Die Hard: The Musical

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You have me at a loss. You know my name but who are you? Just another American who saw too many movies as a child? Another orphan of a bankrupt culture who thinks he’s John Wayne? Rambo? Marshal Dillon?

– Hans Gruber from Die Hard

The year is 1988. On the night before Christmas, John McClane is on a mission to save his wife from German terrorists led by the debonair Hans Gruber. On the 30 year anniversary of this cult classic, District 13 presented a hysterical rendition of the classic film mixed with hit songs from the eighties, from Bob Jovi to George Michael.

Photos by Rick Calhoun featuring the cast of Die Hard: The Musical, on stage from September 5th to 16th, 2018 at Studio 1398 as part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival.

CAST

Amy Dauer, Frano Marsic, CJ McGillivray, Richard Meen, Ryan Scramstad, Matthew Simmons and Victor Ustare.

CREATIVE TEAM

Written and Directed by Mark Vandenberg with music direction by Rick Colhoun, choreography by Paige Vassos and stage management by Emily Wilson.

REVIEWS

A silly and hilarious action-comedy full of meta-commentary on the eighties, and a fitting tribute to one of the most perfect, crowd pleasing action movies ever made… Vic Ustare, Amy Dauer and CJ McGillivray showed great versatility in their multiple roles.

– Adam Abrams, Vancouver Musicals

A fun, traditionally comedic jukebox musical with some clever twists.

– Jessica Kim, UBC Players Club Review

We Three

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The unforgettable journey of We Three follows a trio of new friends through a world of colours, textures, song, and interactive play as they learn who they are, the importance of friendship, and what it means to find your place in the world. The charming script by local playwright Meghan Gardiner introduces little theatre patrons to storytelling and music.Young audience members can sing and dance along and explore the five senses in an intimate drama experience that allows them and their caregivers to enjoy theatre on their own terms.

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Photo by Jenny McDonald featuring the cast of We Three, on stage from June 5 to 17 at Carousel Theatre for Young People.

CAST

CJ McGillivray, Melissa Oei and Allan Zinyk

CREATIVE TEAM

Directed by Carole Higgins with set design by Sarah Mabberley, costume design by Kiara Lawson and stage management by Ashley Noyes

Mr. Burns

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When love first falls upon his knee, his mother heals him with a kiss. And this is how love comes to learn, hurt is succeeded by a bliss. But hate knows that every single wound leaves a scary that lasts forever. And hate knows that every story ends on a dark and raging river. 

– Lisa Simpson from Mr. Burns, a post-electric play by Anne Washburn

After the collapse of civilization, a group of survivors share a campfire and begin to piece together the plot of an old Simpson episode entirely from memory. Seven years later, their recollection and other snippets of pop culture have become the live entertainment of an apocalyptic society, sincerely trying to hold onto the past. Seventy-five years later, these are the myths and legends from which new forms of performance are created. Mr. Burns is an animated exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another.

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Photo by Duy Nguyen featuring the cast of Mr. Burns, on stage from April 3rd to 21st, 2018 at Studio 1398 in Vancouver, BC.

CAST

Keara Barnes, Graham Coffeng, Douglas Ennenberg, Stephanie Izsak, Liz Kirkland, CJ McGillivray and Matt Montgomery

CREATIVE TEAM

Direction and choreography by Madelyn Osborne with original music composition and musical direction by Katerina Gimon; production management by Matt Clarke, production coordination by Mark Ferns, production design by Johnny Hamilton, set design by Heipo Leung, set construction by Andrew Duffy, lighting design by Jono Kim, costume design by Johnny Hamilton and Madelyn Osborne, mask design by Sarah Elizabeth, sound design by Matt Clarke, props by Caitlin Main, stage management by Diana Bartosh with assistant stager Olivia Etey; assistant musical direction by Gizelle Rocha and publicity by Julia Siedlanowska with directorial assistance from Dayna Hoffmann and Madelaine Walker. Produced by Little Mountain Lion Productions.

 

 

 

REVIEWS

The play is given extraordinary life by director and choreographer Madelyn Osborne, musical director Katerina Gimon and a ridiculously talented cast in one of the best productions of the year… What a pleasure to watch this cast in action. The ensemble work is uniformly strong… Multi-instrumentalist McGillivray has a lovely voice, as do they all. Their singing, rapping and dancing, physical and vocal percussion and background harmonies give the Simpsons story new vibrancy.

– Jerry Wasserman, The Vancouver Sun

I feel like I was kidnapped and taken to surprising places, places that I hadn’t known I wanted to go… Musical director Katerina Gimon has created a complex original score for this mounting and this seven member cast sings it very well… Gimon exploits the talents of individual actors, so CJ McGillivray gets a touching ukulele solo as Lisa and Matt Montgomery turns into a tap-dancing feline rhythm king as Scratchy.

– Colin Thomas

The ultimate payoff is incredible and will set minds reeling for days to come. It is the type of work that merits multiple viewings to better appreciate the layers of nuance and foreshadowing that are inevitably missed the first time.

– Brian Paterson, Vancouver Presents

 

 

 

Good Day and Good Night

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Good Day and Good Night is a delightful, interactive play written by Kayla Dunbar and Dustin Freeland with original music composed by CJ McGillivray. Ideal for young children, from newborns to toddlers, the story was presented by Carousel Theatre for Young People in June 2017.

SYNOPSIS

When they first meet, the Sun and Moon seem too different to even be friends. The Sun is confident and popular whereas the Moon is shy and easily overlooked. But through playful songs, an incredible adventure and a little help from their animal friends, the pair learn to accept their differences and become lifelong friends.

Good Day and Good Night

Photo by Faye Campbell

CAST

CJ McGillivray, Steven Greenfield and Alexandra Lainfiesta

CREW

Directed by Carole Higgins with original composition and musical direction by CJ McGillivray, costume design by Kiara Lawson, set design and props by Sarah Mabberley and dramaturgy by Jessica Gutteridge; stage managed by Ashley Noyes.

ORIGINAL MUSIC

The original music for Good Day and Good Night was written for piano, ukulele, melodica and flute. The playful score made use of bouncing rhythms and pleasant, quirky melodies, ideal for children to move around to and for caregivers to hum along with. Here are some samples of the musical score composed by CJ McGillivray.

Creatures of Earth from Good Day and Good Night:

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REVIEWS

What a treat for the littlest theatregoers among us. Good Day and Good Night is a thoroughly charming show for babies and toddlers that is engaging without being condescending… Live musical accompaniment by CJ McGillivray on a variety of instruments adds to the fun… Sweetness, simplicity, and virtuosity are the magic ingredients in this piece, which enchants the very young.

– Kathleen Oliver, The Georgia Straight

On My Walk

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On My Walk tells the delightful tale of Sonny and Breeze, who adventure through the seasons as they sled, hike, swim and bike. Though friendships can sometimes be tough and sharing can sometimes be difficult, having each other makes it all worthwhile. On My Walk is an interactive, playful story which invites very young children and their families to take part, clap, sing, and move together. The energetic ensemble includes Victor Mariano, CJ McGillivray and Marcie Westman.

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Photo from Artslandia featuring cast members Victor Mariano, Marcie Westman and CJ McGillivray with creative team members Jessica Mann Gutteridge and Shizuoka Kai at the 2017 Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. The team from Carousel Theatre for Young People celebrated four nominations for their production of On My Walk. CJ McGillivray was honoured to receive a nomination for Outstanding Artistic Creation, Musical Composer.

CREATIVE TEAM

Directed by Carole Higgins with assistant direction from Kayla Dunbar and original musical written and performed by CJ McGillivray. Set design and props by Shizuka Kai, costume design by Kiara Lawson, stage management by Ashley Noyes and dramaturgy by Jessica Mann Guttering.

PRODUCTION DETAILS

On My Walk ran from June 7th to 18th, 2016 and was presented by Carousel Theatre for Young People. The script was adapted by Marcie Nestman and Kari-Lynn Winters, based on the storybook written by Kari-Lynn, illustrated by Christina Leist and published by Tradewinds Books.

Dot and Ziggy

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“What does it mean if you integrate theatre that early in a child’s life so it becomes something you do, so it becomes the fabric of what you do and something that you want to participate in and makes you feel good?” asked director Carole Higgins in an interview regarding her production of Dot and Ziggy with Carousel Theatre for Young People.

Created by Linda Hartzell and Mark Perry, Dot and Ziggy falls under the category of theatre for the very young. The gentle and immersive storytelling experience took place in an intimate studio space at Carousel Theatre. During the show, toddlers and babies were encouraged to move around and interact with the performers as they experience theatre, puppetry and song. With genius simplicity, the script explored the burgeoning friendship of  a ladybug and a skunk who live side by side but have nothing in common. Both of the creatures have trouble sharing but with some help and understanding, they embrace kindness and sharing in order to make everyone happy. The small ensemble featured award winning actors Kayla Dunbar and Dustin Freeland with a lighthearted musical underscore performed by CJ McGillivray.

The production ran almost every morning from June 2nd to June 14th, 2015 at Carousel Theatre on Granville Island. The production was nominated for Outstanding Production in the category of Theatre for Young Audiences at the 2016 Jessie Richardson Awards.

 

Making Waves

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Making Waves is a short film about Dawson Harrington, a fictional young musician who suffers from amnesia after he experiences a severe car accident. Frustration builds within him until he discovers a way back to recovery with the help of his younger sister, Jayme Harrington. The short film was produced in May 2015 in association with Capilano University.

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CJ McGillivray as Jayme Harrington, Sam Robert Muik as Dawson Harrington and Julia Thielert as Nurse Emily

CREATIVE TEAM

Directed by Amit Dhuga and written and produced by Ellie Linnell with cinematography by Linley Redford, production design by Thomas Kelly, music by Josh Polanco, editing by Izzy Cumerlato, costume design by Inaki Gorbena and casting by Willem Osland.

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Solos and Duets

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Through her involvement with the Wet Ink Collective, CJ McGillivray was featured as an emerging playwright and actor at the BC Buds Spring Arts Festival in May 2015. Nearly thirty interdisciplinary performing artists inhabited the Firehall Arts Centre, creating a massive arts factory for several days of inventive and innovative site-specific performances from emerging and established local artists.

Solos and Duets was a cabaret evening of monologues and short scenes written by members of the Wet Ink Collective, reflecting on the theme of longing and belonging. The evening featured a medley of script excerpts exploring the motifs of love, laughter, sensuality and spirituality.

During the festival, CJ McGillivray premiered her solo dramatic play Monkey Bars featuring the talents of local actor Yvette Dudley-Neuman. She also performed excerpts of The Good Bride by Rosemary Rowe and Missed Connections by Pippa Johnstone. She was honoured to perform alongside her fellow playwrights Yvette Dudley-Neuman, Virginia Gillespie, Pippa Johnstone, Gabriella Klein,  Liesl Lafferty, Kim Larson, Dawn Milman, Yumi Ogawa, Rosemary Rowe, Kim Seary, Elissa Vann Struth and Veronique West.

Antigone

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One of these girls has just revealed how mad she is. The other has been that way since she was born.

– Antigone by Sophocles

In April 2015, Theatre Pandora presented a beautiful and challenging production of the classic Greek tragedy Antigone by Sophocles. The tragic masterpiece came to life on stage at the Havana Theatre through an exciting modern translation by Ian Johnston.

The story of Antigone is a beautiful and unsettling tragedy about a young woman who is forced to choose her family honour over the laws of the city. She is condemned to death for simply wanting to give her brother proper burial rituals so that he may rest peacefully among the dead. Her uncle Creon finds himself between a rock and a hard place when he is forced to execute her for civil disobedience. Fondness becomes madness  for everyone involved.

Director Tom McLaren staged an engaging political thriller with old fashioned sound design by CJ McGillivray. The play was transported from ancient Greece to a European public radio station inside the royal palace: a place where the personal and the political catastrophically collide.

CAST

Nina Winkler as Antigone and CJ McGillivray as Ismene alongside Julian Paul, Aidan Keane, Thomas Hodgson, Michael Berdan, Natalie Kay and Seth Gordon Little.

Brave New Play Rites

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Must be tough spending all those years believing in something that turned out to be a lie.

– Everyone’s A Winner by Emily Swan

In March 2015, CJ McGillivray worked alongside some brilliant local artists during The Brave New Play Rites Festival at Studio 1398 in association with the University of British Columbia. The annual festival is an ambitious collaboration between emerging and established artists from the vibrant local community. The plays are all original material written by creative writing students at the University of British Columbia. The diverse selection of scripts encompass both profound hilarity and chaos on stage. “With a dozen shows on the bill, there is no shortage of ambition or diversity” says Keagan Perlette of The Ubyssey publication.

CJ McGillivray had the pleasure of exploring two distinct and endearing characters during the festival. Her first performance was for the short comedy Everyone’s A Winner, written by Emily Swan and directed by Deborah Vogt. CJ McGillivray took on the psychotic but empathetic role of Maria alongside Jeremy O’Driscoll and Simon MacIntyre as the endearing and confused men in her life. In just fifteen hilarious minutes, the script explores themes of transparency, romance and deception.

After intermission things took a turn towards the dramatic in Fog Lights, written by Annahis Basmadjian and directed by Jenna Newton. The drama featured an ensemble cast of Janet Glassford, Ed Fong, Allyson Fournier, CJ McGillivray and Adam Tatelman. Fog Lights tells the story of a depressed young women who is in desperate need of something uplifting. On her journey she enters the strange home of a curious man with an unheard of profession. His intentions are good but things are never what they seem.

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Photo from Brave New Play Rites featuring cast members CJ McGillivray, Simon MacIntyre and Jeremy O’Driscoll.