SEPTEMBER 2023 | Volume 231
Jasmine Chen, Praneet Akilla, and Staffanie Davis. Costume design by Donnie Tejani. Photo by David Cooper for the Arts Club Theatre Company, Someone Like You, 2023.
An Arts Club Silver Commission and World Premiere
Dive into 21st-century Vancouver with millennial manifestos, dating apps, and a quest for self-love: the World Premiere of Someone Like You, plays Oct 5–29 at the Arts Club Theatre Company’s Newmont Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre.
Best friends Isabelle (Steffanie Davis), verbose and open-hearted, and Kristin (Jasmine Chen), vulnerable and loyal, have been through thick and thin since university. When Isabelle takes her “wingman” duties for Kristin’s rebound romance with Harjit (Praneet Akilla) a bit too far, feelings and friendships are fraught with complications. A millennial take on the mistaken identities of Cyrano de Bergerac and set in East Vancouver, Someone Like You is first and foremost a comedy and a love story, featuring intensely relatable characters and scenarios.
Playwright Christine Quintana said, “Audiences can expect a very fun night at the theatre! All the joy of your favourite vintage rom-coms but without the fatphobia, racism, and homophobia that come with the period. Our creative team has filled the stage with fashion and iconography from East Van and recognizable characters from our daily lives. The core of Someone Like You is a female friendship—something so foundational to so many people’s lives, but so rarely represented authentically on stage.”
The Arts Club’s Artistic Director, Ashlie Corcoran, added, “When I first arrived at the Arts Club back in 2018, I heard from numerous sources that I should meet with Christine—a Vancouver playwright who was making waves across the nation. Right from our first tea, I knew I wanted to offer her a Silver Commission. I also had a hunch that she’d bring an interesting perspective to a project I wanted to initiate: a modern adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac set in Vancouver. Like with many things, the pandemic interrupted our expectations. In Christine’s case, we quickly pivoted from commissioning a stage play to an audio play, and then eventually back to a stage play. Five years after first meeting each other, I am thrilled the world premiere Christine’s funny, fierce, political, and theatrical play will now be on our stage.”
The Arts Club will be partnering with YVR Fat Clothing Swap and Steffanie Davis, who plays Isabelle and is the Body Politics & Inclusivity Consultant for Someone Like You, to host a plus-sized clothing swap on October 15, 6–9 PM, at the BMO Theatre Centre. YVR Fat Clothing Swap hosted their first swap in June 2023 and quickly realized how necessary this space was, with over 1,000 donations and media attention. Admission to the swap is $10, or free with proof of a ticket for Someone Like You, at any point during the run.
Someone Like You is a 2023 Arts Club Silver Commission, originally adapted into an audio play for the 2021–2022 Listen to This series.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Born in Los Angeles, Christine Quintana is now a grateful visitor to the Unceded Coast Salish Territories. Quintana is an actor, playwright, and co-artistic producer of Delinquent Theatre. She received the 2017 Siminovitch Protégeé Prize for Playwriting from Marcus Youssef, a Dora Mavor Moore Award, Jessie Richardson Theatre Award, Tom Hendry Award, and Sydney Risk Award, and is a Governor General’s Award nominee. Her works include Never the Last (co-created with Molly MacKinnon), Selfie, Good Things to Do (rEvolver Festival and FoldA), Clean (with translator Paula Zalaya Cervantes), and El Terremoto, an adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, set in Vancouver. Quintana is a proud co-founding member of the Canadian Latinx Theatre Artist Coalition. She holds a BFA in Acting from the University of British Columbia.
Praneet Akilla (Harjit), Jasmine Chen (Kristin), Steffanie Davis (Isabelle)
Jivesh Parasram (Director), Stephen Drover (Dramaturg), Wladimiro Woyno Rodriguez (Set & Lighting Designer), Donnie Tejani (Costume Designer), Mishelle Cuttler (Sound Designer), Lisa Goebel (Intimacy Director), Steffanie Davis (Consultant - Body Politics & Inclusivity), AJ Simmons (Consultant - Crisis Line Coordinator at Salal Sexual Violence Support Centre), Julian Lokash (Movement Consultant), Pamela Jakobs (Stage Manager), Rick Rinder (Stage Manager), Philomena Sondergaard (Apprentice Stage Manager)
SHOWTIMES + SPECIAL PERFORMANCES
October 5–29, 2023 (Media opening: October 11)
Evenings: Tue–Thu, 7:30 PM; Fri & Sat, 8 PM
Matinees: Wed, 1:30 PM; Sat & Sun, 2 PM
YVR Fat Clothing Swap: Oct 15, 6–9 PM
Talkback Tuesday: Tue, Oct 24, 7:30 PM
VocalEye Performance: Sun, Oct 29, 2 PM
ABOUT THE ARTS CLUB THEATRE COMPANY
The Arts Club Theatre Company is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, in particular the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We are honoured to live, work, and create on this land together.
The Arts Club, now celebrating its 60th anniversary season, is one of the largest not-for-profit theatre organizations in the country and is the principal gathering place for the theatrical arts in British Columbia. Comprising three unique venues across Vancouver, the Arts Club welcomes more than a quarter million guests annually, tours provincially and nationally, and engages students and artists alike through educational and professional programs.
Above all, the Arts Club is dedicated to the advancement of local artists telling stories from around the globe and, in particular, those of our region. From this, we believe that culture expands, an understanding of differences is nurtured, and art bursts forth. The Arts Club was founded in 1964 and is currently led by Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran and Executive Director Peter Cathie White.
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