Much Ado


When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.

– Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

Set in a mesmerizing theatrical world, Much Ado About Nothing is a deadly serious and sublimely ridiculous story of soldiers in love and women confined by tradition. This bold and playful romp explores the extremes of desire and ambition, loyalty and redemption.

Critically acclaimed Classic Chic Productions delivered an evening of Shakespeare unlike anything experienced before, featuring their signature all female cast. The production ran from February 5 to 16, 2019 at the Vancouver Eastside Cultural Centre in Vancouver, BC.

Presented by Classic Chic Productions and the Vancouver Eastside Cultural Centre, Much Ado About Nothing was part of the Femme Series, highlighting the strength and power of female-identified voices and experiences. The Femme Series was generously supported by the Charlotte and Sonya Wall Arts Fund.


Corina Akeson, Kayla Deorksen, CK Kaur, Nancy Kerr, Michelle Martin, Adele Noronha, Barbara Pollard, Bronwen Smith, Sara Vickruck and Christina Wells Campbell.


Directed and adapted by Rebecca Patterson with sound design and original music composed by CJ McGillivray, lighting design by Jill White, set and props design by Heidi Wilkinson, costume design by Sherry Randall, choreography by Lisa Goebel and fight direction by Rachel Scott; stage managed by Ingrid Turk and assistant stage managed by Victoria Snashell with technical direction by Nicole Weissmiller.


CJ McGillivray chose world music numbers that were fresh, accessible and various in style.

– Baird Blackstone, Broken Leg Reviews

[A] wonderfully energetic hybrid Bollywood/Western soundtrack.

– Jerry Wasserman, The Vancouver Sun

[The] musical score is likewise unmoored to any particular place or time, swinging from punk-rock howls to Latinate torch songs to what sounds like intriguing Arabic cover versions of 1960’s Western pop tunes.

– Lincoln Kaye, Vancouver Observer

Romeo + Juliet

These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which, as they kiss, consume.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Blissful love, family drama, pledges and heartbreak. In July 2018, Place des Arts presented the Summer Teen Theatre Troupe in a modern and melodic rendition of Romeo and Juliet, performed outdoors at the beautiful TD Community Plaza in Coquitlam. The energetic production incorporated original songs by CJ McGillivray alongside a playlist of youthful indie pop rock tunes and dance numbers.


Samantha Kerr as Romeo and Julia MacLean as Juliet alongside Devon Chung, Kate Cousins, Javid Nouripour, Elizabeth Punshon, Parsa Samani, Margi Stoner, Cassandra Tedesco, Shayla Tedesco and Emily Trepanier


Directed by Melissa Oei with sound design and original musical composed by CJ McGillivray; set, props and costumes designed by Marcus Valiant; production managed by Michael Fera, stage managed by Laura Reynolds and assistant stage managed by Angel Chamberlain.


Here is a sampling of the original music composed for Romeo and Juliet. The folk instrumentation includes piano, ukulele and acoustic guitar.

The Prologue, written and performed by CJ McGillivray with words by William Shakespeare:

O Romeo, Romeo, written and performed by CJ McGillivray with words by William Shakespeare:

We Three


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.

We Three Photo

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


CJ McGillivray, Melissa Oei and Allan Zinyk


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

Good Day and Good Night


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.


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


CJ McGillivray, Steven Greenfield and Alexandra Lainfiesta


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.


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:

Firefly Chase from Good Day and Good Night:


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


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.


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.


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.


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.

Hide and Seek


Underneath the stars on your ceiling? I’ll always be there. But out in the day I’ll stay away.

– Hide and Seek by Dark Day Theatre Collective

Creative exploration runs deep in good company. But what happens when good company has the pressure of a ticking clock and massive competition? Then you have Smackdown: The 24 Hour Musical Theatre Competition.

This unreal event was created by Awkward Stage Productions and hosted by the Arts Umbrella on Granville Island in early April 2015. Six creative teams were given just twenty-four hours to create a musical from scratch. Each company was challenged to write, stage and perform an original musical with only some instruments, a rehearsal room and inspiration to help them. Surprise elements were routinely thrown at the teams to keep them on their feet.

CJ McGillivray had the pleasure of taking on this challenge with her team, Dark Day Theatre. The ensemble describe themselves as a local theatre collective with the shared mindset of hungry aspirations and fearless self expression. The company for Dark Day Theatre was comprised of award winning playwrights Avery Burrow and CJ McGillivray, artistic visionaries Pedro Chamale and Aleida Sekulich, talented instrumentalists Benjamin Pilger and Dominic Edward Duff, and the stage was owned by provincially acclaimed performers Jessica Hood, Hayley Goldin, Grace Newson and Riley Qualtieri. Their shared insight and creative knowledge made them a force to be reckoned with during Smackdown.

Final performances took place on the evening of Sunday, April 5th at the gorgeous Orpheum Annex in downtown Vancouver. The night was filled with plenty of comedy, tragedy, harmony and dissonance. CJ McGillivray and her ensemble earned strong praise from a panel of acclaimed judges including Peter Jorgensen, Rachel Peake, David Jones, Christopher King and Sarah Wolfman-Robichaud.For their work on Hide and Seek, Dark Day Theatre was awarded Most Original Story and Best Costumes. The ensemble extends their gratitude to Awkward Stage Productions for supporting and inspiring them all to take on this wild challenge and create something memorable.



A vulnerable teenager must confront her traumatic past when she meets a troubled musician with nothing left to lose. The pair end up in the same psychiatric care facility where they share an intimate connection that goes beyond words and can only be expressed through music. Ben was produced by Craft Productions and shot on location at Capilano University in March 2015.


Kat Jansen, Aaron Post, Corina Bizim, Michael Yeung, Olivia Sara Grace, Joel Montgrand, Gavin Langelo and Audrey Smallman


Directed by Allyson Fournier with original music and production design by CJ McGillivray, cinematography by Paul Human, costume design by Michelle Grossmith and fight coordination by Ryan McNeill Bolton and Mike Kovac; produced by J. Edward Davis and Allyson Fournier; co-produced by Max Morrow with executive producer Nathalie Perreault.


Ben received an audience choice award for best picture in the Northwest is Best category at the 2016 National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) in Seattle, Washington.


Here is a selection of production stills from Ben featuring production design by CJ McGillivray:



The film was shot on location at Capilano University, including a series of bedroom scenes in a psychiatric facility, which were shot in converted classrooms. Flashback scenes were shot in an apartment set located in the Bosa Centre for Film and Animation:



The resolving action and indeed much of the present day conflict was filmed in the library building at Capilano University, converted into a psychiatric facility activity room. The design incorporated an upright piano as the focal point of the narrative and of the physical space:



The production design for Ben incorporated six major settings shot in four primary shooting locations over the course of three and a half days. The set decorations, paint supplies, instrumental rentals and props were sourced with a modest budget of $350. The design was implemented with a five person crew led by CJ McGillivray with the support of art direction from Sarah Jane Fogel and set decoration by Natalie Murao, Ben Pilger and Mary Webber.