Big Sister


BIG Sister is a true story, depending on who you ask. The theatrical play is a solo comedy about the relationship between two sisters and what happens when one of them changes. The real life experience of actor Naomi Vogt’s 70-pound weight loss is written through the perspective of her younger sibling, playwright Deborah Vogt. BIG Sister explores a world of evil siblings, fat shaming, and unlikely collaboration.

BigSister Image

In February 2020, BIG Sister was produced by presenting company Rapid Pitch Productions in collaboration with The Cultch Theatre. The Cultch was pleased to partner with the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre as their community partner for the run of BIG Sister.


Naomi Vogt


Directed by Jamie King with sound design by CJ McGillivray, set design by Magnolia Cairns, set advising by Jenn Stewart, lighting design by Taylor Janzen, dramaturgy by Jamie King and stage management by Jessica Keenan.

Marie’s Letters


The 12th Annual SHIFT Festival ran from July 11th to 13th, 2019 with performances a nightly program featuring three short and sharp original works by local theatre artists and creators. Each of the short works showcased vigorous local voices exploring the past, present and future.

The program opened with Marie’s Letters, written and performed by Tai Amy Grauman. The narrative explored five generations of Metis women speaking to their unborn daughters’ hopes, dreams, fears and survival. The production was directed by Gavan Cheema with sound design by CJ McGillivray, stage managed by Sammie Hatch. The script developed with the support of Boca del Lupo and the 3.7% Initiative.

Additionally, the program featured ōpimātis, a short interdisciplinary work which was created and performed by Kelsey Kanatan Wavey and directed by Nyla Carpentier. The evening rounded out with and interactive musical experience titled Sound Off, developed and performed by Claire Love Wilson and Sara Vickruck.

The Killjoy Play Series


In association with Upintheair Theatre and The Frank Theatre, The Killjoy Play Series partnered with The Revolver Festival to bring three new works to the stage. The inaugural productions ran from May 25th to June 2nd, 2019 at the Greenhouse Studio in Vancouver, BC.

The festival was produced by interdisciplinary artists Anais West, Alexandra Lainfiesta, Mariam Barry and Kayla Deorksen with running crew support from Julia Muncs.

Burqa Boutique by Brishkay Ahmed

Somewhere in the Middle East, sometime in our recent past, a civil war erupts in a country held together by opposing ideologies. A multigenerational group of women get caught in the middle as two idealogical groups clash. The women find refuge inside a burqa boutique along the border that separates the nation into two distinct districts. While the men battle for gold and copper, the women debate over identity and faith.

Burqa Boutique was directed by Jamie King and Gavan Cheema with sound design by CJ McGillivray, lighting design by Harika Xu, props and set design by Kimira Bhikum, costume design by Melicia Zaini and dramaturgy by mia amir and Natasha Nadir. The production was stage managed by Samantha Pawliuk, featuring actors Balinder Johal, Sabrina Vellani, Peri Allan, Yasmin Tayob and Talietha Sangha.

The Way You Carry On by C.R. Packer

Two estranged sisters are on the brink of transformation as they confront the forces in their lives that both shape and alienate them. Nic is queer, polyamorous and about to have her first child in a blended family. Kelly has just left her nuclear family as a way of affirming her selfhood and her truth.

The Way You Carry On was directed by Mika Laulainen and assistant directed by Sabrina Auclair with sound design by CJ McGillivray, lighting design by Harika Xu, props and set design by Kimira Bhikum, costume design by Melicia Zaini and dramatury by Heidi Taylor. The production was stage managed by Sammie Hatch, featuring actors Michelle Martin and Sara Vickruck.

Fireflies by Kanon Hewitt

As a dystopian science fiction drama, Fireflies is set in the conflict zone between the traditional and the futuristic. Amika, a mixed-race Japanese non-binary youth, escapes a fertility centre in Japan to avoid execution. They are forced to leave behind their mother, a notorious Japanese rebel who gave birth in hiding after violating mandatory entry into the national fertility program. In the forest, Amika encounters a youth who fled his military training camp after questioning its nationalist curriculum. Realizing they have more similarities than differences, they become unlikely allies.

Fireflies was directed by Patricia Trinh with sound design by CJ McGillivray, projection design by Mily Mumford, lighting design by Harika Xu, props and set design by Kimira Bhikum, costume design by Melicia Zaini, dramaturgy by Manami Hara and fight direction by Mike Kovac and Ryan McNeill Bolton. The production was stage managed by Sony Tsai, featuring actors Rae Takei, Mason Temple, Brent Hirose and Laara Ong.


Killjoy Theatre is a feminist collective that develops and produces new work by female and non-binary artists. Their approach to new play development is intersectional and artist-driven. They create an anti-oppressive, inclusive space where writers have agency over their own dramaturgical process. They support projects while fostering the careers of their authors: they invest in a play from inception to production, and work to establish each playwright as a professional in the theatre community.

Killjoy Theatre stands in decolonial solidarity with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations on whose traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories the collective lives and works.




The Good Bride


As fifteen year old Maranatha waits excitedly for her twenty-eight year old fiancé to carry her off to their wedding, the young girl muses on love, sex, and milkshakes. She prays to a God she loves without question. But as she is made to wait night after night, will her faith uphold?

The west coast premiere of The Good Bride was produced by Alley Theatre and the Firehall Arts Centre in February 2019. The production then toured to the Evergreen Cultural Centre and the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in March 2019.


Marisa Emma Smith


Directed by Donna Spencer with sound design by CJ McGillivray, set design by Carolyn Rapanos, props design by Diana Bartosh, lighting design by Lauchlin Johnston and costume design by Barbara Clayden. Stage managed by Joanne PB Smith with publicity by Amy Lynn Strilchuk, technical direction by Liz Kraft, assistant direction by Krys Yuan and production assistance by Jessica Keenan.

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

Die Hard: The Musical


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.


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


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


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

Travel Theatrics


Travelling and storytelling centre on the same thing: moments of connection. To each other, ourselves and the world, uniting us like roots of a tree that when connected, flourish. But when disconnected, the tree deteriorates and the wood slowly decays. But all it takes is a spark to set that wood ablaze. The resulting fire then conspires to bring us together. The embers crackling like laughter.

– TravelTheatrics by Keara Barnes

One Woman. Eighteen characters. Seven countries. What do you get? A solo show featuring six true tales from across the globe, exploring everywhere from the mountains of Malaysia to the medinas in Morocco. TravelTheatrics is about moments of connection and how these can drastically affect our lives and outlook. It is a play about the pursuit of passion, confidence and ultimately how everyone has a story to tell. TravelTheatrics had their premiere run at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival in July 2018 followed by a successful run at the Havana Theatre in September 2018 as part of the Vancouver Fringe Festival.

TravelTheatrics is currently available for touring at various secondary schools around the lower mainland. The one hour solo show is ideal for ages twelve and up. Solo performer Keara Barnes, alongside sound designer and touring stage manager CJ McGillivray, is excited to continue sharing her story with young people in the community. If you are an educator who is interested in bringing TravelTheatrics to your school, please email for more details.


Written and performed by Keara Barnes, directed by Melissa Oei with sound design by CJ McGillivray, lighting consultation by Jono Kim, graphic design by Christina Lehn and photography by Amy Ruttan and Jonathan Ishikawa.


A splendid storytelling and theatrical adventure, cleverly bookended and the cheapest world tour you are ever gonna get.

– The Visitorium

A passionate and playful epic poem… [it] will transport you on a rollicking ride across continents without ever leaving the theatre.

– Lillian Jasper, Two Cents & Two Pence

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

Mr. Burns


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.


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


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


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.





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