Canadian Alphabet</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo graphic designer releases first children’s book

Amy Pye teaches the Canadian alphabet in ‘G is for Grizzly Bear’

Most Read