HELEN LAWRENCE Launches 2014 International Tour

HELEN LAWRENCE Launches 2014 International Tour

Helen Lawrence, a highly anticipated new Canadian production at the frontier of new media use in performance art, marked its world premiere on March 19 in Vancouver before launching an international tour. The mixed-media project, produced by Canadian Stage with co-producers Arts Club Theatre Company (Vancouver) and The Banff Centre (Alberta), will travel across Canada and Europe in 2014 with stops in Montreal, Munich, Edinburgh and Toronto.

World-renowned visual artist Stan Douglas and acclaimed screenwriter Chris Haddock (Da Vinci's Inquest, Intelligence) mark their theatrical debuts with Helen Lawrence. Intertwining theatre, visual art, live-action filming and computer-generated simulations of historical sites, 1948 Vancouver is recreated in this film noir-inspired, suspense-filled tale of urban renewal and revenge.

In Vancouver, Helen Lawrence is on stage at the Arts Club Theatre Company's Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage through April 13 and will open the Festival TransAmériques in Montreal from May 22 to 24. The production will be on stage from June 18 to 27 at the Munich Kammerspiele in Germany, and will be presented as part of the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland from August 24 to 26. The show returns to Canada this fall at Canadian Stage's Bluma Appel Theatre from October 12 to November 1, 2014.

Featured prominently in Helen Lawrence is a blue-screen enclosed stage on which the play itself is performed. This allows for the actor's images to be shown alongside computer generated 3D buildings that are recreations of Vancouver's skyline from 1948. Filmed and live images of the actors are projected into detailed and fully furnished virtual spaces with the story unfolding simultaneously as both a film and a play.

Stan Douglas and associate director Sarah Garton Stanley direct a dynamic cast hailing primarily from Vancouver and Toronto: Crystal Balint, Sterling Jarvis, Nicholas Lea, Allan Louis, Ava Markus, Hrothgar Mathews, Tom McBeath, Haley McGee, Mayko Nguyen, Gerard Plunkett, Lisa Ryder and Adam Kenneth Wilson.

Stan Douglas is an internationally acclaimed Vancouver-based visual artist. Douglas' work has been included at some of the art world's premier exhibitions and is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Gallery, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Vancouver Art Gallery, among many others.

Chris Haddock is an award-winning Canadian screenwriter, director, and producer. His television projects include Da Vinci's Inquest, Da Vinci's City Hall, and, most recently, Intelligence. In addition to his own series, Haddock has contributed writing to various shows, including HBO's Boardwalk Empire. He is the recipient of 35 Gemini nominations, and has won 15. About Helen Lawrence:
Conceived and directed by Stan Douglas; story by Stan Douglas and Chris Haddock; written by Chris Haddock
Associate directed by Sarah Garton Stanley (Associate Artistic Director of English Theatre, National Arts Centre)

A co-production by Canadian Stage, Arts Club Theatre Company, The Banff Centre, Stan Douglas Inc, Festival TransAmériques and Canada's National Arts Centre, with contributions from Arts Partners in Creative Development, Presentation House Gallery, BC Arts Council, and Canada Council for the Arts.

The design team for Helen Lawrence includes: Rachel Ditor and Matthew Jocelyn (dramaturgy); Kevin McAllister (set designer); Nancy Bryant (costume designer); Rob Sondergaard (lighting designer); John Gzowski (sound designer); Brian Johnson (director of photography); Peter Courtemanche (video programmer); Stan Douglas (3D production designer); Jonny Ostrem (lead 3D artist); Trent Noble, Prajay Mehta, and Martin Gilbert (3D artists).

Subscriptions are on sale now with 4-show packages starting from $114, 6-show packages starting from $168 and full-season 14-show packages starting from $384. Subscriptions may be purchased by phone at 416-368-3110 or in-person at the Canadian Stage Box Office: Bluma Appel Theatre (27 Front Street East) or Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley Street). Single tickets will be on sale in spring 2014. Full details on the productions, casting and subscription packages are available online at www.canadianstage.com.

Photo by David Cooper

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