Vancouver Theatre Scene

Vancouver is home to a thriving, sophisticated theatre scene. With more than 30 local theatre companies and more than 20 venues, you can see something different every night.

Carousel Theatre 1411 Cartwright Street
The Carousel is one of the long-term resident tenants at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island. They produce plays exclusively for young people, and also offer acting classes for youths and teens.

Chan Centre for the Performing Arts 6265 Crescent Road
The Chan Centre has gained an international reputation for its striking design and outstanding acoustics. Offering a variety of performances and events throughout the year, including avant-garde theatre productions.

Firehall Arts Centre 280 East Cordova Street
The building that the Firehall Arts Centre calls home was built in 1906, and served as Vancouver’s first firehall until the seventies. Offering innovative theatre, contemporary dance and visual arts, in addition to Canada’s longest running dance festival.

Granville Island Stage 1585 Johnston
Since its opening in 1979, the Granville Island Stage has showcased a variety of productions including musicals, classics, dramas, contemporary comedies and premieres. This award-winning theatre is one of the three Arts Club Theatre Company stages.

The Improv Centre 1502 Duranleau

The Improv Centre is home to the popular Vancouver TheatreSports League. Boasting six International Improv Comedy Awards, they continue to impress audiences with their performances four nights a week.

North Shore Credit Union Centre of the Performing Arts 2055 Purcell Way
Formerly known as the Capilano Performing Arts Theatre, this 372-seat theatre was designed to showcase Capilano University’s emerging artists.

Pacific Theatre 1440 West 12th Avenue
Offering theatre that explores the spiritual aspects of human experience. Pacific Theatre has showcased everything from established works to original world premieres featuring some of the top theatre artists from Vancouver and across the continent.

Queen Elizabeth Theatre (630 Hamilton) – The Queen Elizabeth Theatre is one of the largest houses in Canada, accommodating 2,781 patrons. It has hosted some of the biggest shows and stars in the entertainment industry. Vancouver Opera and Ballet British Columbia are the resident companies at the “Q.E. Theatre”.

Revue Stage 1601 Johnston Street
This 198-seat theatre is dedicated to new and innovative theatre and emerging artists. The Revue Stage is one of the three Arts Club Theatre Company venues. The box office is located at the Granville Island Stage.

Rio Theatre
1660 East Broadway
The Rio Theatre is a multi media venue for premier independent cinema of first-run feature films and live entertainment.

Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage 2750 Granville Street
Award-winning landmark theatre serving as the main stage for the Arts Club Theatre Company. Originally a movie theatre, the Stanley was renovated as a stage theatre in 1997-98 and subsequently awarded status as a heritage building. The box office is closed on Mondays and on days when no performances are scheduled.

Studio 58 Langara College, 100 West 49th Avenue
Studio 58 is the professional theatre training program at Langara College. The students run the theatre and present 4 full-length and 2 indie-style productions every year. Free previews are generally free for students with valid ID (seats available for reservation two weeks prior to the production’s opening night).

The Cultch Vancouver East Cultural Centre 1895 Venables
Offering programming in theatre, dance and music by local, national and international artists. Located in a once-abandoned church that has been transformed into a state-of-the-art theatre.

Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company 127 East 2nd Avenue
The 655-seat Vancouver Playhouse Theatre is home to a five-play Mainstage season that runs from October to May. Smaller productions and play readings are also presented at alternate venues, in addition to presentations of Theatre for Young Audiences productions. Dedicated matinee performances for students, seniors and the less-advantaged.

Waterfront Theatre 1412 Cartwright Street
Intimate 224-seat performance venue located in a converted machinery building next to the Kid’s Market on Granville Island.

Theatre Festivals:

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
One of Canada’s largest not-for-profit Shakespeare festivals presented on the waterfront of Vanier Park. Shakespeare plays, related dramas, and several special events take place annually in two performance tents from June to September. Workshops are available for Juniors (ages 8-13) and Seniors (ages 13-18) – registration is required.

Chutzpah! Festival
Multi-disciplinary performing arts festival (music, dance and theatre) showcasing both established and emerging Jewish talent from across Canada and around the world. Chutzpah!’s main home is located at the 318-seat Norman Rothstein Theatre and the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver (JCCGV). The festival continues to expand programming into other venues to attract new and diverse audiences. Chutzpah! takes place every year in February/March.

Vancouver International Fringe Festival
Presenting an eclectic mix of uncensored theatrical offerings in an informal, inexpensive and accessible environment. Fringe Festival shows are chosen in a non-juried lottery (ie. they are literally drawn out of a hat!) for the purpose of presenting a wide variety of shows to the public. The shows take place in some of Vancouver’s best theatres, in addition to a variety of unconventional settings. Artists have the option to “Bring Their Own Venue” (BYOV) which has resulted in plays being performed in non-conventional locations such as a boat, a tree and a fire escape! Takes place every year in September.

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Taking place over three weeks every January, the PuSh Festival showcases contemporary performance by international, Canadian and local artists. For a more informal experience, check out Club PuSh. Enjoy salon-style performance while enjoying a drink in a relaxed atmosphere and chat with other festival goers.

Theatre Under the Stars is presenting an exciting 65th summer season of great family musical theatre at Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park from July 9 – August 21. Playing on alternating evenings are Titanic and The Music Man. Both popular musicals are sure to be summertime hits at TUTS. For information call 604-734-1917. Tickets are available at Tickets Tonight, 1-877-840-0457

The Arts Club Theatre Company features eight plays at two locations, either the Granville Island stage or the classic Stanley Theatre on South Granville Street. The Stanley Theatre is surrounded by art galleries and wonderful places to eat so you may want to go early, take in some art and have dinner before the show.

The Gateway Theatre is a professional theatre company that each season produces four plays on the MainStage, two World Premiere productions in Studio B, the annual Pacific Piano Competition, and instructs through the Gateway Academy for the Performing Arts. All the box office for more information. Call 604-270-1812 for more information

The Metro Theatre, in its 41th year of production, offers comedy, drama, mystery and farce as well as a traditional English Pantomime. This nonprofessional theatre company offers excellent entertainment and training for actors, directors and technicians. To find out what’s playing when at the Metro, check out their website.
Theatre at UBC is presented by the Theatre Arts Department at The University of British Columbia.

Studio 58 is the name of the Theatre Arts Program at Langara College in Vancouver. It operates its own theatre and presents 4 full-length productions each year led by professional directors and designers.

Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival is Western Canada’s largest professional Shakespeare Festival. The plays are staged on the waterfront in open-ended tents against a spectacular backdrop of mountains, sea and sky. Bard on the Beach consistently garners rave reviews and attracts nearly 91,000 patrons annually.

The Festival runs June 3- September 25 in open-ended tents in Vanier Park. 2010 season: Much Ado About Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra, Falstaff (Henry IV, Parts I & II) and Henry V.

Jericho Arts Centre is a 135 seat performance venue in Point Grey near Jericho Beach. Two resident theatre companies are presented.