Professional theatre company, based in Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, performing in the Port Theatre-–a theatre in the round. The mandate of TheatreOne is to "bring to the citizens of Nanaimo and Vancouver Island the benefits and advantages of professional theatre; to build an audience for the future through the involvement of young people; to promote and encourage cultural development on Vancouver Island."
The company was founded in 1983 and incorporated in 1984 under the name of "Shakespeare Plus." After the 1988 season, and the success of The Dunsmuirs, Part One by Nanaimo playwright Rod Langley, the company shifted its focus to the development and production of work that promoted the history and heritage of the West Coast, under the name the Nanaimo Festival Heritage Theatre Society, with a mandate to present an annual theatre festival. In 1995 the company moved from a summer to a fall season to better serve a local audience, and changed its name to TheatreOne. In recent years, it has been programming three mainstage theatre events each season, typically consisting of one in-house production and two presentations.
Since 1988, TheatreOne has had a strong record of production of Canadian plays, including Billy Bishop Goes to War (1988) by John Gray with Eric Peterson; Everloving (1989) by Margaret Hollingsworth; Alma Victoria (1990) by Hollingsworth; Midnight Madness (1991) by Dave Carley; The Occupation of Heather Rose (1991) by Wendy Lill; Brother XII (1991) by Frank Moher; Salt-Water Moon (1992) by David French; Some Assembly Required (1994) by Eugene Stickland; Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth (1999) by Drew Hayden Taylor; Mom, Dad, I'm Living with a White Girl (2001) by Marty Chan; The Shape of a Girl (2002) by Joan MacLeod; The Drawer Boy (2005) by Michael Healey; Mary's Wedding (2006) by Stephen Massicotte; If We are Women (2006) by Joanna McClelland Glass; Vigil by Morris Panych; and Marion Bridge (2008) by Daniel MacIvor.
For 2016/2017, TheatreOne co-presented with the Port Theatre the Arts Club Theatre’s production of Baskerville: a Sherlock Holmes Mystery. It also produced the BC premiere of Jennifer Wynne Webber’s Beside Myself; and presented in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday The Other Guys Theatre Company’s Flotsam and Jetsam: Songs of the BC Coast.
The 2017/18 season featured With Glowing Hearts: How Ordinary Women Worked Together to Change the World (and did) by Jennifer Wynne Webber (dir. David Mann), "the rousing true story of women in 1940s Kirkland Lake, Ontario who fought to improve working conditions for the men in the mines, and became the heart and soul of a union organizing drive that changed their lives – and the world" (website).
TheatreOne is committed to the development of new and emerging playwrights. It has commissioned, developed and presented at the Port Theatre new Canadian plays such as Best Left Buried (2003) by Marty Chan (about the history of Chinatown in Nanaimo); and The Concubine's Children (2004) by Denise Chong (based on her 1994 memoir of her fragmented family history in China and Vancouver). In 2007/08 TheatreOne initiated a monthly series of new play readings called "Emerging Voices."
TheatreOne produces the "Just Kidding Children's Entertainment Series" with Malaspina University College Theatre, for family audiences. Over the past fifteen years, it has produced seventy-five TYA plays. It has also hosted children's shows by other theatre companies, such as Axis Theatre Company, Carousel Theatre, Green Thumb Theatre for Young People, and Vancouver Opera Touring Ensemble.
Artistic Directors have included: Janet Wright(1986); Duncan Fraser (1989-91); Michael McLaughlin (1993-2000); David Mann (2000-03); Garry Davey (2004); Burton Lancaster (2005), and Garry Davey. Since 2013, the AD is David Mann.
Profile by Anne Nothof, Athabasca University. Additional information from Nadine Wiepning, publicist, TheatreOne.
Last updated 2018-03-07