My friends at Arts Umbrella let me know about an upcoming event (the Expressions Theatre Festival) that they thought I would find interesting, and after reading about it, I decided I should definitely let you know about it. You see, Arts Umbrella’s Intensive, Pre-Professional and Theatre Conservatory Programs are presenting a series of performances that are sure to appeal to the whole family. The students had the chance to collaborate with professional directors and designers which is pretty exciting! They’ve performed shows in local schools and now they are putting on this festival so they can learn what it’s like to be a working actor. So neat! These talented actors are between 17 and 22 and it would mean a lot to them for people to come and be entertained by their hard work.

The show our family is going to see at the Expressions Theatre Festival is called Outside In and it will be running on May 17 at 7pm and May 25 at 9pm. This is how they describe it:

Cabins, campfires, games and a culminating gala make for an entertaining time as eight teens join a weeklong camp. However, sometimes reality flips and each character finds themselves weaving in and out of their own self-image. With the prevalence of social media focused on curating the ‘perfect image’ Outside In explores how self-image can play a role in how we feel about ourselves. Created and performed by the Arts Umbrella Laboratory Theatre Troupe, who learn the process of developing original works, this astute play will leave audiences contemplating their own self-image long after the final curtain call.

This show in particular interested me because I work in social media and as an influencer and I am raising a tween and the waters of self image and social media will soon be ours to navigate. I’m sure it’s going to lead to some great conversations in the car on the way home, which is my favourite part of family events.

This is what they told me about the other shows at the Expressions Theatre Festival:

May 18 – 20 at 2pm and May 18, 20, 22, 23 & 26 at 7pm
Celebrating its 75th anniversary, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s first collaboration remains their most innovative, having set the standards and established the rules of musical theatre as we know it today. Join the Arts Umbrella Musical Theatre Troupe as they take audiences to the Western American frontier just after the turn of the century. A high-spirited rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys provides the colorful background against which Curly, a rugged cowboy, and Laurey, a charming farm girl, play out their love story. Although the road to true love never runs smooth, with these two headstrong romantics holding the reins, love’s journey is as bumpy as a surrey ride down a country road.

The Phoenician Women
May 17 & 19 at 9pm and May 24 at 7pm (Double Bill with Missing)
The Arts Umbrella Senior Theatre Troupe presents a modern take on Euripides’ classic Greek tragedy, The Phoenician Women. Using a blend of homemade masks to hide each actors gender and daring physicality, the Senior Theatre Troupe explores the repercussions of fate and the ever-present power of will, and delves into the consequences of war, control, innocence, and patriotism. Set in Thebes, the play is centred on the fateful history of the house of Laios following the tragic fall of Oedipus Rex. As the two sons of Oedipus battle over control of the city, the chorus of Phoenician Women find themselves trapped in Thebes by war on their way to Delphi.

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
May 19 & 25 at 7pm
Join Charlie Bucket in his adventurous tour of Willy Wonka’s world-famous Chocolate Factory. Willy Wonka opens his factory doors to five lucky children and their parents. Meet food-loving Augustus Gloop, gum-chewing Violet Beauregarde, spoiled Veruca Salt, TV obsessed Mike Teavee, caring Charlie Bucket and many more fascinating characters in Roald Dahl’s well-loved story, adapted for the stage by Richard George and performed by the Junior Theatre Troupe.

May 24 at 7pm (Double Bill with The Phoenician Women)
A contemporary fairytale about two poor children surviving desperate circumstances through a rich mix of imaginative power, loyalty, and love. Inspired by true events and performed by Arts Umbrella’s Theatre Conservatory with special guest actor and Arts Umbrella graduate Douglas Ennenberg, currently starring in Little Mountain Lion Productions Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, Charles Way’s Missing is a gripping take on the story of Hansel and Gretel as their dysfunctional family life spirals from bad to worse. In a ominous world of deceit and unknown dangers, Hansel desperately searches for his missing sister and uncovers disturbing clues that suggest things may not be what they seem. With a seemingly evil step-mother, who is content with letting the police handle things, it is up to Hansel to save his sister.

Theatre and Music Showcase, performed by Theatre Intensive Program students
May 26 at 11:30am & 4pm
One of the highlights of the season, the Theatre and Music Showcase reveals the accomplished and compelling talent of Arts Umbrella’s Theatre Intensive Program students through a kaleidoscope of short musical and theatre performances across a range of genres from improv to film.

I hope you will join me in checking out the work of these talented kids at the Expressions Theatre Festival!

Tickets for the Expressions Theatre Festival are now on sale from $15 at

Date:Thursday, May 17 to Saturday, May 26, 2018
Ticket Prices:From $15 – $20
Address:Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island
1412 Cartwright St.
Vancouver, BC


Disclosure: My friends at Arts Umbrella gave our family tickets to check out a show, but all opinions are my own. They are also sponsoring a ticket giveaway on my Facebook page, so leave a comment for your chance to win.

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