JANUARY 2023 | Volume 223


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Letters, Leftvers, and The Lottery: The Writing of Shirley Jackson
by Allen Cole and Melody Johnson
Evergreen Cultural Centre, Coquitlam
Jan. 24-28
$45/$38/$16 or 604-927-6555


Evergreen Cultural Centre (ECC) is pleased to present Letters, Leftovers and The Lottery: The Writing of Shirley Jackson. This brand-new, two act play is available from January 24–28, 2023, and celebrates the ‘everydayness’ of Jackson’s vast writing career. Shirley Jackson was an influential American author during the Cold War era, whose mix of dark, psychological thrillers and introspective slice-of-life stories have continued to inspire generations of fiction writers such as Stephen King and Richard Matheson.

In this thoughtful exploration of Jackson’s body of work, composer Allen Cole and actor Melody Johnson combine reading, performance and live piano to explore Jackson’s popular ‘domestic humour’ stories based on her trials and tribulations as a 1950’s homemaker. Touching on the antics of her husband and four children, these wildly popular stories were first published in magazines like Good Housekeeping and Reader’s Digest and are often seen as the precursors of a genre now referred to as the “Mom Blog.” The show also shares a haunting retelling of her most well-known short story, “The Lottery,” and a look into the dystopic thrillers that rocketed her to the public eye, like her novel The Haunting of Hill House, which was recently adapted by Netflix in 2018. We invite audiences and book lovers alike to join us for a curated look into Jackson’s tales. A special Talk-Back Session with actor Melody Johnson will take place after the show on Thursday, January 27, 2023.

Allen Cole, Composer - Originally from Nova Scotia, Allen Cole has worked variously as composer, musical director, and writer for The Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, the National Arts Centre and many other theatres across the country. He’s won numerous awards, including four Dora Mavor Moore awards, six Robert Merritt awards, and a Best Film Score Award from The Atlantic Film Festival. His musical Rockbound won five Merritt Awards, including Best New Play, Best Music and Best Production, and was nominated for the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia’s Masterworks Award.

His gamelan opera, How It Storms, was commissioned and performed by The Evergreen Club. His funk musical comedy The Bricklin premiered at the Fredericton Playhouse in 2010, and played in Katowice, Poland in 2013 and 2015. His musical based on Alice in Wonderland (created with Peter Hinton) premiered in May 2016 at the Shaw Festival.

Melody A. Johnson, Performer - An accomplished creator, Melody has enjoyed a career moving between the worlds of comedy and drama. Since 2010 Melody has toured and produced the self-penned Miss Caledonia throughout Canada, (premiering at the prestigious Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, and National Arts Centre in Ottawa), and internationally to the United Kingdom. The play garnered two Toronto Dora nominations (Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Performance 2013), and Calgary’s Betty Mitchell honour was awarded to actor Jamie Konchak for her portrayal of the titular character. Melody was recognized by Ontario Contact with the 2014 Touring Artist of the Year award and has since ‘passed the baton’ to many wonderful performers and theatres. The play was recently produced in 2021 at Gananoque’s Thousand Islands Playhouse, and spring of 2022 at the Globe Theatre in Regina.

Person of Interest, a light, topical take on neighbourly warfare, has delighted critics and audiences from coast to coast and continues limited runs. An alumna of The Toronto Second City, Stratford Festival, Melody has appeared on stages throughout the country, and she continues to voice Agent Nola in Season 3 of Treehouse TV’s Agent Binky: Pets of the Universe Ready for Space Travel. Always pleased to offer workshops on tour Melody is an educator at the Humber School of Comedy, and founder of Comedy Coop, an online school of comedy studies for women.

$45 Adults | $38 Seniors | $16 Students (inc. post-Secondary) Tickets are available online at or through the ECC Box Office: 604.927.6555. Open Monday – Saturday, 12–5PM.

Situated on the shores of Lafarge Lake in Town Centre Park, Evergreen Cultural Centre exists on the unceded, traditional and ancestral core territory of the kʷikʷəƛ̓ əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation, which lies within the shared territories of the səlilwətaɁɬtəməxʷ ̓ (Tsleil-Waututh), S’ólhTéméxw (Stó:lō), qiqéyt (Qayqayt) and sq̓əciy̓ ̓aɁɬtəməxʷ (Katzie), xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) nations in the region known today as the Tri-Cities.

Described by the City of Coquitlam as the “cultural jewel in Coquitlam’s Town Centre”, Evergreen Cultural Centre is the premiere venue for live arts events, exhibitions, and experiences in the Tri-Cities. We offer a thrilling season of over 50 performing arts presentations annually in the studio theatre, alongside contemporary art exhibitions from artists of all mediums in the Art Gallery at Evergreen. We are dedicated to creating an inclusive and accessible community gathering place and invite visitors to immerse themselves in the magic of live performance and visual art.

As a non-profit and charitable organization, we believe that art is integral to healthy communities, and that art is meant to be shared and explored as a way to connect and inspire us. Our mission is to provide our community with quality artistic programming and engage students and artists alike through educational and professional programs. In 2021, Evergreen celebrated its 25th anniversary as the Tri-Cities locally treasured and widely respected venue for excellence in diverse artistic endeavors.

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