Theatre Under The Stars
Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC
In 1940, Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) started when a group of local theatre people formed to produce professional quality musicals during the summer. Since then, TUTS has delighting locals and tourists alike under the stars in the outdoor setting of the Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park.
Originally, TUTS was founded by the Vancouver Park Board (superintendent A.S. Wootten), conductor Basil Horsfall, and actor E.V. Young. They had gotten advice to provide entertainment in the Malkin Bowl which was being used for summer concerts.
Young and Stanley Bligh's attempts at outdoor theatre at the Brockton Oval in the 1930's set the bar for TUTS. The first season at TUTS opened August 6, 1940 with The Geisha. They also had two plays (A Midsummer Night's Dream, and As You Like It) and selections from grand opera. After the first season, the program featured mainly operettas such as The Firefly, Rose Marie, The Red Mill, Naughty Mariette, and others.
In 1949, the Civic Theatre Society take over control from the Park Board, and TUTS began producing 6-8 week summer seasons musicals such as Brigadoon, Oklahoma!, Annie Get Your Gun, The King and I, and Guys and Dolls.
In 1963, TUTS had to declare bankruptcy due to bad weather and competition from the Vancouver International Festival. In these original 24 seasons TUTS presented 104 productions, many of which also toured in BC after 1944, and helped develop many performer's careers. Established Foreign artists often were chosen for leading roles but Canadians such as Earnest Adams, Milla Andrew, Donald Bell, Harold Brown, Eleanor Collins, Don Francks, Don Garrard, Robert Goulet, Juliette, Don McManus, Karl Norman, Barney Potts and Betty Phillips. Conductors included Bligh, Horsfall, Lucio Agostini, and Beverly Fyfe.
In 1969 a new theatre company, Theatre in the Park, began presenting 2 musicals a season. The company eventually re-named itself to Theatre Under the Stars in 1980.
Since 2007 efforts have been made to improve the experience for audience members:
- Reserved seating
- a bar providing drinks and food
- a new gateway built by a boy scout
- Rain Insurance and plastic ponchos (to be handed out) after a soggy 2011 season
- in 2012 prices were reduced for children under the age of 18
This program provides the practical training in various areas of musical theatre production, depending interest: direction, choreography, music direction, stage management, production, design (lighting, sets, costume, sound), and construction, as well as performance for singers, dancers, actors and musicians. Interns can also expect to receive one-on-one mentorship with production team members in their chosen field, and networking opportunities with industry professionals.
They also put on summer camps for children.
Frequently used staff
- Director Shel Piercy
- Director Sarah Rodgers
- Musical Director Kevin Michael Cripps
- Musical Director Christopher King
- Choreographer Shelley Stewart Hunt
* however they are not limited to these people