Streaming performances added for I Walked the Line!

We understand not everyone is comfortable with, or able to attend live theatre at this time, and so we have added two streamed performances of I Walked the Line for patrons to enjoy!
October 27th @ 7:00pm & October 29th @ 7:00pm
Tickets are $15 each!
Patrons will receive a streaming link the day of their selected performance where they may follow to view wonderful live theatre from the comfort of their homes!
Click HERE to purchase your streaming tickets now!

Kayak – An interview with Jordan Hall

Jordan - smallWriter Jordan Hall won the Samuel French Award for Playwrighting with her first play Kayak which is coming up at the Firehall Jan 7 – 17. Jordan gives some insight into what inspired the play and why it is still relevant 3 years later.

Q: What is this play about to you?

A: The stories we tell ourselves, particularly about our responsibility in moments and issues larger than we are. The cost of inaction. The cost of

action. Screwball comedies. Biblical tragedies. Also, S’mores.

Q: What’s your favorite line in Kayak?

A: There’s this little exchange between Peter and Julie when they’re broken up that makes both my writer-beast and secret-screwballcomedy-

fan very happy:

JULIE: How’s prosperity?

PETER: Prosperous? How’s self-righteousness?

JULIE: Justified.

Q: What inspired you to write this play?

A: So many things I was seeing and continue to see about the environmental movement and our personal reactions to it: My frustration with people who understand what’s happening and aren’t doing enough, my frustration with myself for not doing enough, the gap between us and the people fighting for us– how sad and ridiculous and hopeful and tragic and complex and simple it all seemed– and continues to seem.

Q: Which character in the play do you relate to most and why?

A: I think I relate to all of them at different times: I’ve been Julie– desperately agitating and making everyone around me awkward and uncomfortable; I’ve been Annie– exhausted and just wanting to keep my comfort, the life I feel like I work hard to deserve; I’ve been Peter– wanting so much to find a middle ground, a place where we can all move forward together.

Q: As a young person, what draws you to write for live theatre as opposed to novels or film?

A: Well, I write for all three– but I think the charm of theatre is presence. You can do amazing things with the imagination in fiction, and with the medium in film, but it’s hard to deny the power of a person, right in front of you, experiencing something. It’s a kind of communion.

Q: Do you think that the piece is still as relevant, even though it’s been three years since you wrote it?

A: I wish it weren’t still relevant. I love this play very much, but if, as a culture, we made it obsolete? I’d be ecstatic. Right now, we’re making choices about pipelines that could leave us dependent on tar sands oil for decades. The climate we and our children will experience, our future prosperity, depends on us making a shift to renewables, and middle class comfort-wise? Corporate profit-wise? That will suck. But the longer we procrastinate, the worse it’s going to be. We’re already in trouble. There was an article in Rolling Stone by Bill McKibben this July that did a great job of laying out the math: “We’re not just on the brink, we’re over the cliff, hanging on to a branch. Now what are we going to do about that?”

Q: What are you working on now? Is it similar to Kayak in anyway?

A: My current piece is called Traveling Light, and it’s focused on particle physcis and our relationship to the concept of genius, but I think it resonates thematically with Kayak in that it’s still a piece that’s about responsibility: About the people we trust to understand things we don’t, to make breakthroughs we can’t, and what that costs them and us in the process.

Q: This play has two strong female leading characters. Was that a conscious or political choice that you made when writing this story?

A: Absolutely. We’re under-represented in most media and all too frequently restricted to stories that don’t give our psychological lives the scope or subtlety afforded to male perspectives. Where we are right now, politically, makes feminineidentity contested ground: Feminism has become a complicated personal negotiation of values, Patriarchy still rewards certain behaviors, and all this restricts the stories we tell. In the face of that, what is there to do but to be in your own corner? So I write about my experience of being a woman. I write about the way I see us struggling with things that have nothing to do with feminism, and everything to do with feminism. I write how I see us struggling and failing and hoping– and what I really want is for the specificity of that to speak not just to women, but to everyone, in the way that all truly good writing uses the specifics of experience to address what it is to be human. And I am so proud Alley Theatre’s team includes so many insightful, intelligent, funny women in leading roles on stage and off. It’s a little slice of the world I want to live in.


Alley Theatre’s production of KAYAK is running Jan 7 – 17 at the Firehall. Jordan Hall will be participating in a panel discussion about environmental action in BC on Jan 11 following the 3pm show. Click here for more info and tickets.

Meet Meghan Gardiner aka Penelope Pennywise

Meghan Gardiner is both a performer and a talented playwright. Her one woman show Dissolve continues to tour after eleven years (currently starring Emmelia Gordon), and right now she is writing new plays for both the Solo Collective and Shameless Hussy Productions. In 2012 she won the Sydney Risk Award for emerging playwright at the Jessie Awards. She makes her Firehall debut as Penelope Pennywise, the bathroom gatekeeper.

What is Urinetown?

Urinetown is our punishment for being greedy… But we don’t realize it until it’s too late. 

Meghan Gardiner in Urinetown: The Musical. Behind her: Chris Lam, Rosie Simon, Anton Lipovetsky. Image David Cooper.
Meghan Gardiner in Urinetown: The Musical. Behind her: Chris Lam, Rosie Simon, Anton Lipovetsky. Image David Cooper.

Tell us about your character

Pennywise has seen better days… She is an employee of Urine Good Company but due to some questionable behaviour, was given the lowest job on the totem pole: the gatekeeper of public amenity number nine. I think Penny is a romantic at heart and had moments of optimism in her life, but times got hard and cash got tight. So now the toilet is definitely half empty… 

What is your secret superpower?

Writing blog entries in my sleep. I continually wake up amazed. 

When I’m rich and famous I’ll….

Buy empty warehouses, barns etc and turn them into state of the art theatres. Then I’ll charge companies one dollar to rent them for their productions. I’ll also donate as many millions as I can to women’s shelters and organizations that combat cruelty to animals. 

What is your favourite expression for going to the toilet?

First let me say that I don’t use this expression, my husband does. And I don’t know if it’s my favourite because it’s kind of… well… gross, but I hear it a lot. And so without further adieu “Drop the kids off at the pool”. Oh and I also hear “see a man about a horse” a lot, and between you and I and the interweb, I don’t really get it. 

Capitalism, socialism, totalitarianism, activism, realism, postmodernism. Choose an –ism and tell us why. Well I really want to say VEGANISM, but then I don’t want to get into a debate or sound preachy, so I won’t use VEGANISM, I’ll find something other than VEGANISM to say. Hmm… thinking… 

What is the biggest environmental challenge we as Canadians face? I think perhaps acknowledging the fact that we have huge environmental challenges to overcome….

You can find Meghan on twitter @Meghan_Gardiner and on stage at the Firehall from November 1 – 29 in Urinetown: The Musical. Click here for more info and details on tickets. 



Meet Anton Lipovetsky, the hero of Urinetown

Anton Lipovetsky is a busy fellow – when he’s not saving the good people of Urinetown from the corrupt Urine Good Corporation, he’s composing music for shows like the award-winning Broken Sex Doll (winner Jessie Award for Outstanding Composition) and donning Shakespearean garb for Bard on the Beach (Colin Thomas from the Georgia Straight called him ‘bloody well on fire’ in his role in Cymbeline this year) . Firehall audiences may recognise him from My Funny Valentine, Zee Zee Theatre’s show in our 2013/2014 season. We took a moment to talk to him about Urinetown and well, peeing.

Anton small headshot
Anton Lipovetsky, who plays the hero Bobby Strong in Urinetown


What is Urinetown?

A funny musical!


Tell us about your character

He’s a young man with his head in the clouds who hears in his heart the yearning of universal freedom. He takes action and inspires the oppressed poor to revolt! Then… He kinda makes it up as he goes along. A naive James Dean meets eager man-boy Jean Val Jean meets sometimes-gospel-belting-Evangelist.


What is your secret superpower?

Screwing up clearly written recipes… The secret is out.. We’re ordering in when you come over for dinner.


When I’m rich and famous I’ll….

I’ll give wads of money to strangers and tip 300 percent at brunch. Then I’ll produce little theatrical ventures but spend hundreds of 1000s on publicity so there’s always a line around the street for a little play in a black box theatre.  And once in a while I’ll buy a whole night’s worth of seats so I can sit alone in the audience and eat caramel corn.


What is your favourite expression for going to the toilet? 

I like when people from the UK say “have a wee.”

“Oy! I’m gonna have a wee”


Capitalism, socialism, totalitarianism, activism, realism, postmodernism. Choose an –ism and tell us why.

I really ding-dong Absurdism because potted plant.


What is the biggest environmental challenge we as Canadians face?

I’m not qualified to answer this! Ask the experts!


You can find Anton on twitter @antonlipovetsky and on stage at the Firehall from November 1 – 29 in Urinetown: The Musical. Click here for more info and details on half price previews Nov 1 – 4. 

Hirsch’s Gift To Future Generations of Directors

This month at the Firehall, we have the privilege of presenting HIRSCH, a show about Canadian theatre legend John Hirsch (1930 – 1989). This one-man play starring Toronto’s Alon Nashman and directed by Paul Thompson is truly an ode to Canadian theatre and Hungarian refugee Hirsch’s prolific theatrical achievements. In the lead up to the show (runs Feb 25 – Mar 1), we celebrate his legacy, talking to a series of Canadian theatre makers about how they have stood on the shoulders of this theatre giant. Katrina Dunn who is Artistic Director, Touchstone Theatre kicks the first post.

Hirsch’s Gift To Future Generations of Directors

Katrina Dunn
Katrina Dunn

I never met John Hirsch or saw any of his plays.  I’m also convinced that the Canadian theatre community does a pretty poor job of chronicling, learning and respecting our own history, even though it is fabulous and full of amazing stories and individuals.  So I first found out about John Hirsch when I was a much younger director, though the Canada Council’s John Hirsch Prize.  On his death in 1989, John Hirsch left a bequest to the Canada Council for the Arts to assist and encourage Canadian directors. The John Hirsch Prize is a tribute to the extraordinary contribution Mr. Hirsch made to theatre in Canada, most notably as founder of the Manitoba Theatre Centre, head of television drama for the CBC and artistic director of the Stratford Festival. The Prize was created in 1995 to recognize new and developing theatre directors who have demonstrated great potential for future excellence and exciting artistic vision. Two $6,000 prizes are awarded every two years, one for each of the Anglophone and Francophone theatre communities.  You can find out more about it here.

The Ontario Arts Council also has a similar program – The John Hirsch Director’s Award.

In 2012 Toronto director Christopher Morris won the Canada Council John Hirsch Prize. Those that saw Touchstone Theatre’s co-presentation of Night at the PuSh Festival will know Morris’ work and his daring investigation of uncharted communities and issues.  Finding out about Hirsch through the legacy of this Prize has forever connected his name with the cause of young directors in Canada, and with the many brilliant artists who have been recognized and encouraged by the award.

Katrina Dunn, Touchstone Theatre

Alon Nashman  next to the statue of John Hirsch in front of the Manitoba Theatre Centre, image from Winnipeg Free Press
Alon Nashman next to the statue of John Hirsch in front of the Manitoba Theatre Centre, image: Winnipeg Free Press

Creator of Hirsch, Alon Nashman, agrees with Katrina that many young directors who are awarded the John Hirsch Prize are unaware of his legacy. He recently told the Winnipeg Free Press: “Unfortunately, in Canada there is an amnesia,” says Nashman, “We don’t acknowledge our heroes. Many people who are up for his award don’t know who he is and what he did.” (read full article here).

Hopefully this play will help change that! Get a sneak peek of Hirsch with Touchstone Theatre’s short preview video below. Hirsch is on at the Firehall Arts Centre Feb 25 – Mar 1. Tickets are $15-30 and can be purchased online or by phone (604-689-0926).


Early bird pricing for Dancing with Rage on until Jan. 18!



Adult Weekday: $30
Senior/Student Weekday: $25
Child Weekday: $17

Adult Weekend (Friday/Saturday/Sunday): $35
Senior/Student Weekend (Friday/Saturday/Sunday): $30
Child Weekend (Friday/Saturday/Sunday): $19


Click here to buy yours now!

TJ Dawe’s Medicine held over, January 23 to February 2!


Thanks to the terrific audience response, Medicine is a hit! We’re pleased to announce we’re holding over performances of TJ Dawe’s newest one-man show January 23 to February 2, 2013, with special appearances by Dr. Gabor Maté in talkbacks January 24, 25, 26, 30, February 1 and 2.

Come get a (second) dose of Medicine!

TJ will continue talkbacks after each show and will be joined by Dr. Gabor Maté January 24 (8pm), 25 (8pm), Jan 26 (5pm), Jan 30 (8pm), Feb 1 (8pm), and Feb 2 (5pm).

Click to by your tickets!