Dawn Petten, Amanda Sum, and Mark Chavez by Emily Cooper

WELCOME TO YOUR DIGITAL PROGRAM GUIDE!

The Cultch Presents

TR logo

East Van Panto:
The Little Mermaid

Theatre Replacement (Vancouver)
Written by Sonja Bennett
Music by Veda Hille
Directed by Meg Roe

16

nov

to

01

Jan

about
the performance

While Ariel is busking with her girl band at New Brighton Beach, she falls in love with a teenage mer-person. Ariel dives into an ocean adventure where she makes a questionable deal with a devilish octopus named Ursula, fights off evil electric eels with her trash crab BFF, Sebastian, and has to help save the ocean from a mysterious purple slime of despair.

Join the incredible returning team of Playwright Sonja Bennett, Director Meg Roe, long-time Panto Composer Veda Hille, stand-out Panto alumni Dawn Petten, Amanda Sum, Mark Chavez, Ghazal Azarbad, and Barry Mirochnick, and Panto newcomer Andrew Wheeler for bubbly good times!

Playwright: Sonja Bennett
Director: Meg Roe*
Composer/Musical Director: Veda Hille
Choreographer: Amanda Testini*
Stage Manager: Joanne P. B. Smith*
Assistant Stage Manager: Yvonne Yip*
Assistant Director: Arthi Chandra
Set and Properties Designer: John Webber
Costume Designer: Alaia Hamer
Lighting Designer: Sophie Tang
Sound Designer: Brad Danyluk
Scenic Illustrator: Cindy Mochizuki
Head of Props: Heidi Wilkinson
Assistant Lighting Designer: Hina Nishioka
Apprentice Stage Manager: Mariana Munoz
Standby: Amanda Testini*
Understudy Musicians: Mishelle Cuttler & Róisín Adams
Production Manager: Jennifer Stewart
Technical Director: Hannah Abbott
Production Assistant & Child Wrangler: Viviane Wu++
Producer: Andy Cohen

STARRING
Amanda Sum as Ariel
Dawn Petten* as Ursula
Mark Chavez as Sebastian
Ghazal Azarbad* as Eeer-k/Flounder
Andrew Wheeler* as Triton/Sea Lion

Veda Hille & Barry Mirochnick as The Flotsam and Jetsam Eelchestra
Kevin Nguyen+, Abigail Padilla+, and Adam Weaver+ as the Saltwater Ensemble

PANTO KIDS
Greta Flinn, Mia Lin, Noa Lin, Scout Lobo, Marika MacRae, Hayden Mangan, Jude Mangan, Loa Martin, Cluny Martyn, Marlowe B. Petten, Tasio Pietropaolo, Jasper Podbrey, Ida Roeliani, Tatsu Roth, Max Tyler-Hite

THEATRE REPLACEMENT
Artistic Director: Maiko Yamamoto
Associate Artistic Director: James Long
Operations Manager: Chelsea MacDonald
Interim Company Producer: Jamie King
Artistic Producer Intern: Arthi Chandra
Producer, East Van Panto: Andy Cohen

SHOW CREW
Head Fly/Carpenter: Kaden O’Reilly
Head Audio: Neal Miskin
Head Electrician: Nico Weismiller
Head Wardrobe: Pachiel Smith

*Appears with the permission of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association. Theatre Replacement engages professional artists who are members of the CAEA under the terms of the Independent Theatre Agreement. We thank them for their support.

+Student of Studio 58
++Student of SFU School for the Contemporary Arts

I saw the very first East Van Panto with my son, Maxwell, and it was a bit of a game changer for us. I hope he doesn’t mind me saying but we’re both a little twitchy and the idea that you could stand and sing and shout during a theatrical event was absolutely thrilling. We left with sore faces from smiling so hard. It became an annual tradition.

When Theatre Replacement approached me to join the Panto team, the decision was a no-brainer. As a kid I loved The Little Mermaid (I’ll be honest, the Disney movie not the Danish fairytale).  As an adult and a parent to a daughter — I was horrified by it.  It’s basically about a teenage girl with the body of a porn star who gives up her voice and entire awesome ocean life to marry some land rando with the charisma of a slug that she’s met once.

 Needless to say—the story seemed ripe for a good Panto-ing.  So that’s what we gave it.

 *No fish were harmed in the making of this production.

Sonja Bennett, Playwright

Ten years! Ten years since Jack & the Beanstalk: An East Van Panto reopened the York Theatre, and the tradition of an East Van-ified Panto began. There are countless wonderful memories from this Panto decade, but the most treasured thing inside this wild and beautiful ride has been all the incredible humans that have worked on each production—the laughter, camaraderie, magic and love that has filled our hearts year after year—our East Van Panto is now a beloved holiday tradition for so many of us, and so many of you. 

Our Panto rotates creative teams every two years, and this is the second year featuring writer Sonja Bennett and director Meg Roe. We are so grateful that they have gifted us all a 10th Anniversary Panto to remember. Get ready to take a deep breath and dive under the Panto sea! We absolutely must recognize T/R’s amazing associate artist, Veda Hille, who has written the music for EVERY. SINGLE. PANTO. We literally could not have made the shows without her. 

We are overwhelmingly proud of what the Panto has given to the audiences, artists and partners of the show, and to have reached this incredible milestone. It seems like both just yesterday and a million years ago that Jack and the Beanstalk kicked things off. Here’s to remembering all of the Pantos past. Thank you for joining us over these 10 years, and happy birthday to you, dear East Van Panto.

—Maiko, Jamie L, Chelsea, Arthi, Jamie K and Andy

Welcome to the 10th Anniversary of the East Van Panto!!!!!

In 2013 Theatre Replacement and The Cultch started the East Van Panto with Jack & the Beanstalk, dreaming that it would blossom into a beloved holiday tradition enjoyed by tens of thousands each year—and our dreams have come true! We’re so grateful to have been on this incredible journey with the amazing team at Theatre Replacement. 

Over the ten years, we have reimagined classic stories—like Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel, and Alice in Wonderland—bringing new life to traditional stories and fairy tale wonder to familiar neighbourhoods. The East Van Panto can now reach the whole world through Panto Online. You can share the magic with your family and friends across the country and around the world, so spread the word. Panto Online is available to stream on-demand from December 17th to the end of the year. Each year we make the Panto for our families, our neighbourhood, and all our friends everywhere. Be sure to share this delightfully silly and wildly irrelevant show that celebrates our community.

The East Van Panto would not be possible without the artists who have brought their immense talents to the stage, our Panto Champions and donors, and the hard-working teams at Theatre Replacement and The Cultch. Ultimately, all this magic would not have been possible without you, the folx who have come out to support live theatre and this very special anniversary. 

So grab a snorkel, look behind you, and have a phenomenal time under the sea! Happy East Van Panto!

Love, 
Heather Redfern
Executive Director of The Cultch


Theatre Replacement exists to create new, experimental and intercultural works of performance and public art works. These projects are built through a highly collaborative process, over extended working periods, and engage a diverse group of both ongoing and new collaborators. The company also supports the practice of making and sharing new work through our public programs, which include opportunities for mentorship, residency, professional development and networking. In addition, the company produces the annual East Van Panto, which evolved out of a special relationship with The Cultch and our local community. A new creation from start to finish each year, the Panto is a beloved holiday tradition that puts a new, hyper-local spin on a classic form. theatrereplacement.org

Huge thanks to: Charles Demers, Ami Gladstone, Marcus Youssef, Anita Rochon, Stephen Drover, Laura Zerebeski, Jan Hodgson, Corbin Murdoch, James Long, Adrian Muir, Barbara Clayden and all of the past Panto artistic and production teams; Don and Christine Farion and Bomber Brewing; Courtenay Dobbie, Ruth Bruhn and Studio 58; Jennifer Riedle and the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association; Elia Kirby, Leigh Kerr, Kyle Sutherland, Deirdre Roberts and the GNW Scene Shop; Max Forsyth, Aidan De Lacy, Lauren MacDonald, Jonathan Ryder, Amy McDougall and Bard on the Beach; Cissors; Kirsten McGhie and the Arts Club Wardrobe Department; Borja Brown and the UBC Department of Theatre and Film; Thanks to our Stitchers: Emma Knoxe, Sarah Sosick, Eloïse Pons, Oriana Camporese, Sean Malmas, Donnie Tejani, and a special thanks to Darryl Milot; Thanks to Props Builder: Gabe McRitchie; our friends at the Dance Centre and the Roundhouse Community Centre; Susan Miyagishima; Rachel Peake; Barbara Adler and SFU School for the Contemporary Arts; Patrick Davidson and John Fluevog Shoes; Emeline Calpetard and Modo Car Co-op; Katie Boyd and Earnest Ice Cream; Justin Kellam and Anders Hille Kellam; Angela Danyluk; Martha Rans; Amy Amantea; All of the Panto Kiddos and their families; and Theatre Replacement’s amazing Board of Directors. 

The East Van Panto is supported by our incredible community of sponsors

Panto Partners

Panto Champions

Bonus Content:
Panto Playlist

These songs and more in this year's
East Van Panto: The Little Mermaid!

Please note: some original songs featured below contain explicit lyrics

Dawn Petten, Amanda Sum; Image by Emily Cooper; Illustrations by Cindy Mochizuki

Cast & Company Bios

Hannah lives and works in so-called Vancouver while finishing up her MFA degree in technical direction at UBC. She also works as the assistant technical director for Patrick Roberge Productions (PRP) where she’s worked on such gigs as the Grey Cup Halftime Show, The Fair at the PNE, and the 2022 Canada Summer Games ceremonies, to name a few. Upcoming credits include Le Soulier and Ceci est une histoire d’amour, both with Le Théâtre la Seizième. Other technical direction credits include Stallone (Le Théâtre la Seizième), La Mitchin di Mitchif (V’ni Dansi), Haunted Tales (Beach House Theatre Company), Machinal (UBC) and The Love Bubbles Project (Small Stage). Hannah can also be found designing, producing, and building for theatre and film productions across Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. For more on Hannah, check out her website: hannahabbott421.wixsite.com/mysite

Vancouver-based Róisín Adams’ visionary work combines ethereal, textured melodicism with an underpinning of intellectual rigor. An imaginative and prolific composer, pianist, bandleader and educator, Adams is also an astute collaborator in a range of projects. She founded the improvisatory instrumental jazz quartet Hildegard’s Ghost in 2013, and also performs with contemporary electro-acoustic trio Beatings Are in the Body featuring Erika Angell (Thus Owls) and Peggy Lee (Peggy Lee Band). Early training from the Royal Conservatory of Music provided a classical foundation Adams has expanded upon through studies with jazz and avant-garde artists Lisa Cay Miller, Kris Davis, Sharon Minemoto, Alan Matheson and François Houle. Her work has been featured at the Silk Purse Jazz Waves Series, Queer Arts Festival, Sonic Boom Festival, Western Front, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Kay Meek Theatre, and TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. In January, 2019, the Vancouver Parks Board awarded Adams a Field House Artist residency for Music off the Page, a community engaged arts practice that explores interdisciplinary collaborations and contemporary music discourse with participants of all ages and abilities. She is currently working with composer/pianist Amanda Tosoff, studying composition and contemporary piano with the assistance of the BC Arts Council.

Born in Mashhad, Iran and raised in Vancouver, Ghazal is an actor/creator/writer whose select theatre credits include Romeo and Juliet (Bard); Bunny (The Search Party); East Van Panto: Alice in Wonderland  (Theatre Replacement); Being Here: The Refugee Story (Belfry); The Seagull and Innocence Lost (Soulpepper); Shakespeare in Love (Bard); and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Arts Club). TV/Film credits include Float (Lionsgate), Charmed (CW), and Kim’s Convenience (CBC). She is the writer/creator of Dear Konstantin (Spotify) and Tārof (currently in process) and is the winner of Hnatyshyn Award for excellence in acting. 

In 2010, Sonja decided to apply some of what she learned from 10 years in front of the camera and took up screenwriting. Her feature film Preggoland had a theatrical release with James Caan and Danny Trejo in lead roles opposite Sonja. It premiered as a special presentation at TIFF, was awarded “most popular film” at VIFF, was nominated for “best BC film” by the Vancouver Film Critics Circle, won “most popular film” at the Omaha film festival and “best screenplay” at the Fargo film festival as well as receiving Leo nominations for Best Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Film. 

For TV, Sonja has written on Kim’s Convenience for CBC (Leo win for best screenwriting in a comedy), Ghost Wars for Netflix and Letterkenny for Crave/Hulu (Nominated for WGC Award and two-time recipient of the Leo for best screenwriting in a comedy), The Murders and Hudson and Rex for Rogers and Family Law for Global (WGC and Leo nominations for best screenwriting in a dramatic series). For theatre, she wrote last year’s East Van Panto: Alice in Wonderland. She is a graduate of Studio 58.

Sonja would like to thank her kids, Maxwell and Scout, for being inspiring scamps.

Arthi Chandra is a Vancouver based director, writer, and theatre maker. Her practice is rooted in devising text-based new works, and adaptations of contemporary and classical plays. Her work focuses on queer joy, parties, and intimacy. Recent works include Done/Undone at Bard on the Beach, and Passenger Seat, a pop-rock theatre concert all about love. She has performed in Vancouver and New York. Arthi also teaches devising and directing (Toronto Metropolitan University, VanArts, Bard on the Beach, Studio 58). She is a graduate of the theatre performance stream from Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts.  

Mark Chavez is an actor, writer, and comedian who is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico and now lives in East Vancouver.  Superfans of the East Van Panto might recognize Mark’s name as the writer of Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, and Panto Come Home. He was also in last year’s Panto, Alice in Wonderland. If you don’t remember any of these things that’s totally ok. Fresh start. Clean slate. 

Andy loves all things entertainment. He is a creative producer with a multidisciplinary and international history. Over the years, he has worn many hats in the industry as a performer, director, music director, arranger, and stage manager. He has worked across the country and beyond on plays and musicals with the Arts Club, Persephone, Urban Ink, Firehall, Catalyst, Axis, Chemainus, Stagewest, Rumble, Theaturtle, Mayfield, and Patrick Street Productions. He has worked on international mega-events including the Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth, Invictus, and Asian Indoor Games Opening & Closing Ceremonies in Brazil, Australia, and Turkmenistan. Most recently, Andy worked in the United Arab Emirates delivering site-wide entertainment at Expo 2020 Dubai. Andy is the recipient of the City of Richmond Arts Award, Ovation Awards, SATAwards, and a Jessie nomination for Artistic Achievement. He holds a BFA in Theatre from UBC and is glad to be back in the land of rain and farmer’s markets.  

Mishelle is a composer, sound designer, and musician based in East Vancouver. Some favourite projects include: Clean (Neworld), Made in Canada (rice & beans), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare in Love, Lysistrata, Done/Undone (Bard on the Beach), A Christmas Carol, The Herd, The Candidate, The Party, Sweat (Citadel). She was an artistic lead and performer for The Quarantettes – a project developed in the early pandemic to bring distanced micro performances to the doorsteps of households in East Vancouver during isolation, with the support of The Chop, Neworld, and Bard on the Beach. Upcoming – sound design for The Seventh Fire, an immersive audio ceremony by Lisa C. Ravensbergen (Delinquent Theatre). Mishelle has an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a BFA from UBC. She is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada. www.mishellecuttler.com

Brad is a Vancouver-based sound engineer who specializes in musical theatre sound design, and acoustic music recording and mixing. His design credits include productions for TUTS, Patrick Street Productions, Urban Ink, Theatre Replacement, Arts Club, Gateway Theatre, Theatre Calgary, Royal Manitoba Theatre, and others. He also works as a sound system design consultant.

Alaia is a local Vancouver theatre designer. Recent projects she has worked on include costume design for HMS Pinafore, Carmen Up Close and Personal, Associate for Amahl and the Night Visitors (Vancouver Opera); Beneath Springhill, The Birds and the Bees (Arts Club), costume design for Beautiful Man (Pi Theatre), assistant costume Romeo and Juliet, Coriolanus, Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth (Bard on the Beach), set design for Seventeen (Western Gold), She Kills Monsters (UBC), production design for The Drawer Boy (ETC). She has worked on a variety of smaller shows through Vancouver and has a passion for costuming dance. Alaia is a graduate of the UBC Theatre Design program in 2017 and holds an English literature degree from 2012.

This is Veda’s 10th Panto, and she cannot imagine life without it.  In the rest of the year, she makes records (latest: Beach Practice), works on other shows (Little Volcano, Onegin, Craigslist Cantata, King Arthur’s Night), and walks around the neighbourhood humming things and frowning. www.vedahille.comInstagram

Barry Mirochnick is a drummer/bassist/guitarist originally from Winnipeg, MB. They have been playing music professionally since 1990 and have performed and recorded with numerous artists including Veda Hille, Neko Case, William Prince, Great Aunt Ida, Patsy Klein/Tony Wilson Band, Christine Fellows, John K. Samson, Whitehorse, and many others. They have also been part of many theatre productions as a musician. These include Onegin, Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Cantata (Arts Club), King Arthur’s Night (Neworld), Made In Canada, an Agricultural Operetta (Rice and Beans Theatre). Barry has performed in six (!!) previous East Van Pantos and is very happy to return for The Little Mermaid.

Cindy Mochizuki creates multimedia installation, audio fiction, performance, animation, and drawings. She has exhibited, performed and screened her work in Canada, US, Australia, and Japan. Recent exhibitions include the Nanaimo Art Gallery, Surrey Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery, Burrard Arts Foundation, Richmond Art Gallery, Frye Art Museum, and Yonago City Museum. She has designed and provided visual+conceptual dramaturgical support for theatre and dance companies including Dream Walker Dance Company, Theatre Replacement, Lisa Mariko Gelley, and Little Onion Puppet Company. Her illustrated children’s book Things on the Shoreline was published with Access Artist Run Centre in 2016. She was the recipient of the Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award in New Media and Film (2015) and the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts VIVA Award (2020).

Mariana is a BIPOC bilingual, interdisciplinary artist based in Vancouver, BC. She continues to work as a performer and stage manager in the city, with recent credits at Bard on the Beach with the production of Harlem Duet, rice & beans theatre with Peace Country, Neworld Theatre with Clean/Espejos, and last but not least with East Van Panto’s production of Alice in Wonderland, as an Apprentice Stage Manager. Mariana holds a bachelor’s degree in performing arts and is a proud alumna of Studio 58.

Kevin Nguyen is a Vietnamese-Canadian artist who was born and raised right here in East Vancouver. After falling in love with acting in high school, Kevin decided to further his training at Studio 58’s theatre program. He has co-created and appeared in works such as Away with Home (Miscellaneous Productions), The Bright Young Things (Risky Nights, Studio 58), Everybody (Studio 58), The Rocky Horror Show (Studio 58), and Blue Stockings (Studio 58). Kevin was part of the 2022 Riotous Youth ensemble at Bard on the Beach and was the 2022 recipient of the United Players Andrée Karas scholarship award. He is also a playwright, having co-written The Banyan Tree, an original short play which featured at Studio’s Six of One play festival. Kevin is thrilled to be working alongside the talented artists and production team in his East Van Panto debut.

Hina is an emerging lighting designer based in the lower mainland of BC. Originally from Japan, she enjoys exploring projects with a variety of cultural backgrounds whether from the company or the project itself. Her selected recent lighting design credits include Yaga (Touchstone Theatre), Blue Stockings (Studio 58), Kwê (Jeanette Kotowich), and Threading Echo (NEXT Project 2021). Her assistant lighting design credits are Harlem Duet (Bard on the Beach, LD: Sophie Tang), Bad Parent (vAct, LD: Gerald King), Wabi-Sabi (Kokoro Dance, LD: Gerald King) and Othello (University of Victoria, LD: Michael Whitfield). She is also a lighting board operator for live events and film and TV shows. She holds BFA in Theatre from the University of Victoria.

Based in Vancouver, Abi is a first generation Filipino immigrant theatre performer and filmmaker, whose artistic advocacy is telling stories of cultural collaboration and family reconciliation. She has performed in numerous arts festivals such as Talking Stick, Vines Art and Surrey Fusion. Prior to her acting training at Studio 58, Abi fulfilled various technical roles in MOWs, short films, and documentaries that were featured in CBC Arts. She debuted as a short film director and screenwriter in Thank You Mila which was showcased at the Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon 2020. Her playwright credits include The Banyan Tree and How to F*ck Up a Funeral. Recent selected acting credits are Everybody, The Bright Young Things, Vietgone, and Blue Stockings. Abi is excited to be a part of East Van Panto: The Little Mermaid, her first musical.

Hard to believe that 10 years ago Dawn was in that first East Van Panto, playing the harp and singing the cheese song. Who knew then what a glorious annual neighbourhood tradition this would become. This year marks Dawn’s 7th joyous EVP but her first time playing the villain! In previous years she’s had the pleasure of being Hansel, a Prince, a Tin Them, Gloria Macarenko, and she was Alice in last year’s Alice in Wonderland. This is an extra special panto for Dawn because she is sharing the stage with her own little panto kid, and getting to sing her all time favourite song (since 1985!).  Other favourite theatre companies Dawn has trod the boards with include Bard on the Beach, Caravan Farm Theatre, and Touchstone Theatre. She is a grad of UBC’s BFA Acting Program and has a bunch of Jessie nominations and received some of the hardware/glassware. After the panto, she is acting in the world premiere of The Cull at the Arts Club.  Dawn is a proud East Van-er, Hastings-Sunrise styles, and adores New Brighton. Special thanks and love to her dear Mama and brother. 

Meg’s work as an actor, director, composer, sound designer, and dramaturg has been seen across the Canada at Crows Theatre, Shaw Festival, Theatre Calgary, Canadian Stage, Factory Theatre, PuSh Festival, Alberta Theatre Projects, SoulPepper, Bard on the Beach, Theatre Junction, Citadel Theatre, Ruby Slippers Theatre, Electric Company Theatre, Blackbird Theatre, Theatre Aquarius, Arts Club, Belfry, Theatre SKAM, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Catalyst Theatre, RealWheels, Intrepid Theatre, Elbow Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse, Western Canada Theatre, National Arts Centre, Centaur Theatre, The Banff Centre, Yukon Arts Centre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Why Not Theatre, Savage Society, vAct, Theatre Replacement, Rumble Theatre, The Cultch, Luminato Festival, and internationally with the American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco), Center Theater Group (Los Angeles), and as a collaborator with Crystal Pite’s renowned dance company Kidd Pivot. She scored Esie Mensah’s short film Tessel, and Why Not Theatre’s feature What You Won’t Do For Love.

A couple of credits include twenty seasons at Bard on the Beach and three seasons of the East Van Panto.

Jenn Stewart is a multi-disciplinary theatre artist. Selected credits include: Studies in Motion (Wardrobe, Electric Company), Selfie (Seizieme, set and costumes), Little Brother, Little Sister (Caravan Farm, props), Wilderness (Studio 58, set) and Wet (Itsazoo, set). She has also been part of the Stage Management team at Bard on the Beach since 2013. Jenn studied at Studio 58 and holds an MFA in Theatre Design and Production from UBC. She is a member of CAEA and of the Associated Designers of Canada (IATSE 659). Jenn’s first professional credit was as the Apprentice ASM on T/R’s That Night Follows Day in 2009 so she is proud and honoured to still be working with such a phenomenal company. This is her fifth East Van Panto. 

Amanda Sum is a performer and creator dancing between theatre and music. Recent theatre projects include do you want what i have got? a craigslist cantata (The Cultch), East Van Panto: Alice in Wonderland, Panto Come Home! and Pinocchio (Theatre Replacement), and Chicken Girl (rice&beans). Amanda released her debut album, New Age Attitudes, this fall. Her alt-indie-pop music has been played on CBC Radio, and her music video Different Than Before received a Vimeo Staff Pick and won the Excellence in Music Video Award from AAIFF in New York. As Theatre Replacement’s COLLIDER Artist in Residence, Amanda created New Age Attitudes: Live in Concert. Part pop-up book, part performance, this new live music/theatre piece will be presented in full at PushOFF 2023, and at The Cultch in May. Amanda holds a BFA from SFU. Special thanks to her friends and family. Amanda dedicates this run to OQ. Antics and updates: @amanduhsum and amandasum.com.

Sophie Tang is an award-winning lighting and set designer working in Theatre, Opera and Dance. She has worked with companies including Stratford Festival, Push Festival, Electric Company Theatre, Vancouver Opera, Arts Club Theatre, Bard on the Beach, Citadel Theatre, Canadian Stage, Theatre Replacement and so on. Recent credits: Choir boy (Canadian Stage and Arts Club), The Pearl Fishers (Vancouver Opera), Romeo and Juliet (Bard on the Beach), 9 to 5 (Citadel Theatre), S’effondrent Les Videoclubs (Theatre La Seizième), Do You Mind If I Sit Here (Theatre Replacement), Being Here (Belfry Theatre), Rez Sisters (Stratford Festival), At the Statue of Venus (City Opera). sophieyufeitang.com

Amanda Testini is so happy to be part of another East Van Panto! She is a performer, choreographer and director based on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She has worked with Vancouver Opera, the Arts Club, Belfry Theatre, Bard on the Beach, Savage Society, Axis Theatre, Opera Kelowna, Theatre Under the Stars, Carousel Theatre for Young People, the response, Shameless Hussy Productions, the Firehall and, of course, Theatre Replacement and The Cultch! Amanda is a Jessie Award nominee and a graduate of Studio 58. Thank you to Meg, Veda, Maiko, Andy, Arthi, Chelsea, the cast and crew, and you, the audience, for being here!  For more info on Amanda, feel free to check out amandatestini.com.

Adam began his acting career in Kelowna, where he performed in Glengarry Glen Ross (Fred Skeleton), Liberation Days (New Vintage Theatre), and Late Company (Theatre Kelowna) for which he won the 2019 Okanagan Zone festival award for best supporting actor. He is a current student in the acting program at Studio 58. Before attending school, Adam worked as a freelance voice-over artist. His Studio 58 credits include Blue Stockings, Everybody, The Rocky Horror Show, How to F*ck Up a Funeral, written by fellow classmates Abigail Padilla and Zoë Autumn, and as the stage manager for their spring 2022 solo shows. Working with the East Van Panto has been a blast and the perfect wrap up for his final term.

John is honoured to be a part of the East Van Panto family for the second year and to be back once again at the Cultch. A long time designer of both Sets and Lighting he has had the privilege of working with some of Canada’s most talented and adventurous artists. He has received nine Jessie Richardson Awards, an Ovation Award, in Ottawa a Critics’ Circle award and a Prix Rideau Award, in Saskatoon a SAT Award, all for outstanding design. Past favourites include: Kinky Boots and Onegin for the Arts Club and Chelsea Hotel and Wizard of Oz at Western Canada Theatre.

Andrew is thrilled to be joining the East Van Panto team! Recent theatre includes: Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol, Craigslist Cantata, and Kinky Boots. In the Before Times, credits included; House and Home (Firehall), Glory (WCTC/Drayton), HIR (Pi Theatre), Onegin (Arts Club/Belfry), and 12 seasons at Bard on the Beach. Film and TV credits include;  iZombie, Supernatural, Lucifer, Gracepoint, The Killing, The L Word, and two seasons of Pillow Talk (watch it on Crave!). Andrew recently celebrated his 40th year as a  professional actor!

This is Heidi’s 6th show with the East Van Panto. She teaches in both the Technical Theatre Program and Costuming Program at Capilano University. She has been the head of props for Bard on the Beach for 27 years and is the owner of Flying Fox Prop Shop. She’s the recipient of 5 Jessie awards (11 nominations) and 2 Leo Awards (art direction for children’s programming, Scout and the Gumboot Kids). Heidi also works in film, tv and commercials.

Viviane Wu is an interdisciplinary artist currently studying Theatre Performance at Simon Fraser University. Her work centers around racial, gender, and queer identities. Exploring the relationships between privileges and non-privileges in performances such as Order of the New Hyphae, Blackbox 2: Rewind, Replay, Recall, and Spring Tide, her practice takes place on the unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations.

Yvonne is delighted to be back with the East Van Panto! Yvonne was born in colonial Hong Kong and immigrated to Canada with her family. She is a Vancouver based stage manager and Artistic Associate of Neworld Theatre. Recent credits include Redbone Coonhound, Kinky Boots (Arts Club), Himmat (Theatre Conspiracy), Clean/Espejos (Neworld Theatre), East Van Panto: Alice in Wonderland (Theatre Replacement), and Inheritance: a pick the path experience (Alley Theatre & Touchstone Theatre). Favourite projects include King Arthur’s Night (Neworld Theatre), King of the Yees (Gateway Theatre), Competition Is Fierce (ItsaZoo), Fall Away Home (Boca del Lupo), and Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favourites Tour (Canada, USA, Bahrain, and South Korea).

Dawn Petten by Emily Cooper Photography

Share the magic of Panto with family and friends around the world!

Costume Illustrations by Alaia Hamer, Costume Designer

Jack & the Beanstalk

Jack & the Beanstalk

  • 2013
Cinderella

Cinderella

  • 2014
Hansel & Gretel

Hansel & Gretel

  • 2015
Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood

  • 2016
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

  • 2017

All Photos by Emily Cooper

The Cultch’s Holiday Gift Guide

Starwalker a musical by Corey Payette, Model/ Dillan Chiblow, Art Direction/ Andrea Tetrault, Photo by Matt Barnes

Give tickets to Starwalker, a powerful new musical written and directed by Corey Payette, the creator of Children of God.

This Urban Ink/Raven Theatre co-production, in association with The Musical Stage Co., follows an Indigi-Queer Two-Spirit drag queen learning the ropes of the East Van Drag community.

Raven by still hungry Foto Gianluca Quaranta

Give the gift of live performance with a subscription to our incredible Winter/Spring Season! 

Give the gift of live performance with a subscription to our incredible Winter/Spring Season! 

Photo of Jacob Rajan by John McDermott;
design by Oliver Rosser

Give a GIFT CERTIFICATE to The Cultch!

This wonderfully flexible gift can be redeemed for tickets to any of our phenomenal performances.

Purchase online or contact our box office

upcoming
shows