theatre the play

Theatre: The Play

Written and directed by Ryan Beil and Mark Chavez

Streamed on Sunday, November 29. Available to watch (see below) until December 6. 

The Nearlake Theatre Festival & Bar & Grill faces certain closure if they can't produce a hit show. Dudley, the festival's intrepid artistic director, throws out all the stops in an attempt to stage a masterpiece the likes of which the theatre world has never seen: Macbeth, War on Christmas. But, can the cast and crew deal with their personal demons before the punters show up? Theatre: The Play is both a love letter and a cheeky middle finger to the world of theatre, asking “why would anyone work in this unforgiving and unstable field of make believe?”. 

Performed by fourth term acting students and designed by graduating production students, Theatre: The Play will be filmed and shared with audiences online. 

Theatre: The Play received a reading at Bard on the Beach’s Bard Lab Reading Series in 2018.

Artwork by Emily Cooper 



Creative Team

Ryan Beil Playwright & Director

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Ryan Beil is an award winning character actor, writer and comedian. He holds a BFAin Acting from the University of British Columbia. Selected Theatre Credits: Angels In America (Arts Club), Twelfth Night (Bard On The Beach), Billy Bishop Goes To War (Belfry). Sometimes you'll see him in recurring roles on popular TV Shows likeThe CW's iZombie, or NBC's Trial & Error. Though most of the time he's just a prominent day player in shows like Upload and DC Legends of Tomorrow. From time to time you might see him in contemporary films like Ant Timson's Come To Daddy or Tim Burton's Big Eyes. Though most people will likely remember him as the hapless "A&W Trainee" in a popular series of fast food commercials. He's also a founding member of the legendary Improv Group, The Sunday Service.

Mark Chavez Playwright & Director

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Mark Chavez is a writer, actor, comedian, and director who hails from Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is one half of the Pajama Men, a narrative-sketch comedy duo that The Guardian hailed as “one of the most influential comedy groups of a generation” and has written or co-written numerous screen and teleplays for studios including the BBC, Scott Free and Film 4 and CBS. Chavez recently co-wrote the television pilot Human People as well as season two of the critically lauded podcast, This Sounds Serious with Kelly & Kelly winner of the Banff Podcast of the Year award. He is also the writer of three East Van Pantos (Theatre Replacement) and will be appearing in Panto: Come Home! this holiday season. Mark can also be found on the web every week as host of a show for young people called Fun Time Funday! on, and every Sunday night Chavez can be found performing with Vancouver’s longest running independent comedy show The Sunday Service improv group. He is incredibly excited to be making his Vancouver directorial debut at Studio 58.

Shizuka Kai Set & Costume Design Mentor

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Shizuka is a Vancouver-based artist known for her professional work in set design and puppetry, and is the recently appointed Interim Co-Artistic & Managing Director (alongside Randi Edmundson) at Carousel Theatre for Young People. She is also a trained puppeteer, mask & props maker, painter, illustrator, costume designer, and director. She has worked with many theatre companies including Arts Club, Neworld, Théâtre la Seizième, Electric Company, Rumble, Axis, Boca del Lupo, Itsazoo, and more. Shiz is a three-time Jessie Richardson Award winner with several nominations, the recipient of the Earl Klein Memorial Scholarship, and a graduate of Studio 58. Her recent designs include: Straight White Men (Itsazoo / Gateway), Iron Peggy (Boca del Lupo / Children’s Festival), Chicken Girl (rice & beans), Peter Pan and The House at Pooh Corner (CTYP).

Alan Brodie Lighting Design Mentor

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Alan Brodie is thrilled to work on Theatre: The Play as a mentor. Other recent productions here include The Doll’s House Project, Anon(ymous), 42nd Street, Grease and Spring Awakening. Earlier Studio 58 productions that were instrumental to the beginning of his own career include Cabaret, The Cradle Will Rock, The Company and Lysistrata. In 2017, having just completed graduate studies in directing at UVic, he was particularly excited to appear as the director of 2BR02B, the fall Risky Nights production. Alan is also pleased to be the new Vectorworks and Lighting Design instructor at Studio 58. He is a member of the Associated Designers of Canada and a BFA theatre grad of UBC.

Emerenne Saefkow Student Set Designer

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Originally from the small, northern town of Smithers BC, Emerenne Saefkow is excited to be making their set and props design debut with Studio 58’s Theatre: The Play. Their past Studio credits include Hot House (Paint Crew Head), Antony and Cleopatra (Props Crew Head), Anon(ymous) (Assistant Stage Manager), Urinetown: The Musical (Stage Manager), Four Play (Set Crew Head) and The Dolls House Project (Assistant to the Technical Director and Lighting Crew). As a multidisciplinary artist, Emerenne finds joy in everything hands-on, from painting murals to constructing sets. They are incredibly grateful for all the amazing people who have helped them through Studio 58, and look forward to the new future of theatre, and their role in it.

Jack Bumbala Student Costume Designer

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Jack Bumbala, sprouted in Ottawa, Ontario, and is a graduate of The Canterbury Dramatic Arts Program, and they have recently rooted down In Vancouver, BC. They are an eccentric and passionate artist, who spends way too much time observing pop culture on Tik Tok and Twitter and is excited to push the boundaries of theatre in our ever changing, and unstable world. Credits at Studio 58 include; Stage Managing The Wax in His Wings directed by Kayla Dunbar, Set Crew Head on (Anon)ymous, directed by Carmen Aguirre, 2nd AD/Production Coordinator for The Watch directed by Janin Palahicky, and their latest project; designing costumes for Theatre The Play directed by Mark Chavez and Ryan Beil, a new work of “zany” and innovative theatre. Jack’s passion lies in costume and set design, but they hope to indulge their love of directing too.

Sarah Fett Student Lightening Designer

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Sarah Fett is a multidisciplinary artist hailing from the historic (boring) capital of Ottawa, Ontario, and a graduate of the Arts Canterbury Visual Arts program. She is passionate about exploring the intersectionality of theatre and visual arts with her keen eye for design and her love for live performance art in all its forms. Credits include: Stage Manager for Studio 58’s Risky Nights project: fort, an online Zoom theatre experience, Assistant to the Set Designer for FourPlay under Jenn Stewart, and as the lighting designer for a production of Wilde’s Salome by Promethean Theatre next summer. Her latest project is as the lighting designer for Theatre: The Play, a new piece of wacky theatre being produced at Studio 58, written & directed by Mark Chavez and Ryan Beil. She is excited to see where her career takes her!

Directors' Note

Directors' Note

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A nice place to waste some time while you wait for the play to start. This is a fluff piece. If you are searching for some bigger meaning or deeper understanding about Theatre: The Play, you will not find that here. What you will find is a little bit of trivia. For example, this play was conceived and created in two different places: backstage of another backstage comedy (David French’s Jitters) and a small patio off an even smaller apartment in Sayulita, Mexico. We’ve always described this piece as one part love-letter and one part middle finger to a life in the theatre. We’ve also described it as a completely unproducable production. And while both statements are true, the second statement is less true. The show you are about to see is one-hundred percent a comedy. But it is worth mentioning that all the humour comes from an essential truth or actual lived experiences from performing and creating live theatre. We believe strongly in the power, influence, and art form of Comedy. Making jokes are important, and if you don’t like that – we don’t like you. Well, that’s a bit harsh. You’re probably all lovely people. Unless you are politically conservative. Then it’s up in the air. Sorry,  this has gone off the rails, lets get down to brass tracks: There are millions (maybe billions) of reasons to go to the theatre and they are all valid. Including the ones we are attempting to provide you with. — Ryan Beil and Mark Chavez

Cast & Crew


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Malina Flukiger --- Dudley

Liam Dignam --- Kevin

Montana Lehmann --- Sally, Reporter 3, Emmett

Kosta Lemermeyer --- Sandrew, Reporter 2, Mayor VanRassel

Harmony Yen --- Glenn, Reporter 7, Park Ranger, Set Designer

Quinn Churchill --- Merill, Reporter 5, Spyder, Raphael

Riley Hardwick --- God of Theatre, Reporter 4, Bryan, Barry, Mr. Snikels

Andrea Abreu --- Nina, Reporter 6, Aaron, Diego, Costume Designer, Hippodrome (Hench-God)

Colton Ludwar --- Spike, Rhonda, Reporter 1, Jamie, Briar Larson, Lighting Designer, Waiter, Playhouse (Hench-God)

Student Crew

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Studio 58 offers professional theatre training for actors and production personnel. The six terms of practical training consist of intensive classroom work as well as performance and backstage experience in productions. Production students and third-term acting students operate sound, lighting, and video, and act as running crew and stage management.


Stage Manager: Jess Jandera

Assistant Stage managers: Angus Yam, Sofie Kane, Rhys Davies

Set/Props Crew Head: Caroline Frost

Costume Crew Head: Laine Gillies

Lighting Crew Head: Brendan Law

Sound Crew Head: Issiah Bull Bear

Extreme Team: Mary-Rose Cohen, Nathan Wong, Sarah Kelen, Samantha Levy, Katherine Matlashewski, Cassidy Ihlen

Professional Crew

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Sound Consultant: Ace Martens

Lighting Technology Consultant: Keagan Elrick

Singing Consultant: Chris King 

Filming and livestream: Peter Carlone

Click here for a list of Studio 58 Faculty & Staff

Thank you

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The Theatre: The Play team extends sincere thanks to the following individuals and companies for their help with the production:

Arts Club Theatre Company

Christine Hackman (for the customized resonance singer’s masks!)   

Jerome Ilad, JC Arnaldo, and the team at Best Janitorial 

Jackie Hoffart and all at the Communications & Marketing Department, Langara College 

Facilities Department, Langara College 

Moira Gookstetter, Shahin Virji,  and all at the Langara College Foundation 

Security, Langara College  

Shipping & Receiving, Langara College  

Sarolta & Ross, Pink Monkey Studios