New Vancouver Play Boils Theatre Down to its Simplest Ingredients

Local theatre company Osimous Theatre stages 'Six Feet Under' writer Craig Wright's 'The Pavilion.'

Credit: Emily Cooper

Osimous Theatre’s The Pavilion showing from January 8-23, 2011

Osimous Theatre’s The Pavilion showing from January 8-23, 2011

Vancouver theatre company puts on first production written by ‘Six Feet Under’ writer Craig Wright


They had me at Six Feet Under. Seriously. If you haven’t seen the hit TV series (about a dysfunctional family running a funeral home), take my word for it. The writers are unreal. And playwrite Craig Wright is no exception.


‘The Pavilion’ by Osimous Theatre


Runs January 8–23, 2011


Firehouse Arts Centre

280 E Cordova St, Vancouver


Website | Tickets

But that isn’t the only reason you should go see new play The Pavilion, which boils theatre down to its simplest ingredients: great actors and great storytelling. With only three actors, no set and minimal props, a story unfolds on stage of a yearning for the past so strong that it drives the main characters to attend their 20-year high school reunion.


The gist:


Peter (Craig Erickson) and Kari (Dawn Petten) haven’t seen each other since the day Peter left 20 years ago… and now he’s come to get her back. As the night progresses, Peter and Kari are led, through their interactions with a host of characters, all played by a narrator (Parnelli Parnes), to face the consequences of choices made long ago and start back into life with newfound strength and bittersweet resolve.

Bob Frazer, director and producer of ‘The Pavilion’

The Pavilion is the inaugural production for Vancouver-based Osimous Theatre, a recently formed theatre company made up of eight actors. I managed to connect with Bob Frazer, who jokingly refers to himself as the “sucker who started the whole idea of Osimous Theatre,” over the holidays to find out a little more about the company and the intrigues of their first production.

Bob Frazer Vancouver director producer

Osimous Theatre producer and director of
The Pavilion Bob Frazer.


Granville: What can you tell me about Osimous Theatre?

Bob Frazer: Osimous Theatre began as a desire to work with a group of actors that were all in the same frame of mind about acting; that it is limitless. We all want to get better at what we do. There are no damaging egos and we all have mutual respect for each other. Every member is passionate about the work and strives to do the best they can in every aspect of the performance.


Is it a fixed company or will it be moving to different cities depending on the project?

As it stands, we are roving from theatre to theatre, but who knows what the future will hold for us. Right now we are doing this first one at the Firehall Theatre and that’s all we can concentrate on for now.


There are eight members of Osimous Theatre. What brought you all together?

The group consists of Parnelli Parnes, Craig Erickson, Dawn Petten, Derek Metz, Anna Cummer, Angela Beaulieu and myself. It’s a long story about how we all came together, but each member has the same mission and desire for us as a group and as individuals: To work in a healthy atmosphere and create the best work we can.


What was it about this particular play that resonated with your production company?

The play offered us everything we wanted. Primarily, it was an absolutely beautiful play that we were all passionate about, but it also had a minimal set and production costs. It is a very strong narrative and deals with large issues (the past, the future and right now) in a very small issue way. As a new company starting out it seemed to be the exact thing we wanted in a production.


What are the pluses and minuses for an actor working with no set?

There is no concern about stubbing your toe. It also offers an actor the freedom to simply look at their partner on stage and act with them. On the “minus” side of it, they can’t hide behind a piece of furniture.


What about for an audience? It must have some impact on them as well?

For the audience, I think it might be even more exciting. They are simply left to use their imagination and luckily for us the playwright has written in a character [narrator Parnelli Parnes] that guides the audience’s imagination in describing what they should be seeing.


What can the audience look forward to with The Pavilion?

I think the audience can look forward to a really engaging and beautiful night of theatre. And I really mean that.

The Pavilion plays at the Firehouse Arts Centre through January 23, 2011.