Alumni Co-Presentation

CCPA Performance Hall

October 26-28, 2023
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Alumni Co-presentation with At Your Service Arts by Christina Penhale (Alumni) & Jeffrey Renn (Faculty)

The summer of 1593, London is shuttered and the theatres closed due to plague. Queen Elizabeth moves her court to South Hampton to attend a wedding. Apocryphally it is said that Elizabeth the 1st, herself, plays Titania, Queen of the Faeries, in the premiere production of A MidSummer Night’s Dream

What conversations must have happened adjacent to these events? What transpired for the Queen, herself, to originate one of Shakespeare’s most iconic female characters in a time where women weren’t allowed on the stage? As imagined by the writers; A catalytic conversation that reverberates across time.

Besse’s Will is an imagined encounter between the good queen, herself, and the quill of her age. It is a love letter to the theatre, the play includes sections from more than 20 of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as Elizabeth the 1st’s speeches to parliament, selections from the bible and of course original writing by Jeffrey Renn. 

Christina Penhale and Jeffrey Renn, joined by musicians Jim Shultz (Guitar and Lute) and Joanne Whitehead (Renaissance Recorder) star in this theatrical buffet, told through song, sonnet and scene where you will fall In Love with Shakespeare over and over again.

​Lovin’ Shakespeare debuted at ArtSpring on Salt Spring Island spring 2022. 

Click to purchase individual tickets. 


Ticket Pricing: 

  • All tickets $25

Important Notes: 

  • All seating for in-house performances is festival seating. We encourage you to arrive early to ensure you get your preferred seating. 
  • Additionally, in an effort to save paper, CCPA does not offer physical tickets for our events. Instead, when you arrive at the theatre, simply state your name to the Box Office staff and they will check your name off our guest list. 
  • All ticket sales are FINAL. Exchanges may be made with at least 24 hours notice.
Thursday, October 26, 2023 | 7:30PM
Friday, October 27, 2023 | 7:30PM
Saturday, October 28, 2023 | 2PM* , 7:30PM
*Relaxed Performance

Written and performed by Christina Penhale and Jeffrey Renn.

Written and performed by Christina Penhale and Jeffrey Renn.

Joanne Whitehead – Baroque Recorder
Jim Shultz – Guitar & Lute
Al Lehmann – Set and Technical Direction
Maureen Mackay – Costumes
Sue Lehmann – Stage Manager
Jaya Story – Musical Arrangements

Photos: Metta Rose Photography


Jeffrey Renn

Performer . Director . Writer

Jeffrey Renn is an actor, director, teacher, clown, and – always – a master storyteller. He is an alumnus of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, where he studied acting and has an MFA in Directing from the University of Victoria. Jeffrey was a member of the acting companies at the Shaw and Stratford Festivals and has also appeared on Broadway in Moliere’s The Miser and Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

​An acclaimed Director and Acting Teacher, Jeffrey taught Acting and Movement at The University of Victoria, The Gastown Actors Studio, George Brown College, Queensland University of Technology, Bond University, and the Lismore School of the Arts in Australia. 

Jeffrey currently teaches private acting classes, coaches actors and is a frequent guest lecturer at Douglas College, University of Victoria and The Canadian College of Performing Arts.

He was honoured to work with the Kickstart Disability Arts Organization and to be the interim Artistic Director of Realwheels – a Vancouver-based, professional theatre company that produces performances that deepen the audience’s understanding of the disability experience.

​At present, he resides on Salt Spring Island building a summer Shakespeare program for local theatre company, exitStageLeft Productions, and continues to work on his next installment of, At Your Service – the story of the life of Robert Service.


Christina Penhale

Christina Penhale is a prolific  actor, director, playwright, and teacher. She grew up on Salt Spring Island where a love for the arts was instilled at an early age. Christina is a former alumni of the Canadian College of Performing Arts.

​Christina has worked in many areas of Theatre and film from Acting and Directing to production management and special effects. She is the current Artistic Director of StageCoach Theatre School a performing arts school for youth and Co-Artistic Director of exitStageLeft Productions a semi-professional theatre company, producing musicals and classics on Salt Spring Island. 

Christina has produced/directed over 20 productions , and is working on 5 original pieces that are in various stages of development. This summer she co-founded the first Annual SSYNC (Salt Spring Youth New Creatives) Festival, a playwriting and acting festival for youth 13-18. Christina currently tours original works with At Your Service Arts.



Joanne Whitehead is a classically trained musician and renaissance recorder player. In Besse’s Will she is playing Alto and Tenor recorder. 

Joanne played clarinets in Edmonton Youth Orchestra and in the Royal Academic Orchestra in Uppsala, Sweden; she played boxwood clarinets and learned about historical performance practices at Abbaye aux Dames in the South of France. Now she is based on Salt Spring and enjoys playing renaissance recorders.

She is thrilled to work on this piece, the recorder adds an authentic feel to the show, you can almost imagine yourself walking the gardens of Southampton in the 1590’s.

Jim Shultz is multi-talented string musician. In Besse’s Will he’s playing classical guitar and the lute. 

Jim has performed with a number of groups and vocalists on Salt Spring and has been a part of many musicals over the years, including Rent and Spring Awakening both with ExitStageLeft Productions on Salt Spring Island.

He is delighted to be part of Besse’s Will again as it travels to the bigger island.

Check back soon

Check back soon