Expanded repertoire, bold new initiatives highlight Canadian College of Performing Arts’s 21st season

VICTORIA, B.C. – A courtroom classic and two Tony Award-winning musicals are among a diverse slate of plays set to highlight Canadian College of Performing Arts’s 21st season, the College’s new managing artistic director Caleb Marshall and Director of Education and Programming Heather Burns announced during a launch event Aug. 18 at the Oak Bay-based theatre.

Dozens of local artistic and community leaders, donors and supporters including Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen and honorary board member Mel Cooper heard the new leadership team address current issues and share news about the College’s 2018-2019 lineup. Six plays that touch on the timelessness of being human will be showcased during the College’s 2018-2019 season.

The lineup at the College’s theatre at 1701 Elgin Rd. includes Twelve Angry Jurors, a fresh take on Reginald Rose’s courtroom drama that opens Oct. 18; The Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood’s darkly comic update on the ancient Greek story of Trojan War hero Odysseus from his wife Penelope’s viewpoint; Will Eno’s metaphorical small-town comedy-drama Middletown, and Stage Door, Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman’s classic backstage comedy.

The season’s two Broadway musicals include Sweet Charity, scripted by Neil Simon, with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Dorothy Fields, and the big season finale at the McPherson Playhouse starting April 19, the Arthur Laurents-written and Leonard Bernstein-scored classic West Side Story.

The new leadership team’s plans include a mission to increase the College’s national visibility while honoring its founding principles. The College will benefit from Marshall’s decade of national experience leading regional theatres and extensive training in acting and direction.

It complements Burns’s own wealth of experience as a musician, educator and music director. The duo unveiled plans to align with strategic priorities of the Canadian theatre sector.
A highlight of a new three-year strategic plan is the new Relaxed Performances initiative that makes theatre a more inclusive experience for all audiences. It’s the first of its kind to be implemented on Vancouver Island.

Community partnerships include again appearing with the Naden Band and a new partnership with Oak Bay on a public presentation of the Remembrance Day concert.

After twenty years, the College is designing a crest to reflect its new identity and will be welcoming stakeholder feedback on what to include. Along with development of the new school crest, the team has determined one clear symbol to be included: a refreshed version of the College’s original energized Maple Leaf.

This new logo, developed by Randall Anthony Communications, coincides with the start of the College’s new chapter.

“The new plan and initiatives, new additions to our board and staff, the re-branding – coupled with our exceptional faculty – will all contribute to a remarkable season by some of the most talented emerging artists in the country”,” said Marshall.