The Foley World of Yellow Fever—An Interview with Evan Rein

We caught up with Evan Rein, who is an actor, sound designer, and foley artist in our upcoming production of Yellow Fever by R.A. Shiomi.

In this production of Yellow Fever you are wearing multiple hats, as you’ll be acting as well as doing live foley/sound design. You have plenty of experience in both areas, so the first question is twofold: which came first for you, and how does your work in sound design influence your acting (or vice versa)?

Acting came first. In the world of foley, being an actor lends itself nicely to this style of sound design. As a live foley artist, you have to be in relationship with the other actors onstage just like you would if you were in the scene acting with them. It’s a fun challenge to inhabit each character’s psyche and support their life through sound.

The Firehall is staging Yellow Fever as a radio play, with audiences essentially seeing the production and recording process unfold onstage. Without physical action during scenes of conflict, is there added pressure to really bring the drama to the sound design? How does designing sound for a show like this differ from some of your other sound design projects?

Ideally each sound has a specific purpose that helps tell the story. But sometimes silence is part of the design and can be used to highlight important moments in the text.

This sound design is different because I’m not the sole foley artist. Raugi and other members of the company are jumping in lending their foley skills. All hands on deck!

Part of the foley setup for Yellow Fever

Do you have a favourite sound/instrument in this show?

We’ve added a drum kit and I’m having a lot of fun with that. I really enjoy the percussive underscoring I get to do through Act 2!

A lot of us are pretty over talking about it, but it has also been a huge part of the last few years, so—post-pandemic, how are you feeling about the return to live performances? Do you have any thoughts on the landscape of live theatre moving forward?

This is the third covid show I’ve done and I’m stoked to be in front of live audiences again. In the post covid theatre world I’m grateful to see a change in the theatre workplace—more sustainable working hours and a higher priority placed on mental wellbeing. I’m hoping this is a trend that will stick around.

Pictured: Objects used for café sounds, office sounds, fight scenes, and more!

Do you have any advice for someone just starting out in sound design, or someone looking to get experience in the field? Is there anything you would tell your younger self if you could travel back in time?

Just do it. Just say you’re a designer and start putting yourself out there. Learn by doing. Make mistakes. Sound design for your friends and for fun. Think of your first designs as a self-guided class. YouTube the stuff you don’t know.

What’s next for you?

A sound design for the first show of Studio 58’s 2022/2023 season!

Yellow Fever runs from May 28-June 12. Buy tickets here!

Evan is excited to be doing live foley and playing the role of Goldberg in Yellow Fever. Previous sound designs: Spinning You Home (Spinner’s Collective), Focus (happy/accidents), Anon(ymous) (Studio 58), Centurions (Evergreen Cultural Centre), and The Skin of Our Teeth (Studio 58). Theatre acting: How the World Began (Pacific Theatre), Peter Pan (Carousel Theatre), The Hobbit (Globe Theatre), East Van Panto: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Theatre Replacement). Film/TV: Upload (Amazon), Valley of the Boom (National Geographic), Nancy Drew (CW), Debris (NBC), Heartland (CBC), Sacred Lies (Facebook), Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC), and Blue Hour (Muskrat Pass Productions) for which he received a Leo Award nomination and a UBCP/ACTRA Award nomination for Best Lead Performance Male in a Motion Picture. Evan is a graduate of Studio 58.

Meet the Cast(s) of Mary’s Wedding

We talked to the two casts of Mary’s Wedding about theatre in a pandemic, what they’re excited about, and what the play means to them, among other things. If the state of the world has got you down, read on for some inspiration and hope for the future!


Filipina-Canadian woman with shoulder length hair against a yellow background
Sarah Roa, who plays Mary

How are you doing at this weird time? How has COVID affected your practice?

Sarah Roa: I think that this strange time has opened up my mind towards a better creative artistic practice. I’m more aware of my mental and physical wellness and honor when I need to take a break, as to avoid burn out. Whereas in the before times, I was consistently burning myself out. I am grateful for the challenges that I have faced during this time because it has proven that I am resilient and that theatre is my passion that I will always fight for.

Emma Ross: I felt really rusty when we started out! I haven’t done a full theatre contract since February 2020. There were a lot of times where I had to remind myself of what makes for a successful and fun rehearsal day for me, and what I can be doing to support the rest of the team in the rehearsal hall.

Tanner Zerr: I would say for the most part I’m doing fairly okay during all this craziness. Staying busy helps, and this show has been keeping us quite busy.


As a young person in our current time, how do you think people have changed since 1914? What remains the same?

Dark haired young man with a beard, against a concrete wall
Tanner Zerr, who plays Charlie

TZ: Part of the fun of this script for me has been piecing together what life was like in that time frame. People moved, touched, and thought in a very different way. It certainly wasn’t an easy way of life. Personally, I come from a background of farmers who settled on the prairies in the early 1900s, so it’s given me an opportunity to dive into my own family history to try and build my interpretation of Charlie.


Is Mary’s Wedding a love story, an anti-war play, a beautiful dream, or a mashup of all three? Feel free to throw in other things that the play is, for you.

SR: It is a love story; a journey of witnessing two young people falling in love for the first time. It brings its audience by painting many very beautiful portraits and leaves them thinking about the first person they fell in love with. It’s a moment to reminisce innocence, love and the journey out of adolescence.

ER: To me it’s all three, but a love story at its core. I’m still exploring the juxtaposition between the descriptions of serving on the front line versus the journey of falling in love. It’s a reminder to not take our loved ones for granted. It’s a story that Mary tells for Charlie.


The script makes big jumps in time–as an actor how does that challenge you?

SR: It’s thrilling, Mary ages throughout the play from 15-21 years old in very quick bursts. It keeps me on my toes and has me reliving all those moments in my life as a young person.

ER: Physically adjusting myself according to Mary’s age as well as swapping clearly between Flowers, Mary, and narrating has been the biggest challenge in this production for me. Jacob, Donna and I did a lot of text and brain work to identify time jumps and string different timelines and locations together.

TZ: It’s a good challenge as an actor because we have to make sure we keep the characters’ journey clear and know exactly what’s happened or not happened, in each scene. Thankfully, the playwright helps us out because the scenes are structured in way that, although there’s a jump in time, the emotional quality carries over and almost bleeds into the next scene.


Is there anything you would like audiences to know about this piece?

Young woman in a burgundy top, with shoulder length dirty blonde hair.
Emma Ross, who plays Mary

ER: I think it’s interesting to note that the story takes place over quite a long time span of 6 years. Charlie and Mary meet in early summer of 1914 and the play ends in 1920.


What about this performance are you most excited about?

ER: I’m really excited to time travel with our audiences! Stephen Massicotte’s text is filled with rich and specific imagery. It’s really fulfilling when I allow myself to let the language transport me. I hope that watching our show will do the same for others.

TZ: I think I’m most excited for the tech. We’ve been working hard rehearsing to make sure the story is in our bodies, but the set, lights, costumes, and sound really brings it together. It puts you right into the world of it, and it informs so much of the performance.


Are there any upcoming performances (Firehall or otherwise) that you are looking forward to?

SR: I was meant to have my first season at Bard on the Beach in 2020. The show is being produced this year and I am beyond excited about it. I will be playing my dream role, Puck in a Midsummer Nights Dream.

Young bearded man with dark hair and a beard, against a white background
Jacob Leonard, who plays Charlie

Jacob Leonard: I really want to see Noises Off with the Arts Club. I have wanted to do a bombastic comedy for a while but don’t necessarily think I have the proper skillset at this point in my career. I think seeing Noises off would provide me with many valuable ideas and lessons about the genre.

ER: Beautiful Man at Pi Theatre, Ominous Sounds at the River Crossing at Touchstone Theatre and Six of One at Studio 58!


What has been inspiring you lately? (Theatre or not!)

SR: Working with children has been very inspiring. I teach drama at the Shadbolt Arts Centre and my youngest group I teach is between 4-5 years old. They are such a delight to be in the room with because they are so engaged and committed to their imaginations. It’s wonderful to watch them play and share my love for acting with them.

JL: I’ve been really inspired by HBO’s Succession. It’s one of those rare TV shows where you wonder how its conception was even possible. The directing, writing, producing and acting all just come together perfectly on some cosmic level or something–I don’t know–that sounds whimsical, but it’s true. Shows like this shouldn’t exist on paper. There is just far too much dedication and talent.

ER: I’m obsessed with Euphoria like the rest of the world, as well as Florence Pugh and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

TZ: it’s inspiring for me to see theatre companies like the Firehall creating work for young actors such as myself. Trying to start your career as an actor in the middle of the pandemic is daunting to say the least, but this show gives me hope, and hopefully it will inspire other people too.




Call for Board Members

The Firehall Theatre Society/ Firehall Arts Centre is looking for Board Members!

The Firehall Arts Centre has a rich place in the history of Vancouver. It is well recognized as a place where new and established artists, performers, playwrights, choreographers and theatre workers of all backgrounds produce and present their work. The Firehall connects communities and its mission is to showcase provocative performing and visual arts reflective of the diversity of Canada. We have the following core values:

Community: We nurture our local and artistic communities.

Inclusion: We commit to welcoming a diversity of artists and audiences to the world of professional performing and visual arts.

Transparency: We conduct business in an ethical and transparent manner.

Education: We educate and inspire our artists, our staff and our audiences.

Sustainability: We commit to the fiscal and environmental sustainability of our artistic practice.

Please visit for more information. 

Board Director Opportunity 

We seek applications from those interested in joining The Firehall Arts Centre Society Board. The Board is primarily responsible for: 

  • Ensuring the organization achieves its mission and strategic plan
  • Ensuring that the Board conducts its own stewardship process appropriately
  • Supporting and overseeing the Artistic Producer’s role in continuously driving the success of the organization

Specifically we are looking for volunteers with any, or a combination of, the following skills: 

  • Arts/Non-Profit Business Management
  • Fundraising
  • Partnership Engagement
  • Human Resources (especially in recruitment and succession)
  • Risk
  • Organizational leadership/Board leadership experience
  • Past board governance experience and a passion for the arts is an asset
  • Experience and interest in becoming a Committee Chair is an asset

All Directors should also have the following personal attributes:

  • Ability to commit to the responsibilities and time of being an engaged Director
  • Willingness to act as an ambassador for the organization
  • Communication skills which embraces diversity of thought 
  • Strong bias to learn and the ability to make sound independent judgement
  • High degree of integrity in personal dealings
  • Big picture and strategic thinking
  • Team player and the ability to build on working relationships

Time Commitment
Term: Directors’ terms are for two years with an option to renew. 

Commitment: It is expected that those interested will devote the time to being an engaged Director. This requires:

  • Monthly Board meetings and Committee meetings as required (currently held online but returning to the Firehall Arts Centre in Vancouver when safe)
  • Commitment to the work and participation of at least one Committee (not including Committees of the whole)
  • Preparing for meetings and conducting related work outside of formal meetings
  • Participation in fundraising activities and other Board and organizational events, as required

In total this may require roughly 6 – 8 hours each month. In addition, Directors are expected to make an annual donation to the organization and attend performances if possible. 

Interested individuals are invited to submit a letter of interest and resume to Jenn Fong ( by November 5, 2021. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. We thank you for your interest.




2021/2021 Reunion Season Announcement

The Firehall Arts Centre is thrilled to announce its 39th season, and Artistic Producer Donna Spencer has proudly programmed it as a Reunion Season.

“We have heard from Firehall audiences how much they miss theatre and dance in their lives,” says Spencer. “And in our 2021-2022 season, we are looking forward to having a reunion – a reunion with them and with the artists and creative teams we have missed so much. In some instances, the productions will be reuniting the Firehall with artists we haven’t worked with for a long time, and in others, our creative teams will be exploring stories that reunite characters with their past.”

The Firehall’s 2021-22 Reunion Season opens with the world premiere of Raven Spirit Dance’s Chapter 21 from September 29 to October 3. Choreographed by Starr Muranko and directed by Yvette Nolan, Chapter 21 explores what happens when a vibrant, powerful artist comes face to face with a crippling collision of events. A dance/theatre piece, Chapter 21 is a reflection on the days that have come to pass and the art of becoming.

Paddle Song, running November 9-21, tells the story of Mohawk poet, Pauline Johnson, in this energetic and humorous one-woman musical starring Cheri Maracle, and created by Dinah Christie and Tom Hill. Published and hailed by the literati of England at a time when it was ruled by white men, Pauline Johnson toured for over 30 years across Canada, the U.S., and Great Britain during the late 1800s.

From December 2-12, the Firehall Arts Centre, in association with Touchstone Theatre Flying Start Production, presents Lights. Written by Adam Grant Warren, Lights is a humorous and heartfelt story of a tight-knit family adapting to profound life changes.

The Firehall’s Solstice Greetings returns for a fourth year from December 16-18 to share stories, poems, and songs created by the Grade 6 and 7 students from Lord Strathcona Elementary School in celebration of the holiday season.

The first production of 2022 is a powerful dance/theatre piece that enjoyed sold out performances at the 2019 Dancing on the Edge Festival – John. Scheduled for January 12-15, John is a memoir of Walkley’s oldest brother, who disappeared from Vancouver in May 1969, never to be heard from again. John is choreographed by Helen Walkley and performed by Josh Martin and Billy Marchenski.

Makambe K Simamba’s Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers is a protest for all Black life beyond headlines and hashtags, a prayer for all families left behind, and a promise to the community that all Black lives matter. Running January 20-22, this Tarragon Theatre and Black Theatre Workshop co-production is based on the world premiere production by b current Performing Arts and presented by the Firehall Arts Centre, PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, and Touchstone Theatre.

From January 27 to February 20, Elaine Ávila’s FADO – The Saddest Music in the World returns to the Firehall stage after its wildly successful, sold out run in 2019. Part concert, part theatre, the story of a young woman confronting her country’s Fascist past and her own identify is interwoven with the heartbreaking national music of Portugal, known as Fado, which means “fate”. FADO – The Saddest Music in the World is produced by the Firehall Arts Centre and Puente Theatre.

The Firehall Arts Centre presents the world premiere of Manami Hara’s new work, Courage Now, March 2-13. Courage Now tells the story of Japanese Consul Chiune Sugihara who helped over 6000 Polish and Lithuanian Jews escape the Nazis in 1940. Going against his government orders, he issued more than 2000 handwritten visas, risking both his life and his career. Some of those whose lives were saved have families living in British Columbia today. Courage Now is produced by the Firehall Arts Centre in association with Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre.

White Noise will take the stage from April 16 to May 1st. Written by the late Taran Kootenhayoo, White Noise is a comedy about two families who have dinner together for the first time during Truth and Reconciliation Week. It explores what is means to live in Canada from two different paradigms and asks us to consider: How do we deal with internalized racism? Do we keep pushing it away and pretend to live safely in our day-to-day? White Noise is produced by the Firehall Arts Centre and Savage Society.

The Firehall’s 2021-22 Reunion Season closes with the presentation of its production Yellow Fever from May 14 to 28. Written by R.A. Shiomi, Yellow Fever takes audiences into the world of post-war Powell Street as hard-nosed detective ‘Sam Shikaze’ sets out to find the missing ‘Cherry Blossom Queen’ and discovers racism in the local police force.

Tickets not yet on sale.

Passes for the Firehall Arts Centre’s 2021-22 Reunion Season are on sale now and available online at or by phone at 604.689.0926. Four-show passes start at $79.

COVID-19 protocols will still be in place and all patrons will be required to show proof of vaccination upon arrival at the box office.

Exploring the Pandemic’s Lexicon

We Will Be Back Soon But We Need Your Help

With fingers crossed the Firehall looks forward to re-opening in July with live performances for a limited number of audience members. The Firehall has been at the forefront of ensuring we have a comprehensive COVID safety plan in place for when audiences and artists meet again. Our staff and volunteers are receiving training in all aspects of keeping everyone safe. But as we move forward with plans for the summer and the 2021-2022 season, we are asking for your support to ensure the Firehall’s recovery from the impact the pandemic has had on the arts.

Exploring the pandemic’s lexicon:

PPEs: Before COVID, personal protection equipment may have had many different interpretations which we won’t explore in this message but since March 2020 everyone has become pretty familiar with the acronym. Help us say a big thank you to the front-line workers in health care, in safety services and in grocery stores and in particular to those who have been working in the Downtown Eastside to reduce the impact of COVID and the DRUG pandemic. All funds raised through the PPE ticket donation program will go towards providing free tickets to those who have worked diligently to keep us safe. A donation of $100 will support four complimentary tickets for five front-line workers.

ZOOM: Since the pandemic we don’t have meetings or conversations – we “jump” on Zoom to connect visually and hope everyone’s camera is focused above their waistlines and if their children interrupt or they want to introduce us to their cat, dog or hamster that we have the patience to be kind. At the Firehall as we tried to bring more and more of our activities online, we discovered our antiquated systems were sadly lacking and although some upgrades were undertaken there is still more to be done. Help us upgrade into the new world of digital connection with a donation of whatever amount works with your budget.

PIVOT: Pivoting became about changing your lifestyle from day to day to ensure everything you did was essential and if you had doubts, you pivoted to stay at home. A donation of $150 will help support 1.5 minutes of choreographic creation in which a dance artist could show you a truly physical pivot.

STREAM/STREAMING: A stream is no longer a place where you go for a cool dip and streaming is not about weeping profusely as you laugh at something said on stage or have an allergic reaction to the amazing plethora of flowering trees that helped us all stay hopeful during the Circuit Breaker. A donation of $200 will help us record and stream some of our live performances next season for those who may not be able to come to a live theatre performance for various reasons.

ESSENTIAL/NON-ESSENTIAL: An essential service became just about everything except for attendance at live performances while non-essential services were never quite clear to many of us. Essential: Actors, dancers, playwrights, choreographers, musicians, designers, creative workers are all essential. We need them in our lives to encourage us to dream, to feel, to learn, to cry and to laugh. Non-essential: Nothing is non-essential in the arts. We always have places where funds are required – whether it is purchasing toilet paper (apparently essential given the toilet paper shortages during the early days of the lockdown) or supporting the maintenance and operations of the Firehall. A donation of $300 will help us with all of those things.

DIALING IT UP like on a dimmer switch became a way to talk about the restrictions but we were never certain if that meant adding more restrictions or the other way around. In the theatre, bringing up the dimmer means increasing the intensity of the stage lighting so maybe that was really about the light at the end of the tunnel becoming brighter. For a donation of $500 you can support the costs of one actor’s costume so they can wow you with they’re intensity.

CIRCUIT BREAKER: A circuit breaker is no longer the way you find out if you have overloaded electrical circuits (like what happens at the Firehall when we plug the micro-wave in when the coffee machine is running) but a way to stop the spread of the virus and its variants. Help us celebrate keeping the circuit breakers open after so many dark nights of empty stages and only the Firehall Ghosts performing by making a donation of $1000.

STAY-CATION: Stay-cations became inventive ways to keep your family entertained or to get outdoors and to escape watching another show on Netflix. Everyone searched for new places to go and new things to do in our neighborhoods. We took on DIY projects, read a lot of books, planted gardens, and then checked out a few glasses of wine or tasted the herbs growing in the window box. If you are still looking for a great stay-cation for donations of $10000, we will plan a theme-party for you in your ten person bubble. Feel like a night in Mexico – let us transform the courtyard and bring on the tequila. Suggest a location or theme of your choice and we will get on to planning an event to remember.

Ah, the language of the pandemic. We hope you had some fun reading this and are encouraged to make whatever donation amount you choose. We know you are missing coming to live performances and we sure know we miss doing them for you. Thanks for your wonderful support – stay safe and we will see you soon.


The Firehall Theatre Society is a not for profit charity ( #119232965RR001) and all donations are tax-deductible.

Request for Proposal

The Firehall Theatre Society is practicing due diligence in putting out a request-for-proposal (RFP) for auditors with an interest and experience in yearly audits for Not-for-profit Charitable Arts Organizations.  The societies mission is to produce and present provocative performing and visual arts reflective of the diversity of Canada. We are committed to the process and look forward to the opportunity to meet some great auditors along the way! The length of the commitment is for the fiscal year’s ending June 2022 to June 2024. If your firm would like further details regarding the RFP please go to the link provided. Click HERE and HERE for more info.

Firehall Update, May 27th, 2021

If you are missing coming to the Firehall, you have three days left to catch the Rice & Beans exhibition, yellow objects! This installation work has been wowing those visiting with its innovative story telling, sans actors, and is one of the most exciting pivots made during this COVID time. Click HERE to learn more about yellow objects!
But, you will be back sitting in our theatre seats soon! With Tuesday’s press announcement by Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Dix we were thrilled to hear the Firehall will be able to bring audiences and artists together again for LIVE performances in the near future. And by September, we may even be back to some kind of new normal in the performing arts sector. We will kick off a full 2021-2022 season of theatre, dance, music and more in late September and have our fingers crossed that from then on it will be smooth sailing. It will be fabulous to have artists back in the studio and theatre rehearsing, eating their lunch in the green room and sharing their talents on stage with eager-to-see-them audiences. Watch for the premiere of Chapter 21 at last, R.A. Shiomi’s Yellow Fever, the premiere of Manami Hara’s Courage Now, and much much more. With this season we will celebrate artistically the challenges, the hopes and the resilience of individuals through theatrical stories and choreographies created and shared by some of British Columbia’s most talented artists.
– Artistic Producer, Donna Spencer