Pacific Theatre presents: Mark Leiren-Young's BAR MITZVAH BOY

Pacific Theatre presents: Mark Leiren-Young's BAR MITZVAH BOY

What are the moments that define our lives? Joey, a successful divorce lawyer, is used to things going his way. When he suddenly decides he needs a Bar Mitzvah he doesn't expect to have to wait, or take classes. But when he meets Michael, an acerbic rabbi with to-do lists of her own, what began as a simple bureaucratic checkbox becomes a deep immersion in the meaning of ritual, maturing, and friendship. Making its world premiere on the Pacific Theatre stage, Bar Mitzvah Boy is a sharp-tongued comedy about growing up... at any age.

The play is the latest from award winning Vancouverite Mark Leiren-Young, whose Shakespeare riff Shylock had a successful run at Bard on the Beach last fall. Leiren-Young won the 2017 Jewish Playwriting Prize for Bar Mitzvah Boy's script, and reached out to Artistic Director Ron Reed about debuting the play at Pacific Theatre. "I'm always impressed by the productions at Pacific Theatre, and so I asked Ron if he'd be open to a play from a Jewish perspective," said Leiren-Young. "He was the first AD I sent it to, and I'm so thrilled he's mounting the premiere!"

For the run of the play, set designer Carolyn Rapanos will transform the alley stage into a space familiar to former B'nei Mitzvot and Sunday school attendees - the utilitarian classrooms, dim synagogue, and cramped offices of an active house of worship. "Mark came to me with the perfect script - entertaining, funny, and smart, while digging right into the struggles of faith and loss," says Reed. "Bar Mitzvah Boy is about a lot of things, but perhaps most of all about how we imbue these mundane spaces with community. And the surprising ways that community opens up to welcome you home."

Bar Mitzvah Boy opens Friday, March 23rd and runs until April 14th at Pacific Theatre.


Directed by Ian Farthing. Featuring Gina Chiarelli and Richard Newman. Set Design by Carolyn Rapanos. Lighting Design by Jillian White. Costume Design by Kaitlin Williams. Sound Design by Matthew MacDonald-Bain. Stage Management by April Starr Land.

BAR MITZVAH BOY by Mark Leiren-Young When: Mar 23 - Apr 14, Wed-Sat at 8pm with 2pm matinees Saturdays. Pay-what-you-can preview Mar 22. Where: Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave (at Hemlock), Vancouver, BC Tickets: $20-36.50 (not incl. HST). To book visit or call 604.731.5518

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